An apology is needed – I have failed to keep this blog alive despite saying I would do so earlier this year. Sorry.
However, I hope you will forgive me after reading this post, as a lot has happened over the past few months. Firstly, I graduated from Swansea University with a First Class Honours degree in MEng Mechanical Engineering. I honestly can’t recommend Swansea enough if you want to study engineering – I sort of ended up there by chance, but it turned out to be one of the best circumstantial decisions I ever made. Send me an email if you want to know more about what it’s like to study/live/party there…
Secondly, I have, somewhat regretfully, entered the real world and landed myself a job! It’s a graduate mechanical design engineer role at an electric motor manufacturer (owned by Nidec Corporation), and so far it’s been a case of meeting new people, learning about their products, the way they’re made etc.. (I have my own desk and dual monitors – very nice.) There are some really intriguing projects in the pipeline that I hope to be working on, and perhaps I’ll be able to better explain how F1 developments come about simply by having first hand experience of engineering.
Finding employment is a difficult – and often stressful – process (good luck to any fellow graduates out there who are hunting – you will get there). Maybe I’ll write another post about it at some point, but I am very happy, relieved and excited to have my foot in the door of the engineering industry, and I’m looking forward to developing as an engineer – I am more than aware that a degree doesn’t teach you everything.
Back to why you follow this blog: The F1 summer break is nearly over, and I’m looking forward to continuing the tech coverage for the rest of the season for Crash.Net. I haven’t discussed the 2019 regulations because they haven’t officially been released yet, but perhaps this is something I’ll begin to explore on here…
After a lot of recent thought, I’ve decided to take a different approach to the upcoming season. This will be my fourth year in the business of tech in motorsport, more specifically F1, but it’s time to switch things up a bit if I want to stay relevant!
First of all, I’m very happy to say that I’ve teamed up with F1 Fanatic for at least the testing period, so all my technical analysis of the cars will be on there. Here’s my analysis of the Ferrari’s new SF16-H, which could well be Mercedes’ closest challenger – http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/2016/02/19/ferrari-sf16-h-technical-analysis/.
Mercedes look to have a very interesting car in the W07 and Williams have a tidy looking number in the FW38, so I’m looking forward to addressing those two.
Secondly, after a lot of consideration, my blog will now become an outlet for more extensive pieces (such as my F1 suspension geometry piece I posted earlier this month) and other things I’m generally up to regarding the motorsport world. So, no, there won’t be Technical Highlights series this year unfortunately! 😦
As much as I love doing them, they are very time consuming and I am now in my second year of University so time is something that I don’t often have. After my January exams I was achieving a high 2:1, but I’m pushing hard for a First and that means that I have to make some sacrifices. Studies have to come first!
I am going to do my best to join other publications for race-by-race analysis, which I will obviously let you know about. They will include illustrations as well as real photographs, which should make for better content.
I have a few other plans that I’m keeping to myself for now. As for video content, I am still after a decent editing software but it should start becoming more of a regular thing heading into the Spring.
Thanks for the support as always – 2016 is going to be a good one!
Just wanted to update you on why I haven’t been so active in recent weeks. I sent out a tweet this evening to explain, but it’s literally just a matter of not finding that much time at the moment.
I did start some work on a Mexican GP Tech Highlights piece, however I don’t feel as if it’s very relevant now. It’ll be business as usual from Brazil this weekend on, though.
As always at this time of the season the developments are few and far between, but I’ve got a game plan heading into winter which involves heavily pushing YouTube videos. After the first video on front wings (which you can find here) I gained over 100 subscribers and over 1,000 views, which isn’t bad at all to be honest! I’m always using YouTube and I can see it being a popular resource for learning more about the technical side of F1, which I hope to exploit in the future.
Finally, if you don’t already follow me on Twitter then please do, as I’m nearly at 2,600 followers!
Firstly, thanks for reading this blog. It means a lot to have your continued support and now I do feel as if it is much more than just a hobby.
Last month I co-wrote an article with Joe Diamond on tech in Formula E for The Times, and it was really cool to see my name in a national newspaper. You can read the online version here, but I’ll post a picture anyway because, why not?
If all goes well I will continue to contribute towards the newspaper in some form, either online or in the paper itself. It’s pretty exciting, and I honestly did not think this blog could lead to something like this, so thank you. Hopefully there will be other opportunities in the future to showcase my work, which improves constantly with every piece I do, whether that be on my blog or another outlet.
