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Everything posted by Autumnpuma

  1. Gilles' Eyesight

    WINDSOR'S F1 Racing's Grand Prix editor Peter Windsor is a former Williams team manager and commentates for US-based motorsport channel SPEED TV. As such he offers a unique insight into the 2007 season so far
  2. More Hp For Ferrari

    Ferrari introduced a new engine spec in Spain; this was in order to resolve a problem with the pneumatic valve system. This raises two points; why are they allowed to change a frozen engine specification and what are the pneumatic valves? Since the end of 2006 F1 engine specs have been frozen, this was a move to further reduce the costs for the engine suppliers. It was introduced even after stringent standard engine specifications and limited engines over season were introduced. Since the first homologation of the engines, teams have been allowed to retune the engine for different RPM limits and also to accommodate KERS. Offsetting this has been the increase to the parts covered by the specification freeze. Teams are however allowed to make changes to the their engines for reliability reasons, this applies both to resolving issues that have ‘blown up’ engines, as well as impending failures. To request a change, teams have to apply to the FIA outlining the reason for the change and the resulting changes. This information is passed around the other engine suppliers, this transparency helps to reduce excessive changes and reassures teams what their rivals might or might not be getting up to. While the fundamental reason for this dispensation is to aid teams with reliability problems, any ‘reliability’ change could also bring a performance gain. This could be either as a direct result of the ‘reliability’ change i.e. lighter part making more power, or as a secondary result, i.e. new valve seat material allows a different fuel for more power. Clearly any possible advantage will be taken by the manufacturers when making changes to the engine. Ferrari had an issue with leaking pneumatic valves; this meant the car may not be able to last a full race distance without the system being topped up. Thus Ferrari asked for and gained approval to make alterations to their valve system to resolve the problem. Pneumatic valves are universal in F1 and have been for decades, first introduced by Renault on their V6 turbo engine, they replicate the effect of valve spring in closing the poppet valves in the cylinder head. Where as a valve spring could do the job, they are more difficult to manufacture to cope with ever higher RPMs. Although F1 engines are now limited to 18,000rpm, these pneumatic valves have worked on engines revving to over 20,000rpm. Metal coiled valve springs, suffer from harmonic and fatigue problems at higher revs. While still resolvable, these issues are simply cured with a switch to a pneumatic valve return system (PVRS). Instead of a valve being closed against the cam by a coil spring sat in a pocket in the head, the pocket is sealed by a cap and the resulting closed cylinder pressurised with nitrogen gas creating an airspirng. Of course the PVRS set up can lose pressure and F1 cars run with small nitrogen cylinder housed in the sidepod to keep the system pressurised. Sometimes when excessive leaking occurs, the car is topped up at a pitstop by a mechanic with a hand held gas cylinder. In Ferraris case their problem was that their system had always ‘leaked’ to some degree, but with a ban on the longer fuel stops, pit stops are now too short for effective repressurising. Thus they applied to have their system altered. It is understood that the Ferrari solution takes some lessons from the Toyota teams’ experience, possibly through the new Ferrari Engine Head Luca Marmorini, who also ran Toyotas F1 engine operation until the end of 2008. A different PVRS set up, with different seals and revised oil formulation to aid sealing, the engine is now believed to be more powerful by some 12 horse power. Quite a gain from a change in this era of frozen specification. Source: Craig Scarborough --- I thought this was interesting as it sheds some light onto why, under homologation, engines differ in performance.
  3. Arse Air

    So. I've been pondering something that I heard or read somewhere. It might have been Brundle, but someone made the comment that a lot of teams design their rear wings and diffusers to purposefully disrupt the air behind the car to screw up any passing that the trailing car might attempt. After watching Oz, and seeing a number of drivers pulling off passes left and right only to get stymied behind certain cars, I got to thinking that Brundle (or whomever it was) might just be right. It's mighty odd that Hamilton was passing everyone he came upon until he got behind a Ferrari. At that point he began complaining about his tyres going off-form. That's rubbish considering his rears showed no more or less graining than his previous set when he was passing cars. It's also telling that Alonso, who is known for his ability to overtake, was stuck behind a slower and sloppier Massa. Ok, I know, blame Ferrari for everything. But hey, if I see a duck, I'm shooting. And I see a duck (or ducks as the case may be). Renault also seem disturbingly hard to pass but Red Bull do not. I can't decide about McLaren yet, but I'll be watching. Judging by how much dicing was being done back on the grid, I would guess the lesser teams are more focused on efficiency than chicanery. With the exception of Lotus. I'm going to watch them as well. I'm more and more convinced that DOF's suggestions have merit. We've gotten some mechanical grip back with the slicks but have killed 10% of it with narrow front tyres. We've induced understeer by raising the front wing to a silly height and we've let the teams design a back-end that can prevent a trailing car's overtaking moves. We need to lower the front wing and get bigger front tyres. We need to standardize the rear wing and diffuser. These changes alone will solve the overtaking problem even if we keep all the other asinine rules that have been implemented. Really, just standardizing the rear wing and diffuser will do it, but in for a penny in for a pound...
  4. Dan Gurney'S Accident

