Archive for August, 2014

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Mark Webber third in his Red Bull in the race won by Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari…

RB6… was the fourth car for Red Bull by modern design guru Adrian Newey, in the pantheon of design greats such as Jano, Porsche, Chapman, Barnard and others. The RB5 was the class of the back half of 2009, winning six times and placing second in the constructors championship. RB6 was an evolution of that car, and one of his best designs, up there with the Williams FW14B and McLaren MP4-13.

Red Bull attenpted to get Mercedes engines for 2010, the engine the perceived shortcoming of the package. They were unsuccessful, so the Renault RS27 was used again. This 2400cc, 90 degree, 32 valve V8 developed circa 750BHP at a rev-limited 18000RPM.

The fuel tank was larger than RB5, this change driving a host of detail changes. The chassis was a full carbon fibre and honeycomb monocoque carrying the engine as a fully stressed member, gearbox a 7 speed semi-automatic, incorporating ‘seamless shift’.

Front and rear suspension used aluminium uprights, carbon composite double wishbones, with coil springs and anti-roll bar. Pushrod (pullrod at rear) actuated multi-matic dampers.

Brembo provided the brake componentry, calipers and discs being carbon fibre, and Oz the wheels. The car weighed 620 Kg with either Sebastian Vettel or Mark Webber aboard, RB drivers unchanged from the previous year.

The car was immediately the class of the 2010 field, qualifying particularly well. Other teams had suspicions around a claimed ride-height lowering device, none were found. Later in the season the teams front wing was seen to be ‘dipping’ to produce extra downforce. The FIA then increased the loads imposed on the chassis test to eliminate this possibility, but this seemed to lessen not eradicate the suspicious ‘flexing’ of the front wing assembly. In terms of aerodynamic innovation, 2010 was the year of the ‘F-Duct’, McLarens’ clever device to stall airflow over the rear wing on straights and thereby increase top speed. Like most other teams Red Bull adopted their own solution which was effective enough to maintain the advantage their overall package had.

The cars reliability was wanting at times, Vettel in particular lost wins in Melbourne and Korea as a consequence.

Looking at the car objectively… the overall package was great, with the aerodynamic component, as is always the case with Newey cars, and the pull-rod rear suspension which endowed the car with outstanding traction, the aspects which particularly stood out.

The team would have slaughtered the opposition but for greater reliability and inter-team rivalry, the team officially at least not favouring one driver, ‘bullshit’ according to Webber and most knowledgeable pundits. Still, in my view RB are to commended for allowing the drivers to race, albeit some of the pit-to-car directions on engine and other settings favoured Vettel, not Webber, so whether they were racing on equal terms is a moot point.

It is a long time, if ever, ‘The Marquis of Queensberry’ attended a GP…and if i were a Team Owner i would definitely be imposing my will to optimise the teams’ result and ferk the drivers, and punters for that matter!

All a question of which hat one chooses to wear in these matters!

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Cutaway drawing of RB6 (Haynes)

By the time the drivers arrived in Singapore… Vettel had 2 wins and Webber 4, but Vettel came home strongly winning 3 of the final 4 rounds and with it his first World Drivers Championship from Alonso and Webber. Not the result we Aussies wanted at all. Red Bull also won the Constructors Championship.

I’ve been to Singapore many times, but not for the Grand Prix, sadly. The main images which drove this short article capture its key elements and ‘nightime nature’.

These cars have been hit with the ‘fugly’ stick to my mind but are veritable beauties compared with this years offerings.

Still the Lancia D50 had a similar inpact in 1954 so i guess controversial design in F1 is far from new, mind you the whole field looking and sounding like dogs is!

