The chief engineer of the Marussia F1 Team, Dave Greenwood, explained why the engineers of Formula 1 constantly disassemble and assemble racing cars, why the car cannot be used as an ordinary car and what determines its speed.
In the world championship “Formula 1” in 2013 his skill was once again proved by the pilot of the Red Bull team Sebastian Vettel, ahead of the nearest rival Fernando Alonso from Ferrari more than 150 points. Ahead – next season, new pilots and other rules – in the championship in 2014, for the first time will be used 1.6-liter turbocharged engines.
The directors of some teams F1 are sure: the new conditions give a chance to lagging stables to break into the top ten, however for this the engineers of the teams will need to sweat. The chief engineer of the Marussia F1 Team, Dave Greenwood, told us about the device of the car, the prohibitions in “Formula 1” and the transportation of the sports car to different continents.
1. If ordinary city cars are designed for traffic on roads with different coverages, then in a racing car everything is designed to make it go on a relatively smooth track on the verge of adhesion to the surface – that’s why you cannot go for food on such a car. And if the behavior of the first depends only on mechanical adhesion to the road, then for the car “Formula 1” the main thing is aerodynamics.
2. All the cars of Formula 1 weigh at least 642 kilograms. The machine has more than 100 sensors, which read about 1000 data channels: for example, longitude, width, height above sea level and so on. The maximum speed that a race car can develop varies from 290 km / h in Monaco to 350 km / h in Monza – depending on which settings of downforce are set.
3. The speed of the car and controllability is the main thing that engineers constantly work on. The first figure affects the clamping force of the car: it should be as high as possible on corners, and on straight lines, on the contrary, it should be higher. Another determining factor is the tires: we always need to be sure that Pirelli tires are optimally matched to weather conditions. In addition, the correct distribution of the weight of the machine plays an important role. If you talk about the engine, then during the race you always need to use the maximum power – then the result will be the highest. And, of course, do not forget about the safety of the pilot in the car.
4. Just like from time to time we look for new casinos online, from race to race, we change the basic settings of the car – on different tracks you need to differently adjust the suspension of the car for better mechanical grip with the track. True, we do not have such a big “field for activity”: the regulations of “Formula 1” is full of prohibitions! In general, they relate to various rider-assist devices, such as “traction control” – a system to combat the slip of the driving wheels. But there are also those that regulate the dimensions of various aerodynamic surfaces, as well as the operation of all active systems of the car. Other bans are related to the limitation of money: for example, during the Grand Prix one pilot can use no more than 8 engines, and the gearbox must be used 5 races in a row.
5. During the race, we inform the pilot of strategic information about the race: how far ahead and behind are the remaining cars, how many sets the pilot drove on the current set of rubber, etc.
6. The weather most influences the behavior of the car: humidity, air temperature and atmospheric pressure strongly affect the grip of the car with the track, the maximum speed of the car and engine power.
7. Practically all the working time of the mechanics is spent completely exploring and assembling the car to exclude the hidden damages of the car. In addition, engineers are trained to conduct pit stops as quickly as possible and get acquainted with new technical developments, which then spend time training the pit stops, and also get acquainted with new developments that are introduced on the machine from race to race. However, all this takes place between racing weekends. From the beginning of the Grand Prix to the end of the Sunday race, we can change only a set of tires and replace the front fender in the car – the regulations prohibit doing any other changes in the car.
8. Formula 1 races are held in different states, on different continents, and therefore the car and technical equipment must be constantly transported. For “near” European races, we use special, custom-made tractors and vans – so we move everything from the base to the track and between the tracks. This creates a somewhat homely atmosphere for the team. For “distant” races, which take place on other continents, we are forced to more carefully plan logistics. Several identical sets of equipment are added to containers and sent by sea to the country of destination in advance, sometimes even 3 months before the race. This allows you to significantly reduce costs. At the same time the car and key equipment are moving to the next race by plane – this allows us to always be on alert.