    In 1971, while I was still sucking the teat and soiling my nappies, Dan Gurney affixed a piece of sheet metal to the trailing edge of a race car's rear wing and invented the Gurney Flap. This little device has been widely used on race cars, airplanes and helicopters since then. This ingenious device causes a bubble of air to form right at the trailing edge of an airfoil. On a race car, this little bubble has the effect of increasing the size of the airfoil (wing) and, as a result, increases downforce generated by that wing. With very little drag. Like I said, ingenious. Red Bull has one affixed to their diffuser. This is significant because the length of the diffuser is limited by the rules, but with a Gurney Flap on there the diffuser suddenly becomes longer...and generates quite a bit of downforce. As with everything F1, there is more to Red Bull's speed than this. They are also blowing their diffuser. Basically, their exhaust exits low and blows over the top and bottom of their diffuser. An old concept, but one that Newey has always liked. Blowing the diffuser on the top and bottom does two things...the bottom makes the air flow faster below the diffuser, creating a lower pressure area that generates downforce and the top make the air go faster over the Gurney Flap. As I said, blowing diffusers were common in the '80s and '90s but teams stopped doing that because in the 90's the engine suppliers wanted a shorter exhaust (remember Ferrari's top-exiting exhaust?). It appears that the new engines can have the longer exhaust so Newey has run back to the blown diffuser idea. Blowing a diffuser has problems, though. You get heat from the exhaust blowing on the inside edge of the rear tyres and you get an uneven flow of air over a lap because the air coming out of the exhaust is dependent on throttle position (the faster you're going the more air...the slower you're going the less air). This explains perfectly why the Red Bulls were the only cars able to take the fast Turn 8 in Instanbul flat. The other problem is that you need a higher rear wishbone assembly to accomodate the lower exhaust. You also need ceramic or gold foil coating on the rear suspension bits to prevent the carbon fibre from melting. None of these problems are insurmountable, but some teams with a low wishbone assembly will have a big redesign ahead of them to match Red Bull. Add all of this to the Renault engine's better fuel consumption and you get a good explanation of the Red Bull's speed. (Remember, greater fuel efficiency means less fuel in the tank...lighter car=faster car and lighter car=the ability to run a lower ride height setting). It will be interesting to see which teams will adopt Red Bull's system.
  5. Telemetry, Dr. Watson....

    Here's a good article on how to read current (this year's) driver telemetry. The article linked takes you through the parts of a team's telemetry from Monaco this year. It's a bit techy, but good if you take it slow. So pour some coffee and sit back and enjoy. I'll post a bit of the article below so you can get a taste but the actual article contains nifty images. *** During every GP broadcast, we see the drivers sat in the car in the pits, reviewing print outs of the telemetry from previous laps. Using them to understand the car and how to extract better laptimes from it. Earlier this year an F1 fan offered me a set of telemetry sheets, they found discarded in a Monaco pit garage. These sheets compare the laptime of two team mates around a lap. With this unique opportunity we can start to understand how the driver benefits from this data. So I had Brian Jee, a ChampCar/IndyCar Data Acquisition/Electronics Engineer to look at the sheets and explain what the data was and how the drivers can review it to see where they lose time compared to their team mate. Brain has written this following analysis to introduce us technical F1 fans to the world of Telemetry and Data Analysis In order to maintain the teams anonymity, I have deleted the teams, driver, lap time and session details. Please do not speculate as to which team this belongs to, or I will have to remove this thread. Telemetry and Data Analysis Introduction Before we can begin to discuss analysis of the data presented on this sheet, we must first understand its origin and purpose. The software that created this sheet is called ATLAS, an acronym for Advanced Telemetry Linked Acquisition System, developed by McLaren Electronic Systems (MES). ATLAS has become the standard data acquisition package in the F1 paddock due to the use of an FIA spec MES engine control unit on all cars. The entire data acquisition package consists of on-board car data logging electronics and transmitter radio, transmitting data via radio frequency to telemetry receivers in the garages. The receivers decode the data and operate as central servers of the decoded data to distribute it over a local ethernet based network. Any appropriately configured PC computer, running ATLAS software, can simply connect to the network and receive data from the telemetry receiver server. The simple ethernet architecture of the data distribution network also lends itself to an ease of sending the live telemetry back to the factory to engineers and strategists. Data is referred to in two forms; “Telemetry” is live data, and “Historic” is logged data or also backfilled telemetry. The hardware and infrastructure of the system is beyond the scope of this discussion, but is fundamental to understanding how an engineer would receive the data and with what tools he or she would interact with it. (There's more at the site) *** ""'>"
  6. Kabloom!