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Fernando Alonso, Ferrari F10, winner Singapore GP 2010 (Darren Heath)

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Mark Webber, winner in RB6 Monaco 2010 (Pinterest)

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Mark Webber, Monaco 2010 Red Bull RB6 Renault (Pinterest)

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The sheer joy of a Monaco victory for Mark Webber and the Red Bull team, his diving form developed in Queanbeyan…(Pinterest)

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Aerodynamic elements of chassis, barge boards, and sidepods. Red Bull RB6 (Haynes)

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Suspension elements (Haynes)

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Gear clusters (Haynes)

For those with an interest in the Technical Elements of Modern F1…

scarbsF1.com

Photo and Other Credits…

Pinterest, Darren Heath

ScarbsF1, ‘Red Bull Racing F1 Car’ Haynes

The End…


 


 

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Everyone in Victoria particularly, if you see or hear anything about Rohans car or componentry; chassis, Golf race engine, Mk9 Hewland etc please get in touch with me, many thanks, mark…

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Fantastic shot of JYS on his way to victory throwing around the ‘twitchy’ , low ‘polar moment of inertia’ Tyrrell 006…

 The win was Stewarts 25th, equalling the number of Championship wins achieved by his friend and compatriot Jim Clark.

Stewart started the season in his trusty 005 but raced 006 from the International Trophy at Silverstone , the car carrying him to 5 victories and the world title that year.

Whilst Stewart won the drivers title the manufacturers championship went to Lotus, reigning champion Emerson Fittipaldi and teammate Ronnie Petersen scrapping and taking wins between them , which, in the absence of team orders , stopped Fittipaldi winning a pair of titles ‘on the trot’…team orders, and some times their absence are not new in F1!

Lotus were not the only team with 2 ‘number ones’ that season.

Stewart had Francois Cevert as his Tyrrell teammate again ,they were close friends as well as competitors with the master freely acknowledging Cevert had his speed , and then some , that season. But Francois was a team player and knew his turn , and time would come.

Sadly, it didn’t with his death in an horrific accident in practice at Watkins Glen, the final GP of ’73.

Stewart did a couple of laps in 006/2 in the final session to try and work out what happened to Francois, pitted his car and walked away from F1, as a driver , as he had planned earlier in the season , for good.

Jackie retired with 27 championship wins from 99 races, Cevert perished not knowing he would have been Tyrrells team leader in 1974…

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Jackie Stewart leads Francois Cevert, Monaco 1973. First and fourth respectively. (Pinterest)

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Francois Cevert & Jackie Stewart in 1973 (Pinterest)

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Werner Buhrer cutaway drawing

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Photo Credits…Werner Buhrer, Michael Turner

Tailpiece…

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(Michael Turner)

 

 

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How is your beaujolais cherie? Moss victorious in his Maserati 250F from Peter Collins and Juan Fangio in a Lancia Ferrari D50,  Jean Behra 3rd in another 250F…

In fact Fangio finished equal second sharing Peter Collins D50…and equal fourth in ‘his’ D50 sharing it with Eugenio Castellotti. He also won his fourth World Championship that year. His final was won in 1957 in a 250F, giving the marque the success it well deserved, and in the nick of time too, the 250F, long lived and carefully developed as it was had peaked, the mid engined Coopers showing the future path.

Customer Grand Prix Cars for All…

Moss started his post HWM/Connaught grand prix aspirations with the family purchase of a 250F in 1954. He was scooped up by Mercedes Benz as a result of his performances in the car to drive their W196 and SLR Grand Prix and Sports Cars alongside Fangio in 1954/5, returning to the Maserati in 1956.

The fact that Maserati made available the 250F to all comers with ‘the readies’ made a big difference to grids in the mid ’50’ as competitive cars were available for the first time in relatively large numbers. The growth of Non-Championship Grands’ Prix on the Continent was in part due to the availability of the Maser and therefore grids of depth and quality.

Many drivers cut their Grand Prix teeth in the cars, the last 250F graduate grand prix driver retiree was Chris Amon, who departed F1 in 1976!

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Mid 50’s State of The Art…

Amons 500BHP Ford Cosworth powered, winged ,’slicked’, monocoque Ensign N176 was somewhat different to the front engined,  ladder framed, skinny tyred, 240 BHP Maserati in which he started his GP career in New Zealand.

The 250F was the ‘state of the art’ in the mid ’50’s. Not as avant garde as its contempories the Mercedes W196 and Lancia D50, but state of the art all the same.

