Tag Archives: explained

Analysis: F1 Suspension Geometry

I’ve talked a lot about the aerodynamic and power unit components of a Formula 1 car on this blog, but rarely touched on the raw mechanical systems that are also critical to performance. There’s a reason for this, though – it’s all a bit voodoo. There are plenty of theories behind proper suspension geometry for a race car, however it becomes much more complex to analyse these mechanics at F1 level as downforce – the biggest performance differentiator in the sport – plays an important role in the design calculations.

For this blog post I am going to run over some of the important aspects of suspension geometry and the factors involved (e.g. centre of gravity, aerodynamic downforce). Continue reading

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Video: Are the 2017 rule changes really that good afterall?

It’s been a while (exams have got in the way), but I’ve finally managed to put some new content together! In the following video I discuss why the 2017 regulation changes may not be as good as we first thought.

This is only my second proper video so I’m really keen for your thoughts on whether I should do more (or not), or any topics you might what to know about in the future. Please let me know in the comments on this post, or on YouTube or tweet me!

Analysis: New FIA front wing test explained

The FIA are poised to introduce a new test on front wings in an attempt to crack down on extreme cases of flexing that have often been seen this year via the car’s onboard cameras, as of the Canadian grand prix.

The front wings are currently tested by placing a large load on the endplates to prevent excessive bending and twisting at speed – as seen primarily during the 2011 season – which focuses on the main wing structure.

However the new test is aimed specifically at the wing’s inboard flap section, which have already caused controversy before the 2015 season when Red Bull were excluded from qualifying in Abu Dhabi after their wing was discovered to contain an extreme amount of movement under load in an illegal manner. Continue reading

Analysis: Sebastian Vettel’s 2014 issues explained

Sebastian Vettel has had his worst Formula 1 season to date, comprehensively beaten by his younger teammate and generally never getting to grips with the Red Bull RB10. A lot has been said as to why this is the case, so I decided to throw my thoughts up on Richland F1 from a technical perspective.

I don’t talk about the mind games or the internal politics in this piece: this is 100% looking at the potential reasons behind Vettel’s poor performances from a driver/car relationship perspective. It’s already had quite a few comments left by readers at the bottom and I’d love to see some more. Read it here – http://richlandf1.com/?p=31939

Apologies for the lack of posts up on here. I am primarily concentrating on the Mercedes W05 eBook (which is coming very, very soon by the way) and also revising for January exams!

I hope to get a post or two up before the end of the year, hopefully something on why some drivers are more sensitive to rear brake locking under the new regulations plus my 2015 prediction drawing.

A short message: thank you so much for reading this blog. I’ve had an amazing year and my following only continues to grow. I couldn’t really have imagined how far I would get with this blog and I hope this is just the start of something bigger. I always want to improve my content and I’ve got some ideas lined up for 2015 which you might enjoy. 

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Announcements 4 (a bit more important than usual)…

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

Cheers!

Analysis: Vortices

Vortices. We hear about them all the time in modern F1 design and it goes without saying that there has been a lot of development in producing and utilising vortices for aerodynamic performance over the past decade. This piece aims to cover what they are, how they are formed and why they can be both advantageous and detrimental.

What are vortices?

Vortices, the plural of ‘vortex’, can form in two ways however let’s underline just what type of vortices we are looking at for this piece. A regular vortex is a region of air spinning around an imaginary axis and can easily be formed by simply stirring your tea with a spoon or pulling the plug from a sink filled with liquid and watching it drain.

What we are looking into here are wingtip vortices – vortices induced by the natural properties of air as it flows over a surface. They can be seen as spirals of air trailing behind the tips of a wing, be it on an airplane on a racing car. Due to their rotation they are often the biggest cause of induced drag as they are turbulent and slower than clean, laminar airflow. Continue reading