    Imagine the races we would have had so far without all the engine drama. I've seen many engine formulas come and go and I must say the current v8 is horrible. With the revs it is forced to pull, it shakes itself to pieces! All in the name of cost-cutting and slowing down the cars. Toro Rosso has shown us the light. With a total cost of 11 U.S. dollars per car you can restrict the dependable v10 to achieve slower speeds. There, cost-cutting and slowing the cars all in one fell swoop! Makes too much sense, so I imagine it won't work for current F1...
  7. Racecraft: Defined

    There have been alot of posts (including my own) making reference, in some vague fashion, to 'racecraft' and I thought I'd have a go at defining it. Racecraft takes into consideration the whole 'package' of a driver's skill during a GP weekend. It does not take into consideration testing effectiveness unless it's in the context of GP weekend decisions, such as tires, suspension adjustments, etc. Racecraft should be assessed over a season and not for a handful of races. Saturday practice affords the first opportunity to guage a driver's racecraft. Good racecraft will let the driver pull his car's balance together to rapidly and consistently to post quick times. Drivers who struggle here are lacking in the 'car set-up' facet of racecraft. Note: posting quick times should be seen relative to their teammates or a competitor that is close in 'level' (you wouldn't judge Montiero based on his times against Kimi). Qualifying is straightforward. Qualifying position over the whole of a season is an indication of racecraft. Racecraft during a race is the ability to take all circumstances/liabilities and turn them into a finishing position that is higher than the qualifying position. Perhaps I'm stating the obvious, but it seems that alot of us are posting about this or that driver's 'racecraft' without fully thinking about what racecraft is. I leave it to the moderators to delete or move this post as needed.
  8. Are We Losing F1? Or Has It Been Lost Already?

    This season is proving what I (and many others) have been saying....more dependency on mechanical grip in the twisty bits will bring us back to that antiquated sport called 'racing'.. Downforce has always been a wild goose chase. Somewhere along the way we lost the basic ingredients to racing: Ballsy drivers, grippy tyres and powerful engines. If one keeps adding up more and more downforce and aero cleverness, you reach a Rubicon of sorts.
  9. Alonso To Mclaren: A Possibility Or Mere Mind Games?

    Alonso has nowhere left to go. He'll see the sunset of his career with Ferrari.
  10. Might want to re-think that one... You've left me with nothing more to say except...Perez is better than the Hulk. I've said he had quality in his rookie year and it's nice to be right sometimes
  11. Big Ron: "there Are Similarities Between Ayrton And Jenson"

    Actually, he didn't possess any natural skills in the wet. I seem to recall hearing or reading something about how he was unhappy with his performance in the rain and deliberately went out in the rain with a kart until he was satisfied with his wet-weather driving. Try to get a hold of some footage of Jean Alesi in the wet. Masterful.
  12. Sounds About Engine Noise

    I used two cards; Ace and Jack of Spades.
  13. Impressions Of 2014

    Seems they were dancing with the Devil anyhow. More power than grip left most of the drivers really digging down deep for some talent to help them manage the cars. I think this is a good thing. But then, I'm not into the whole 'innovation' thing so the current cars just don't bother me much. I'm here for the drivers. Put them all in shifter karts and I'd tune in just the same. I can appreciate the speed but only so far as it makes the cars require talent to drive in anger. After all, Clark, Rindt, Amon and many others delivered up some of the Golden Era's best drives and many become Legends....all in cars with much less power and noise than the 2014 F1 cars. It really isn't about the cars, and it never will be. Cars change but courage and skill are constant.
  14. Impressions Of 2014

    2014. My back hurts each morning. My hands look old and I've a new-found fear of heights. Despite these irritants, my impression of 2014 is rather good. My impression of the racing is even better. Through sheer luck, the FIA have managed to string together a hodge-podge of rules that actually place a premium on a driver's skill. Glory be. I actually giggled after qualy. I had an enjoyable time watching the race and seeing all the 'nobodies' from previous years shine a bit and outperform their more experienced teammates. They might have had a bit of an edge, though. The general lack of grip probably seemed to them a bit familiar; they knew how to cope with it. The older guys, more used to having downforce spoon-fed to them, seemed to have a tougher time coming to with the new cars. Give them a few races and they'll adjust. And pardon my sweeping generalities. I've always been prone to them and as I get older it's getting worse, generally speaking... Hamilton. Dear Lord how that tattooed, hip-hop wannabe gangsta can drive a car. Of course it's lucky for Merc that a Brit didn't win the 100th race for them. A bit of a problem with the engine software? Excellent luck for the publicity machine that is Mercedes. Anyway, brilliant drive by Nico as well, but damn, Hamilton sure lit up qualy. I suppose folks that remember me won't be surprised I'm praising Hammy. But. One gent out there made me forget Hamilton was out of the race. This driver looks like the boy my daughter brought home last week, but when he's in that silver car all I can see is Mika Hakkinen. Don't get me wrong, I'm still the founder of the First Church of Hamilton. Amen. But perhaps there's room for a Danish with my coffee before the sermon.
  15. Fermenting A Discussion, Part Deux

