Tag Archives: Formula 1

Red Bull Hopes to Turn the Heat Down

16 Feb


Testing time in Jerez didn’t go too well for Red Bull. For all the design genius of Adrian Newey, the team broke out the drills a few weeks ago just to scallop out the body work in hopes the car would just cool down. Temperatures were at an average high of 58F degrees, and an average low of 43F – hardly hot. But the heat was on in the Red Bull kitchen as everyone packed up and left early, with hardly any laps completed. You know Newey has been burning the midnight oil these past few weeks, figuring out a way to either 1. somehow get a Ferrari engine in the back of his otherwise stellar creation, or 2. figure out how the heck to get this engine to stay within temperature limits this time around. Temperatures predicted in Bahrain over the next few days will average a very spring like 69-70 ish F, and a low not much lower. Beautiful weather over there this time of year.

Of course, there is one more test session scheduled in Bahrain, at the end of the month. That’s it, over and done with. Then the first race is mid March in Australia – where temperatures will likely be similar to what it is in Bahrain. So who’s running hotter right now? The Red Bull engine, or Newey himself? No doubt he’s under a tremendous amount of pressure. Afterall, their star drivers can’t do much if the car isn’t fully functional. With that said, there is no doubt that Newey is perhaps the greatest F1 engineer in the series history. He has a knack for applying his Hawking-esque brain to the world of racing. While I’m a Tifosi a heart, I’m rooting for Newey, and I think he will figure it out. We all know the season is long, and literally everything can happen. Particularly with the new engines, not to mention all the new rules for this year.


F1 Uncut

12 Feb

Saw this on several other blogs, but worthy of posting…it will make you laugh if you’re aware of what this season has in store

New Ferrari F1 Car Spied?

2 Dec

It’s clearly turbocharged, and the roof scoop is rather conspicuous. Could it be a gussied up F1 car testing early? Or perhaps a mule that may conform to LMP rules? Let the games begin!

Courtesy of Racecar Engineering

Master and Apprentice

4 Nov



Will the student one day surpass the master in the record books? Pic courtesy of Classic Formula 1

Kill 90 Minutes While Smiling, Learning and Ignoring Your Significant Other

18 Oct

F1 fans, enjoy! No it’s not brand new, but it’s a blast anyway

Sounds Like the Future

18 Oct

Next year the V6 Turbos will be on the grid in Formula 1, and it’s a move that had many fans concerned. If you’ve never been to an F1 race, it’s hard to grasp how important the audible component is to the series. Sure, the cars sound amazing as the V8’s wail away at ungodly rpms when you watch it on tv. But in person, you feel the sound. They pop, snort, and sing, and your brain craves in every measure of it.

Honda has now released sound clips of their new V6 Turbo. They will be supplying these to McLaren (perhaps others?) a year after the changeover. While you don’t get the physical sensation from the video, the sound itself is the sweetest V6 I’ve ever heard.

Courtesy of NBCSports

Here is a clip of the 2014 Mercedes V6 Turbo F1 engine:

And lastly, the 2014 Renault power plant:


The Old in and Out

26 Jul


The Tire War

26 May


As those who follow F1 know, tires are the same for everyone. Everyone is handed out the same compounds and must run all of them during the race. Ok, sounds easy enough, fair enough, right? Ehhhh….wrong. During Friday, NBC’s Will Buxton took over NBCSports Twitter and was fielding questions. I asked about tires for the weekend…and the reply was “they are round, black and the same for everyone, lets race”. Well as it turns out, such is not the case.

See, F1 cars are very adjustable, very intricate machines. These are not spec cars. Nor are the staff each team employs. This is racing at its highest level: with the perennial levels of technology, and money all being mixed together in a world class stew. Will Buxton is now reporting that after Spain, in which Mercedes complained about their tires, was given a private test with Pirelli. 1000kms of private testing so Mercedes could “better understand how their chassis was relating to the tire”. It’s also being reported that Ferrari had a similar test after Bahrain. Certainly helps explain the awesome performances since those private tests were conducted. Of course such private tests are not allowed under the rules from a team level. But they are allowed under Pirelli’s contract as tire supplier for the series. Now, whether they plan to hold tests for each individual team remains to be seen, but its nevertheless going to be a hot topic.

