Ask an F1 Engineer anything

Ask an F1 Engineer anything

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TheDeuce

8,912 posts

30 months

Tuesday 16th March
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Nampahc Niloc said:
TheDeuce said:
Clearly the white wheels show the brake dust better than the others and yes, the fronts take the lions share of friction braking so get covered in dust. Nothing to do with heat, it's just friction. More friction at the front = more brake dust.
Maybe I’m being pedantic, but friction braking is EVERYTHING to do with heat. That’s exactly how friction braking works: kinetic energy —> heat energy. Therefore more heat means more deceleration. Of course, heat and brake temperature are different things, as it depends on how well the brakes are cooled.
Was responding to a previous poster who asked if heat itself turned the wheels black.

Yes friction braking does exchange kinetic > heat (mostly - if we're to be super pedantic).

davidd

6,125 posts

248 months

Tuesday 16th March
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jsf said:
RunEveryInchOfTheWorld said:
How long does it take to build a motorhome?
Do the drivers stay overnight in them?
After the race is there a BBQ or party of any sort?
Do the drivers, personal mix with other teams?
The Euro hospitality builds are massive and take a week to put together, they are temporary buildings, not motorhomes. The drivers often stay in their own motor homes at the Euro venues, otherwise in nearby Hotels.
There is a team who prep every garage pre event that is employed by F1, they prep and then repaint the floors ready for the teams to arrive and setup, you also have a team of guys that install the data coms kit in each garage the FIA use to link with the teams. It's a pretty impressive amount of work that goes on before the car team buildup starts.

It varies by event if the teams have a bash, often as soon as the race is done it's a scramble for lots of the team to get to the airport, others will do the car strip/prep for transport, teardown of the garage kit etc then head for the airport or hotel. Some events if time allows you have a pissup organised. A good one is at the US GP in downtown Austin.

Pre Covid hit everyone mixes, it's all bubbles right now so the social side is pretty dead.
I seem to recall the Red Bull 'motorhome' arrived on several hgvs and was a real kit to put together. Most of the others were a little more modular. It's a few years since I've been in the paddock that early though.

The data comms stuff has really come on in the last few years, certainly on the FIA side of it. They have a lot of very impressive systems which use a lot of tech which has to be very portable.

I know there are some social events that happen regularly, there was one at Monza, I think on the saturday evening which was run by the fire marshalls. Massive karaoke, I don't recall any drivers being there but there were a lot of team folks, that was entertaining.

robinessex

9,172 posts

145 months

Wednesday 17th March
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Has anyone tried a morphing wing-style spoiler on F1 ?

garypotter

1,038 posts

114 months

Wednesday 17th March
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Thank you OP for your honest and interesting replies.

1 question - are you aware if any ideas come from outside the team, such as a fan emailing a crazy idea? or an five year old sending in a crayon drawing that has resulted in an item ended up on one of your race cars?

Personally i feel the Merc double steering angle was a brilliant idea i wonder who came up with that and if it was from another source..

marine boy

493 posts

142 months

Thursday 18th March
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robinessex said:
Has anyone tried a morphing wing-style spoiler on F1 ?
Not sure if this is what you're suggesting but I helped with something that sounds similar to your question.....

After an early 2005 mid-season test the race engineer asked me if it was possible to design a rear upper flap that could deflect at a certain speed closing up the slot gap to the rear wing without using any moving parts (this is illegal) and fit it to the car so no one could see what it did if it was closely inspected by the FIA. He'd found the sticker on the underside of the upper flap had peeled off causing the rear wing to partly stall as high speed.

With the help of a small crack, covert team (only a handful of people even within the team knew), we did it, designed, stress analysed, manufactured, load tested and track tested a morphing upper flap that worked exceptionally well.

The end result exceed our expectations, the rear wing stalled within a few kph of out target speed dumping a load of drag which added around 15 kph to the max. end of straight speed for the track we'd designed it for. Was almost too good as it was quite obvious when compared to the other teams V max speeds we were up to something.

We designed a few more upper flaps for other specific tracks during the race season, no FIA rules broken as all above and aboard legal, I think towards the end of the season other teams were up to the same thing. For 2006 the FIA introduced a new rule that closed down the loophole we'd smashed a big truck through.

This is the rule change....
https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/fia-moves-to-sto...