Clothed in bodywork worthy of the finest Italian courtiers, to me it is the best looking front engined grand prix car of all. It epitomises everything that was, and is great about Italian design, engineering, styling and construction.

The cars performance matched its looks, it made its debut in the 1954 Argentinian Grand Prix winning the race in Fangio’s hands.The 250F won 8 Championshp Grands’ Prix in total and countless Non-Championship events in the hands of dozens of drivers through to 1960.

26 cars were built but of course many more than that exist today…

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Design & Build…

The car was designed by Gioacchino Colombo, fomerly Ferraris’ Chief Designer, and Valerio Colotti and evolved from Maserati’s A6GCM 2 Litre F1 car.

The 250F featured a multi-tubular space-frame chassis of small diameter  chrome molybdenum tubing. De Dion rear suspension was used, the De Dion tube  mounted in front of the transaxle to move weight forward within the wheelbase, lowering the cars ‘polar moment of inertia’ or in simple terms its ability to change direction. The gearbox was transversely mounted in unit with the ZF ‘slippery’ differential, and was initially 4 speed, but later became 5 from 1955.

Conventional double wishbone front suspension was used. Brakes were 13.6 inch finned alloy drums, the fuel tank mounted at the rear contained 200 litres.

The engine was a superb, torquey straight 6 cylinder, DOHC 2 valve per cylinder, twin plug unit displacing 2494cc. It was fed by 3 twin choke Weber DCO3 carburettors, twin Marelli magnetos providing the spark. The engine initially developed 240BHP, later circa 275BHP @ 8000RPM in 1957. Maserati produced a 2.5 litre V12 for the 250F in 1957, the car was tested extensively and raced once by Behra, 9 years later it won Grands’ Prix in Cooper chassis’.

The car weighed 650Kg, distributed 48/52% front to rear.  It was 4050 mm in length, had a wheelbase of 2280mm, and a width of 1980mm.

Wheels were Borrani aluminium alloy, wire spoked with centre-lock hubs, sizes  15×4.5 inches circumference/width front and 16/5.5 rear.Pirelli tyres were used by the works cars.

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Its All About Balance…

The 250F may not have been the fastest or most powerful car of its day but it was the best balanced, allowing the driver to fully exploit its potential. Stirling Moss observed ‘It steered beautifully and inclined towards stable oversteer which one could exploit by balancing it against power and steering in long, sustained drifts through corners. It rode well on the normal type of relatively smooth surfaced course, although its small coil spring and leaf spring rear end would use up available suspension movement over the bumps at the ‘Ring’.

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Historic Context…

Even though the car was not the fastest for most of this period it was still competitive every year, and raced in large numbers, it sort of ‘underachieved’ really. But a lot changed from 1954 to 1957, lets call those the 250F ‘sweet-spot’ years and those circumstances were a lot to do with its results.

In 1954 the Mercedes Benz W196 appeared and re-wrote the record book. The fuel injected, desmodromic valve actuated straight 8, space frame chassis and ‘tool-room’ quality of its design and construction put everything else into perspective. Mind you, its advantage in 1954 was maybe more to do with Fangio’s driving than the car itself. Maserati had Fangio for the first few Grands Prix, he won with the 25oF in Argentina. When Fangio went off to Benz Maserati did not have a ‘number one’ of sufficient calibre. My contention is that had Fangio driven the 250F in 1954 Maserati would have won the title. Fangio was ‘the depth’ in Mercedes team that year.

Into 1955 the Benz hit its straps, Vittorio Janos’ fabulous Lancia D50 finally appeared in Spain.It was in many ways the equal of the W196, bristing with innovation as well; V8 engine, with the engine a stressed member, very light, pannier tanks to centralise the fuel load equally throughout the race, and of superb quality.

Moss had finished 1954 as a quasi-works Maserati driver, they needed him in 1955 but he joined Mercedes.

Ascari, Lancia’s star was killed at Monza testing Mussos’ Ferrari. Shortly thereafter the sensational ‘shot-gun’ marriage of convenience was consumnated between Ferrari and Lancia when the cash-strapped Lancia, unable to fund its race program, gave its Lancia D50 cars, spares and designer Jano to Ferrari, bereft of a competitive car having stuck with its 4 cylinder F2 derived cars for way too long, and being short of cash to fund a new car in any event.