Monaco’s Royalty

25 May


While Monaco has no official King (only a Prince, who rules the principality), its default leader is the late Aryton Senna. He won the F1 race here 6 times (still a record). Though he died tragically in 1994, he will always be regarded as one of the best to ever run the famed event.

Formula 1 Rule Changes for the 2013 Season

14 Mar

F1: Team guide 2013

On the heels of the Australian GP start this weekend, figured some might enjoy seeing what is different this year vs last year.

Courtesy of Racecar Engineering magazine:

With the current breed of 2.4 litre V8 engines set to be replaced by more efficient 1.6 litre turbocharged V6 units in 2014, major changes in terms of car design have inevitably become a key area of development focus for the Formula 1 paddock. With this in mind, the rules and regulations for 2013 will remain much the same as those seen in 2012, albeit with a small number of minor alterations; each of which could potentially create an even more tightly packed grid than that which brought us last season’s epic battle for honours…

The major rule changes both technical and sporting are detailed below.

Active Double-DRS Systems (aka the fluidic switch / the device)
For the season ahead, active drag reducing devices which make use of the DRS flap have been banned. In 2012, Mercedes developed a concept which allowed air to be channelled through an opening in the rear wing endplate when DRS was activated, subsequently travelling through the car to help stall the front wing and thus reducing drag. Not only is it now forbidden for the rear wing end plates to transport air around the car, but a similar rule also applies to the centre section of the front wing. This will not, however, affect passive systems as trialled by Lotus F1 Team last season. Indeed there will be much development in this area, with Sauber, Lotus, Red Bull and possibly Ferrari having trialled the concepts in testing.
What people call passive DRS is the device that Lotus trialled last year which will uses some speed sensing device whatever that may be to augment or replace the DRS effect where DRS is not allowed. It is an interesting area, but it is a very tricky area to get a signal that is reliable and withstand things like following another car, it is not straight forward” adds Red Bull’s Adrian Newey.

Stepped Noses & vanity panels
When regulations were announced for the 2012 season which would see teams forced to lower the overall height of the car nose for safety reasons, much was made of the somewhat unappealing ‘stepped’ design solution developed by the majority of the grid. While the maximum height limit remains unaltered for this season, teams now have the option of utilising a small piece of laminate – known as a ‘modesty’ or ‘vanity’ panel – to smooth the appearance of the nose section.


Williams has trialled both a stepped nose (above) and a smooth nose on its 2013 car (below). Red Bull and Sauber both have partial panels with vents whilst Caterham and Lotus have no panel at all.


Whilst there has been much discussion about the panels many Technical Directors play down the importance of them “We feel that we want to run the nose and chassis has high as possible, so we have done that and used the vanity panel, aerodynamically it is close to neutral but it does tidy up the flow on the top of the chassis but the improvement is very small. It is not an area of performance at all. It is not what is going on on top of the chassis is whats going on underneath that matters” explains Force India’s Andrew Green.

Front Wing Stiffness
Flexible bodywork became a significant talking point over the course of last season, with a number of teams believed to have excessive movement in their front wing design and subsequently gaining aerodynamic performance. As a result of this a further deflection test has been introduced to ensure that the front wing assembly remains as rigid as possible as speed increases, thereby reducing the possibility of such advantages being made. Whilst continuing to limit the extent to which the tips of the front wing ‘droop’ under load, the new test will also ensure that the assembly is not capable of rotating the nose up or down around a lap.

