Spa Francorchamps is a track with a very unique set of demands: top speed for the long Kemmel straight and the run through Blanchimont, whilst maximising grip in the high-speed middle sector. It’s a tricky balance – year after year we see teams bring multiple packages to this event to find the perfect tradeoff. 2015 is no different, and there were plenty of items to look at across the Belgian grand prix weekend.
This week’s Tech Highlights covers Mercedes’ impressive-looking rear wing, Ferrari’s low downforce package and McLaren-Honda’s continual woes (despite a power unit upgrade) amongst plenty of other tech news as the second half of the season kicks off. Continue reading →
Despite Silverstone’s challenging aerodynamic demands, there were surprisingly few upgrades visible on most cars for the British grand prix weekend, with only Force India and Ferrari producing any goods worthy of real note. So – for that reason – we will look exclusively at these two teams in this week’s Tech Highlights, and especially into what is virtually a B-spec Force India car. How does that new nose work? How is it legal? Let’s find out… Continue reading →
Better late than never? Really sorry that it’s a week late – I’ve had a busy time working and getting together with friends and family. It’s now 11:15 PM as I begin this post and I’ve got to get up early again tomorrow! Apologies about the illustrations, too. I didn’t really like them when they were finished but it was the best I could do in such a short time frame. In summary: will try harder next time.
Austria’s Red Bull Ring is one of the most demanding tracks for both driver and car, and remains one of the greatest technical challenges on the calendar. Up and down hill braking zones, sharp hairpins and fast sweepers make for a driver’s treat, rewarding precision and bravery but also severely punishing those who push even a little too far – as seen during qualifying by both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
In terms of upgrades, it’s getting to crunch time of the season. The teams are bringing big changes to the cars and this will determine their development path for the rest of the year. If the car isn’t going anywhere then it’ll be a swift transition to next year’s car, whilst those fighting it out for the big points will be hoping to steal a march on a rival every time their car hits the track.
There were plenty (and I mean plenty) of upgrades up and down the field, but which stood out the most? Let’s find out… Continue reading →
My exams are finally over but, because of Le Mans this weekend and other projects, I have had to essentially copy and paste this post from my analysis for Richland F1. It does have added illustrations (which are exclusive to this blog post) and there is quite a lot of extra detail bits, though. Got plenty of things coming which I’m excited about, and hopefully you will be when they are revealed…
Canada is a highly demanding circuit for any car: the track – primarily made up of a series of straights – is interrupted by chicanes and hairpin bends. The cars must be fitted with a low downforce setup to maximise straightline speed without being penalised too much under braking.
Braking stability and power are crucial to a good laptime. There are some big stops – notably into the final chicane following the back straight – which spike brake temperatures, forcing teams to run larger brake ducts and compromise aerodynamic performance.
Montreal creates one of the biggest tradeoffs of the year alongside Spa in terms of sacrificing top speed for cornering ability, which is why many teams bring specific updates for this race. Continue reading →
Monaco is – as we all know – a proper street circuit. Even the likes of Singapore don’t compare to the challenges the streets of the Principality present to the drivers. It is a track like no other, and it is for this reason that a variety of technical changes are made to the cars to tackle it.
In this Tech Highlights post we will look at some of the widespread changes in general plus a couple of specific modifications made by a few teams. Continue reading →
Note: This is essentially my analysis piece for Richland F1, with some added bits and pieces, illustrations and details about the fuel flow monitoring changes that were introduced. Exam season is in full swing so apologies for the not-so-exclusive content this week.
Barcelona is pretty much the best playground for an F1 car. Aerodynamics are severely tested with a variety of long, high and medium speed corners spaced out by a series of straights, whilst the final sector is now a good hunting ground for those with strong mechanical grip after the circuit layout changed in 2008.
With such an emphasis on aero, updates are often developed from around the end of the winter testing period specifically for this race and on into the middle of the season. Teams recognise this as an opportunity to jump ahead of their nearest rival but with almost everyone making gains all of the time, eking out that extra tenth of a second from the overall package is all the more crucial. Continue reading →
Given that the gap between the Chinese and Bahrain grand prix was just one, tweaks to the cars were minimal and were mainly aimed at cooling as the two circuits share quite similar downforce characteristics.
However more was learnt about McLaren’s Honda power unit plus a few other additions were also visible over the course of the weekend. Continue reading →