Thursday, 1 November 2012

F113 Update

It has come to my attention that this car would be illegal under the current British rules (and other places are considering similar rules) as the suspension mounts for the front are just outside the body. Kinda makes me re-think a little about the whole F1 front suspension issue and when does scale appearance become subsidiary to car performance and innovation. 

I think the problem may stem from what people "expect" a suspension to look like. I think most identify with a rose joint style suspension which is quite easy to see the characteristics of. However F1 cars use flexures and have done for some time. Its actually quite feasible that the suspension joints ARE outside the body. Certainly in this picture of the Red Bull RB8 its almost impossible to tell where the suspension arm ends and the tub begins.

My best guess based on the picture and the technical description that went along with it is that the molded carbon fiber additions cover the actual flexures, which these days are made from carbon fiber, though some are still made from Titanium and bonded to the arm, while the thick carbon blocks visible at the bottom of the tub are the end of the flexures bonded to the tub. The covers would be 99% for aerodynamic considerations, but I can't discount needing to have the joint covered for rules purposes as I don't have intimate knowledge of F1 rules. Most of suspension movement actually occurs outside the tub.

What this says to me is that while the current F104 etc suspension appear scale they are actually not representative of real F1 suspension so its hard to use the scale argument as a reason to not allow a particular suspension. Each suspension should be assessed on its merits to representing an F1 suspension and the new 3racing suspension is actually getting closer to current "real" F1 suspensions, with the FGX option front suspension probably the closest.

So what does it all mean? I am not really sure but I still want a F113.