Octobers Technical Updates

I’ll compress this months work into one post for simplicity. For updates on F1 technology have a look at the following outlets: Automoto365.com and Motorsport Magazine.

Automoto365.com – Korea & Japan

This is my major outlet, with my images and writing on race-by-race developments

Japanese GP http://bit.ly/AM365_Japan

Red Bull – Rear wing, beam wing and front wing endplates

McLaren – New F-duct

Renault – Slotted footplate

Williams – Slotted beam wing

Sauber – New diffuser

Force India – New diffuser


Korean GP http://bit.ly/AM365_korea

Red Bull – New front brake ducts

McLaren – Slotted front wing endplate

Ferrari – Ridged splitter


Motorsport Magazine – Composite Monocoques

I’ve illustrated this article on composite monocoques


Follow ScarbsF1 on Twitter

F1 Tech in ‘Race Engine Technology’ Magazine

This months ‘Race Engine Technology’ magazine has some interesting stuff for F1 Tech followers. There’s an interview with Mario Ilien, who explains the work he did with Mercedes-Ilmor including; Hydraulic KERS, a rotary valved V10 (+20k RPM & 78Kg) and of course Berylium for Pistons & Liners.
In the Report from the F1 British GP, the Editor interviews Adrian Newey, Also Costa, Sam Michael and James Allison. Covering several topics; the effect of engine power\drivability\consumption, as well as gearbox design influence on aero, with Newey commenting the Pull Rod was a carry over from 09 & not a requisite for his RB6 design. While Ferrari confirmed their engine\gearbox assembly is inclined at over 3-degrees, the first time I’ve seen a reliable quote confirming this fact. It was added that Sauber take this set up for their C29, while Toro Rosso have their own gearbox so have a horizontal drivetrain.
Lastly is a small section on how Sauber pioneered current gearbox design with a longitudinal gearbox, with the gears ahead of the final drive and contained within an aluminum case. It surprised me that Harvey Postlethwaite was involved in this, is there anything that man didn’t do in F1?

Not generally available in the shops and not cheap, but well worth a one-off purchase or subscription.



Racing powertrain technology is on the verge of a revolution; Ian Bamsey says this issue gives some hints as to what to look for

Ian Bamsey talks to Mario Illien about his pioneering work in Formula One during the V10 era and the future of race technology

Peugeot’s con rod dramas; HPD’s new LM P2 V6 turbo; Le Mans’ Hybrid u-turn; John Medlen’s new role at DSR and much more

Ian Bamsey investigates how flywheel-based storage of recovered kinetic energy has been pioneered in professional racing

Despite the ongoing engine freeze, Ian Bamsey discovers some significant powertrain developments at the British Grand Prix

Wayne Ward discusses the options available for the design, materials and manufacturing methods for race camshafts

Le Mans-winning designer Peter Elleray on the relationship between engine and chassis design, highlighting where their needs conflict

John Coxon explains key points in designing and building a motorsports transmission – from the gear teeth to choice of differential

Ian Bamsey gives a rundown of the various engine strategies deployed by this year’s Le Mans Prototype competitors

How in 1993 Sauber’s first Formula One car prompted a major shift in transmission technology

To view a sample article from this issue please click here

Price £12.50

Sauber: F-Duct detail

The duct on the sidepod runs through the slot in the rear wing and possibly the cockpit too

Having declared they had rushed through their own version of the F-duct, we can speculate how it might work.  We know that the McLaren duct is vented into the cockpit around the drivers legs.  Then it is their leg that closes the duct to feed the rear wing.  This alters; the flow through the slot in the rear wing flap, stalling the wing, reducing drag and increasing top speed.

Sauber have already run with a vented rear wing, theirs uses the inlet on the front of the wing, to blow through a slot underneath the wing.  This allows the rear wing to be steeper without stalling, for more downforce.  Their new shark fin bulging with the duct moulded inside it, feeds into this same slot.  they could be aiming to blow even more airflow through the slot or like McLaren alter the flow to stall the wing. 

But the flow through McLarens slot is driver controlled, so Sauber need to find a way to ‘switch’ the flow on and off.  This could be done purely by the airflow being overcome by the drag creating inside the tortuous duct and hence cutting off the flow above a certain airspeed.  Or they have found a way to vent the duct into the cockpit. 

the hollow side impact spar coud lead into the cockpit to allow the vent to closed

In Saubers case the duct does not pass through the footwell of the cockpit as in McLarens case, so how might they enable the driver to seal the duct?  The placement of the duct may be gives us a clue.  It is possible that an opening exists within the side ofthe moncoque.  Sited near both the ducts inlet and running accross the frotn of the sidepod to the side of the tub is the impact spar, this could lead to an opening into the cockpit and allow the drivers elbow to seal the duct and redirect the airflow.  Its not normal for teams to want to create any opening in the side of the chassis to improve stiffness and crash protection.  But it is possible.