Secondly – and most importantly – I need your help. Continue reading
I have been generating content for this blog for just over two years now and I have already gathered a significant following. I have enjoyed, and still do enjoy, writing on here and expressing my knowledge (which increases all the time) of engineering in motorsport and I hope you also like my content.
However lately I have had to take a bit of back seat from the blog and F1 in general. You may have noticed I’ve been less active on social media as well.
I still love the sport and the technical side always excites me but I am struggling to find time to juggle a social life, earning a bit of income to pay for that social life, studying at degree level and – most importantly – finding enjoyment out of all of these things.
This all means that I have much less time to write on here. This is also due to an underlying feeling of a lack of motivation at the moment – we all go through it and hopefully I’ll be fired up again fully in the near future.
I continue to religiously watch all the races (as I have done since 2007) because at the end of the day I fell in love with F1 as a fan, not as a journalist. The same applies to all the good journalists out there because they apply emotion to their writing that others simply can’t translate.
It’s gutting because I don’t like not posting on here, I promise you that! My blog is my pride and joy and it has propelled me to places I never thought were possible in motorsport journalism and we’re just scratching the surface…
Ultimately my ambition is for other people to be writing about what I have designed on the cars and to reach that I have to prioritise things. So this is just an announcement to say that there will be less on here than normal for now as I get on top of things.
I have promised an LMP1 car comparison piece between Audi’s 2015 R18 e-tron quattro and Nissan’s intriguing GT-R LM NISMO, so I’ll get that sorted soon! But for the time being it might just be Technical Highlights posts only, plus a bit extra for Richland F1 as they are fantastic website heading in a strong direction.
I hope you appreciate this decision.
Before I say anything, Tech Highlights from Brazil will be up tomorrow! Small changes here and there but are nonetheless important as usual.
The main purpose of this post is to announce an eBook that myself and Matt Somerfield (you will probably know him as @SomersF1 via Twitter) are producing, explaining the ins and outs of the Mercedes W05 which will in time – if not already – be marvelled as one of the finest creations in Formula 1. In Brazil last weekend it took the record for the most one-twos in a season, defeating the classic 1988 McLaren MP4/4 with a race to spare in 2014.
We have covered the Mercedes pretty well this year because, naturally, we want to know why it’s so damn fast. To bring all the details into one title, however, we need your help. That is why we are using Indiegogo as a crowd-funder in order to get it started. A link to our page is at the bottom of the post.
The first issue (four in total) is due around Christmas time and it’s an ideal present for the F1 fan or motor enthusiast: the eBook combines writing and illustrations from both myself and Matt plus the use of multimedia features from Mercedes themselves, all for just £5. We have even managed to grab interviews with Paddy Lowe and Andy Cowell, two of the numerous masterminds behind the car.
We really need your support on this and I’d really love it if you could donate even a small sum, even pennies. A lot of work is going into this project and if it is as successful as we hope it to be it could even become a hard back book in the future! Without you it won’t happen.
Please visit the Indiegogo page and read some more details about the eBooks series – https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-w05-understanding-the-championship-winning-car
OK, so I managed to break my laptop – don’t mix water and electronics together. If you do not follow me on social media then here’s what has happened: I am currently using my parent’s computer for this weekend but I should have a replacement laptop soon. All my documents and drawings are backed up so if I need to retrieve something from a previous post that isn’t a problem.
Sorry for the lack of activity, but to those who asked questions via Facebook and Twitter: I haven’t forgotten you and they will be answered!
Update 9/9/2014: I have a new laptop! I miss Windows 7, but what can you do? Regarding the questions that will be answered, stay tuned this week…
I also managed to fall off my mountain bike a couple of days ago and had to go to a Welsh A&E. If you read MBUK magazine then please read the following (if not skip to the next paragraph): I have sent an image of my injuries as a contestant for the That’s Gotta Hurt competition. If it wins then you’ll know! It hurt…
As is the case for every Friday of a Grand Prix weekend I have taken a look at the FP2 laptimes and compiled a pecking order for the remainder of the weekend on Richland F1. You can find out why Williams are looking very good for the race on Sunday, here.
Finally, for my 18th birthday last year I received a single seater driving experience at Silverstone. My family told me to go in August when it would be sunny. And guess what? It rained. It rained so badly that I have had to rebook it for a date in November – almost a year after I got it! Below is a picture of me in the car before we headed out behind a pace car for a few tentative laps. They called us in because the rain got worse and the track just looked like ice. Can’t wait to go back!