Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

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Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

Post Postao/la Cuky » 06 tra 2012, 15:19

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In this series of articles we will look at the Technology of the F1 car. Peeling away the layers to see what makes these cars the pinnacle of Motorsport. F1 has been going since 1946, based around a set of rules (the Formula) that are constantly changed to manage; speed, safety, improve overtaking, cut costs or improve the cars environmental efficiency. Overriding all the detailed rules, is the demand that F1 cars must single seaters, with open cockpits and the wheels uncovered.

The statistics around an F1 car are incredible, they weight just 640kg (including the driver) and currently have upto 830hp (with KERS), this makes their power to weight ratio greater than nearly any other car. If you compare an F1 car to a Bugatti Veyron, which has nearly 1000hp but weighs nearer two tones, has a ratio more than half that of the F1 car. Only dragsters have a greater power to weight ratio, but then they don’t go around corners anywhere near as fast as an F1 car! All this performance comes from a tiny 2.4 litre V8 engine and a tiny gearbox with seven gears. To allow the car to be so light and still strong enough, most of its structure is made from Carbon fibre, with precious metals such as titanium being used for highly stressed parts. Although humble steel and aluminium are still used in some of the mechanical parts of the car.

Equally an F1 car can accelerate 0-100kph in 2.5 and go on to a top speed of over 300kph. One lightly modified F1 car went on to achieve a top speed of 400kph!

When it comes to corners F1 cars have no rivals, with loads of 5g under braking and over 3g in corners. This amazing cornering performance comes from the cars grippy tyres and immense downforce. Downforce is the aerodynamic load the wings and bodywork create to literally suck the car onto the ground. Approaching 200kph an F1 car is creating its own weight in downforce, it’s often suggested that its possible for an F1 car to drive upside down on the roof of a tunnel at high speed, such is the force exerted by the wings onto the car.

We can start to break down the F1 car by looking at its major components visible from the outside. Although most of the complexity lies beneath the streamlined carbon fibre bodywork.

Front wing
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Dominating the look of the car from the front, the front wing is a critical part of the cars aerodynamics. It creates nearly 25% of the cars downforce. Under the current rules the wing is a massive 1.8m wide, although the teams have to use a mandatory 50cm middle section based on an FIA template. Each side of this centre section are the left and right wing spans. They can be made up from two of three aerofoil sections, known as flaps. Shaped like an inverted aircraft wing, faster moving air below the wing creates low pressure and sucks the car to the track. To keep the high pressure above separated from the lower pressure created beneath, teams fit an endplate to the wing to help seal it. These endplates, along with the curvature of the wingspans are becoming ever more complex and twisted as the teams use the flow trailing from the wing improve the airflow further down the car.

Rear wing
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Acting as the partner to the front wing, the rear wing also creates some 25% of the cars downforce. Rules have increasingly reduced the size and effectiveness of the rear wing to cap cornering speeds. Currently the rear wing is just 75cm wide and can only have two aerofoil sections. Sitting high up in the airflow the rear wing also creates aerodynamic drag. This slows the car as high speed as the car has to pull the wing through the air. Now the rules allow the team to flatten the rearmost flap on the rear when following another car. This is known as DRS (drag reduction system), it boosts top speed to help the driver to pass the car in front during the race.

Diffuser
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Hidden at the rear of the car, what appears to be a big black hole under the car is in fact the most important aerodynamic device, the Diffuser. This ramped section between the rear tyres also creates low pressure in a similar way to a wing, but is much more efficient. The diffuser creates nearly 50% of the cars downforce. Being so powerful the rules have progressively been tightened, making the diffuser smaller and smaller to cap cornering speeds. The diffuser is now just 1m wide and 12.5cm tall. In recent seasons teams have found way to increase the performance of the diffuser, such as the double decker diffuser introduced in 2009 and banned for 2011. Then the teams found blowing the exhaust gasses over the diffuser also increased its performance. This was introduced in 2010 and is banned for 2012.

Sidepods
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The large bodywork panels either side of the car are called the sidepods. These house the water and oil radiators to cool the engine. They also house a lot of the electronics, battery and coolers for the gearbox. Just as with the rear wing, these sit out in the airflow and slow the car down. Teams strive to make the sidepods as small as possible while still being able to cool the engine. In 2011 we saw several team try different approaches to the sidepods shape: McLaren having a “U” shaped pair of sidepods, Red Bull having tiny sidepods and Toro Rosso lifting their sidepods up clear of the floor. Shaping the sidepods will reduce drag and improve flow over the top of the diffuser, making the car faster in turns.

Survival cell
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One of the factors that has made F1 so safe in recent years has been the development of the survival cell, often also termed the monocoque. This carbon fibre structure forms the cockpit and the 150l fuel tank. Its incredibly strong and features panels along the side to prevent parts penetrating the survival cell during an accident and injuring the driver. So robust are these cells that teams will often only build four of five during a season.

Nosecone
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Sitting above the front wing and aiding the survival cell for crash safety is the nose cone. This can be quickly bolted to the front of the survival cell, to allow mechanics access and to replace a damaged front wing. The nose cone has grown to be so long in order to meet the FIA crash tests. Along with the survival cell the nose cone will undergo several crash tests to ensure the car will safely survive an accident with out injuring the driver.

Tyres
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An F1 cars Pirelli tyres are the critical link in getting all the engine power, braking and cornering forces from the car back into the track, Thus to maximise grip the tyres are slick, without any tread. If conditions should lead to rain then the teams have access to two types of grooved tyre for light or heavy rain. Rules demand the wheels are just 33cm diameter, in contrast the road car fashion for ever large wheels and lower tyre sidewalls. The bulbous tyres also form part of the cars suspension, a lot of the cars vertical movement over bumps in the track is taken up from the tyre squashing, rather than the suspension moving.

