Tuesday, April 6, 2010

F1 TECH: New fuel tanks, trick wheels ‘N wings and tilted lumps

As I’m sure Y’all are painfully aware of by now, this year’s Formula 1 Challengers have become “BRAWNIER,” Err longer ‘N bulkier due to the new in-race refueling ban and hence the fuel tanks have effectively doubled in size. Although I cannot find any pertinent info on exact regulations, it appears that the fuel tanks have stretched from a maximum of 90 liters to approx. 250 liters. Thus, I’M assuming that THE Teams were free to play with the exact shape of said tanks which therefore can become either longer, wider or a combination of both.

The SPEED lads have noted that the increased fuel capacity now weighs about an extra 300lbs on a chassis who’s minimum weight has been increased to 620kg, (1,367lbs) from 605kg, (1,334lbs) having been done so for the usage of KERS vs. taller/larger Drivers being penalized for their additional mass...

Meanwhile there are several developments occurring constantly in Formula 1 as after all F1 NEVER SLEEPS! With some of these being:

The Mercedes MGP W01 is claimed to be utilizing a triangular shaped Airbox with some sort of splitter inside it vs. the traditional round/oval roll hoop structures for some sort of increased airflow/downforce.

The McLaren MP4-25 is running some sort of side body air snorkel contraption to reportedly dump air onto the rear wing to make it stall predictably to increase the car’s straight-line speed.

The Ferrari F10 and Red Bull RB6 have reportedly tilted the angle of their engine’s installation in order to allow for increasing the size/room of the all important rear diffuser, with claims that Ferrari’s 056 V8 lump is angled at 3.5 degrees, while Red Bull has altered the angle of the Gearbox, which also alters the rear suspension while McLaren is said to be utilizing a long/thin Gearbox to aid in its Aero-treatment.

Ferrari has come up with a new wheel molding that casts an Aerodynamic effect into it, along with auto locking wheel nut catches.

And with all of the conjecture over the RB6’s rear bodywork’s exhaust location, one has to ponder if this caused any trouble with Sebastian Vetttel’s car while he was leading in Bahrain? (As NO! It was a Spark Plug, yeah that’s the ticket...) As Mark Webber was previously sidelined with some sort of cooling/exhaust issues during practice.

For a better explanation of some of these developments, you may wish to check out James Allen’s new Tech Talk posts...

James Allen: Bahrain Tech Talk

James Allen: Melbourne Tech Talk

James Allen: Sepang Tech Talk