Years later at another team I proposed using engine exhaust to morph the shape of the floor during tack running instead of the obvious way of using air pressure, the thermal/stress analysis proved the deflection would happen, the manufacturing concept would have worked as it was very simple but when the morphed shape was run in the wind tunnel disappointingly it didn't really add anything to the car performance so the idea was shelved

Speaking on behalf or most F1 engineers the approach is the car has to pass the FIA load tests and be legal to the rule wording ie no moving mechanisms but on track it can be any shape you want as long as the morphing adds performance


Edited by marine boy on Thursday 18th March 00:26

shirt

20,215 posts

165 months

Thursday 18th March
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garypotter said:
are you aware if any ideas come from outside the team, such as a fan emailing a crazy idea? or an five year old sending in a crayon drawing that has resulted in an item ended up on one of your race cars?
not quite the same, but weren't wheel tethers the results of a design competition? i seem to remember it being promoted in F1 magazine back in the 90s.

robinessex

9,172 posts

145 months

Thursday 18th March
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marine boy said:
robinessex said:
Has anyone tried a morphing wing-style spoiler on F1 ?
Speaking on behalf or most F1 engineers the approach is the car has to pass the FIA load tests and be legal to the rule wording ie no moving mechanisms but on track it can be any shape you want as long as the morphing adds performance


Edited by marine boy on Thursday 18th March 00:26
As an engineer, I love it when 'legislators' try to define an Engineering concept with words, which miserably fails, usually, the wording is open to interpretation. What exactly is a 'moving mechanism' then? I've designed structures that deflect under load, but still retain their topological form to a degree of accuracy that enables them to perform their original function.

andburg

4,586 posts

133 months

Thursday 18th March
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as ever there is legal by the wording of the rules and legal by passing the test and the 2 can be very different.

wing flex is a great example as there is a defined test yet Red Bull in particular have wings at both ends which seems to flex / lower, they have designed wings to meet the test rather than the exactly wording.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMS9_qoM_xk

see where the rear wing is in relation to the shark fin and tell me that rear wing is not moving....

robinessex

9,172 posts

145 months

Thursday 18th March
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I spent 6 years of my life in the old GEC mechanic test department. One of the most difficult tasks was replicating real-life loads with a substitute load. I don't think we ever achieved it exactly.

shirt

20,215 posts

165 months

Thursday 18th March
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robinessex said:
What exactly is a 'moving mechanism' then? I've designed structures that deflect under load, but still retain their topological form to a degree of accuracy that enables them to perform their original function.
a deflecting structure under load [i.e. flexi wings deflecting under aero load] is not the same as having a mechanism designed to induce that movement via other means.

robinessex

9,172 posts

145 months

Thursday 18th March
quotequote all
shirt said:
robinessex said:
What exactly is a 'moving mechanism' then? I've designed structures that deflect under load, but still retain their topological form to a degree of accuracy that enables them to perform their original function.
a deflecting structure under load [i.e. flexi wings deflecting under aero load] is not the same as having a mechanism designed to induce that movement via other means.
A wing is profile is linked top to bottom internally with some sort of structure. It would be quiet easy to make it such that as the wing pressure load increased on the surfaces, the resultant internal structure could control the selected shape of the outer surfaces to an advantageous aerodynamic profile. One could argue that the internal structure was a mechanism in that situation. Don't forget the rule wording is no "moving mechanisms". There is no consideration of what induces the mechanism to work.

Edited by robinessex on Thursday 18th March 11:30

Integrator_Type_R

34 posts

61 months

Thursday 18th March
quotequote all
Some very interesting insights here, by the OP and others, thank you for sharing.

A couple more if you could so kind and indulge us..(well me)

Have you ever been starstruck by a non-motorsport celebrity? Who, in your opinion, was the coolest "famous" person that you had a dealing with?

Who was your motorsport hero be they driver, team boss, designer/engineer, journo or other? Did you get to meet them & did they live up (or down) to their reputation?

Some of my favourite racecars were the front engined LMPs from Panoz at the turn of the century. Alhough they were mostly unsuccessful, they looked quite cool. Would there be any engineering advantages of a modern front engined F1 (assuming the rules don't dictate an engine behind the driver and if they do.. then I guess it's moot and I'll have to keep that fanciful visual idea in my head)?

MuttWagon

20 posts

24 months

Thursday 18th March
quotequote all
garypotter said:
Thank you OP for your honest and interesting replies.

1 question - are you aware if any ideas come from outside the team, such as a fan emailing a crazy idea? or an five year old sending in a crayon drawing that has resulted in an item ended up on one of your race cars?