Suspension
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Outwardly the suspension on an F1 car is very simple. At each corner of the car two “V” shaped arms, known as wishbones, attach the wheel to the chassis. Then another arm operates the spring and shock absorber, these are mounted inside the car to keep them out of the airflow for better aerodynamics. However it’s the detail work in the angle of these arms and the complex mechanical parts inside the car that make the suspension work so well. Teams use the suspension to improve the cars low speed grip and to keep the car at the right angle to the track to allow the aerodynamics to work best. Unfortunately for the driver his comfort is a low priority when the team set the suspension up.
“Four wheels move the body, Two wheels move the soul.”

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Re: Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

Post Postao/la Cuky » 06 tra 2012, 15:24

Under the skin
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For all the hours of TV coverage F1 attracts, most fans only get to see the glossy streamlined bodywork and not the parts under the skin that make the go. Although the ultimate speed of an F1 is mainly about aerodynamics, it is only by being aided by these mechanical and electronic systems that the car can go so fast.

The Engine
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For Enzo Ferrari, the heart of the car is the engine. In a racing the car the engine itself has a double function, not only to power the car but the engine also forms part of the cars structure.

Current F1 engines are a tour-de-force in design; the engine capacity is just 2.4 litres, not much more than the average family car. But unlike the family car the F1 engine produces over 700 horse power and revs to a limit of 18,000rpm. Before the rev limit was introduced to cap escalating speeds, teams were running engines to 20,000rpm! Although displacing the same capacity as a family car, the F1 engines layout is totally different. It has eight cylinders and these are arranged in two banks of four. Each bank meeting the crankshaft at the bottom of the engine at 45-degrees. This layout is known as a V8 format.

Being bolted to the back of the survival cell and having the gearbox bolted on behind it, the engine has to carry the loads passed through the car by the wings and suspension. Despite this architectural function, the modern F1 engine is tiny just over 50cm longs and just 40cm high. Indeed the engine is so small, that the rules now mandate a minimum weight and Centre of Gravity height for the car. Teams in the early 2000’s were able to make the 2.4l engine weight well under 90kgs. Now the engine must weight 95kg.

In order to create the huge power outputs and reliability needed to last three grand prix, the engine is supported by a range of auxiliary systems. The engine is fuel injected; the hardware for this sits inside the tall airbox mounted atop the engine. Fuel injectors spray fuel into the inlets at 100bar, which fifty times more pressure than in your car tyres! The throttle opening and the fuel injection are controlled by the throttle pedal. F1 cars use a fly-by-wire pedal. This means the peal is not mechanically connected to the engine, but controls it via electronics and it’s a hydraulic actuator that actually opens the engines throttles. All of this control is managed by the engines control unit (ECU). This is now a Standard ECU, often termed SECU by the teams and its manufacturer. Surprisingly the unit is supplied by a subsidiary of McLaren and the software developed in cooperation with Microsoft. The unit is an unusual triangular shape, is often fitted below the drivers legs.

The fuel is ignited inside the engine by spark plugs which are tiny being just 8mm in diameter and 40mm long, weighing in just 10grammes.

Then the burnt fuel and air pass through the exhausts, which are one of the few handcraft parts on an F1 car, they are welded from thin sections of a special high temperature metal called Inconnel. Each set of exhausts take several days to make and end up weighing just 3Kg.

Radiators
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Keeping the engine cooled is critical to the reliability of the engine; an f1 engine is cooled by water and oil. With the oil also lubricating the moving surfaces inside the engine. Although is note purely water that is pumped around the engine, but instead a water based mix of coolant, not dissimilar to that used in road cars. The water absorbs the heat from the engine and passes out of the top of the engine into two large radiators mounted in the sidepods. The air passing through the sidepods extracts heat from the coolant in the radiators and then the coolant is piped back into the bottom of the engine to start the cycle again.

Oil System
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Oil takes a more convoluted route; the oil is stored in a tank mounted to the front of the engine. This then gets pumped to an oil radiator in the sidepod. Now cooled it is then directed to the major moving parts inside the engine; the crankshaft, the cams and some oil is even sprayed under the pistons to keep them cool. This oil then drains into the sump at the bottom of the engine, where is collected by pumps and passed back to the oil tank.

Fuel Tank
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Feeding the engine with enough fuel to last the race distance is the fuel tank. This is special aerospace style tank, made from a rubberized composite material that is effectively bulletproof. The fuel tank sits inside the survival cell between the driver and the engine. It can carry over 150kg of fuel and itself weights just 7kg. As refuelling is now banned in the race, team’s fit two small connectors to plate in the side of the tank to allow the tank to filled and emptied. As the car laps, the fuel inside the tank is shaken around with the same force as the driver suffers. To prevent the fuel being thrown violently around inside the tank, it is fitted with internal walls that compartmentise the tank to keep the fuel in place.

Gearbox
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Like the engine the gearbox has a dual purpose, to provide the seven gears and also form part of the cars structure. The outer part of the gearbox is known as the case; this can be made from either cast metals such as aluminium or titanium, or moulded from carbon fibre. The rear suspension and crash structure are then bolted to this case. As the gearbox sits in the aerodynamically sensitive area around the rear of the car, teams like to make the case a slim and low as possible in order to gain downforce from the surrounding bodywork. Teams have to carful the gearbox is strong enough to act as part of the structure and still meet the demands of the aerodynamicist.
Inside the gearbox there are eight pairs of gears, seven forward gears and a reverse gear. The driver doesn’t select the gears with a lever as on a road car, but via paddle on the steering wheel. Via the cars SECU this then control hydraulic actuators shift the gears. The usual reference for fast shift speed is the ‘blink of an eye’, in F1 terms this is too slow. These semi automatic gearboxes have become ever more complex and now the gears can be selected nearly instantaneously, known as a seamless shift.

