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« Pachito Lopez Confirmed - Monday Announcement From Argentina | Main | It is Official - Pechito Lopez Announcement »

January 23, 2010


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Large Eddie

Interesting thing about the transverse 'box idea: The change gears in F1 transaxles have been getting narrower and narrower, partly because of better materials, surface treatments, and design tools, and partly because input torque has dropped each time engine displacement has been reduced. That's why they could switch back to longitudinal layout, because the stack of ratios got short enough to fit between the clutch and the differential, rather than hanging over on the other side as in VWs, Porsches, and classic Hewlands.

I'm just guessing, but what I think they might have found is that Emco can make gears narrow enough that even positioning them transversely won't bother the rear aerodynamics much. And that has to be really skinny since the differential flanges in current F1 designs are only about 90mm apart.

One report says that Ferrari had to increase their car's wheelbase by 150mm (6 inches!) compared to '09, which was already pretty long. Being able stay shorter could be a big win, giving a lighter, stiffer, and more nimble car.

Another interesting question is how much of the car, or its concept anyway, carried over from the Falcon IRL car that many of the same designers worked on. The pictures of the raw castings for that car look like they were probably for a transverse design.

Fascinating, as you say. I'm really looking forward to see how this plays out--for all the new teams really.


The unique approach by USF1 to 'source-out' the car to different companies is certainly unique and could be the future of F1.


The team said that their design was "innovative" and it certainly is. Both of these aspects transverse gearbox and coil over suspension are very different from the norm
Undoubtedly the transverse gearbox will give them a markedly shorter wheelbase and I very much suspect a greatly reduced change in the cars balance as the fuel load reduces.This could well be a major factor in the cars handling characteristics changing as the fuel load reduces.It would appear that this would result in a far more stable CoG than existing designs.If by using this suspension set up,they are able to change the ride height during a pit stop,that will be a tremendous beneft in the latter stages of the race.The two of them together,stable CoG plus optimum ride height for the entire race the mind boggles at just what a difference this could make.


Hey Large Eddie. Thanks for the info. That all makes perfect sense to me. I do not know much about gearbox internals, but I am fully aware of the importance of the CoG. With the 400mm width limit (measured from the longitudinal centerline), the tank must be longer than the 2009 spec to accomodate the extra fuel. It must be in front of the engine and no further forward than 300mm from the rear most portion of the driver's back. This makes the car longer by a considerable bit.

The largest fuel load that I remember from 2009 was Alonso at Abu Dhabi at a starting weight of 708kg. He stopped for his only time on lap 34 after using about 100kg. If we extend that rate of fuel burn through the last stint, his total fuel requirement would have been about 170kg.

To go the distance without refueling, his tank would have needed to be 70% bigger than it was. And, Renault is rumored to be the most fuel efficient in the field.

So yes, the cars will be much longer in '10 unless they can somehow shorten the car from the front of the engine to the centerline of the rear wheels.

But I doubt they will find 150mm!


"The unique approach by USF1 to 'source-out' the car to different companies is certainly unique and could be the future of F1."

Paul, this has been the 'future' of F1 for many many years now. Gearbox internals, suspension parts, brake discs & pads, fuels & lubricants, fuel tanks, CFD/wind tunnel analysis, electronics, sensors, steering wheels, the wheels themselves.. the list goes on & on..

John Bilson

now it's their car is different , they need a great drivers with experience for developement like Bourdais...


And we couldn t forget that Seb bourdais is well known in USA....


lopez es otra pieza diferente...


desarrollo el auto que alonso salio campeon.

Large Eddie

Flood1, I saw where you posted my comment on I've been reading as a visitor there, not daring to join because I'm afraid it would eat up even more of my life than I'm already spending following F1. And also because they might be mean to me. :-)

And I'm proud to see that it wasn't immediately dismissed as the ravings of moron. There was some good substantive discussion in fact, with math and everything, so thanks for putting it up there. I had no idea about the 12mm minimum gear width in the rules. That does seem to significantly limit how narrow they can go.

I followed one suggestion on the board and zoomed way in on the photo of the bare tub posted around Christmas, the one with Nick Craw in the background. The transaxle in that picture definitely looks way narrow down low, but seems to flare out quite a bit maybe above 100mm the bottom plane. So maybe that means something. It's hard to make out much more than that, with my tired old eyes anyway. Yeah, that could put the squeeze on the double-deck diffuser, although that'll be a non-issue after this season so maybe they just live with it for a year.

Regarding c/g, I'm figuring that you'd want it to change very little between full and empty tanks to preserve balance. The fuel load would be arranged to maintain the same weight distribution as dry, right? And by the F1technical comments, a transverse 'box might relocate the engine maybe 100mm further back. But Bridgestone is making the front tires smaller this year because teams had such a tough time getting enough forward weight last year. Shifting the distribution backward might just throw away the very gift that they're being given.

I guess that's what they're getting paid to figure out though. We'll know soon enough whether they got it right or not.


I guess you noticed that I post over there as Professor. I don't have much to say, but I found you comments very useful to my understanding.

They did take the comment seriously and moved forward with the discussion and some good stuff came from it.

I have been uncertain about the CoG issues for awhile. I am not able to model the different scenarios as I don't have the raw data necessary. I'm not sure if you can build a car that is neutral when empty and still neutral when you add the 160 or so kg fuel load.

The problem is that the fuel load is stuck between the driver and the engine and without dramatic wheelbase changes it seems as if the car would always be "rear heavy" and mreso when empty.

I guess it depends on how much ballast one can fit in the splitter.


Yes Alberto, Pechito did help develop the car that Alonso drove to the championship.

Car Suspension

I like this car from ferrari. I just been in watching Formula 1 recently. It is really cool and incomparable excitement. Hope to watch it live.

Drop Suspension

That's why F-1 came to be an international motorsport. One of my dream is to build an F-1 car, too.

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