Personally i feel the Merc double steering angle was a brilliant idea i wonder who came up with that and if it was from another source..
I wrote to McLaren as a child as I had watched track cyclists on blue peter wearing dimpled crash helmets for better air flow and wondered why they didn't use that texture in F1. A few days later my Mum shouted up to my room telling me there was an engineer on the phone! He basically explained it was toffee due to the turbulent air around an F1 car but it was decent of him to take the time.

Dashnine

369 posts

14 months

Thursday 18th March
quotequote all
MuttWagon said:
garypotter said:
Thank you OP for your honest and interesting replies.

1 question - are you aware if any ideas come from outside the team, such as a fan emailing a crazy idea? or an five year old sending in a crayon drawing that has resulted in an item ended up on one of your race cars?

Personally i feel the Merc double steering angle was a brilliant idea i wonder who came up with that and if it was from another source..
I wrote to McLaren as a child as I had watched track cyclists on blue peter wearing dimpled crash helmets for better air flow and wondered why they didn't use that texture in F1. A few days later my Mum shouted up to my room telling me there was an engineer on the phone! He basically explained it was toffee due to the turbulent air around an F1 car but it was decent of him to take the time.
Brilliant - well done McLaren!

cuprabob

9,741 posts

178 months

Thursday 18th March
quotequote all
MuttWagon said:
garypotter said:
Thank you OP for your honest and interesting replies.

1 question - are you aware if any ideas come from outside the team, such as a fan emailing a crazy idea? or an five year old sending in a crayon drawing that has resulted in an item ended up on one of your race cars?

Personally i feel the Merc double steering angle was a brilliant idea i wonder who came up with that and if it was from another source..
I wrote to McLaren as a child as I had watched track cyclists on blue peter wearing dimpled crash helmets for better air flow and wondered why they didn't use that texture in F1. A few days later my Mum shouted up to my room telling me there was an engineer on the phone! He basically explained it was toffee due to the turbulent air around an F1 car but it was decent of him to take the time.
Your parents got a friend to phone you kidding on they were from McLaren smile

Seriously though, it was good of the engineer to take time out to call you.

robinessex

9,172 posts

145 months

Thursday 18th March
quotequote all
Here's a morphing wing. Attache the leading and trailing flaps with flexible, not pivot connections, and you have a homogenous structure that deflects, not difficult to make it do so without any additional power source other than the aerodynamic load on the surfaces.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5KKumkXTqo

Edited by robinessex on Thursday 18th March 17:24

C2Red

3,389 posts

217 months

Thursday 18th March
quotequote all
MuttWagon said:
garypotter said:
Thank you OP for your honest and interesting replies.

1 question - are you aware if any ideas come from outside the team, such as a fan emailing a crazy idea? or an five year old sending in a crayon drawing that has resulted in an item ended up on one of your race cars?

Personally i feel the Merc double steering angle was a brilliant idea i wonder who came up with that and if it was from another source..
I wrote to McLaren as a child as I had watched track cyclists on blue peter wearing dimpled crash helmets for better air flow and wondered why they didn't use that texture in F1. A few days later my Mum shouted up to my room telling me there was an engineer on the phone! He basically explained it was toffee due to the turbulent air around an F1 car but it was decent of him to take the time.
I imagine that the Matt paintwork so beloved by the recent F1 generations might have a limited but similar effect; I don’t know if it’s true, but I was once told that air bound to a surface had a higher friction than air that could shear across the surface due to the minor imperfections

robinessex

9,172 posts

145 months

Thursday 18th March
quotequote all
C2Red said:
MuttWagon said:
garypotter said:
Thank you OP for your honest and interesting replies.

1 question - are you aware if any ideas come from outside the team, such as a fan emailing a crazy idea? or an five year old sending in a crayon drawing that has resulted in an item ended up on one of your race cars?

Personally i feel the Merc double steering angle was a brilliant idea i wonder who came up with that and if it was from another source..
I wrote to McLaren as a child as I had watched track cyclists on blue peter wearing dimpled crash helmets for better air flow and wondered why they didn't use that texture in F1. A few days later my Mum shouted up to my room telling me there was an engineer on the phone! He basically explained it was toffee due to the turbulent air around an F1 car but it was decent of him to take the time.
I imagine that the Matt paintwork so beloved by the recent F1 generations might have a limited but similar effect; I don’t know if it’s true, but I was once told that air bound to a surface had a higher friction than air that could shear across the surface due to the minor imperfections
You mean like the dimples on a golf ball ?

kiseca

8,840 posts

183 months

Thursday 18th March
quotequote all
robinessex said:
C2Red said:
MuttWagon said:
garypotter said:
Thank you OP for your honest and interesting replies.