Therefore the driver presses his elbow against the opening at high speed to achieve the same stall as McLarens drivers get with their leg.

Sauber to trial an F-Duct

As we can see in these pictures Sauber have indeed prepared an F-Duct for testing in Australia. More details from the team are on Autosport.com (http://bit.ly/cSXnjh ). It seems the team are now more agile once again since they have shed the BMW ownership & management. Perhaps ex-McLaren test driver Pedro De La Rosa brought some ideas to the team

from the limited pcitures we have, we can see that the lefthand sidepod shoulder has an inlet mouded into it. this presumably feeds back through the sidepod and around theairbox to run int the shark fin. The ducting inside the sharkfin is quite evident and ends by connecting to the rear wing. it appears to attach to the mainplane (not the flap as with McLarens set up) somewhere behind the exisitng blown slot inlet.

From what we can see, it cannot becontrolled by the driver, so the duct may not be trying to do the same thing as the McLaren. Either the team rely on a a puely aerodynamic way to control the rear wing stalling, such as the duct choking at high speed and cutting off the flow the slot. Or the duct merely adds mass flow to the exisiting blown slot (raced in Bahrain) to allow the wing to be run even steeper and create yet more downforce. We will need mor eimages to be sure what Sauber are trying here.

Sauber: Barcelona Developments

Sauber announced the hiring of long time Jordan\Force India Technical Director, James Key.  With Keys Experience in resource limited teams and Rampfs desire to decrease his involvement with the team, this makes a lot of sense for the Swiss outfit.

On the track, a revised rear wing with flicked up edges was the main development.  The revised wing tips should reduce the downforce and hence drag the wing creates.  For greater straightline speed at the cost of grip in the turns. Additionally the team ran with the slotted rear wing, this was kept well hidden the team putting a board over the top and rear of the wign as it arrived in the pits. Lastly the periscope cooling outlets seen in Jerez were replaced by a louvered panel durign some runs.

Sauber: Jerez Developments

Sauber: The slotted 2009 rear wing made a reappearance, the inlet in the mainplane expands inside the wing to a full width slot

Sauber introduced a number of developments Late in the Jerez test.
These include the blown rear wing based on the 2009 design, new turning vanes some cockpit fins and cooling outlets.
The rear wing uses the moulded inlet on the front of the mainplane to feed a full width slot exiting behind the wing, just below the slot created between the main plane and flap. This is similar to the wing used at Monaco in 2009.

Sauber: the blown slot is below the normal slot in the rear wing

Meanwhile the cockpit gained a pair of serated fins placed where the mirrors would normally be placed. These sit inside a wedge shape space ahead of the sidepods that allow bodywork. they send a vortex over the fronts of the sidepods, although it cannot be ascertained if this goes into the sidepod inlet or over the top of the sidepod.

Sauber: Small fins are fitted where the mirrors would normally be placed

Then just by the side of the cockpit on the sidepods are two new cooling outlets. unlike other teams Sauber choose to fully expose the vents, so they sit proud of the sidepods top. Other teams have these joined to the cockpit side. Cooling outlets in this area are allowed as they sit just inboard of the controlled sidepods surface. additional cooling is provided by long thin louvered panel (not visible in these pics) moulded  the floor in the narrow coke bottle area. Again this sits below the controlled area for the sidepods surface.
Under the raised chassis at the frotn fo the car are a pair of new turning vanes, not especially clear in the photo, they curve down and outwards, just behind the wishbones.

Sauber: New cooling outlets and turnign vanes appeared on the car

How BMW ran a blown rear wing back in Japan 2009

quoted from my autosport article last year

BMW brings back innovation

By creating a full-width slot, BMW can run a steeper wing without fear of stallingThere have been few genuinely innovative ideas since the start of this season, with teams taking inspiration from each others’ designs. But in Japan, BMW-Sauber appeared with a radical rear wing aimed at creating higher levels of downforce.

For many years, rear wings have been limited to just two elements – the greater number of elements, the more slots are created in between flaps. These slots send fast-flowing air underneath the wing to prevent the airflow from separating and stalling the wing. With two elements, the wing is limited in how steep an angle it can be set at and therefore how much downforce it can create.

At high-downforce tracks, some teams make use of a loophole in the rules to add a narrow 15cm slot in the middle of the wing. But having such a narrow exit behind the wing, the effect of the slot is limited.

BMW has widened the exit of the slot to the full width of the wing, which effectively gives the wing a third element. Air enters the slot above the wing and a higher pressure is created by the humps to the side of the inlet and the small wing above it. Air is ducted internally to exit in a slot spanning the entire wing and the flow exiting this slot prevents the separation and stalling problems of a steeper wing.

The rules demand the two elements to be a “closed section” to the side of the middle 15cm, so BMW’s wing meets the wording of the regulation as there is no inlet in these areas.

If BMW can create a steeper wing without the problem of stalling, teams that have struggled with high-downforce set-ups could follow this trend.