Announcements 8…

Why do I bother numbering my announcements? Anyway…

Quick update on what’s happening on theWPTformula blog for what hopes to be an exciting year of motorsport, particularly F1. Alongside my studies I am pleased to say that I’m currently writing for Motorsport Week and with that I will sometimes feature in their partner eMagazine, Motorsport Monday. In fact, you can already find something of mine in this week’s issue, here. It’s a triple-page guide to the 2017 regulations (preview below) and it’s free to read.

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Short story time: For those of you who have followed this blog from the start you may recall that I wrote for a website called Richland F1 a few years ago. We had a great little team of people and you might recognise their names in other publications now – Jack Leslie, Dan Paddock, Trent Price, Andy Young, Alex Goldshmidt, Rosie Baillie. It was founded by Luke Smith, who is now a journalist for NBC. Luke was at university at the time and unfortunately his studies eventually intervened to the point where the site had to close. I have only met them all once in 2014, I think, when we went to the Marylebone Sports Bar & Grill for a little F1 auction event or something hosted by David Croft(?), and I met Alex at Autosport International the same year. We were churning out piece after piece every week (I was writing much more content then than I am now) in the hope that one day we would make a ‘big-time break’ of some sort. And we did this simply because we loved motorsport – Richland never made a proper income. It might have had AdSense at one stage but that little amount of money was (fairly) going to the main contributors. So we all went our separate ways but we stayed in touch, sometimes promising to meet again only for plans to fall through. As far as I’m aware, Jack does a lot of work for Car Throttle, Andy and Dan were doing social media bits for C4F1, Trent is with E-Racing Magazine… They’re all freelance so look out for them in publications such as Autosport and Raconteur features in The Times. Of course, I was never close to any of these people purely because I never spent much time with them, and that’s mostly the reason why I haven’t seen them again. But I have huge respect for them because the motorsport world is a tough one to crack in to and yet they are all slowly chipping away at it.

And now, at Motorsport Week, I have been reunited with some of the Richland team; and there’s no other way of explaining it except that it’s quite heartwarming in the sense that we have all kept going up the journalism ladder, if you like. I am in the fortunate position where I can say that journalism is not the career path I want to go down yet I can still earn a few quid on the side to fund my engineering degree (and terrible spending habits). I like doing it, but I don’t surround myself in it. For the people above, journalism is what they do to earn a living and they are all very good at it. So, despite the fact that I don’t churn out as many tech articles as I used to, it still remains a pleasure to write them and be published alongside these other names. Not because they are big-shot names in the business, and I am sure one day some of them will be, but because I admire their relentlessness and consistency.

Not really sure how to end this other than asking for you to check out motorsportweek.com and enjoy what we produce! I’ll try to post on here too but third year is proving to be very time consuming. I practically gave my soul to a wind turbine gearbox design project last term and I expect more of the same this year too.

Oh, and I’ve got another year after that. And I’m enjoying every bit of it.

Cheers,

Will

Tech Highlights: Mercedes/Red Bull ‘energy recovery’ suspension

If you haven’t heard already, F1 is set to ban the hydraulic heave springs that many teams (notably Mercedes) have been playing with over the past 12-15 months. Although it is not an official ban as yet, a technical directive has been issued to the teams addressing the claims that Ferrari raised in a recent letter to the FIA. Ferrari claims that the component can be classed under the ‘moveable aerodynamics’ catch-all phrase in the regulations, and although it has been discussed in great length over the year it is only now that the Scuderia have chosen to make a formal move against the competition. In this blog post we will aim to cover what the hydraulic heave element does and why a ban at this stage of the 2017 developments could have an impact on the pecking order. Continue reading

Analysis: AM-RB 001

I don’t know about you but since the news that Red Bull’s F1 design guru Adrian Newey was teaming up with Aston Martin for a ‘new project’, I’ve been waiting with bated breath for what kind of machine the two could produce together. Despite the lengthy wait, nothing could quite prepare any of us for what we saw when the AM-RB 001 prototype was showcased in early July.

AM-RB 001

 

Once launched the codename will be changed to something more elegant (and probably beginning with a ‘V’) but no doubt the bold body shapes that make it the eye catching will remain. It’s a little Marmite (personally I love it) however every carbon fibre-formed surface has been meticulously sculpted on CAE software to produce a car that meets Newey’s intense focus on aerodynamics. Continue reading

Goodwood FoS tech blog!

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Time to kick this blog back into life a little now that I’m free for summer, and what better a way of doing so than looking at some of the great tech on display at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This year’s festival was probably the best one I’ve been to out of the four or five times I’ve visited, not least because we had a great spot on the hillclimb to view the cars – on the inside of Molecomb corner along the braking zone right by the hay bales. Mercedes brought the W05 F1 car too, making them the first team to use a new hybrid-era car for demo purposes.

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First stop was the FIA stand, which was filled with some interesting information about motorsport in general as well as a few desirable racing cars.

I knew what was going to be on display there, too – the halo concept that F1 wants to introduce next season was the first thing that caught my attention as I approached. Unfortunately, rather than putting in the effort of actually integrating the halo with the car, the structure had clearly been pinched from Ferrari (they tested it pre-season) and quite literally been stuck to an old monocoque.

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Analysis: What will F1 2017 look like?

2017 side & plan

It’s been a while since I’ve posted (lots of university assignments/exam preparations going on lately) but I’ve once again teamed up with F1 Fanatic to inform you about the 2017 F1 technical regulations overhaul.

The changes are pretty widespread: bringing back the 2 metre overall width from pre-1998; larger tyres; delta-shaped front wings – there’s a lot to talk about! You can find this fairly comprehensive analysis about all the changes here. Thanks to their helpful image sliders we are able to compare the 2016 car with next year’s in a side-by-side comparison too, which looks pretty cool.

I don’t think there are many other people who have done something similar since the regulations were officially published at the end of April, so go check it out and let me know what you think about the rule changes in the comments!

Tech Highlights: Mercedes S-duct

One of the key design features of this year’s Mercedes W07 is the introduction of an S-duct. The S-duct was first seen in 2012, with Sauber using it as a way to manage airflow over the stepped nose. The idea was that airflow would be less likely to detach from the chassis if air was introduced behind the step. This was done by channeling airflow from underneath the car to a vent exiting backwards above the front bulkhead via an s-shaped duct in the nosebox, hence the term S-duct.

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