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Formula One’s new powertrain control

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2013 will bring in a new ECU to control the Formula One powertrains. Provided to all teams via McLaren Electronic Systems, the TAG-320 is the first step towards the major change in powertrain rules for 2014. As a method of controlling costs and driver aids, the FIA elected to introduce a Single ECU (SECU) supplier into Formula One in 2006. With suppliers invited to bid for the contract, it was McLaren Electronic Systems (MES) who won the tender process; MES duly introduced its TAG-310B...

F1 – 2014 the new era

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Setting aside the Yuletide festivities for yet another year, Formula One teams will now be looking towards the 2013 season and the first test session at Jerez in February. During the next couple of weeks therefore, for engine suppliers this will mean final assembly and sign-off of dyno testing of the last of the 2.4 litre V8s, since come 2014 a totally new power unit design is to be unleashed. With its new-found wish to ‘assist’ the wider automotive industry, V8 engines...


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In Formula One, every decade sees new off-track technologies pushing car performance on track. In the 1980s, wind tunnels became the ‘must-have facility’; in the 1990s CAD and CFD systems revolutionised car design, while the first decade of the 20th century has seen simulators emerge as a vital development tool. Initially introduced as driver training aids, simulators are now at the stage where they can also be used to actually develop a car, referred to as ‘driver in the...


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The class of metallic materials known as superalloys have been developed over several decades primarily to meet the needs of the aero engine industry, in particular their requirement for materials that can operate reliably at high temperatures. Despite a genuine desire in the aerospace industry to limit their use because of cost, they remain stubbornly unbeatable in terms of performance by less expensive alloys. There are some very obvious applications of superalloys in motorsport,...

Fuel Cells

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Most of the recent technological interest in alternative energy has been directed towards either hybrid systems or full electric vehicles. Not only are these the two main directions of development in the passenger vehicle market outside of conventionally powered cars, these technologies also represent the predominant developments in racing in terms of embracing environmentally friendly technologies. Whatever the arguments about the true environmental impact and economic viability of cars...