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Development of Honda’s Formula One con rod bearings

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Whether you are racing a go-kart or a Formula One car, the bearings that allow the reciprocating parts to rotate are of vital importance to both durability and performance. The sphere of Formula One engine development, while not unique, provides one of the sternest tests for bearing design, notably thanks to the ever-present battle to find a compromise between strength and frictional efficiency. For example, the development of ever-lower viscosity lubricants to reduce parasitic losses...

Limits to cam timing

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In anything but perhaps the most simple of designs the complete camshaft profile cannot be described by a single mathematical expression. Thus, when designing an engine camshaft, the profile will consist of a number of segments described mathematically and joined together to form a continuous surface, each segment being devised to create the motion desired at the valve. Where adjacent segments meet, this mathematical relationship has to converge to produce what is known as third-order...

Plasma,thermal sprayed coatings for use in electric,hybrid systems

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Whether we like it or not, hybrid systems – where we recover some of the waste energy generated when we burn fuel – are part of our future, whether this they be in our passenger cars or our racecars. Motorsport, certainly at the highest levels, has a choice as to whether it leads or follows. However, if it does neither, it will be isolated and will lose manufacturer support. I have had some involvement in motorsport hybrid systems over the past 15 years, some of it on the Panoz...

The Wooler engine

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We motorsport engineers are a lucky bunch; I tell people that, as an engineer, there are few areas of the engineering industry that can approach the rewards of Formula One in terms of the scope for creativity and the willingness of companies to explore new ideas. For many years, when the regulations governing motor racing were more liberal than they are now, we saw some incredible innovations, and a fair share of them came from the motorcycle fraternity. The incredible Honda NR engines,...

Aerodynamics and the cooling system

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The number one requirement of any cooling system is that it should be effective. By that I mean keeping the engine operating at its optimum working temperature for best overall performance, aligned to acceptable durability. At one time this was considered all that was needed, but vehicle manufacturers soon realised that while the pump used to circulate the coolant through the system absorbed useful engine power, the aerodynamic drag associated with the vehicle radiator (positioned as it...