Ask an F1 Engineer anything

Ask an F1 Engineer anything

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Discussion

paua

2,233 posts

107 months

Thursday 4th March
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TheDeuce said:
I suppose anyone that buys a 'normal' car is by default a crap driver in general. If they had any interest in the activity at all they'd buy something at least mildly interesting!

This is why Peugeot drivers are so terrible.
Like this guy, you mean? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y20CLumT2Sg

Dashnine

373 posts

14 months

Thursday 4th March
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A few years ago Adrian Newey and Christian Horner 'had a go' in the Red Bull F1 car at the end of the season. Both racers, albeit not top level - were their laps timed?


andburg

4,593 posts

133 months

Thursday 4th March
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Dashnine said:
A few years ago Adrian Newey and Christian Horner 'had a go' in the Red Bull F1 car at the end of the season. Both racers, albeit not top level - were their laps timed?
I recall Rossi was very closed to Schumacher in his Ferrari trials, maybe a second off

kiseca

8,854 posts

183 months

Thursday 4th March
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In about 1990 Mark Hales had a go in a then current Leyton House around one of Silverstone's short circuit configurations.

I think he managed 6 - 8 laps in total, in two sessions, before his neck muscles could take no more. In that time, his best lap was 4 seconds off Wendlinger's sighting lap in the same car. He reckoned with better fitness and more practice he could get that down to maybe 2 seconds, but felt that Wendlinger's lap wasn't a particularly serious one. In his words: "That's where my ability likely ends and <Karl Wendlinger's> is just beginning."

Mark was at the time an active, experienced and very successful racing driver, mostly in saloons and with experience in BTCC. He was also Fast Lane's primary tester for taking cars on track. He'd be much faster than the average driver.

IMO you can't put a target on how Mr Average would do, because the results would be absolutely all over the place. The average may well be 10% up, or 20% up, or anywhere, but with really high variance meaning that whatever the average ends up being, it would be arbitrary and not useful to predict any individual's performance.

I also believe that if you gave us a week with the car, our actual in car time would still be very limited by a lack of stamina to deal with the G-forces and other forces involved. Despite the power steering and so on, I believe the controls on F1 cars are still heavy. So fatigue would set in quickly until one has had enough time to acclimatise. I'd think that wouldn't happen in a week.

jsf

22,357 posts

200 months

Thursday 4th March
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Steering is light in a current F1 car, weighted to the driver preference via the power steering. Brake pressure input is the most physical aspect ignoring G loads.

The older pre power steering cars are very physical by comparison, its why drivers like jones and Mansell did so well, you needed a lot of upper body strength.

Todays drivers are tiny by comparison.

Hugo Stiglitz

30,722 posts

175 months

Thursday 4th March
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AnonymousF1 said:
Mika
Mika. Schumacher said that as well

RunEveryInchOfTheWorld

1,784 posts

13 months

Thursday 4th March
quotequote all
andburg said:
Dashnine said:
A few years ago Adrian Newey and Christian Horner 'had a go' in the Red Bull F1 car at the end of the season. Both racers, albeit not top level - were their laps timed?
I recall Rossi was very closed to Schumacher in his Ferrari trials, maybe a second off
Do you mean the multiple world superbike champion?!

AJB88

7,412 posts

135 months

Thursday 4th March
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Yes Rossi #46


RunEveryInchOfTheWorld

1,784 posts

13 months

Thursday 4th March
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AJB88 said:
Yes Rossi #46

I would guess he would know what he's doing. smile

darreni

2,797 posts

234 months

Thursday 4th March
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I think the stamina/ fitness would be the limiting factor, I think Brundle did a piece on the amount of brake pedal pressure exerted by the drivers & even he was shocked at the pressure levels and the ability to do it for 2 hours solid - all while fiddling with multiple settings on the wheel / chatting over the radio etc.


kimducati

196 posts

128 months

Thursday 4th March
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RunEveryInchOfTheWorld said:
Do you mean the multiple world superbike champion?!
Close but not quite - he's a multiple Moto GP world champion.
Superbikes are production based - a bit like, say, a GT3 sportscar.
Moto GP bikes are 'prototypes' - as in the equivalent to F1.
It may seem pedantic to point out, but it's a big deal to fans of bike sport (and the riders!!!)smile
Kim

mattdavies

49 posts

121 months

Thursday 4th March
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Here is an "average" guy having a go in a Renualt Formula 1 car

