Racecar Engineering

Asset management

2020 has been a peculiar year. Apart from the immense Covid-19 test operation the FIA has successfully mounted to enable a World Championship that qualifies as such to take place, the only significant technical activities in F1, apart from DAS (dual-axis steering) have been to do with the regulations.

DAS, Mercedes’ driver-operated front tyre heating system, was deemed too expensive for others to copy, and so summarily banned for 2021. Ferrari’s 50-odd horsepower gain in 2019 was discovered by the FIA, but so clever was it that it couldn’t be proven, allowing pundits to hypothesise and participate in 2020’s favourite pastime of creating conspiracy theories. Racing Point’s strategy of copying a Mercedes as closely as it could, but painting it pink, and rising up the finishing order opened up the possibilities of the hand-held photogrammetry and laser-scanning techniques now available.

With so much of the current cars either of fixed specification eg tyres, frozen, or of no longer significant technology that affects performance differentiation, there is diminishing technical interest for Racecar readers to pore over and enjoy.

Much of the current and next few years’ F1 cars can be purchased from competitor constructors, and more and more of the composite and smaller parts are subcontracted out by teams, indicating again that they do not contain critical technologies.

There is still technical interest in the design, simulation, manufacturing, control and strategic software that so dominates the whole creative and racing activity of F1 but,

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