#F1 Daily News and Comment: Saturday 7th February 2015

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Previously on TheJudge13:

#TJ13 #F1 Courtroom Podcast: You can prove anything with facts!!

#F1 Testing: Jerez Review – Sherry and Icecream

An open invitation to all members of the TJ13 community – “What do YOU want to know about our podcast crew?

Please use the comments section to ask an opening question for our podcast regulars to answer. Remember, the best answers are often given if the opening question is not F1 related. (Ed’s Note: What have we started!)


OTD Lite – 2008: How to lose a billion dollar fortune in seven years

Has Red Bull proven to clever for their own good?

Honda pursues innovation not imitation

The Usher’s Caption Competition


OTD Lite – 2008: How to lose a billion dollar fortune in seven years

On this day seven years ago – Force India unveiled its first ever car in a ceremony in Mumbai. The design was essentially the previous season’s Spyker with a number of detailed updates and a new livery. The drivers would be the ‘exciting’ pairing of Giancarlo Fischella and Adrian Sutil.

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Throughout 2008, the team didn’t achieve a single points finish although Sutil was seen crying after the Monaco Grand Prix after having been assaulted from behind by World Champion Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari whilst running in fourth place.

As to the title of this piece? Well, Bernie Ecclestone said early last year that the easiest way to lose a billion was by owning an F1 team. Whilst he may have been facetious with his comments – there was also a certain amount of truth too. The owner, Vijay Mallya has gone from being a billionaire with ownership of an alcohol corporation and his own airline to being named just a millionaire, having sold off the family jewels and with court injunctions in his native India.

With Force India’s current troubles escalating – will they soon become another chapter in one of BlackJack’sBriefs epic Top 20’s?

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The Grumpy Jackal

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Has Red Bull proven to clever for their own good?

As the sun set on the first tests of the 2015 season, most of the stories centred on how each team and driver had performed over the four days in comparison to one another.

The main news was that Mercedes seems to have started from where they left off and despite not registering any significant lap times – nobody was fooled by their inherent pace. Beyond this were interviews with the drivers and reports of louder sounding engines in what will be the second year of their cycle.

Of some interest from the car’s unveiling was Red Bull’s outrageous camouflage livery – which was designed to hide a number of their most interesting features from the prying eyes of other teams. Yet with a few days having passed since their running – the photo editors have been hard at work looking at the evidence collated in front of them.

With the S-Duct clearly in use once more and a circumvention of the rules being applied by having its feed mounted to the side of the nose structure – another picture has emerged which clearly shows the aerodynamics at work on what will likely be the last F1 car overseen by Adrian Newey.

As has become the norm since on track testing was banned, Red Bull ran with flo-viz paint on the front suspension to check how running the car on a circuit compared to their wind tunnel results.

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The paint clearly shows that the flow of air separates off of the suspension and part climbs the car where it is directed over the drivers helmet protection and then guided on to the rear wing whilst the remainder runs down past the Red Bull lettering and filters into the sidepod opening to feed the radiator for cooling purposes.

It remains to be seen if Red Bull run the same livery at subsequent tests because if its design is to ward off interested observers – it clearly hasn’t worked.

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Honda pursues innovation not imitation

It was reported last year that Mercedes would arrive at a Grand Prix, install their engine into the back of the Mclaren and once running had been completed that weekend would then remove it and return to base. The reasons? So as to prevent the Japanese Honda technicians from copying too many of their power units secrets.

The Japanese may have a reputation for copying and then perfecting other nations inventions but Honda have pursued their own design brief in what they regard as the best layout of their new design.

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The heat exchanger will be mounted high above the compressor to keep it away from the turbine which brings about a significant saving in weight. Contrary to Mercedes they have not separated the compressor and the turbo which remains close to the exhaust.

Of course despite moving the weight to the top of the airbox and thus raising the centre of gravity of the car the aerodynamic advantage should outweigh this. Although this was also the reason behind many of the Ferrari teams problems last year. They would go to extremes in regards cooling which would hinder the power unit but be recovered with aero performance… supposedly.

With the radiators returning to a more traditional layout for the Woking squad, the airflow should be much improved from last year. Of course many publications will credit Peter Podromou as the architect behind this decision yet he arrived merely six months ago and is unlikely to have had much impact on whatwould have already been a heavily discussed concept between Mclaren and Honda.

Ultimately, as demonstrated in Jerez, this is without doubt a work in progress – one which Fernando Alonso needs to be delivering results as quickly as possible if he is not to regret leaving Ferrari last year.

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The Usher’s Caption Competition

for an alternative view on F1, follow TJ13’s Usher

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18 responses to “#F1 Daily News and Comment: Saturday 7th February 2015

  1. Quite interesting – there’ve been a number of sites deciphered the Red Bull ‘bullsh’ cover up whilst McLaren’s solution has been left largely alone.

    • they should use an UV reacting solution to avoid the prying snappers and rivals of knowing where the flow is going … it is much safer to drag the car back to the pits and pass that UV light to analyse the flow than to do it with a sparkling bright green stuff

      • Just get a Fuji Nikon mount camera for forensic use, without the usual IR/UV cut filters, and a Coastal Optics apochromatic lens that can focus those wavelengths and you’re in business. Fujifilm restrict their camera sales, ostensibly to LE and government / medical but you can find older models about and it’s not hard to justify professional use of such a camera, for a engineering outfit. Those Fujis are very old spec, I’m sure you can buy more cheaply industrial cameras for common lens mounts that aren’t filtered, and get usable wide spectrum on more modern sensors. (the Fuji is at least ten years old, based on the Nikon D200, so may not be carried any more, ages since I paid any attention to such things) ….

        But surely teams spy on one another using thermal imaging and all sorts, already? Surely getting a idea of overheating tires and such like has in race strategy benefits. Not having ever tried such a thing, I can’t comment as to practicality, but I would be surprised if this is beyond even the small teams to attain.

  2. Seems to me Mercedes is working on last year’s weakness which was reliability. They have speed. Only races they lost last year were due to reliability issues and it appears putting in so many laps at Jerez was to work on that.

    • I know what you’e saying but I wouldn’t have thought “working on reliability” by just stroking their car around the circuit at a pace well below it’s capability would be terrible effective.

      To test reliability, surely you have to be pushing the car’s systems to their limit to find out what starts to fail first?? Then fix it, then push again until your fix or something else breaks???

      #155 of Taleb’s aphorisms: To understand how something works, figure out how to break it.

      • Roger, Mercedes could be sending the car out fully fueled and run the engine to race settings in order to evaluate race pace, tire wear, and reliability. That is stressing the system. Perhaps they will look at qualification pace next session in Barcelona.

      • Taleb aphorism 155 is something to the effect that ” is it the most unsuccessful people who give the most advice, particularly for writing and financial matters.”
        Not suggesting he doesn’t write about breaking to see how something works; just not 155.

        • We could do with a bit more of NNT’s oft acerbic, but instructional, wit, about F1 parts, I say!

          I was a early fan, hooked on his early tactical derivatives book and essay. I lost a argument over approaching him to edit a magazine on arcane failures in business and commerce about ’99, so we didn’t, something I kick myself over a lot, as we had no clue about what became his seminal work for which he is now notorious even. One of those things that could have “proved” we were a bit ahead of some curve or another… obviously not actually, but one could blah that in adland pretty effectively, had we..

          I’d love to hear what Nicholas Nassim Taleb has to say, if he analyzed F1, both as a investment at macro and at team and driver levels, and as a system.

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