Brakes
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Other mechanical parts hidden by the bodywork are the brakes; F1 cars use disc brakes in common with most road cars. To provide the 4G braking force, the brake discs are squeezed by large callipers. These have six pistons each pressing a brake pad against the disc surface. However the discs themselves are not made from heavy cast iron, but instead carbon fibre. This makes the discs some ten times lighter than those on road car and able to reach far higher temperatures. F1 brakes reach temperature of over 800c in use and keeping the brakes form overheating is the job of the brake duct. This is a complex aerodynamic part filling the inside of the wheel and feeding air to the brake disc and caliper.

Unlike the throttle pedal, the brakes are purely mechanical and driver operated. The large brake pedal operates two cylinders that pass the braking fluid to each of the cars four brakes. No electronics, ABS or power assistance is allowed. The driver left foot has to press with 100kg of force to get the car stopped in time from high speed.

Steering
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Lastly Steering, like the brakes the steering has to be achieved without any electronics, although fortunately for the driver’s power steering is allowed. Its layout is much the same as for a road car; the steering wheel rotates a steering column, which then in turn moves the steering rack. At tracks like Monaco teams will alter the steering rack and track rods to allow for a tighter turning circle. Plus we have all seen the drivers remove the steering wheel when he gets out of the car. The steering column has a special connector that when pulled unlocks the wheel; this makes it easier for the driver get out of the tiny cockpit.
“Four wheels move the body, Two wheels move the soul.”

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Re: Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

Post Postao/la Cuky » 06 tra 2012, 15:26

The Watering (and Urination) of F1 Drivers

At this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix, the drivers have an extra battle on their hands: dehydration! In the high-tech world of F1 where millions are spent in using the latest technology to develop the fastest car, their response is surprisingly simple. Each car will be equipped with a drinks system for the driver, no more complex than the humble windscreen washer fitted to your road car.

In the heat and humidity of Malaysia, the driver has a tough environment to work in. Along with the heat generated by the electronics tucked away alongside the driver, the cockpit can reach over 50c degrees. Along with the driver’s physical exertion, while dressed in several layers of fireproof clothing, means they are going sweat, and sweat a lot. The driver loses nearly two kilogrammes of fluid during the race — this along with heat stress can lead to the drivers losing performance and even passing out.

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The F1 car drinks system aids the driver to maintain his fluid levels during the race. To deliver this, there is nothing more than a flexible bag of drink attached to the side of the cockpit. To save the driver having to suck the drink up from the bag, it is delivered by a pump. Rather than an expensive titanium-carbon fibre pump, the teams use nothing more extravagant than a road car windscreen washer pump, with the pump linking the fluid bag to the driver’s helmet via a long tube. On the steering wheel, the “drinks” button powers the pump, squirting some of the drink into his mouth. The drivers will call for a squirt of drink most laps when they are on the longer straights.

Even though before the race, the driver is continually topped up with the special hypotonic drink, during the race they will consume around one and a half litres of fluid. No more fluid is needed than that, as the driver only needs to be replacing the fluid they’ve lost. This hydration process starts before the Grand Prix weekend and the driver’s physio will be ever-present with another bottle of drink.

The drink varies from driver to driver, but usually it’s a high-concentration drink, not a refreshing cool watery drink, mostly made from a glucose-based fluid with vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system and stabilise blood chemistry; much like the sachets of minerals you drink after having a bad stomach. In fact, water would be a bad choice of fluid as it’s not as efficient at replacing the body’s fluids as an isotonic drink. Despite the driver needing to keep cool, the drink is not kept cold within the car. The drink soon warms up, and with its sugary and salty taste in the heat, the drink actually resembles warm tea.

Of course, what goes in must come out; it’s not unusual for drivers to head off to “take a leak” before the race. However, some drivers have a preference for sitting in the car for a longer period before the race starts, with several drivers being well known to take their comfort break while actually sat in the car. The puddle of fluid gathering under the car can often catch out the inexperienced mechanic, who thinks it’s come from the car itself. Much to the hilarity of the older mechanics, you can imagine, who ask the youngsters to find out what has caused the leakage from the car.

So while you’re sat watching the race and enjoying a beer, spare a thought for the drivers who are having this unsavoury, warm tea-like drink squirted into their mouth every lap. Give us a cold brewski and a comfortable chair any day of the week.
“Four wheels move the body, Two wheels move the soul.”

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Re: Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

Post Postao/la Cuky » 01 lip 2012, 13:30

Analysis: F1 fuel system
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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, Michael Schumacher’s 2012 Monaco retirement aside!
Historically fuel tanks were simply metal tanks formed to fit in wherever they could be fitted. Often prone to puncturing during accident 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 deaths since Ricardo Palletti in Canada in 1982, or in testing with Elio De Angelis in 1986.

VIŠE
“Four wheels move the body, Two wheels move the soul.”

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Re: Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

Post Postao/la Forza » 01 lip 2012, 20:54

Monaco Grand Prix: Suspension With Bells On - “inerters"

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Craig Scarborough

This weekend, the Formula 1 circus makes it annual trip to the principality of Monaco. It’s not news to anounce that this is street circuit; it is in fact the most recognisable track in the world. With the cars dancing between the barriers, it’s famed as a track that’s demanding on the cars, with the slightest error causing a brush with the armco and immediate retirement from the race. But what’s probably less well understood is that as the track is on public roads, the car’s suspension has a lot more to cope with.