Maser had Jean Behra as their lead driver in 1955, but they needed somone quicker. In 1955 Maserati was not going to beat the Benzes, even if Moss had stayed with them.

Further change occurred when Mercedes Benz withdrew from racing as a consequence of the 1955 Le Mans disaster when one of their 300SLR sports cars driven by Pierre Levegh collided with Lance Macklins’ Austin Healey. The war was not long ago over, 80 people had been killed, Benz had achieved their short-term aims so it seemed prudent to withdraw.

Moss and Behra lead Maserati in 1956, had Moss a car which was more reliable maybe he would have won the title. Mind you, ’tis said he was hard on cars. The Lancia-Ferrari D50 was progressively bastardised by Ferrari who had a strong team of Fangio, Collins, Musso, and Castelotti. Fangio got the best out of the car, and aided by some generous sportsmanship by Peter Collins at Monza, allowing the maestro to use his car, won the title for the fourth time. Maserati were competitive throughout, the title with more luck could have been won by Moss.

In 1957 Fangio won Maserati the title they deserved despite stiff opposition from Moss in the Vanwall, now reliable and with a Colin Chapman designed chassis and Frank Costin body, very fast.

By 1958 the 250F was finally passe as a competitive mount.

As has always been the case teams need to have the best drivers, Maserati’s budget perhaps the obstacle to achieving that. My thesis is they should have won the title in 1954 with the right driver, in 1956 with more luck/reliability and in 1957 finally won the title, Fangio doing for Maserati what he had done for Mercedes in 1954/5 and Ferrari in 1956…bringing that little bit of magic, speed, intelligence and mechanical sympathy which sparates the ‘gods’ from the mere mortals.

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Superb Michael Turner painting of Moss, Monaco 1956

Finito…

Moss won the opening, Argentinian round of the 1958 season in Rob Walkers Cooper Climax, the mid-engined revolution had begun.Mike Hawthorns’ Ferrari Dino 246 was the last front engined car to win a World Championship that year, Fangio had retired, and Maserati, drowning with cash-flow difficulties, were placed into ‘Controlled Administration’ by the Italian Government.

It was all over, other than privateers achieving success in Non-Championship events, the car, for a while longer serving the same purpose to privateers as it had back in ’54…

Fangio’s 250F Virtuosity, Modena Circuit, 1957…

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Superb 1956 Bernard Cahier shot of Moss on the Monaco Quayside, late series 250F lines shown to good effect the ‘Piccolo’ of ’57 even prettier…

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Monaco GP start ’56. Front row L to R : Fangio, Moss, Eugenio Castellotti. Lancia D50,Maser 250F,Lancia D50. # 30 is jean Behra 250F, # 16 Harry Schell Vanwall VW55, # 24 Luigi Musso D50. # 32 is Cesare Perdisa 250F, # 14 Maurice Trintignant Vanwall, the blue cars are Gordini’s…

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Maserati team prior to the start of the 1956 race: # 32 Cesare Perdisa, seventh, and # 30 Jean Behra, third. Moss’ car is surrounded by mechanics (The Cahier Archive)

BP 250F ad

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Sources & Photos…

The Cahier Archive, David Kimble cutaway drawing, Michael Turner painting, blueprints T Caroli

‘The History of The Grand Prix Car’ Doug Nye

‘The History of The World Championship’ Alan Henry

Finito…


 

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Local boy Nino Vaccarella wrestled his big Ferrari into third place around the ‘Piccolo Madonie’ circuit in 1970…

Sensational Rainer Schlegelmilch shot captures the very essence of Targa, its geography and contrast of tradition and contemporary technology.

Porsche had ‘the game covered’ in 1970/71, they had the nimble, light 908/3 for Targa and the Nurburgring and the legendary 917 for power circuits such as Le Mans, Daytona and Monza. Brian Redman and Jo Siffert won the race in a 908/3 from Pedro Rodriguez and Leo Kinnunen in the other JW Automotive Porsche.

