Racecar Engineering December 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.

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12 期号


getting a grip

Trust between driver and team is often quoted as one of the key elements for success in motor racing. This, to me, seems to be entirely logical. Strange, therefore, that in two recent F1 races in particular, Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton both ignored their engineers’ calls to pit for tyres – and almost certainly lost out big time as a result. Norris’ performance in Sochi, pulling away from regenmeister Hamilton in the wet on similarly worn slick tyres, was phenomenal, but his refusal to follow initial instructions from the pit wall cost him and the team dear, even a probable first race win for the young Englishman. Hamilton, meanwhile, has a deserved reputation for his ‘gut instinct’ proving correct, much of this due to his mastery of tyre preservation and seat-of-the-pants…

remote control

The remote garages … have their roots not in foresight but in circumstance Once Formula 1 took the decision to resume action in July 2020 after a Covid-induced three-month break, one of the crucial criteria was the number of travelling staff per team permitted paddock access via tightly controlled ‘bubbles’. The decision largely hinged on restrictions imposed by authorities in the region the sport targeted for its return, namely Austria’s Styrian province, home to the Red Bull Ring. A limit of 80 staff per team was imposed, half the number a well-heeled team would usually take to grands prix, of which around 60 are required to directly operate two cars, with the balance providing engineering, logistics, media, marketing and hospitality services. Although the last three activities were downsized considerably, it soon became…

mclaren’s it crowd

Teams have leveraged their commercial partners in the quest for the best in virtual garages, with HP, Pure Storage, AMD and Tata Communications partnering Mercedes, Cognizant title partner to Aston Martin and AWS inking a deal with Ferrari. Kapersky and Acronis represent two of the data security companies currently in F1. McLaren, which recently added more partners than any other, boasts Dell Technologies, conference platform Webex and cyber surveillance company Darktrace, developed in conjunction with British intelligence agencies. These provide the bulk of the team’s virtual garage kit. ‘We have an IT rig that we take with us,’ says Ed Green, McLaren’s head of commercial technology. ‘We have only one set, and it travels to every race. It’s full of computers and storage and servers, which come from Dell. Should the worst…

virtual working

Working virtually is not the sole preserve of F1 teams, with the FIA and brake supplier, Brembo, embracing virtual reality solutions under Covid. The governing body has long operated connected systems for back-up purposes, but as Chris Bentley, the FIA’s head of information systems, explains, these came into their own once F1 returned to action as a number of stewards on the traditional F1 roster were not permitted by their governments to travel internationally. ‘When you have an international panel of stewards and the direction of what we’re trying to achieve, [then] you’ve got someone with the level of experience as, say, [chairman of the F1 stewards] Gary Connelly based in Australia, or Tim Mayer in America, we had to look at things in a different way. ‘That’s where we started to build…

under pressure

‘It was a problem that stressed and kept busy nearly the complete team for eight hours. That is why it counts as our nicest victory at Le Mans’Pascal Vasselon, team principal at Toyota The history books will show Toyota dominated the 2021 running of Le Mans, with opposition coming from a year-old Alpine that was hamstrung by regulations, and two Glickenhaus LMH cars that were in their first year of competition. The GR010s finished four laps clear of the Alpine in third position, but after the race the Toyota team members were exhausted, both mentally and physically. The effort it took to bring both cars to the flag was little short of miraculous, as both cars suffered blocked fuel filters that threatened to retire them at any point in the last eight…

das boot

The rivalry is unlikely to become a reality, but Elon Musk’s tweet that his Cybertruck was better than a hydrogen fuel cell option sparked Jim Glickenhaus to propose a challenge. ‘You have said that hydrogen technology is “mind-bogglingly stupid,”’ wrote Glickenhaus in response to Musk. ‘You’ve also mentioned that the Baja 1000 would be a great test for your Cybertruck. We say bring it.’ It is a classic, old school racing challenge, laid down by one who could afford to back it up to another. Even though Musk went quiet, Glickenhaus pushed ahead with its programme under a new company, Glickenhaus SCG Zero. This is a project designed to look at carbon zero technologies, including electric, but also other alternatives. It is run by Jesse Glickenhaus, Jim’s son, whose life, he says,…