With a cambered road, littered with bumps, manhole covers and aggressive curbs, it’s utterly different from purpose-built tracks that are billiard table smooth.

For a handful of years now, F1 cars have had the assistance of a new form of suspension element, the inerter. A little-known technology which is currently used purely in F1, what is surprising about this technology is that its mechanics are akin to a bicycle bell. It’s quite hard to get your head around the fact that cars can get better grip from simply spinning a weight.
Despite the importance of aerodynamics, F1 cars still rely a lot on the grip from the tyres at lower speeds. This is known as mechanical grip, and is a function of the work of the suspension controlling the tyre’s contact patch. Rules in F1 have evolved over the years to specify a large 66cm-diametre tyre with tiny 33cm (13″) wheels. This creates a large bulbous tyre with tall sidewalls.

Additionally, F1 car design has evolved to give the suspension tiny amounts of suspension-travel, in order to keep the car at the perfect altitude to the track in order to the keep the aerodynamic surfaces working efficiently. Thus, the squashy tyres provide a large proportion of the car’s suspension movement. Unfortunately, due to the fact the tyres are effectively like inflatable rubber balloons, when they hit a bump they produce a bounce that feeds back into the chassis. This bounce can sometimes reduce the tyres’ contact patch, reducing grip in the process and slowing laptimes.

Back in 2004, McLaren was approached by Dr Malcolm Smith, a Cambridge University Don. He had a solution that could absorb the sudden bounce from the tyres, in a way that conventional shock absorbers cannot. In addition to the exisiting complex arrangement of springs and dampers within an F1 car’s suspension, an additional element was added that spins a metal weight. The first prototypes of this device, which was termed an “inerter,” were based on the same mechanism that’s in a rotary bicycle bell.

If you’ve ever opened a bicycle bell, or more likely had the bell lid fall off, you’ll see the finger lever has gear teeth on it. These spin the bell’s hammer. As you thumb the lever, the gears spin the hammer; the bell rings, and the effort from your thumb is absorbed by the mechanism.

This same process is used with the racecar’s inerter. With the tyres’ bounce being the same as your thumb on the bell and the bell itself being the inerter, as the suspension suddenly compresses from the bounce coming from the tyre, a geared rack spins a round metal weight. The inertia of this weight absorbs the bounce, and prevents the tyre contact patch varying too much. This will not give any more maximum grip from the tyre, but it will ensure the maximium potential grip of the tyre is delivered most of the time. And so, the driver is better able to place his car on the track with less fear of losing control over bumps and curbs.

McLaren raced the inerter for the first time at San Marino in 2005. At this point, McLaren had been using this technology exclusively, and secretly, for several years. Soon after, the patented technology was available to all teams, plus commercially through the racecar damper supplier, Penske.

Nowadays, all the teams run inerters on both the front and rear suspension, with this weekend proving no different. Watch as the humble bicycle bell rings around Monaco on all 24 cars in the Grand Prix.

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Re: Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

Post Postao/la Cuky » 15 lip 2012, 20:35

Front Wing

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One of the most prominent and influential features on an F1 car is the front wing. Spanning the full 1.8m width of the car, the wing provides around a third of the cars downforce and the majority of the downforce created on the front wheels. As the wing is the first thing the airflow passes over, it influences the airflow all the way along car. Due to its width, the front wing also needs to divert its flow around the front tyres. Currently the front wing is capable of producing more than enough downforce, but its use is mainly to balance the downforce that can be created at the back of the car by the diffuser and rear wing. So the front wing is tuned to give the handling balance the driver prefers on the car.

The main wing is a very complicated shape; the wing can be formed of any number of aerofoil sections, known as elements. On the rear wing these sections are limited to two upper and one lower element. The leading element on the front wing is known as the main plane and the separate sections behind it are known as flaps. The main pane and flaps assume a steep angle-of-attack towards the oncoming airflow.

The wing will produce more downforce if the wing is set at a steeper the angle or the elements are longer. However being aggressive with long or steep wings will cause the air passing under the wing to break up. Aerodynamicists call this separation, eventually the flow will stall under the wing and the wing will no longer produce downforce. To avoid this, team’s break up the wing into these separate elements. The space between the elements is called a slot gap, this slot allows air to pass under the wing to keep the airflow attached. The more elements and slot gaps you have, the more aggressive the wing can be in order to create more downforce.

Another facet of the front wing performance is its proximity to the ground. Unlike the rear wing, the front wing is relatively close to the track. There's an aerodynamic phenomenon called 'ground effect’ that makes a wing work much more efficiently when it’s close to the track. This works up to the point where the gap between the wing and track is so small, that the airflow between them stops and the wing stalls. Current F1 front wings have to be 75mm above the floor of the car. However if the entire car is angled downwards (raked), the nose and wing are closer to the track. This allows the wing to work better in ground effect and create more downforce. Anything that makes the wing closer to the ground is useful.

Centre section
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When the FIA tasked a group of F1 engineers to understand how front wings could be less sensitive when following another car, the results found that wider wings were less sensitive. However the full width wing we see now would be far too powerful, so the rules enforced a neutral centre section.

Since 2009 the front wing has needed a mandatory neutral centre section. This 50cm wide middle span of the wing has to conform to a FIA template. Teams cannot tilt the element to make is useful as a wing. Some teams have found fitting the FIA camera pods behind the wing allows this section to fulfill a useful aerodynamic function, but this element is largely aero neutral, not adding or taking away from the cars performance.


