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Racecar Engineering

Racecar Engineering

February 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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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Chelsea Magazine
Frequency:
Monthly
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$68.29
12 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
schedule overload

There are going to be 23 Formula 1 races in 2021. That is a lot of travelling, a lot of being away from home and a lot of work for the F1 personnel. A few years ago I was doing the Le Mans Series, the American Le Mans Series and the 24 Hours of Le Mans itself, which worked out at a similar number of races. What did I learn? Well, I learnt that it’s not particularly healthy. The schedule ran from January to December that year and it was a killer. We were either in Europe or flying back and forth to the US, and to do those long-haul flights every couple of weeks was really tough. The F1 teams will be going from one event to the next and not…

5 min.
adjustments needed

A problem needs action in order to solve it, or to at least to alleviate its effects. The constant critical issue of Pirelli tyre management creates massive headaches for drivers and engineers alike. This has required huge amounts of effort to combat, and led to Mercedes inventing its controversial DAS steering system. However, a relatively simple mechanical aid could be adopted that I suggest would certainly help. It’s been around for more than 40 years and, guess what, it’s the driver-adjustable anti-roll (sway) bar. Ideally fitted front and rear, such devices would allow drivers to assist in controlling tyre temperatures and degradation and balancing the handling of the car as it alters through a stint – especially if conditions change drastically. Operated without external input and adding to driver skills, it…

14 min.
game of inches

‘Game of inches’ is a famous phrase attributed to Green Bay Packers American Football team coach, Vince Lombardi, immortalised by Al Pacino in the film Any Given Sunday. A ‘game of inches’ justifies why the smallest detail matters. Like American Football, Formula 1 is, too, a game of inches, as the difference between raising a championship banner and being considered a failure is often the smallest margin. Although in contemporary Formula 1 Mercedes’ domination seems insurmountable, the margins in 2020 have been tighter than many years before, with outright performance of all 20 cars on the grid falling within a delta of around 3.4 per cent between the best and worst. Some teams in the so-called midfield fall within less than 0.75 per cent of their closest rivals. As such, should a…

12 min.
asset management

2020 has been a peculiar year. Apart from the immense Covid-19 test operation the FIA has successfully mounted to enable a World Championship that qualifies as such to take place, the only significant technical activities in F1, apart from DAS (dual-axis steering) have been to do with the regulations. DAS, Mercedes’ driver-operated front tyre heating system, was deemed too expensive for others to copy, and so summarily banned for 2021. Ferrari’s 50-odd horsepower gain in 2019 was discovered by the FIA, but so clever was it that it couldn’t be proven, allowing pundits to hypothesise and participate in 2020’s favourite pastime of creating conspiracy theories. Racing Point’s strategy of copying a Mercedes as closely as it could, but painting it pink, and rising up the finishing order opened up the possibilities…

12 min.
e for efficiency

What started as nothing more than a shared dream between Formula E founder, Alejandro Agag, and FIA president, Jean Todt, in 2011, the electric Formula E series has since developed into the fastest growing motorsport series on the planet. Since its debut in the grounds of the Olympic Park in Beijing in 2014, Formula E has grown into a global series, gaining world championship status to become the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship ahead of the 2020 / ’21 season. With 12 teams and 24 drivers on the grid, the championship has become a destination for the world’s OEM powerhouses. Although BMW and Audi have confirmed their withdrawal at the end of next season they will this year face Porsche, Nissan, Mercedes and DS Automobiles, Mahindra and NIO. The inclusion of…

17 min.
making bop changes

In the last article on Balance of Performance (BoP) in RE V30N11 we explored two key concepts: the physics of vehicle performance, and the options available for making changes to the balance of performance. In this article we will examine the actual process of making BoP changes. It is important to keep in mind that the challenge of balancing disparate vehicles is an engineering physics problem, and the potential solutions can usually only be drawn from the list of available parameters to change. But how can we know if a change in performance is required, or which vehicle parameter to modify to affect this change? Despite what many pundits may believe, the process of making BoP changes is not black magic, nor based on a random number generator, it is truly an engineering…