Hoping to see Vettel earn another drivers championship
RB8 aero changes
Like Sauber, Red Bull have seemingly been inspired by the 2008-spec Ferrari, which featured a vent on its chassis to improve aero balance. In line with current FIA regulations (holes in the nose's lower section were outlawed after 2008), Sauber's solution appears on the top of the C31's chassis, behind the car's stepped nose. Red Bull, however, have opted for a different solution with their chassis duct positioned at the step itself (yellow highlight). This opening allows air to flow into the chassis (blue arrows). The official line is that this has been designed to help cool the driver in the cockpit, but it's possible there could be an aerodynamic advantage, or that it could help cool the front suspension's inerter damper.
Red Bull chief technical officer Adrian Newey has seemingly designed the RB8's rear suspension so it can be aerodynamically influenced by the air flowing from the newly-positioned exhaust exits (see yellow arrows). All the suspension's components (red arrows) - even the driveshaft - feature wing-section profiles with a thickness to width ratio of 3:5. It's interesting to remember that Newey was the first engineer to introduce a large wing section on the wishbone and driveshaft of the Williams FW16 back in 1994. At the end of the '94 season, however, the FIA banned the solution by introducing the aforementioned 3:5 ratio rule.
ferrari f2012 changes
The new Ferrari is so radically different to its predecessor that it represents a completely fresh start for the Scuderia in terms of the fundamental parameters of the car's layout. The wheelbase is at least 8cm longer and there is now pull-rod suspension at the rear. Introduced by Red Bull back in 2009, the pull-rod system had been copied by every team by the end of 2011, except Ferrari and Sauber (who run Ferrari gearboxes). Interestingly, the Italian team have also introduced the pull-rod concept at the front of the F2012, the first time this has been attempted since the Gabriele Tredozi-designed Minardi back in 2001. Viewed from above, the changes are clear to see. The nose (1) is positioned higher, is flatter and squarer in shape and much shorter in length than that of 2011's 150° Italia. The front (2) and rear wings were evaluated at last season's final races, but the stepped nose (3), which now drops from the maximum chassis height of 625mm to the newly-regulated 550mm, is new. You can tell that the wheelbase has been extended from the revised angle of the front suspension wishbones (4), but because of the large loads placed on the almost horizontal pull-rod link at the front, its dimensions are very similar to a more traditional push-rod link. At the request of Fernando Alonso, the driver's seat is much more upright (5). The crash structures at the front of the sidepods have been integrated within a wing section (6) and attached to the boomerang winglet. The undercut at the floor is much wider (7) and there is a much bigger footstep beneath (see yellow dotted line) as a result of the more pronounced 'cola bottle'-shaped bodywork (8). The radiators are much smaller (9) and have been installed differently. At the back, to allow the rear to be as low as possible, there's a longer and less tall gearbox to compliment the new pull-rod suspension (10). The exit of any hot air is concentrated in a central hole around the gearbox, whilst the gearbox radiator is on top of the gearbox casing.
In order to optimise airflow under the car, Ferrari are now exploiting the maximum permitted chassis height of 625mm (10), hence the F2012's nose (1) is actually higher than that of its predecessor, the 150° Italia, even with the much-talked-about step. The wing pillars (2) are very wide and similar to those on the 2011 car, but the camera's positioning (3) has been changed slightly to improve the airflow under the car. It's also worth noting the near-horizontal angle of the front suspension's pull-rod link (4) compared to 2011's push-rod link angle (see black arrows), a change that should bring aero benefits as well as a lower centre of gravity. The F2012's sidepods have a large undercut (5) and are higher on their outside edge (9). The openings to cool the radiators (6) are smaller, taller and more triangular relative to the 150° Italia's, whilst the sidepods' deformable crash structures (7) are linked to large vertical turning vanes designed to optimise airflow around the sidepod. A new smaller fin (8) has also appeared. Another interesting feature is the revised airbox (11), which boasts a second smaller inlet like the McLaren, designed to cool the oil radiator on top of the gearbox.
It's been 11 years since pull-rod front suspension has been used in Formula One racing. Back then it was the Gabriele Tredozi-designed 2001 Minardi. This season it's the 2012-spec Ferrari. Interestingly, both then and now one of the drivers at the wheel is Fernando Alonso. This drawing compares the traditional push-rod suspension (left) with Ferrari's pull-rod layout (right). With the pull-rod layout the springs and dampers are positioned lower in the chassis, which reduces the front suspension's centre of gravity. Also, in the case of the F2012 the pull-rod link (right-hand black arrow) is angled almost horizontally, which may help aerodynamically. But there are drawbacks to this arrangement. Even though in theory the pull-rod link can be thinner than a push rod, its extreme angle here neutralises any potential weight gain. Furthermore, because the pull rod is mounted to the top wishbone, greater loads are applied to the wishbone, which hence has to be stronger - and heavier - than it would have been.
