Wednesday, 22 December 2010

F1 Car Design To Return To A Simpler, Happier Time

The 2013 Ferrari prototype got to 390mph before exploding
From 2013, sweeping new rules will force Formula One car designers to abandon huge aerodynamic wings and seek other ways of generating downforce - taking the much-criticised race series back to an earlier era of mechanical simplicity in the vain hope that drivers might actually have a go at overtaking the car in front, instead of sitting comfortably on its tail for 64 sleep-inducing laps and hoping that its wheels fall off or something.

“I – whoops, slip of the tongue – the FIA committee asked Patrick Head and Rory Byrne to apply their years of experience to the problem of audiences all over the world falling into deep comas,” said Formula One owner Bernie Ecclestone. “And they have decided that it’s all the fault of these aerodynamic aids, whose ability to keep the cars going where they’re pointed falls off dramatically in the turbulent air of another car’s slipstream.”

“An F1 car really only needs two things: power and traction,” explained Williams engineer Patrick Head, “Although Bernie is adamant that a passenger of some kind is necessary for the TV ratings. So we’ve stripped the design back to basics. All cars will have to use a 56-litre turbocharged Allison V-3420 engine, which can bang out 2600hp on war emergency power - although teams will have to bear in mind that only 150 of these monsters were ever made, and at the end of the season the world’s aviation museums will want their exhibits back in reasonably good nick. This 24-cylinder dinosaur will also eliminate the advantages gained from clever pit stop strategy, as every car will have to come in on each lap to refuel.”

“With no fancy aero packages, we hope designers will use their imaginations to come up with exciting new ways to keep their cars on the tarmac,” suggested Ferrari’s Byrne. “For example, in a throwback to the reverse ground-effect techniques of yesteryear, the 2013 Ferrari will use the extraordinary suction of James Dyson’s revolutionary vacuum cleaner to cling to the road like glue.”

“I understand that McLaren and Renault are already fighting to get Hoover on board,” he added, “And there are indications that Force India have just put in quite a big order for Pritt Sticks.”

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