Racecar Engineering April 2019

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
12 Issues

in this issue

5 min
are we nearly there yet?

A recent trip for a racing assignment was enlivened by a departure from the usual boring and annoying battle to get to the destination. This usually just demands a lot of forbearance, and a tight control on your urge to kill or at least painfully maim sundry fellow passengers, or the security agents trying to get hold of your footwear. Worst of all are the kids infesting the aisles, that is when they are not screaming at a pitch that makes you fear for the integrity of the portholes, or kicking the back of your seat, ignored by their parents. But this time a medical emergency on board forced yours truly and 448 fellow passengers to spend 20 hours stranded in Sri Lanka, not at all our intention. Yet maybe it…

5 min
the human race

I wonder if, like me, all the recent Formula 1 car launches have left you a bit underwhelmed and even glassy-eyed over their focus on the aerodynamic detail, some parts of which are no bigger than a cigarette packet? To the aerodynamicists involved and probably to those who are aero nerds all this may be manna from heaven. However, as so much of it is variations on a similar theme it can even wash over the heads of those who are keenly technically-minded. To the more casual followers of Formula 1, it must appear rather ‘same as, same as’; this year’s designs look much like last year’s and – apart from the bigger tyres and of course the front wing – not that much different really even from the season before…

13 min
down to business

The Formula 1 teams gathered together at the Circuit de Catalunya in mid February for the start of winter testing ahead of the 2019 season, as usual. What was less usual was the general lack of launches running up to the start of testing. Normally, before the hard work of testing begins almost every team shows off its car to the media in presentations of varying styles ranging from bacon rolls at Silverstone to glossy events more akin to a Hollywood premiere than an automotive engineering showcase. But in 2019 only two teams opted to have formal launches; McLaren and Ferrari. A number of other teams held events to show off new liveries, while others still merely emailed out renderings of their new cars, which were only vaguely indicative of the…

1 min
fuel rule

Shortly before the opening test the Formula 1 teams were all sent a technical directive which aimed at cracking down on what could amount to cheating using the fuel system. ‘The rules say that there are supposed to be no additional areas where fuel can be stored, either in the low pressure side or the high pressure side,’ Renault’s Nick Chester explains. ‘We are now limited to 0.25 litres of fuel maximum in the high pressure side, outside of the safety cell, and we used to be allowed two litres. Also you are not allowed any little volumes or restrictors which might allow you store and recharge. Its made it clear what is allowed.’ The suggestion here is that teams were building up excess fuel beyond the fuel flow meter and…

10 min
taking the heat

With the launch of the 2019 Formula 1 cars a huge amount of attention was paid to the designs of the new front wings. But there was one small but hugely important detail that featured on a number of these that was almost entirely overlooked. And yet this could quite soon be a key factor in determining the outcome of world championships. From the moment that Pirelli was appointed as Formula 1’s sole tyre supplier in 2011, F1 teams have struggled to get the best out of the Italian rubber. At times it has made the difference between finishing on the podium or getting lost in the midfield. As a result of this F1 teams have spent a lot of time trying to get a clearer idea of how the tyres…

8 min
a glimpse of the future

Formula 1 will remain an open cockpit, open wheel, single seater formula, with most of the main elements of the current cars retained Formula 1 is to adopt a completely new technical rulebook in 2021, but until now all that has officially been revealed are some vague concept sketches and the announcement that 18in wheels fitted with low profile tyres will be used. But there has been progress, and behind the scenes the FIA, the F1 Group and the teams have been collaboratively working to thrash out the details of the new technical regulations. At the time of writing that work is ongoing, but recent documentation has provided a lot more clarity on the overall shape of things to come. Despite rumours of fighter jet style canopies and Le Mans Prototype inspired…