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Restrictions on aerodynamic testing

Aerodynamic resource restrictions in Formula One were introduced in 2009 as a means to limit a team’s expenditure on aerodynamics. Large investments were being made in full-scale wind tunnels, computational clusters and on-track testing – investment that was getting out of control. To prevent an ‘arms race’, running full-size cars in a wind tunnel (WT), and track testing, were severely restricted. In addition, limits were placed on a team’s wind tunnel and CFD...

Additive manufactured safety structures

In a previous F1-Monitor, Dan Fleetcroft highlighted the advances made in rapid prototyped composite parts. Continuing on from this, another major development has been the ability to the manufacture metal components using selective laser sintering (SLS). The basics of the metal-based SLS are exactly the same as with polymer-based SLS systems; however, the engineering challenge in its development was ensuring that the components produced have the mechanical stability to perform on a par...

Suspension trends

The past few years have seen the leading Formula One teams continuously evolving their suspension systems, with designers taking some radical approaches to both front and rear set-ups. For the front suspension, the most significant trend was a move by Ferrari and McLaren to a pullrod- instead of pushrod-actuated system. Ferrari made the first move in 2012 with the F2012, and McLaren followed in 2013 with the MP4-28. The main impetus behind this switch was to optimise the front aerodynamic...

Manufacturing composites

In the perpetual search for improved mechanical properties and reduced mass, Formula One has a reputation for being the earliest adopter of new materials and technologies. Some of these are developed internally by the teams while the Formula One fraternity is often the first port of call for a company with a new performance-enhancing product, feeding new developments into the industry. The competitive advantage of any performance gain – combined with the large budgets, a pioneering...

The accelerator pedal

According to the regulations the accelerator pedal is, “The only means by which the driver may control acceleration torque to the driven wheels.”  No longer is the pedal simply a means of directly moving the throttles on the engine, as the rules now state that the driver demands torque from the pedal, with the ECU decoupling the traditional relationship between the pedal and throttle with a map. Such maps are now restricted to tyre type, so just three maps are allowed for...