Formula One car development blog

Pirelli escapes trouble with standing waves in tyres

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It was just 2 years ago when Pirelli attracted some negative publicity with tyre cuts at the same Spa-Francorchamps when on Friday and Saturday, images revealed considerable standing waves in the rear tyres of some cars. It's a known phenomenon, but the intensity of it at Spa even left some top engineers without explanations.

Perhaps the most obvious occurrence was the one on Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes F1 W08. As he exited the chicane and powered up onto the start finish straight, th... Read more

Internals of Ferrari's 2014 water-to-air intercooler exposed

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Thanks to the bankrupty and public sale of some assets of the former Marussia F1 Team, we now get to take a very up-close look at some of the car's parts from 2014. Peter Bjorck for instance has bought a number of Ferrari engine parts, including the water-to-air intercooler and the unique butterfly wastegate from the Ferrari 059/3 engine as it ran during the 2014 season, the first year of the new hybrid turbo engines in F1.

In the below clip, Peter walks us through the intercooler, ... Read more

F1 2017 explained: Power unit changes

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Following up on their videos on regulation changes, Mercedes have now highlighted the impact of these changes on the power unit.

In essence, it comes down to coping with the difficulty of having more full throttle each and every lap, while having to work against the increased drag that comes with the additional downforce. The increased stresses that will be put on the engine have resulted in a slightly heaver power unit for Mercedes, whereas the cooling requirement have also gone up... Read more

Exhaust solutions, mickey mouse or snowman?

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In a strange twist of events, fans have actually managed to create a little extra area for freedom of design in Formula One cars. The repeated calls for increased engine noise have made the FIA to request an investigation into what could be done to enhance the noise output of the new V6 Hybrid engines. The result of Magnetti Marelli's investigation, during which the company's engineers repeatedly visited F1's engine supplier dynos was that an additional exhaust pipe could resolve a ... Read more

Honda repositions oil cooler on new engine spec

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Honda have spent 3 of its 7 development tokens to resolve some of the most important issues of the carmakers' current F1 power plant, and subsequently made the upgraded engine specification available to McLaren for initial running on Friday at Spa-Francorchamps.

Part of the engine's upgrade include modifications on the combustion chamber, the intake and the exhaust system layout in an attempt to increase efficiency. The team have also reduced mechanical friction by changing the gear... Read more

Mercedes ditches log style exhaust on PU106B

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Following a year of running with a very compact log style exhaust (as pictured) in 2014, Mercedes have now chosen to ditch the concept and go for a more conventional equal lenght exhaust manifold as seen on the 2014 Renault engine.

An obviously different noise coming from the Mercedes powered cars yesterday was followed by a further confirmation from Mercedes' Head of Engines at Brixworth, Andy Cowell that the new Mercedes 2015 power unit, named PU106B, features an 'entirely new exh... Read more

What to learn from a temperature camera?

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Since the introduction of Formula One's new thermal camera images, there has been talk about the relevancy of the images, leaving apart the obvious coolness that is associated with it. It is for sure that such imaging will help people understand the complex nature of Formula One, and increase the technical interest in the sport.

Before going into what we've been seeing, one needs to take into account that the images are not meant to give away technical details that other teams could... Read more

Lotus tries extended wheelbase, no racing yet

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Lotus have been talking up their extended wheelbase E21 for a while now, but after strength testing was not completed in time ahead of the Belgian GP, its debut came at Monza. The team brought two sets of parts and opted to give Raikkonen only a chance to try it out in the Friday sessions.

The Finn though believed there was little or no performance gain in it, underlined by the fact that he and Grosjean - who still ran the shorter version - set identical best laptimes during FP2.

Wh... Read more

Heat protective floor coating to shield against exhaust flow

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Red Bull Racing have likely kicked off a new trend in Formula One, as the team appeared with obvious coating on the car's floor, downstream of the exhausts. With the RB9 having one of the most effective designs to pull the exhaust gases down to the car's floor to seal the diffuser, its carbon fibre floor is also very much exposed to the heat of the burning hot exhaust gases flowing over the floor. Such single sided heat exposure is a risk for the carbon fibre laminate which may end ... Read more

Red Bull use McLaren alternator on RB9

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After rumours emerged in the Italian press about RBR's alternator, Renault Sport have now confirmed to F1Technical that Red Bull Racing is indeed using a McLaren Electronic System alternator in combination with the Renault engine. The firm notes this is the case "for some time now", with all other Renault powered teams still using the Magnetti Marelli alternators, similar to last year.

Renault's technical director, Rob White, says this is the result of the problems during 2012: "We ... Read more