Racecar Engineering June 2021

Racecar Engineering is the world’s leading technology publication for the motorsport industry. From aerodynamics to engines and from handling theory to manufacturing practice, Racecar Engineering is read by motorsport’s top professionals. Only Racecar Engineering brings this insight every month.

United Kingdom
Chelsea Magazine
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12 Issues

in this issue

5 min
fuel for thought

I write this sat on an aeroplane to Charlotte. In my cabin there are three other people, 10 in Economy, none in Business and maybe some in First Class. Mid-pandemic, there is now a daily flight from London to Charlotte and, instead of the usual nine hours, the reduced payload means it’s done in seven and a half hours. That’s not progress. The ’plane still burns one of earth’s most precious resources, albeit a bit less when it’s not full, and still owns an impressively large carbon footprint. Now before anyone thinks, and then says it, I care deeply about my impact, and that of the motorsport industry, on the environment for a variety of reasons. Yes, I am aware I work in an industry that also burns a precious and…

5 min
punch to the glut

While understanding Liberty’s financial desire to increase revenues by staging 23 F1 World Championship events in one year, it seems to me they have failed to consider the negative effect this may cause. Arguably, even 20 GPs are two too many. Exclusivity often defines an image. Dilute this and you potentially risk a devaluation of brand value and prestige. It pays to keep devotees hungry for more. I suspect, with a race almost every other weekend and a number back to back between late March and mid-December, the dedicated TV audiences worldwide will find it difficult to follow every round – certainly live – because of the sheer time required. Especially so at the time of year when people are being tempted to enjoy outside activities, and are under pressure to…

14 min
fresh blood

We’ve tried to do as much development on our car as we can with one hand tied behind our back It’s no secret that Williams Racing has struggled in Formula 1 for the last few seasons, finishing last in the Constructors’ Championship three years in a row running up to 2021. Technical and business management re-structuring has unquestionably caused some trials for the team in recent years, but the challenges the team has been facing are multi-faceted. Formula 1’s current revenue structure, introduced in 2012, formed the origin of its financial issues, solved only recently by the American private investment firm, Dorilton Capital’s, acquisition of the team in August 2020. This transaction received the unanimous support of the board at Williams, including Sir Frank Williams. He determined the transaction delivers the best outcome for the…

9 min
sand and deliver

The sporting regulations are as complicated as nuclear physics, with shootouts, crazy races and fan-induced voting for a favourable grid position It was history in the making when nine electric SUVs lined up to contest the inaugural Extreme E series in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. For the race engineers involved in the running of the cars, it was a completely new experience. Combined with the desert sand racing surface, on which few teams had actually tested prior to the cars being shipped to the event, there were high temperatures to contend with, which played havoc with the strategies for the two qualifying sessions and multiple race format. The Odyssey 21s, built by Spark Racing Technology, comprise a common package of standard parts, including a niobium-reinforced steel alloy tubular frame, crash structure and…

1 min
tech spec: odyssey 21

Overall length 4401mm Overall width 2300mm Overall height 1864mm Front track 1998mm Rear track 1998mm Ride height 450mm Wheelbase 3001mm Weight 1780kg Battery capacity 40kWh of useable energy Power source Twin 250kW motors (550bhp equivalent) Torque 920Nm Gradient capability 40 degrees on an 80 per cent slope 53 degrees on a 130 per cent slope (estimated, depending on surface) Suspension travel 385mm SPEC PARTS Chassis Tubular frame constructed of niobium-reinforced steel alloy Suspension Double wishbone with three-way adjustable mono damper; hydraulic bump and rebound stop Braking Six-piston Alcon caliper; iron disc and pads Steering Electrical PAS system Battery Built by Williams Advanced Engineering Tyres Engineered for the extreme terrains by Continental Tyres…

12 min
the backwards evolution

Regardless of the desired outcome, the starting point for reverse engineering is invariably measurement The FIA’s recent ban on reverse engineering practices in Formula 1 brought the subject into motorsport headlines after the arrival of the ‘Pink Mercedes’ in 2020, courtesy of the then Racing Point, now Aston Martin team. Outside of such high-profile cases, the uses for reverse engineering techniques within racing are many and varied, with the technology to aid the process constantly evolving. There are a host of reasons why one might want to reverse engineer a part, and the desired outcome – be it simply creating a surface form or generating CAD data for a mechanical part – will dictate the processes used and subsequent data manipulation. For example, one could be working without easy access to CAD…