    That *is* a shame. Plenty of great small breweries around here. One in particular, New Belgium, is one of the finest. I wonder if you can get Canadian beers over there? One of the best I've ever had is from those Frenchier-than-French quebecois over at the Unibroue brewery called 'trois pistoles' (le fin du monde is good too). If I were to offer anyone a beer to represent North America, trois pistoles would be the one. ugh. Olympia. Only slightly better than Hamm's. Tip 'o the hat to a fellow former Marlboro man; I gave up that habit year ago (even put up my pipes...tho I still smell the bowls now and again..)
  16. Fermenting A Discussion, Part Deux

    For years I've looked at Russ' avatar and read his interests as 'Adnams Broadside'. I always thought it was a darned shame that such an intelligent guy couldn't even spell 'Adams' correctly. I recently found out that he not only could spell like the spelliest speller, he also had great taste in beer. I had been browsing the English aisle at the local Bev'Mo and spotted the name and was shocked it was a beer. I had assumed it was one of those whiskies with a strange name. Of course I had to get it. It poured with an average head, and had a dark red appearance and was utterly tasty. Very sweet and fruity with just enough bitter to wash it down and not kick your tastebuds in the a## on their way through. This last point is good, and exceedingly rare in American-brewed beers these days and I'm happy to find English beer is still more sensible about the hops. This is a beer that is properly brewed and balanced with enough complexity to keep you buying more bottles. Interesting to note that a respected American beer review website,, gave this beer a lower score on average that I would have. I chalk this up to the rather simplistic and narrow view we Americans have about beer. If it doesn't fit squarely into a category, it's not liked, regardless of the taste. Also, beers with lots of hops are all the rage over here these days and there seems little room in our collective beer palate for a sweet beer. Though it was fun imagining Russ as a horrible splellerr, it was more fun discovering this beer.
  17. Big Ron: "there Are Similarities Between Ayrton And Jenson"

    Excellent! My favorites were the snowmen strips. That was a good one.
  18. Fermenting A Discussion, Part Deux

    What about the Asian beers? Different taste to the rice-based stuff, but not bad.
  19. Heh. America has very few champions, yet I agree with Insider here. (Not about the paranoia, well, maybe...I don't know you after all...but about the topic).
  20. Help Save F1 Bernie

    Interesting viewpoint here. I need to ponder it more before elaborating, but I agree with you, 100%.
  21. Big Ron: "there Are Similarities Between Ayrton And Jenson"

    Years ago there was a comic strip in the papers called 'Calvin and Hobbes'. I loved that strip. I clipped days out and posted them by my desk. I bought all the subsequent 'collections' books. But as a result adoring Calvin and Hobbes, I limited my enjoyment of the other strips. To this day I cannot read the sunday strips...they just aren't funny, or witty or poignant in the way Calvin and Hobbes was. Worshiping at the altar of Senna is much the same, and I hate to see someone go down that road. Admiring the ability Senna had behind the wheel is good, but look around the landscape a bit and you'll see other great drives and drivers out there, past and present, with moments of brilliance that sometimes eclipse even the man-god Senna.
  22. Impressions Of 2014

    You're right. Dear me. Now y'all will be subjected to my drivel on a monthly basis, in an effort to have a more complete impression!
  23. I know this will be a boring response, but here goes: There is no such thing as 'fair' because 'fair' is based on your point-of-view. That's why sports sometimes seem 'unfair'...there are too many points-of-view for a steward or referee to please all of them. The best then can do is stick to the rules. They often fail even at that. But there is one constant: The rule-makers' decisions are final. If there's an appeal process, you make use of it. If that process goes against you, then you live with the results. When any team enters Formula 1 (and any regulated sport) they accept that the stewards (or refs) decisions are final, regardless of 'fair' or 'unfair'.
  24. Sounds About Engine Noise

    So F1 cars are no longer unique because they aren't as loud as last year? Is that really what you're saying? I want to be sure of that before I go further.
  25. Is F1 Over Regulated?

    Newey is good, no doubt, but there were many years that his cars *didn't* dominate. After Newey left McLaren, they still did alright. But to give Newey his due, Red Bull was crap before he designed their car.