Cars & Motorcycles
Racecar Engineering

Racecar Engineering February 2017

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

4 min.
ghosts in the machine

The gearbox was not speaking to the TC and the dashboard was sulking One of the great lies going on in the world is the triumph of technology. The reality is that the more technology comes into our lives, the more we are enchained by it. Let’s just take a small example. Once we got transistors into chips, to the tune of several million of them, we find that the simple tickling of AND and NAND gates can make inanimate objects take on a life of their own, even to the extent of seemingly having consciousness. The bad news is that this simulacrum of consciousness has an evil tinge. The latest conspiracy of electrical gadgets bit me hard in the nether regions a short time ago. Having been dragged from another continent to…

5 min.
that deflated feeling

A tyre seemingly exploding is not great for the tyre manufacturer – a dramatic failure like this must surely create the wrong sort of publicity Given the current insistence in the hierarchy of motor racing that the sport should be seen to be driving technology for road cars, the not uncommon sight of dramatic tyre failures – including in the most highly-televised global arenas such as F1 and WEC – presents the opposite image. Whatever the cause, be it debris or failure, the sight of one of these super-sophisticated machines destroying itself with a flailing tyre or spearing into the barriers at high speed because of an instant deflation is not a great endorsement of racing taking a technical lead. Especially when a good many up-market passenger cars already have run-flat…

15 min.
triple crown

Had it not been for an engine failure in Malaysia and a driver failure in Barcelona, the W07 Hybrid would probably have won every single grand prix in 2016 Not long after the sun had set over the desert on a Sunday evening in late November the superiority of the Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid was graphically underlined. How? A controversy had sprung up during the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The leading Mercedes driver, Lewis Hamilton, had driven the closing laps of the race deliberately slowly in order to allow the cars from rival teams running in third and fourth to catch and perhaps pass the second-placed Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. Most of the media coverage following the race was focussed on whether what Hamilton had done was fair or sporting, but…

1 min.
halo effect

When the HALO frontal protection device was first displayed fitted to a car in public at Barcelona in winter testing the reaction from fans and the media was far from universally positive. Most teams, including Mercedes which was instrumental in its creation, have since trialled the concept on track. But the reaction, while more muted, has still not really been positive. But Paddy Lowe has another take on HALO. ‘Nobody has really commented about the higher cockpit sides on the cars in 2016 and complained that they can no longer see the drivers’ helmets and things,’ he says. ‘It’s why I find this stuff about HALO funny. If you drill back into the past, drivers used to go around in an open face helmet, or even none at all if you…

13 min.
silver’s lining

Since 2014 there have been 59 Formula 1 grands prix, and only eight of them have been won by racecars not propelled by a Mercedes power unit Since the first race of the 2014 season Formula 1 has been dominated by discussion of one thing: power units. The talk, however, was not of the exceptionally high thermal efficiency of the new units, but more often it was of how they had become the main performance differentiator. Really this discussion was, and is, more about how one manufacturer’s PUs have dominated the sport under the new formula. Since the power units were introduced in 2014 there have been 59 Formula 1 World Championship races, and only eight of them have been won by cars not propelled by a Mercedes power unit. For the…

10 min.
people power

Those who contribute to the design and development of the products also earn shares based on their experience level The 2017 Formula 1 technical regulations have been met with some scepticism in the motorsport engineering community, but design work has continued regardless and the first fruits of that can now be revealed. Nicolas Perrin, a French motorsport engineer based in England’s rugged Yorkshire Dales, has been working on his own answer to the new regulations, the Perrinn F1-2017 (the extra n is a deliberate branding move). Perrin has a long history in motorsport, having worked in Formula 1 with Williams and Manor, as well as in LMP1 with Courage Competition and Pescarolo, and in 2013 he set up his own design bureau. Unlike a typical constructor Perrinn has a collaborative design approach, with…