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Front hub instrumentation

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Within the tight confines of a Formula One car, the need to record thousands of channels of data from hundreds of sensors means packaging instrumentation needs careful forethought. A case in point would be the need to place sensors around the wheel hubs, as various aspects of wheel, brake and suspension data need to be recorded. This area inside the wheel is only reached through slim wishbones, and with the limited volume available inside the 13 in wheels, space for packaging is at a...

Harvest festival

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First introduced in 2009 and then after a year’s absence again in 2011, energy efficiency in Formula One is set to take a further step forward in 2014. Initially called KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) the concept of energy recovery is being widened to the more generic description of ERS (Energy Recovery System). Thus, and seemingly at a stroke, the new regulations will improve the image of Formula One from simply an irrelevant ‘waste of time’ to a much-needed r&d...

Tyre wind tunnel simulation

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Formula One cars are probably the most definitive example of detail engineering taken to the nth degree anywhere in the world. This is not through choice for the engineers involved in designing the cars but a necessity in order to remain competitive under a stable regulation regime. Without the scope to introduce big changes to components, they instead have to optimise the areas they can develop in pursuit of tiny percentage gains. A close look at the floor of cars such as the 2013 Red...

Maraging steels

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There are many applications for high-strength steels in the modern racing powertrain. Their use allows us to make lighter parts and, given that race engine and transmission designers spend much time, effort and money on reducing mass, it should come as no surprise that they are so popular. There are some drawbacks with such materials though. As strength increases, it becomes more difficult to machine the component from the material in its hardened state. There are manufacturing processes...

When will we see a series hybrid racing?

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While Formula One and endurance racing sanctioned by the ACO (which organises the Le Mans 24 Hours) have shown leadership in recent years by encouraging or mandating the use of hybrid systems in racing, these have all been parallel hybrids – that is, engines that drive the wheels and whose output can be augmented by electrical or mechanical means. However, we have yet to see what might be ultimate expression of the hybrid system – a series hybrid. This type of hybrid still uses...