Team Red Bull Racing poses for the end of season team photo during previews for the Formula One Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Carlos Pace on November 22, 2012 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Vladimir Rys)
If you’re like me — a passionate fan of Formula 1 — you were probably on the edge of your seat during the last race of the season in Brazil, during which either the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel or the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso could have won the championship. After a season of 20 F1 races, the fact that the contest was so close is a measure of the margins these teams work with. Anyone who has been to a race and witnessed these race cars firsthand knows exactly how close to the edge the cars and drivers are.
F1 Vehicles Most Technologically Advanced
F1 vehicles are the most technologically advanced in the world; they need to adapt each year to changing regulations. This often results in a team redesigning the car’s roughly 4,000 components to meet the demands of performance and safety. But not only that, engineering teams are continually improving performance between races — often having only two weeks between races to make a performance impact. With lap times for the leading cars differing by fractions of a second, improperly executing these changes from one circuit to the next can be the difference between being on the podium and not scoring any points. Continue reading
I read my coworker Gilles’ blog last week week, the one where he discussed Formula One, wind tunnels and CFD. It brought to mind an article I’d read a few months back geared around how software engineers power Marussia. I thought I’d use this information to jump into Gilles’ conversation from a different angle.
While there are typically hundreds of people on a racing team who work tirelessly behind the scenes to make the car quicker, using a computer and the right software is an essential part of what it takes to win a race, much less a season of races. Continue reading
The Formula 1 engineer is the royal class of automotive engineering. Even the smallest improvements in aerodynamics, engine performance, traction or durability can influence a team’s success or failure. Each of the F1 teams have a large number of highly qualified engineers working on each part of the car to improve its overall performance. Where do these engineers come from? Is there a given educational path a person should follow to get a chance to work for an F1 team? Next to a sound engineering education and the right motivation and will, probably not. But there are some initiatives that are helpful on the way to the automotive engineering summit. One of them is Formula SAE/Formula Student. Continue reading