Ferrari only entered one factory car, Vaccarella partnered by compatriot Ignazio Giunti, a promising driver who made his F1 debut with Ferrari in 1970. He perished in a tragic accident in Argentina in 1971 when his Ferrari 312P (sports car) ran into the back of Jean Pierre Beltiose’ Matra 660 which he was pushing along the track, having run out of fuel.

Nino Vaccarella was a good bet for the win though, a local, he grew up in Palermo and knew the circuit ‘like the back of his hand’. He started the season well winning the Sebring 12 Hour with Giunti, and Mario Andretti. He won Targa thrice; in 1965 in a Ferrari 275 P2 and in 1971 in an Alfa T33/3. His final win was in an Alfa TT12 after Targa became a National Italian event, Targa losing its championship status after 1973 when the cars simply became too quick for the circuit on Sicilian open roads…not too quick for an Italian event however!

Vaccarella also had some Grand Prix experience, his best GP result ninth in the 1962 Italian Grand Prix in a privately entered Lotus 24 Climax.

Predominantly a Sports Car Driver, he also won the 1964 Le Mans 24 Hour Classic sharing a Ferrari 275 P with Jean Guichet and the Nurburgring 1000Km with Ludovico Scarfiotti in another 275P.

He is still alive and well living in Sicily.

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Stunning shot and an epic vantage point for the boys, Collesano. Vaccarella/ Giunti Ferrari 512S Spyder in shot (Pinterest)

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Vaccarella in the Sicilian countryside, the unique challenges of the circuit and driving a 5 litre 550 BHP V12 Ferrari 512S apparent…(Pinterest)

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Vaccarella in the car he shared with Ignazio Giunti, Targa 1970 . A second Ferrari 512S was entered by Scuderia Fillipinetti driven by Herbie Muller and Mike Parkes finishing sixth (Pinterest)

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Vaccarella finishes his 11th lap, the event which started and finished in Cerda. The lap record for the course was set by Helmut Marko in an Alfa 33TT3 in 1972 at an average speed of 128.253 KmH for the 72Km course on Sicilian open roads. (Pinterest)

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Cutaway of the Ferrari 512S. Space-frame chassis, 5 litre, DOHC V12, circa 550BHP. 5 speed gearbox, independent suspension by wishbones at front with coil spring/dampers (Koni), and single top link, inverted wishbone, radius rods and coil spring/damper units at the rear. A superb car if never as successful as the Porsche 917, its direct rival. (Pinterest)

Etcetera…

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Nino Vaccarella, Targa 1970 (The Cahier Archive)

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Vaccarella competed for Ferrari in the 1965 Italian GP in a 158. His engine failed in the race won by Jackie Stewarts’ BRM P261, the first of his 27 Grand Prix victories. (Pinterest)

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Jo Siffert in the 1970 Targa Florio winning Porsche 908/3 he shared with Brian Redman (Pinterest)

Photo Credits…

Rainer Schlegelmilch, The Cahier Archive, Pinterest

 

 

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Mika Hakkinen under moonlight, British GP Silverstone 1994…

On the face of it the Peugeot V10 made sense, it had won LeMans in the French company’s 905 sportscar twice, and McLaren wanted a long term contract with a major manufacturer of the type it had with Honda, and would start with Mercedes in 1995…

Hakkinen and Martin Brundle struggled with the cars, Nigel Oatleys chassis was fine but the Peugeots were ‘hand grenades’ often exploding with fundamental structural engine failures.

Ron Dennis had had enough by mid year, a deal was brokered which saw Jordan using the engines, and later Prost…all failing to achieve the points haul McLaren did in ’94, still Peugeot have achieved a good ‘bang for their buck’ in rallying , who needs F1?!…

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Peugeot A4/A6 3.5 litre V10, 3499cc circa 700-760BHP. McLaren TAG 6 speed, transverse semi-automatic gearbox (Anthony Fosh)

Photo Credits…

Anthony Fosh, Pinterest unattributed

 

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Tom Pryce, Karussell, Nurburgring, German GP 1975. Shadow DN5 Ford. Fourth in the race won by Carlos Pace’ Brabham BT44B Ford (Pinterest)

These great shots are of Tom Pryce in his Shadow DN5 Ford during 1975…

Pryce was one of ‘The Lost Generation’ of young Britsh F1 drivers killed in their prime, all of a similar age, at about the same time.The other two drivers featured in David Tremaynes’ book of that name are Roger Williamson and Tony Brise.