Cascades
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As the front wing area is relatively free of restrictions in the number of elements, teams find it is useful to fit extra wing elements above the main profile. These cannot overlap the neutral centre section, so they tend to be attached to the endplate. At first these smaller wing elements, were fitted purely to create downforce, the biplane effect of the two wings is referred to as a cascade. Nowadays these cascade elements tend to function more to divert the flow around the front tyre than simply for downforce. In some cases the cascade element might work in reverse and create lift, in order to create the correct airflow trailing behind it.


Endplate
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As a wing works by creating low pressure below and higher above, the pressure difference at the wing tip would see the higher pressure flow bleed to underneath the wing, negating any downforce created. To seal the tip of the wing, teams fit an endplate, these used to be a fairly simple vertical vane bolted to the wing tips, now they are complex shaped merged into the main wing elements. Rules demand the endplate zone has a minimum surface area, so teams are obliged to create vertical vanes and a horizontal foot to meet the regulations.


Flexing
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Teams have long since realised that the front wing works best when it's closer to the track, to work in ‘ground effect’. However the rules mandate a relatively high position for the wing to sit above the floor of the car. Some teams have found that as the car gains speed, the aerodynamic loads bend the wing down, this means the wing sits closer to the track and can be more effective at producing downforce. Rules are in place to prevent this and the FIA apply load tests to the wings to check they do not deflect too much under load. However the teams are able to build wings with enough stiffness to meet the FIA tests and yet still deflect when on track. This is possible as the loads the wing sees on track is far greater than the FIA test. It’s possible to see this effect from the onboard camera. When the car is at high speed on a long straight, the wing is bowed down. When the car brakes the airflow slows down and downforce is lost, the wing can be seen to spring back up to its usual height. For 2012 there are even more stringent tests being applied to the wing and teams are struggling to beat the test with unusually flexible front wings.


Stalling
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As mentioned with the front wing elements, a wing that has poor airflow under it will stall and lose all of its downforce. This clearly is undesirable from a performance point of view, as downforce allows the car to corner faster. But in creating downforce and wing also creates drag. This slows the car in a straight-line. When a wing stalls, not only does the downforce disappear, but so does the drag. Teams would love a wing that had high downforce in the corners and low drag on the straights, but being unable to alter the wings geometry while moving prevents this happening. Back in 2010 McLaren’s F-Duct rear wing had driver controllable duct that stalled the rear wing lose drag on the straights. This solution was banned, but Mercedes have found a new idea based on the same stalling principle. Their Double DRS uses the rear wings moveable flap to blow a duct that stalls the front wing. This reduces the drag created by the front wing on the straight for more top speed. It also has other benefits such as making the cars front downforce reduce to balance the downforce lost at the back of the car by the DRS wing being open
“Four wheels move the body, Two wheels move the soul.”

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Re: Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

Post Postao/la Cuky » 05 srp 2012, 22:18

Scarbs lijepo objasnio tehnologiju vezanu za podizače bolida
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Re: Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

Post Postao/la Cuky » 12 srp 2012, 15:07

Cockpit
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As the space where the driver sits, the cockpit is hardly ever seen empty. However there is a surprising amount of rules & technology applied inside this area. Over the years regulations have increased the space allowed for the driver, both for comfort and safety reasons.

Survival cell
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The cockpit, which is formed within the survival cell, has to meet a series of dimensions to ensure the driver is safe and can escape the cockpit within 5 seconds.

The drivers seating position is fixed in several positions, firstly their feet must be behind the front axle line, to prevent injuries in the event of a frontal crash. Then the space that forms the footwell is formed must be of minimum cross section to ensure space is left for drivers of differing sizes and not squeezed for aerodynamic benefit.

The area around the seat and seat back is also defined within the rules, to prevent drivers sitting too low or reclined within the car. Also the driver’s helmet must be below a line drawn between the roll hoop and the front of the monocoque. This will save the driver in the event the car ends upside down in a crash. Lastly the cockpit opening is defined with very specific measurements, every car will have the same shape opening, and this gives drivers of different sizes an equal ability to get in the and out of the car.

Footwell
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This footwell are must have a “U” shaped section of padding to protect the drivers legs in the event of side impacts, smashing legs around inside the footwell. No other mechanical parts are allowed to encroach into this foot well area, only the steering column, which is separated from the driver by the foam padding. Previously teams would have suspension components alongside the driver’s legs, which could easily cause injury, even in light crashes. The padding ends near the driver’s ankles to allow the drivers feet space to move around the pedals.

Seat
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The driver sits in a custom moulded carbon fibre seat. Each driver goes through the “seat fitting” process, this involves the driver sitting in the cockpit in a bag of epoxy foam or polystyrene beads, the bag moulds perfectly to the drivers shape. This mould is then scanned into the teams CAD software and modified to complete the seat design. This is then created as a permanent carbon fibre mould and several carbon fibre seats will made from this. The seat is very thin, being just a few millimetres of carbon fibre thick. Some padding or covering may be added to the seat for the drivers comfort, but they are often left bare, for minimum weight. The seat has straps attached to it, such that in the event of an accident the driver can be lifted out of the car still within the seat, to prevent further injuries. The driving position is extremely inclined, the driver’s shoulders being 50cm and their feet some 30cm above the floor.

Seat belt
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Seat belts restrain the driver are both from the forces of an accident, but also the 5g braking and cornering loads. A six point harness is used; this is formed of two shoulder straps, two waist straps and to crotch straps. The length of the straps will be unique to each driver, to suit their shape, ensuring the straps can be adequately tightened without excessive amounts of webbing flapping around from the adjusters. Each strap is secured to the survival cell at one end and the other ends meet in an aircraft style buckle. The driver simply rotates the buckle to release all the straps at once. Often the buckle is completely detached from the straps and the driver can be seen placing this ‘hockey puck’ shaped item on the top of the car when getting out of the cockpit. Despite the extra space inside the modern F1 cockpit the driver is unable to do the seat belts up tight enough themselves. So a Mechanic will strap the driver in, pulling the belts extremely tight, so that they do not move under cornering loads. The main tightening effect is down by the adjusters on the shoulder straps.

