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Previously on TheJudge13:
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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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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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