Over the past three races Mercedes have produced a near “B” spec car, with a new gearbox\rear suspension, new sidepods and a new nose. The cars specification was also altered to suit the low drag demands of Montreal with a shallower rear wing and modified front wing.
Every year High Power Media, who publish ‘Race Engine Technology’ (RET) Magazine, produce a number of magazine format Race Technology Reports. Covering F1, Moto-GP, Nascar, Drag racing and 24-hour racing.
Just out is the current F1 Race Technology issue, covering Technical subjects from 2011 and 2012.
Coming straight after another Technical Directive from the FIA, Red Bull have again had one of their designs ruled on by Charlie Whiting. It’s now the Front hub design that has stretched the rules to the point where a clarification was required. Uniquely Red Bull duct air through the front hub to vent it out through the wheel for aerodynamic benefit. This appears to contravene the regulations on air ducts forming part of the brake system.
Every year at low Drag circuits some teams will try a more radical way to reduce downforce and drag from their rear wing. It’s rare these solutions get to race, as teams invariable end up running more downforce than the barest minimum these special wings provide. This year Williams bucked that trend and have an all new low drag rear wing. Williams have gone for an opposite strategy to last years (https://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2011/06/11/renault-wiliams-complex-low-drag-wings-for-canada/) and have created the wings downforce towards the tips of the wing and not the centre.
Having revised their exhaust position throughout the opening races, Ferrari had found some stability with their Mugello package. However, for the Canadian GP the team brought what will probably be their definitive set up for the year. Like most teams Ferrari have followed McLaren’s practice of a exiting the exhaust pipe out of the side and housing it within a duct to help the flow to be redirected inwards and downwards towards the diffuser footplate. This solution diffusers from McLaren’s in several areas, but like other teams who have followed the McLaren exhaust set up, the differences are a pragmatic approach to save having to redesign the entire sidepod package. The team have also brought revised brake ducts, turning vanes and a Canada specific wing package to Montreal.
The P.U.R.E. Corporation have released the first image of a 2014 F1 engine to René Fagnan of Canadian website Auto123.com; these will be all new 1.6l v6 turbo engines. New to F1, P.U.R.E. (Propulsion Universelle et Recuperation d’Energie) are a start up business created by Craig Pollock and backed by private investors. Initially based out of Mecachrome’s facilities, they are now based at the Toyota Motorsport Gmbh’s (TMG) Cologne technical facility. Seeking to exploit the new Engine rules as a route into F1, P.U.R.E. are speculatively developing their own engine, as they do not yet have a team announced as a partner to use the engine. Customers notwithstanding P.U.R.E. are a serious proposition, with Ex-Ferrari and FIA engineer Gilles Simon employed as Technical Director, as well as former Renault Sport MD Christian Contzen acting as a consultant. The engine’s design has been in progress since July 2011 by Simon and his team, mainly using simulation tools although single cylinder testing has also been carried out. With the move to TMG the engine’s major castings have been signed off and ordered, so that testing of a complete engine can be scheduled for July this year. Thereafter, a second generation engine will be ready for the summer of 2013.
In summary the 2014 engine rules mandate a 90-degree V6 engine of 1.6 litres, with a fixed crankshaft axis and chassis/gearbox mounting points. The engine can have a single turbo charger, which must be mounted along the cars centreline. Use of KERS is extended with a greater capacity for the Kinetic system (as used currently) as well as the introduction of a Thermal Energy Recovery System (TERS). Further green initiatives are caps on fuel flow and revs limited to 15,000rpm. Despite having a smaller cubic capacity and fuel allocation, the engine will produce the same maximum power as the current 2.4l V8 engines, albeit only when the Energy Recovery Systems are in use.
Its been announced today that the FIA have issued a Technical Directive clarifying the issue that emerged over the Monaco weekend around the Red Bull floor hole. This TD-13 outlines that the area 650mm outboard of the cars centreline cannot now exploit fully enclosed holes. As a result Red Bull will have to change the floor design before the next race, the Canadian GP. Although their design has now been deemed to be illegal retrospectively, so they are allowed to keep their results from the three races in which the design has been raced, including the win in Monaco.
Having introduced a “tyre squirt” slot into the floor ahead of the rear tyres at the Bahrain GP, Red Bull had completed two complete GPs before rival teams raised questions about its legality. On the morning of the Monaco GP, several teams started a discussion regarding the slots legality, as it did not follow the practice of Sauber or Ferrari in linking the hole to the edge of the floor. No formal protest was made, but the Technical Working Group (TWG) wanted the rules around holes in the floor clarified.
One of the great pieces of unseen technology in the F1 car is the fuel system. Comprised of complicated fuel tank and an array of pumps, the system is taken for granted. The super safe and highly efficient fuel system delivers the F1 cars 160kg of fuel during a race with barely any reliability issues.
Historically fuel tanks were simply metal tanks formed to fit in wherever they could be fitted. Often prone to puncturing during accidents and impacts, the fuel could easily spill and cause a huge fire. Major fires in F1 car are now thankfully rare. It’s fair to say the biggest leap in F1 safety has probably been the advent of the flexible fuel cell. Flexible bags to house the fuel have been part of the regulations for decades, There’s been no major fuel tank fire at an F1 race since Berger Imola crash in 1989 and no fire related deaths since Ricardo Palletti in Canada in 1982, or in testing with Elio De Angelis in 1986.
Fuel systems in F1 are split into two areas; the fuel tank itself and the fuel pump system that delivers fuel to the engine.