Archive for the ‘Motorsport’ Category.

Events

A talk by John Hedley at iVEC on 6 – 15 September 2010 entitled Computer Graphics and the Natural Environment.

Australian Festival of Speed on 28th November 2010 at Barbagello Raceway. Including an appearance by Formula 1 racing driver Mark Webber doing laps in a Red Bull F1 car (no word yet on whether it is an RB6). Looking forward to it.

Flywheel Accumulator

A cool video from Porsche about their effort at the Nurburgring 24 last month. It focusses on their hybrid 911 that captures braking energy and stores the energy in a spinning flywheel in place of the passenger seat. The energy can then be used to drive electric motors in the front wheels.

As I understand it, the flywheel is an evolution of the version developed by the Williams F1 Team for the KERS rules in the 2009 F1 season.

24 Hours Of Nürburgring

Porsche 918

Looks stunning.

Not posing.

I love a good Porsche ad.

Found via Jalopnik.

Predictions for the Australian F1 Grand Prix (Part 2)

More notes. I’m already starting to doubt some of the details in the previous post. McLaren, for example, are being very downbeat about their chances. Apparently the car still has some issues.

Red Bull
I have a lot of respect for Adrian Newey as a designer, so I hope that the “beautiful” car that he has designed will also be fast. Webber’s injuries during the winter will have interfered with his preparation and I think that Sebastian Vettel will have a better handle on the car for the first few races. I expect RB to be ahead of Toro Rosso, but still mid pack.

Toro Rosso
I don’t really know very much about the STR car but I’ll include the team for completeness. I guess it is either last years Red Bull with updated aero, or perhaps they have managed to get hold of a few 09 chassis from Red Bull. I have followed Sebastien Bourdais since Champ Car and am glad he kept the seat at Toro Rosso. I don’t know too much about Sebastien Buemi either, I’m sure he has the potential to be quick, but as a rookie, he’ll probably need some time to settle in.

Toyota
I just read some news that Toyota have been able to keep their controversial “double” diffuser. This should give them a big advantage this weekend. Trulli and Glock are solid drivers, so they may be up around 3rd or 4th this weekend.

Renault
When I was over in Brazil last year, many of my friends told me that they didn’t like Nelson Piquet Jr (Nelsinho) because they felt he had never worked very hard for his success and instead inherited it from his father. I think Fernando Alonso is a great driver and I expect him to make the best of a mid-pack car.

I’m not really in any position to have any deeper insight into the performance of the cars, so all of this is just conjecture based on past performance, off-season news and other nebulous factors. Anyway, it was fun to write and it should be fun to see how wrong I was on Sunday.

Predictions for the Australian F1 Grand Prix

I thought I’d just write a few lines about how I think each team will go in the Formula 1 season opening round this weekend in Melbourne.

McLaren
Have been accused of ‘sandbagging’ in recent testing sessions by some pundits, while others claim the relatively poor performance of the car is due to significant aerodynamic issues. They have confirmed the Melbourne car will feature a KERS. My feeling is that McLaren is a professional team and they should be on top again.

Ferrari
Nothing special to report here. They will be using a KERS. I expect them to be quick, Massa quicker than Raikonnen. I do like Raikonnen though, so it would be good to see him come back and have a great year.

BMW
Have suggested that they will leave the decision to run a KERS until as late as Saturday. Team boss Mario Theissen has suggested that the power boost advantage is offset by the extra weight and the impact on tyre wear. I don’t know why they would leave the decision so late, BMW is a high-tech team and must have modeled the effect of a KERS very accurately. Maybe they are still working bugs out of the system. I think that BMW is fundamentally stronger than Renault, but there is an outside chance they will be behind Renault this weekend.

Brawn GP
The former Honda team will have had a very disrupted off-season with the struggle to find a buyer. I have to believe that this will have slowed the pace of development of the car. Running Mercedes engines this year is a step up from the Honda engines of last year but the chassis/aero can’t have had enough development. I don’t know what they have been doing to have such great times in testing recently, but I can’t see it happening in the race. I’d love to be wrong on this one too.

Williams
Have already spoken about trying to do enough this year to retain the services of driver Nico Rosberg. This seems like a defeatist attitude. Sometimes large-scale rule changes such as those seen this year can provide an opportunity for mid-tier teams to make a step up, but I think that Williams is likely to stay about the same.

Force India
Once again bringing up the rear. They have had limited testing during the winter and driver Fisichella has already spoken of looking forward to a new aero package and KERS that won’t be available for the first few rounds of the season. Mercedes engines this year.

I’ll try to add some thoughts about the other 5 teams soon.

Honda leaves F1

Honda announced at the end of last year that they would leave Formula 1 due to the the effects of the global economic climate. Now that the have found a buyer for the team, they have posted a thankyou note on their website. I’m sorry to see them go, Honda has a true motorsport pedigree. I am reminded of this advertisement that expresses the spirit of Honda.

The Honda F1 team was bought by Ross Brawn, a former technical director of Ferrari, and renamed Brawn GP.

RB05

Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and the RB05

Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and the RB05

The new Red Bull Racing Formula 1 car, the RB05, was unveiled today. I’m sure some aerodynamic changes will be made before the first race in Melbourne in late March. Nevertheless, the new, lower, wider front wing can be seen, along with the absence of winglets along the side of the car. The slick tyres look great and not even the tall thin rear wing bothers me in this photo.

I wonder if Webber will finally have some luck this year. Hopefully breaking his leg in the off season will have been the last of his troubles. I can’t wait to see how Webber and Vettel compare driving the same car.

Photo from redbullracing.com