I’d add Gerry Birrell, an F2 pilot and Ford factory Capri RS2600 driver to the list, i was following his career as a teenager at the time.

All were products of the ‘British Racing Driver Production Line’ of the day starting in small sedans or Formula Vee and progressing through Formula Ford, F3 and eventually getting their Formula 1 break.

All were F3 stars and showed F1 promise, in Birrells case he was one of the drivers spoken of as Jackie Stewarts’ replacement at Tyrrell for 1974.

All died grisly deaths in racing cars except Brise who perished in the plane piloted by Graham Hill which crashed and killed the key members of his team upon return from a test session in France to the UK to Elstree Airport in November 1975.

Deaths in racing cars were all too common until the ‘carbon-fibre era’ which commenced with the first Mclaren MP4 in 1981. Arguably designer Gordon Barnards pioneering use of the material in racing cars has saved more lives than any other initiative down the decades?

Shadow DN5 Ford…

The Shadow, an English car and team funded by American Don Nichols United Oil Products, could be said to the ‘standard English kit car’ of the 1970’s.

It featured an aluminium monocoque, ubiquitous Ford Cosworh DFV engine, so reliable one wag described it as ‘the spacer between the driver and gearbox!, albeit a 500BHP spacer. The also ubiquitous Hewland FGA400 gearbox was a part of the package but Designer Tony Southgate, knew what he was about and put all of the knowledge gained at BRM from his successful P153/160 and P180 cars into the design, drivers Pryce and Jean-Pierre Jarier providng the other essential element.

Pryce won the 1975 non-championship ‘British Race of Champions’at Brands Hatch  in the DN5 beating Scheckter, Watson, Petersen, Ickx, Fittipldi, Jarier, Donohue. He was a driver ‘on the up’ perhaps staying at Shadow too long. In a team with a competitive car he was a grand prix winner if not a potential World Champion.

He died in the 1977 South African Grand Prix, colliding with a marshall running across the track to put out a fire. The marshall was unsighted by Pryce, closely following another car. Both were killed in the very tragic accident.

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Tom Pryce, Swedish GP, Anderstorp 1975. DNF, spun. Lauda won in a Ferraari 312T on his way to his first World Championship (Pinterest)

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Tom Pryce looking very English for a Welshman, British GP 1974 (Pinterest)

 

Ecetera…

 

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Roger Williamson and a March engineer share a joke, British GP 1973. It apperas to be about a covered up sponsors logo on his race suit…no captions of value on Pinterest so who knows!

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Roger Williamson ahead of David Purley, both in March 731 Fords, early in the 1973 Dutch Grand Prix. Williamson crashed after a suspected tyre failure and died of asphyxiation after Purleys valiant and heroic attempts to right the overturned car failed (Pinterest)

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Graham Hill, for whom he drove in 1974/5, and Tony Brise. (Pinterest)

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Tony Brise leads a gaggle of cars in the 1975 French GP, Hill GH1 Ford, he finished 7th in the race won by the Lauda Ferrari312T. Mario Andretti Parnelli VPJ4 Ford, Brambillas’ obscured March 751 Ford… the black car is the Ickx Lotus 72E Ford, the white car is Alan Jones in the other Hill, last in shot the nose of, i think, Donohues’ Penske PC1 Ford (Pinterest)

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Jody Scheckter & Gerry Birrell, Brands Hatch ‘Rothmans 50000’ 1972. McLaren M21 and March 722 F2 drivers that year. (Pinterest)

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Gerry Birrell in the factory Ford RS2600, ETCC 6 Hour Nurburgring july 1972. Birrell was both race and a test driver for this very successful program (Rainer Schlegelmilch)

Photo Credits…

Pinterest, Rainer Schlegelmilch