1 question - are you aware if any ideas come from outside the team, such as a fan emailing a crazy idea? or an five year old sending in a crayon drawing that has resulted in an item ended up on one of your race cars?

Personally i feel the Merc double steering angle was a brilliant idea i wonder who came up with that and if it was from another source..
I wrote to McLaren as a child as I had watched track cyclists on blue peter wearing dimpled crash helmets for better air flow and wondered why they didn't use that texture in F1. A few days later my Mum shouted up to my room telling me there was an engineer on the phone! He basically explained it was toffee due to the turbulent air around an F1 car but it was decent of him to take the time.
I imagine that the Matt paintwork so beloved by the recent F1 generations might have a limited but similar effect; I don’t know if it’s true, but I was once told that air bound to a surface had a higher friction than air that could shear across the surface due to the minor imperfections
You mean like the dimples on a golf ball ?
I think the dimples are only effective on an unaerodynamic basic shape - like a ball. Or maybe it's that they only work on a shape that is likely to be rotating while in motion. I forget.

I think it's significant that fast jets and fast projectiles - bullets, cannon and artillery shells - have a smooth surface - not dimpled - that isn't particularly shiny nor matt in finish. Military jets tend to stay away from shiny paintwork so they glinting away in the sunlight giving themselves away to anyone within 50 miles but Concorde was glossy and so are all other passenger jets. They'd benefit a lot more from a matt finish than a formula 1 car because they spend their lives at around 3 times a Formula 1 car's maximum speed, if a matt finish did actually have any benefit.

So, I'm no expert but my guess would be that dimpled, rough finishes and matt paint won't make a Formula 1 car more slippery.






Edited by kiseca on Thursday 18th March 18:58

robinessex

9,172 posts

145 months

Friday 19th March
quotequote all
kiseca said:
robinessex said:
C2Red said:
MuttWagon said:
garypotter said:
Thank you OP for your honest and interesting replies.

1 question - are you aware if any ideas come from outside the team, such as a fan emailing a crazy idea? or an five year old sending in a crayon drawing that has resulted in an item ended up on one of your race cars?

Personally i feel the Merc double steering angle was a brilliant idea i wonder who came up with that and if it was from another source..
I wrote to McLaren as a child as I had watched track cyclists on blue peter wearing dimpled crash helmets for better air flow and wondered why they didn't use that texture in F1. A few days later my Mum shouted up to my room telling me there was an engineer on the phone! He basically explained it was toffee due to the turbulent air around an F1 car but it was decent of him to take the time.
I imagine that the Matt paintwork so beloved by the recent F1 generations might have a limited but similar effect; I don’t know if it’s true, but I was once told that air bound to a surface had a higher friction than air that could shear across the surface due to the minor imperfections
You mean like the dimples on a golf ball ?
I think the dimples are only effective on an unaerodynamic basic shape - like a ball. Or maybe it's that they only work on a shape that is likely to be rotating while in motion. I forget.

I think it's significant that fast jets and fast projectiles - bullets, cannon and artillery shells - have a smooth surface - not dimpled - that isn't particularly shiny nor matt in finish. Military jets tend to stay away from shiny paintwork so they glinting away in the sunlight giving themselves away to anyone within 50 miles but Concorde was glossy and so are all other passenger jets. They'd benefit a lot more from a matt finish than a formula 1 car because they spend their lives at around 3 times a Formula 1 car's maximum speed, if a matt finish did actually have any benefit.

So, I'm no expert but my guess would be that dimpled, rough finishes and matt paint won't make a Formula 1 car more slippery.

Edited by kiseca on Thursday 18th March 18:58
A Quick Google found this:-

British Airways has conducted a surface coating trial with one of their transatlantic route-dedicated Airbus A318 aircraft and report positive results.
As an alternative to aftermarket coatings, Lufthansa Technik AG and Airbus are experimenting with a paint application process that would emulate the drag reduction characteristics of shark skin. Using specialized application, stamping and drying techniques, tiny riblets are formed in the surface of the paint. At high speed, the riblets reduce drag by reducing turbulence perpendicular to the airflow.

Also Found:-

Surface Finishes, why are they not used on an F1 car

http://www.formula1-dictionary.net/dimpled_surface...

Aerodynamicists are often asked about ways to improve the performance of race cars using golf ball dimple effect, shark skin, riblets, super smooth surface finishes, bumble bee effect (hairy surfaces), etc. This is asked so often that we have decided to dedicate a small document to the subject, to explain some of these effects...........continues

Looks like the jury's still out on this one at the moment