As with any F1 component the complete seat belt system is incredibly light, weighing under 700 grammes.

Headrest
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Around the drivers head is the headrest padding, this protects the drivers head from hitting the cockpit side in side and rear impacts. Both the shape and position of the padding is fixed by the regulation. Each team will subtly alter the detail shaping to suit their own aerodynamic reasons, but the underlying area is identical on all F1 cars. A special material called Confor Foam is used. This foam is relatively soft when touched, but when subject to a severe blow the foam hardens to absorb the load and is then slow to bounce back. This characteristic protects the driver from both the initial blow and any whiplash response.

As this foam is heat sensitive there are two specifications required for different ambient temperatures, the FIA will inform the teams which specification must be used for a specific event. A Blue foam (Confor CF45) is used for ambient temperatures over 30c and pink foam (Confor CF42) for temperatures below that. To aid aerodynamics teams cover the foam in a very thin later of carbon fibre, that will not add any undue resistance to the helmet hitting the foam in an impact.

Fire extinguisher
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Although not part of the drivers interface with the car, the cockpit also houses a critical safety device, the fire extinguisher. This is plumbed into both the cockpit and the engine bay to subdue fires before the fire marshals are able to reach the car. Although typically we picture the fire extinguisher as a bright red bottle, in the modern F1 car they squeezed into the smallest amount of space. Typically the extinguisher will sit below the seat, under the driver’s knees. There is a small amount of space in this “V” shaped area formed between the survival cell and the floor of the car. Thus the extinguisher tends to be a shape to conform to the space and unrecognisable from the fire systems of the eighties.

Only FIA approved suppliers, can provide Fire systems for F1 cars, the type, weight and pressure of extinguishant is different for each supplier. Typically 3kgs of extinguishant are required, with a third being used for the cockpit area and the balance for the engine bay. The extinguisher needs to release this for between 10 and 30 seconds.

In case of other car systems being disabled in a crash, the fire extinguisher system has its own power source and can be operated either from within the cockpit or externally via a switch fitted with a loop on the roll hoop.
“Four wheels move the body, Two wheels move the soul.”

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Re: Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

Post Postao/la Cuky » 24 srp 2012, 13:43

Driver controls
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Something every driver can relate to, is how important the physical interface is with the car. For an F1 driver these interfaces and controls are absolutely critical. Both the primary controls; the steering wheel, brakes and throttle pedal. But also the secondary controls to alter settings on the car, to tune the way the car reacts and handles. Such is the limited space and workload for the driver, these controls are packaged into just two pedals and one very complicated steering wheel. Only one key control is moved away from these controls, and that for the brake bias, as the rules insist this must be a mechanical adjustment made by the driver.

Steering wheel
Not simply for steering, an F1 steering wheel is increasingly the driver’s key interface with the car and its systems. A key part of the cars electronic systems the steering wheel controls the; gear shift, clutch, engine and other chassis functions. It even provides the driver with the facility to pump drink into his mouth!

Moulded from carbon fibre with a detachable cover over the electronics, the chassis of the wheel is surprisingly simple. Inside the wheel is a circuit board which interfaces with the cars main ECU, this connection being made through the end of the steering column.
The shape of the steering wheel is rarely round, but shaped to suit the driver’s preferences. With the driver not needing to remove his hands from the wheel when cornering, the commonly used format is a butterfly shape. This provides a single grip position for each hand, some teams make the grips surface from suede or from moulded silicone.

To ease access in and out of the cockpit the steering wheel is quickly detachable from the steering column, with a small mechanism that locks the wheel in place. Pulling the flange on the mechanism releases the steering wheel and disconnects the electronics.

Dash
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For all the complexity of the systems on an F1 the dashboard is limited to a tiny LED display. This is part of the same SECU package that all teams are mandated to use.

It is completely programmable, so that the displays can be varied for each driver and even for different circumstances. There is a central gear position indicator, rows of gear shift lifts and then two pairs of numerical displays and warning lights.

These warning lights are connected to the electronic marshalling system, so that any warning flags waves at the side of the track are matched by coloured light on the display.

Driver will have functions such as lap time differences or targets, KERS usage and warning messages appear on the numerical displays.

Gear paddles
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Since the nineties F1 cars have done away with conventional gear levers. The first teams to do this were Ferrari in 1989 with a semi automatic gear selection system, which used paddles behind the steering wheel to change gear. Some teams have tried other methods, but the paddle system now has a monopoly on gearshifts in F1. To change gear, large plates behind the steering wheel set off electronic sensors to tell the cars ECU to change gear. Some drivers have different preferences, but typically one paddle will be for upshifts and one for downshifts. This way the driver can keep their hands on the steering wheel and still change gear, unlike previous gear lever designs which required the driver to remove a hand from the wheel to reach for the lever.

Rules exist to ensure the driver has to select the paddle to request every gear change. So when the driver is in seventh gear and wants to slow to second gear, they have to pull the paddle six times in succession, they are not allowed to skip gears.

Clutch
As with gearshifts, clutch control is now managed via the steering wheel. A pair of paddles low down on the back of the wheel operate the clutch. These will only be used when the car is stopping\pulling away, such as exiting\entering the garage, pit stops and at the race’s start.

