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Thread: Question from an F1 Noob

  1. #1

    Question from an F1 Noob

    It's my understanding that car design is shrouded in much secrecy in the off season and the reveal of the new car design is usually the first time the public or other teams have had a chance to see the designs so here's my question: Did every team come up with the awful looking nose design on their own, or did one or two teams come up with it and share the news with the rest?

  2. #2
    Since there were rule changes for this season concerning the height of the nose ("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.") if you throw a bunch of super computers, engineers and car designers at this they will probably all end up with something slightly similar.

    I'm pretty sure McLaren has played with the Lego nose as well, but perhaps it just didn't suit the approach they had to their car.

  3. #3
    Thanks for the response. I didn't figure there was much communication between the teams but it makes sense that if they're all using the same or very similar design software that the end products will be similar.

  4. #4
    In addition to the nose height regulation changes, I read somewhere that McLaren uses a different type of front suspension which allowed them to avoid the "lego" step front nose.

  5. #5
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    However, note that there are some teams that have technical agreements with others. For example, Force India with the Mercedes engine masde a deal with McLaren for gearboxes, KERS units and technical advice.

  6. #6
    Oval & Road Racing Fan Mike Kellner's Avatar
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    I think much of it is they all have the same rules and objective, so they end up with similar designs.

    I assume you are speaking of the step in the nose. I found it interesting that they all came up with it except for McLaren. It seems counter intuitive to me. It has to be less drag to make the nose rise smoothly from the tip to the high point rather than an abrupt step. But, a big goal is managing airflow over the car, and the step may shape the air flow to the intake and rear wing in a way that is advantageous and McLaren missed it.

    Or it could deflect bugs away from the driver's visor.
    Racing: there is no substitute.

  7. #7
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    While the teams don't communicate directly most of the factories are fairly close together and staff are always moving from one to another so secrets don't stay secret for long.

  8. #8
    Oval & Road Racing Fan Mike Kellner's Avatar
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    I believe I now understand the reasoning behind the step nose. A bunch of factors led them to it.

    They want to have the floor of the tub as high as possible to cram as much air under the car as possible to increase downforce from the undertray.

    They need the vertical space in the front of the tub for the suspension bits.

    There is the abrupt change in allowed height in that area.

    They have to make a trade off. Lower the floor and reduce downforce but improve drag,or leave the floor high and accept the drag of the step. Because when you view the season as a whole, they spend lots of time in turns at 80 - 150 MPH where downforce makes a huge difference, and at the same time they spend very little time above 180 MPH where drag becomes a big deal. They are willing to take the drag on the few fast straights and loose a few hundredths of a second on each pass because they make it up and then some in the turns with the higher floor.

    Last year at Monza and Spa, Red Bull had one of the slowest cars in a straight line and everyone thought they'd be at a disadvantage, but their grip was so superior that they made it up in the turns and were the best cars there too. Even on the fastest tracks, downforce trumps low drag.

    Everyone except McLaren made the same decision to keep the floor high and trade downforce for drag.

  9. #9
    Makes sense to me although I'm more inclined to believe it's a bug deflector
    "The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right." - Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kellner View Post
    Everyone except McLaren made the same decision to keep the floor high and trade downforce for drag.
    I haven't seen a comparison between this year's McLaren and last, so I think it's still possible that they just had a lower nose and didn't make any decision but to keep it that way.

  11. #11
    Oval & Road Racing Fan Mike Kellner's Avatar
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    I think it's still possible that they just had a lower nose and didn't make any decision but to keep it that way.
    You could be right. I am just going on pix I saw of the new cars when they came out. I did not compare 2011 cars with 2012 cars.

  12. #12
    Oval & Road Racing Fan Mike Kellner's Avatar
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    Pix of the new Mercedes and it has a step nose too.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97553

    When you see if from the side, the step is really large.

    Like the guy from Ferrari said, a beautiful racecar is one that wins.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kellner View Post
    Pix of the new Mercedes and it has a step nose too.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/97553.
    Not sure if it is just the angle, but the Mercedes looks like it has a sharply pointed nose (against say the Ferrari which is a flat nose).

  14. #14
    Registered User Tippo's Avatar
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    McLaren had a much lower tub/nose last season than everyone else, it just wasn't as noticeable as the others could run their noses higher.

    There's a great picture here: http://hunnylander.files.wordpress.c...rison-line.jpg - that shows this. Look at the front wheel and how on the McLaren the wheels are noticeably higher than the car wheras they're not on the Red Bull/Ferrari.

    I don't think the outcome of their season is going to be dependent on the nose as they were the second quickest team last year with this philosophy. It's just more obvious this year.

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    Wow. Great picture, tippo. It's not just the noses, but all the way to the back all three cars have noticeable differences.

  16. #16
    Oval & Road Racing Fan Mike Kellner's Avatar
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    Tippo,

    Great pic, thanks. I wish you had one for this year's cars. It really is obvious how different the McLaren is. McLaren's side pods do not curve down as quickly as you move to the rear. The Ferrari & Red Bull look quite similar in side profile. The You can see how they kept the basic design and just added the step to comply with changed rules.

  17. #17
    Registered User Tippo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Kellner View Post
    Tippo,

    Great pic, thanks. I wish you had one for this year's cars. It really is obvious how different the McLaren is. McLaren's side pods do not curve down as quickly as you move to the rear. The Ferrari & Red Bull look quite similar in side profile. The You can see how they kept the basic design and just added the step to comply with changed rules.
    Here you go, found this on another forum (not my work!).


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    Certifiable Neshaminy's Avatar
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    The first time I saw one of the new noses I had a feeling I'd seen it before.........

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:X...echnicians.jpg

    .......on the nose of a Pegasus rocket. Amazing how the wind makes things look so similar
    Katharine's Legge is in the gravel!--Jenks

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