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Additive manufactured safety structures

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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

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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

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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

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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...


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It’s all too easy to oversimplify the electronic installation on a modern Formula One car – the ECU usually gains the most attention – but supporting that is a host of other hardware devices, all part of the car’s overall system. We have covered the ECU in a previous F1-Monitor. The triangular box is often sited inside the cockpit in the ‘V’ below the driver’s legs, while some teams mount it in the sidepod. Being air-cooled, the sidepod location is...