2012 rule changes
In order to increase safety, for 2012 the FIA has decided to lower the height of the car's front section, primarily to lessen the chance of one's car's nose intruding into the cockpit of another in the event of a side-on collision. As can be seen in this diagram, the height of the chassis immediately ahead of the cockpit can still be up to 625mm above the reference plane (PR), but then in the space of 150mm it must fall to 550mm. This is expected to lead to some rather awkward-looking, stepped-nose designs on the 2012 cars, including Ferrari's new machine.
revised exhaust designs
For 2012 the FIA has effectively banned blown diffusers by placing new restrictions on the positioning of exhaust exits. These can no longer be on the floor immediately ahead of the diffuser (red cross), but must instead be further forward and higher (black arrow). Furthermore, as seen here the final section of the exhaust pipe (one each side of the car) must be straight and completely round in section, with no internal divisions.
As part of moves to outlaw blown diffusers, the FIA has imposed new restrictions on the positioning of exhaust exits for 2012. There can only be one exit on each side of the car and it must fall within the yellow dotted line shown here. In practice this is a box 700mm long (between 500mm and 1200mm from the rear axle), 350mm high (between 250mm and 600mm above the reference plane, RP) and 300mm wide (see separate article for overhead view). On top of that, the last 100mm of the pipe (red arrow) must be straight and round in section, and must be angled between 10° and 30° longitudinally.
As part of moves to outlaw blown diffusers, the FIA has imposed new restrictions on the positioning of exhaust exits for 2012. There can only be one exit on each side of the car and from an overhead perspective it must fall within the yellow dotted line shown here. In practice this is a box 700mm long, 350mm high (see separate article for side view) and 300mm wide (between 200mm and 500mm from the car's centre line). On top of that, the last 100mm of the pipe (red arrow) must be completely straight and round in section, and must be angled by no more than 10° transversely, relative to the centre line.
The new restrictions on exhaust exit positioning for 2012 are likely to lead to much simpler exhaust systems relative to 2011, as highlighted here. The lower exits positioned on the floor are no longer allowed (lower half of drawing). Instead the exits must be located within a smaller, strictly defined area. The result should be shorter, less intricate designs, with less variation between teams - though never underestimate the ability of F1 engineers to innovate...
ferrari nose vs mclaren
McLaren is the only team thus far not to choose a stepped nose for their 2012 car, with the British squad opting to keep the whole front end of their chassis lower to comply with the new regulations on nose height. In contrast, Ferrari have increased the height of the F2012's chassis to 625mm above the reference plane (RP), the maximum height permitted in the rules. The Ferrari's nose then drops quite brutally, via a step and within the required 150mm, to a height of 550mm, also specified in the regulations.
I can't STAND the Speed coverage of F1!! They're so ignorant and annoying. It also seems like they just showed up and are covering the race from afar, whereas it seems like BBC is actually integrated into the whole circus. Also, BBC = no commercials, and a far better/longer pre-race show.
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engineers often work better with rules, constraints, and sometime when left to there own devices and too much freedom, come up with some really bizarre stuff that isnt very useful.
i find the writing of the rules to be the most interesting. because a fine line must be made, to allow for the creative teams to keep pushing the boundaries, but still keep things reasonably fair, and still a drivers sport ... its a fine line.
Originally Posted by kwik!gti
Being an engineer on one of these teams must be the best and worst job around. Best because you need to find that little bit extra within the rules but worst when you see that the other team does it better. Well, that may be a best also since you then need to go back and find the little bit extra.
I enjoy the SPEED commentators but they really should be sent to all the races as opposed to just sending one guy to go hang out in the pits.
Looking forward to Austrailia, I really hope Ferrari is trolling everyone and they're actually better than their testing form suggests. I would love to cheer for a winning Ferrari team again but if I can't there's always Red Bull, at least I know they'll be winning.
Last edited by ErikGTI; 03-06-2012 at 01:00 PM.
bbc has people on the ground, tons of interviews, awesome footage and professional montages. also constant insight from people who raced in f1?
im curious to see how the bbc/sky's thing is going to work out this year.
Seriously, the UK presenters make John Madden sound intelligent. The amount of biased and just flat-out incorrect crap that's spewed forth from the UK guys (and gals) is ridiculous.
Speed guys are watching the world feed and commentating. While its amusing to hear Varsha or Hobbs' commentary, they just don't have the same access to stuff. And having Matchett as the expert has outlived its promise as really he doesn't have the depth to talk about what he tries to talk about....
Can someone explain to me why the FIA changed the rules for exhaust designs for the 2012 cars?
What's so wrong with dividing and routing exhaust piping to strategically exit towards the rear lower aero' structures?
Is the FIA slowly moving towards a future of "NASCAR-like" restrictions related to F1 vehicle engineering?
For example, last year at Brazil, Martin Brundle was comparing the Turn 4 DRS zone--where they now dump rear downforce--to how hard it used to be to put the power down through there in the turbo days. Speed's coverage has absolutely nothing on that. (and by the way, are you trying to claim that Speed is fully unbiased and always factually correct?)
Plus, John Madden is a moron. Maybe Tim McCarver could compare.
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