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 →
As F1 extends its stay in Abu Dhabi for a two day test mid-week, it was no surprise to see further developments on the cars during free practice despite being so late into the season. An early analysis of some components on Friday will help give the teams a headstart when the test begins, whilst also providing data that little bit earlier back to the factory as preparations for 2015 are well underway. Continue reading →
In terms of tech droughts it would be fair to say that the past month has certainly been through one. Thanks to customs regulations in Russia there were little new parts three weeks ago and the teams had to compensate in Japan. Thankfully after a healthy break and more relaxed laws over goods, the US GP was a perfect opportunity to bring developments. Some teams even brought 2015 prototype components for evaluation. The Circuit of The Americas is an ideal proving ground for such parts as the track tests aerodynamic performance to quite an extreme: high speed corners and long straights force teams to cut drag whilst retaining a high level of downforce. Continue reading →
2014 marks the beginning of a new era in Formula 1 through a number of ways, including the evolution of the modern steering wheel. F1 has been left behind in this area over the past decade, with many other forms of motorsport adopting new displays and making various performance factors easier to adjust from the cockpit. From this year onwards, however, the pinnacle of motorsport is set to become the trend setter in vehicle electronic systems via an upgrade to the steering wheel and, more obviously, the ERS. For this analysis I will be drawing particular reference from the Mercedes W05 steering wheel although many of the features will be identical to those found on the other cars.