Front Wing Tolerances
In years gone by, it has become accepted practice to allow front wing systems to run up to 3mm lower than the regulations prescribed. Decades ago when this trend was established, it was a nod to the difficulties of manufacturing and measuring to a precise tolerance. However, for many years it has been possible to be much more accurate in the production process, and so from 2013 the front wing height dimensions will need to be respected without any implied tolerance. This means that all teams will be forced to lift their front wing assemblies by up to 3mm, giving rise to a certain loss of front wing performance.

Suspension Members
A traditional Formula 1 suspension system has 6 members, namely the top wishbone front leg, top wishbone rear leg, lower wishbone front leg, lower wishbone rear leg, trackrod and push / pullrod. Although not previously exploited, it became clear during the 2012 season that it was possible to make a suspension system which satisfied the written rules, but which consisted of more than 6 members. The potential benefit of such a system would be that it could afford more aerodynamic surfaces to exploit. To forestall such a system, it has been agreed to amend the rules to limit all suspension systems to just 6 members.

Minimum Weight
Minor increases in the weight of Pirelli’s 2013 Formula 1 tyre range have led to the minimum weight limit for each car and driver combination to be increased from 640kg to 642kg, with mandatory weight distribution regulations adjusted accordingly.

Chassis Testing
In the weeks building up to the first test all Formula 1 chassis are subjected to a series of squeeze tests, where large forces are applied to the chassis to prove that it is strong enough to be used in anger. In the past, the first chassis under production was subjected to a special series of tests that were at 120% of the level applied to each subsequent chassis. As this difference was agreed to be somewhat spurious, the rule has been changed for 2013 such that all chassis must now demonstrate satisfactory performance at the higher level of load given to the first chassis, thereby providing further assurances in terms of driver safety.

DRS Deployment
Since its inception in 2011, drivers have been free to deploy the DRS [Drag Reduction System] at any time which suits them during practice and qualifying. In 2013 however, new rules stipulate that DRS usage will be restricted to designated activation zones as used during the races themselves as part of on-going efforts to increase on-track safety.

The changes to the DRS rules de-power the effect of DRS on lap time so there is slightly less incentive to put a lot of effort into maximising the switch versus the stability but there is still lap time there so is still a competitive pressure to make a knife edge wing profile which is difficult to do” explains James Allison or Lotus.

Force Majeure
In previous seasons, the ‘force majeure’ allowance has provided teams with some leeway in terms of fuel levels remaining in a car should it stop on the track during qualifying. This element has been removed from the regulations for 2013, with rules now stating that any car which stops out on track must have enough fuel for the mandatory one-litre minimum sample plus an additional amount proportional to the amount of fuel that would have been used in returning to the pits [as determined by the FIA].

With the 2013 grid fielding an entry list of 22 cars – reduced from 24 last season – there will now be six drivers eliminated at the end of both the Q1 and Q2 qualifying sessions as opposed to the seven ruled out at each stage in 2012.

Pirelli has substantially revised the design of the tyres used on the cars this season

One Lap Around Circuit of the Americas

15 Nov

Found this on Motor Authority

Very cool lap around the new Circuit of America in Austin, TX. Home of this
weekends US F1 Grand Prix


Timo Glock’s Room at Suzuka

3 Oct

Every 6 year old F1 fans dream come true!


Time Lapse – Building Williams 2012 F1 Car

19 Mar


Too Cool Not to Post (USA F1 Content Inside)

25 Sep

Yeah, it’s been on all the big blogs, but whatever, it’s too cool not to share with those who might not have caught it yet

With a Twist

26 Aug

This weekend marks the return of F1 from summer vacation. The illuminati have converged on a tiny town in Belgium to watch the best of the best race through the forest on one of the most challenging tracks in the world. It’s a favorite among drivers because it’s very high speed (over 4 miles long), yet extremely twisty and complex.

This video is a few years old but gives you a great perspective on what it’s like to run this tricky track.

On an unrelated note, this is our 1000th post on cornerbalance since starting back in 2008. Thanks for checking in and we look forward to 1000+ more posts!