In normal use each clutch paddle will disengage the clutch when pulled in, the movement of the clutch is mapped to the paddle, so that any clever control of the clutch is outlawed. This does differ slightly for race starts, where the two clutch paddles are used separately. During the warm up lap the driver will use the steering wheel buttons to request an electronic process to detect where the clutch’s bite point is. This is the point where the clutch starts to drag and move the car. Then each clutch paddle will be mapped to a different point on the clutch’s travel. As the driver sees the light go out to start the race, they will release once clutch paddle, this will move the clutch to an almost engaged position. The other paddle is held in until the driver detect wheel spin has subsided and will then release it. At this point the clutch is fully engaged and will not be used again until the driver makes his first pit stop or spins the car and needs to pull the clutch in.

Steering wheel rotary controls
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To control the chassis and powertrain functions, the driver has a plethora of controls on the steering wheel. These vary in detail by team and even driver to driver, but the general functionality is the similar for all teams.

Controls are split between rotary controls and buttons. Rotary controls are for more complex functions, where different settings are required; the large knobs are relatively easy for the driver to manage with a gloved hand, although ergonomics are compromised by the lack of space available inside the cockpit and on the steering wheel. Some rotary controls are on the face of the wheel and some are formed around the rim of the wheel, the rim position makes it easier for a driver to frequently alter the setting.





Typical Rotary controls

Diff entry – Alters the gearbox differential setting on entry to turns, this will alter the cars handling.

Diff mid - Alters the gearbox differential setting at the mid point of a turn, this will alter the cars handling and traction

Diff exit – Alters the gearbox differential setting at the exit point of a turn, this will alter the cars handling and traction

KERS Mode – alters the way KERS energy boost is delivered

KERS Recover - Alters the way KERS energy harvested under braking

REVS –Alters the rev limit up to 18,000rpm

MIX – Alters the engine power setting, more power uses more fuel

Multifunction – This controls less frequently used functions, that don’t warrant a dedicated control. The driver will use this in coordination with the “+1”, “-1” and OK buttons.

Tyre – This tells the ECU what tyres are fitted; dry, intermediate and wets. Its can also be used to inform the team of the state of the tyres degradation
Pedal – Alters the relationship between pedal movement and the engines throttles.

Steering wheel buttons
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Buttons are use to turn functions on or off, or to use them momentarily. These tend buttons to be bunched within fingers reach from the driver’s normal hand position. More important tasks are on the buttons nearer the top corners of the steering wheel.

Typical Buttons

PIT – Sets the pitlane speed limiter

Radio – push to talk to the engineers on the pitwall

R – Reverse gear

N - Neutral

Acknowledge – confirming that a verbal instruction was understood

Oil – release additional oil into the engine

+1 - Used with the Multifunction rotary to alter settings

-1 - Used with the Multifunction rotary to alter settings

OK - used with the Multifunction rotary to alter settings

Drink – operates the driver drink system pump

DRS – Opens the rear wing DRS

Overtake - sets engine mix and revs to maximum for overtaking

KERS – discharges KERS boost

BPF – bite point find for the clutch

Brake bias
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When braking the driver operates both the front and rear brakes, the split in effort between these two ends of the car is called braking bias. The aforementioned threaded adjuster at the pedal is controlled by a complex mechanism near the steering wheel. This bias adjustment system allow brake bias to be altered in several ways, firstly fine adjustment of braking level front to rear is completed with a dial adjuster on the mechanism. This moves the threaded adjuster at the pedal a small amount. The driver will alter as the race progress and fuel loads lighten and tyres wear at different rates.

Then secondly, as each corner might reward a different braking bias there is the quick shift system. This is a larger lever on the adjuster, it will alter braking bias in one step, and the lever may have three or more preset positions to suit the braking bias for different corner types. We often see the driver reach down to adjust something from the onboard shots, this will be the bias adjustment lever being moved to a different preset position.

Pedals
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As the clutch is controlled from steering wheel paddles, the driver is able to use their left foot solely for braking and their right foot for acceleration. So just two pedals are fitted within the footwell. The shape of the pedal and the feel they provide is customised to each driver. The foot is often kept from slipping off the pedal by an abrasive tape on the pedal face and fences around the edge of the pedal. As each driver will have a different pedal position, the pedals will bolt to different points in the floor of the footwell for the different drivers.

Each pedal may be made from carbon fibre, fabricated titanium or machined aluminium, the brake pedal sees more loading from the braking effort so may sometimes be made from a different material compared to the accelerator pedal. Braking is controlled from the left pedal, the pedal operates two master cylinders to pressurise the brake system. Each master cylinder operates either the front or rear brakes. The split in pedal effort between the each end of the car, is controlled by a threaded bar that offsets the pedal in between the two master cylinders.

The accelerator pedal is not connected physically to the engine, as it’s a ‘fly-by-wire’ system. The pedal operates a sensor that tells the ECU how much torque the driver is requesting by pressing his foot down
“Four wheels move the body, Two wheels move the soul.”

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Re: Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

Post Postao/la Cuky » 13 ruj 2012, 19:34

Floor

Unseen beneath the car, the plain black floor is the probably the most important aerodynamic part on the car. Modern F1 car floors are made from a carbon fibre and moulded as a single component. The floor’s purpose is all about getting airflow to pass underneath the car faster than it flows over it, this creates low pressure underneath the car and the car is sucked on the track surface. Nowadays diffusers are very small, in the late seventies Lotus made a floor that was swing shaped in between the front and rear wheels, the low pressure created underneath was sealed off with endplates and skirts that brushed the ground, this created huge amounts of downforce. As wings create more downforce when closer to the ground, this aero phenomenon is known as ground effect. Ground effect cars grew ever more efficient and with cornering speeds becoming dangerous, they were banned at the end of 1982 with a move to Flat bottom floors. Since then the FIA have continued to reduce the size of the wing shaped section at the back of the floor, known as the diffuser to the point where in 2012 this is a narrow and low roofed shape with far less potential for downforce than with ground effect wing cars.