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciOx8NY3I3o

He mentions the braking force needed for the pedal and the G forces. I am not sure if its in this video or something else but he mentions that they only give you 3/4 laps for two reasons:

1 You become overly confident and will prob crash
2 You cant physically last more then 3/4 laps

AJB88

7,412 posts

135 months

Thursday 4th March
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Remember watching that a while ago, would love to just do 1 lap in a car.

trackdemon

10,930 posts

225 months

Thursday 4th March
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I think the crash factor is a big limit to getting a respectable time; one spin will put you off pushing, you'll lose brake & tyre temp then the car is no longer capable of the time as these are huge factors. Chris Harris had a go in an F1 car years ago with Autocar & Brundle coaching, he spun it a few times with barely a tickle of throttle - tbf it was a cold, wet Silverstone but was a good demonstration of how tricky they are. Steve Sutcliffe got within 2 secs of an F1 drivers time in a BAR many years ago, and both these guys are way beyond the average joe with a few trackdays under their belts

Teddy Lop

4,699 posts

31 months

Thursday 4th March
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resolve10 said:
It's difficult because there's no such thing as a 'regular' human, but I would suspect that 99% wouldn't be brave enough to go quicker than motorway speed and the 1% that were brave enough wouldn't have the skill, neck/upper body strength or even co-ordination to put together a hot lap.
you wouldn't be out of second gear at 70 mph no?

Actual speed, especially peak speed, wouldn't be the problem its not really relevant, anyone with a passing interest could probably double what you suggest after a few goes - in achieving a lap time where I'd probably fail is simply the belief in the brakes to do what they do and the metronomic precision to exploit that, that the thing will grip through corners the way it does, and even if I mastered those, the small matter of a colossal lack of the talent required to balance such an insane machine on the edge of adhesion.

leef44

2,160 posts

117 months

Thursday 4th March
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There was that episode of Top Gear when Richard Hammond had a go. If I remember correctly, he struggled to even do a lap, forget timing it. And he's pretty fit for a "normal bloke" given that he's a mad cyclist.

JC tried that mini single seater where he struggled to get the tyres up to temperature before his neck muscles gave up.

You would have to be pretty fit with decent amount of muscle training especially around the neck muscles to be able to get the tyres up to temperature.

Unless you get into that zone, you will not get anywhere near an F1 driver lap time.

TheDeuce

8,933 posts

30 months

Thursday 4th March
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leef44 said:
There was that episode of Top Gear when Richard Hammond had a go. If I remember correctly, he struggled to even do a lap, forget timing it. And he's pretty fit for a "normal bloke" given that he's a mad cyclist.

JC tried that mini single seater where he struggled to get the tyres up to temperature before his neck muscles gave up.

You would have to be pretty fit with decent amount of muscle training especially around the neck muscles to be able to get the tyres up to temperature.

Unless you get into that zone, you will not get anywhere near an F1 driver lap time.
Hence why I said a person would need the time to get to grips with the machine, which Hammond and Clarkson respectively really would not have had. Given a week I still think an average chap could get within 10% of an average GP lap.

That might sound unrealistic but it's worth remembering that 10% off an average lap would normally be considered a huge deficit, a terrible lap. A driver could mess up braking and miss a few apexes and still likely be within 10% of an average lap.

We'll never know for sure sadly - no one will ever be given a serious commitment of time and support in a contemporary F1 car sufficient to see how good they can be unless they are an actual pro driver signed to the team!


Sandpit Steve

2,657 posts

38 months

Friday 5th March
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There was an F1 v F2 v F3 thread on here a while ago, debating which would be the fastest car for a novice driver. I’ll stick by my theory that most drivers will get the F3 car around a track faster than the others, because of the g-forces and tyre temperature issues with the faster cars.

jimPH

1,895 posts

44 months

Friday 5th March
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Didn't a kid crossover into cars from virtual racing? Heard he did pretty well too.

C2Red

3,391 posts

217 months

Friday 5th March
quotequote all
jimPH said:
Didn't a kid crossover into cars from virtual racing? Heard he did pretty well too.
McLaren GT though, not F1, although he was pretty handy.

The YouTube videos make interesting viewing it’s James Baldwin and Jenson Team Rocket racing.


Edited by C2Red on Friday 5th March 05:47