Super Aguri-technical Analysis
Posted 04 January 2006 - 05:53 AM
“Provided you enter such an exercise accepting that while you wish to field the best possible car - you are simply not in a position to do any better than make the car legal with a "best-guess" package of aero,” he explained to us.
The Arrows A23 (which fought its last Grand Prix at Hockenheim in 2002) was powered by a V10 (Cosworth, with Bernoldi and Frentzen behind the wheel). The installation of a V8 from Bracknell (headquarters of the Honda Racing engine department) would not be without its problems. The mass and centre of gravity between a V8 and a V10 are different and furthermore the 8 cylinders would need to be mounted to the car via spacers, pieces of carbon and metal that fill the gap left by the V10, which would reduce the package's stiffness and increase vibration, the Achilles' heel of the V8.
“I suspect that weight will be their biggest enemy (hurried re-working tends to add weight - and I'm willing to bet the A23 was not a "light car" to start with). However the 2006 motor, being a V8, will be lighter and it'll be shorter and probably have a slightly lower crankshaft centeline-height,” Mark added. “But that's all surmountable because spacers can be constructed from lightweight (but rigid) blocks of carbon or similar and the fact that the motor ends-up "not quite as low" in the car as possible is okay - well, as an interim step anyway.”
There may also be gearbox issues to contend with because the motor is likely to spin a little faster, so different ratios would be needed to create a larger reduction in rpm (from motor to rear-wheels). This could be a problem (gears are long lead-item pieces) but it should be possible to have what's needed by the start of the racing season in 2006.
“In fact, the weight distribution will be somewhat flexible - because the team could chose to place spacers ahead the motor (moving it as far aft as possible) - and conversely they could chose to move the motor as far forward as possible by placing any necessary spacers behind the motor,” Mark added.
Mark was actually involved in just such an exercise in his first year at Tyrrell, back in 1988. They realised that the car just kept getting better the more they moved weight onto the front tyres and so they continually did this by lengthening the car that year, by placing spacers between the engine and gearbox, first 6inches, then 8inches, then 10 and finally 12-inches !!!
“Each time the car was faster and it was carried-over into the beginning of 1989 - where it out-qualified the all-new 1989 car - but the Technical Director at the time (Harvey Postlethwaite) elected to switch to the (his) new car anyway,” he explained.
He also had a similar (unpleasant) experience in 2002 at Jaguar Racing when the rear-suspension was redesigned in his absence (threedays) because of major structural problems. When Mark returned, he found his original design "shot-to-pieces" because the new position of the rear-lower wishbone passed directly through the undertray.
“We re-designed the undertray in 48-hours (by guesswork) but it then took 6-months to make a big-enough gain in the underbody to warrant an upgrade (due to the replacement tooling costs). It wasn't an event to be proud of but the fact is that guesswork (and near panic) are surprisingly good at getting you 95% of the way there....!!!” he said.
F1 contenders move fast, not only on the track but also in the design offices and in technical regulations, which were recast in 2005. The Arrows A23 does not comply with the new hand dealt by the FIA and its aerodynamics would have to be completely redesigned to enable it to line up on the starting grid in 2006. Winglets, bodywork, height, engine cover and therefore the cooling system, sidepods, winglet mounts, and suspension would all have to be totally redesigned to keep the A23 from looking like it showed up to the wrong race.
But, with an experienced aerodynamicist by their side, they could probably work with the old Arrows and simply use experience and guesswork to shape pieces that would be legal in as little as a few weeks. The composite-design, tooling and manufacture could occur by late January, if they start in mid-December.
“Clearly making a package of pieces that performs as well as (say) the McLaren would be impossible and (anyway) McLaren will have moved forwards since 2005 - so simply copying them would yield a somewhat second-rate result,” Mark added. “However, Super Aguri are not trying to beat or even match McLaren - they are simply trying to get going and meet the regulations - and I would maintain that doing that is not really too difficult.”
In conclusion, Mark thinks that it is entirely feasible to get Super Aguri onto the grid in 2006 using the A23, but…
“It won't win a race (it won't get anywhere near) - but it's possible to make a good fist of it, get the team running and move forward.”
Surely that's a better proposition than having a year in the wilderness?
and if you dont want to read my posts,no on is forcing you
Posted 04 January 2006 - 08:07 AM
"You just don't mess with Jacques Villeneuve" - Murray Walker, 1997 Hungarian GP.
"When Jacques was with us, he was a very aggressive driver, fiercely competitive, mentally hard as nails. Very quick with it, very gifted. A bright fellow, undoubtedly, very intelligent. He was an absolutely born racing driver - look at the way he'd bang wheels with Michael, pass people on the outside, that kind of thing" -Sir Frank Williams on Jacques Villeneuve
"This year, with BMW, JV's going very well, and I'm pleased for him. Whether or not he'll get a drive next year I don't know, but I hope he does, he's an unusual, and very strong addition to the F1 community. A character." - Sir Frank Williams again on Jacques Villeneuve
The Nojvnof1 2006 driver lineup - Jacques Villeneuve, Nico Rosberg, Christian Klein, Scott Speed.
Posted 04 January 2006 - 10:54 AM
Listening to: Cracker - Kerosene Hat
Dig that jive, Jack. Put it in your pocket, and don't look back.
Posted 05 January 2006 - 03:21 PM
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