Floor moulding
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Although the floor is the main component that controls airflow under the car, the floor also serves several other purposes. Made from carbon fibre, often with honeycomb sandwich construction in several areas, the floor is a stiff structural component. It gets bolted to the underside of the monocoque, engine and gearbox with a large number of bolts. Removing the floor is relatively quick job once the car is lifted up on its pit stands. In the area forming the floor of the sidepods, the floor will help support the radiators electronics and ducting. Often the floor has sensors and cabling fitted to it, with the connectors needing to be disconnected before the floor is removed. Also the side impact protection spars that run sideways from the cockpit can be permanently fitted to the floor, again needing bolting to the side of the car when the floor is fitted for structural integrity.

Stepped floor
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Aerodynamic rules brought into force in the wake Ayrton Senna's 1994 accident demand the floor is stepped, with a low ridge running along the centre of the car. Along with these rules was the definition of the bottom of the car to be used as a datum for all bodywork measurements to be taken. Now the lowest part of the floor (ignoring the plank) is the datum, this is known as the reference plane. This ridge running under the car must be between 30 & 50cm wide, starting from behind the front tyres and reaching the rear axle line. This surface must be flat so as not to have any aerodynamic benefit. Above the reference plane is the main floor of the car, the part that typically forms the floor of the sidepods. This surface must be 5cm above the reference plane and is known as the step plane. This surface must also be flat and is shorter than the reference plane, by starting alongside the cockpit and reaching back to the rear axle lines, with cut outs allowed for the rear tyres.

Plank
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Beneath the reference plane is the mandatory skid block, often called the plank. This was also part of the post Senna crash rules, it prevents the car running too low to the ground for aerodynamic advantage. The plank is commonly made from laminated beech wood, but the rules are broad and only specify a maximum density for the plank and not the material to be used.

Contrary to popular understanding it is not the wear of the plank that is measured after the race, but the titanium skid blocks that are fitted into specific holes in the plank. If these have been worn away too much then the car is judged to be illegal and is excluded from the race results. To ensure that unexpected wear is not a problem in the race, teams will fit temperature sensors to the skid blocks, if the block gets too hot it’s a sign that it might be grinding away on the track surface.

Splitter
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On feature of the stepped floor with F1's trend for high noses, is the splitter. This is also commonly called the T-Tray or Bib. The basic splitter is there to meet the flat bottom regulations in order to form the reference plane all the way to the front tyres. But although demanded by the regulations the splitter also forms important aerodynamic functions, directing the air above, below and either side of the car. The recent fashion is to have the splitter as exposed as possible, with a pair of vanes flanking its edges to aid airflow under the car.

With teams now running the car in a nose-down raked attitude, the splitter is the part of the floor running closest to the ground. If the splitter could bend upwards then the team could run the car even lower, allowing for a lower front wing and high diffuser, to create more downforce. In recent years the FIA have increased the deflection test on the splitters leading edge to ensure teams do not allow it to flex.
Since the switch to Pirelli tyres and the mandatory weight distribution rules, teams are no longer seeking to place more weight over the front tyres, before this, teams would make the splitter as a separate part of the floor and machined it from heavy metal. This acted as ballast and allowed more weight over the front wheels; this eight being mounted so low was also good for the cars centre of Gravity. Such was the weight of these splitters two mechanics would be needed to remove it from the car and place it carefully where it would fall onto anyone’s toes!

Diffuser
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As previously mentioned the purpose of the floor is primarily to manage airflow towards the diffuser. The current diffuser is the grandchild of the Ground effect cars of the seventies and the subsequent flat-bottomed and step bottomed cars. The current diffuser rules date back to the major F1 aero rules overhaul of 2009, although the rules have constantly evolved to ban unexpected developed like the double diffuser of 2009, where teams created a double deck diffuser as a way of creating more downforce.

The diffuser is the ramped section of bodywork at the rear of the car. The larger the diffuser, the more potential it has to make downforce. Thus rules constrain the size and position of the diffuser. Starting at the rear axle line and reaching just 35cm behind it, the current diffuser is also limited to 100cm width and 12.5cm height. So the potential of the diffuser to create downforce is now extremely limited although it still creates half of the car’s rear downforce and very little drag. It’s because so little drag is created that designers focus on the diffuser, as it provides more downforce for cornering without the drag slowing the car on the straights. To make the most of the diffusers efficiency, aerodynamic parts from the front wing, past the turning vanes and over the leading edge of the floor are all designed to purely feed the correct airflow to the diffuser.

The diffuser will be detailed more completely in another instalment of the Tech Files
“Four wheels move the body, Two wheels move the soul.”

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Re: Technical side of F1, Craig Scarborough - Scarbs

Post Postao/la Cuky » 29 sij 2013, 14:15

Nisam neko vrijeme posjećivao Scarbsov blog, pa sam sada naletio na tri zanimljive teme. Iako nisu vezane uz seriju prethodnih postova, autor je isti pa da ne otvaram novu temu staviti ću ovdje:

[ukl=http://scarbsf1.com/blog1/2013/01/16/in ... ead-rests/]In Detail: F1 Cockpit Head Rests[/url]

In Detail: F1 Seats

How do Teams and the FIA Control KERS Energy Usage?
“Four wheels move the body, Two wheels move the soul.”

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