Saturday, January 31, 2009

F1 Steering Wheels + More

"Formula One boss Max Mosley 'exposed as sadomasochist in Nazi orgy with five prostitutes'." - Daily Mail UK
(Note: image below is not of Max Mosley.)

Got your attention? I love Formula One (F1) auto racing, with its combination of space age technology, industrial espionage, amazing driving and million-dollar playboy drivers (and executives) being bad boys, both behind closed doors and in public) Describing ex-Ferrari speedster Eddie Irvine, the Sunday Mirror once wrote:

"Fast Eddie's reputation - and his telephone book full of stunning women's numbers from around the planet - have made him the envy of every wannabe playboy. His yacht, The Anaconda, is regularly the scene of all-night parties... just as it was after the Monaco Grand Prix when the harbour echoed with its revels until dawn."

And of course - gaggles and gaggles of racer-chaser pit babes who don't know the difference between "prime" and "option" compound tyres.

It's like some 33 year-old JPL pacifist scientist's combo wet-dream of pit babes and the deployment of space-age, nuclear-war combat technology (that isn't actually nuclear or related to war). This post is primarily about the F1 Steering Wheel, so enjoy the videos, but don't forget to click on the rest of the links...they're there because I know you'll enjoy them. But anyway, back to that steering wheel:

BMW Sauber F1 Team's Nick Heidfeld speaks about his steering wheel.

On-board helmet cam shows Massa working the Ferrari F60 steering wheel (Italian)

Panasonic-Toyota steering wheel - Dieter Gass Chief Engineer (Race & Test)

Toyota F1 Steering Wheel

The Spyker team reveal the secrets behind the steering wheel.

We know that the steering wheel is an expensive component of cars that cost millions to build that are developed by teams with budgets in the hundreds of millions. And we know that F1 is facing a slight crisis with the loss of Honda - but did you ever stop to wonder just how much money is being thrown about that a global powerhouse like Honda decides its F1 investment is no longer prudent?

In March 2007, F1 Racing published its annual estimates of spending by Formula One teams. The total spending of all eleven teams in 2006 was estimated at $2.9 billion. This was broken down as follows; Toyota $418.5 million, Ferrari $406.5 m, McLaren $402 m, Honda $380.5 m, BMW Sauber $355 m, Renault $324 m, Red Bull $252 m, Williams $195.5 m, Midland F1/Spyker-MF1 $120 m, Toro Rosso $75 m, and Super Aguri $57 million.

If you're interested in the Future of Formula One, before attacking the stock news coverage and forum posts, consider Wikipedia, which does a good job summing up the current crisis, and a review of their article will help you get your head around the thinking behind the rules changes for 2009:

* Along with changes to bodywork, vehicle weight and tyre size, the document included details of a "Kinetic Energy Recovery System", or KERS. This is a regenerative braking device designed to recover some of the vehicle's kinetic energy, which is normally dissipated as heat during braking. The recovered energy could be stored electrically, in a battery or supercapacitor, or mechanically, in a flywheel, for use as a source of additional accelerative power at the driver's discretion, albeit with limits on the maximum output and duration of the bursts per lap.

* After being banned since the 1998 Formula One season, the 2009 season marked the return of slick tyres to the sport, provided by Bridgestone.

* There will also be a cap on team budgets starting in the 2009 season.

* Section 3.18 of the regulations contains details of "driver adjustable bodywork". The angle of incidence of elements in a defined area forward of the front wheels can be varied by up to 6 degrees and adjusted by direct driver input. A maximum of 2 adjustments can be made on any lap. In post-season testing in Spain, BMW Sauber were the first team to test such a system on a modified F1.08 chassis.

Oh, did I mention the pit babes?

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