Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Great Interregnum

A large collection of dullards have recently assembled in London, and appear to be generating more than a modicum of media attention. Normally, this would just signal the opening of the annual Police Federation conference, but on this occasion it seems the fuss concerns a bunch of masochistic minority sports, many of which suffer an apparent absence of technological development.

If, however, you find this all rather tiresome, then just try to look upon it as an arms-race, by proxy, between underworld pharmaceutical purveyors and accredited analytical chemists. Seen from this perspective, it's almost as interesting as Formula One.

Oh, and watch out for the Red Bull sponsored pole vaulters, who've devised a means of manually lowering the bar, against the regulations, but are permitted to continue competing because they say they haven't actually used it. It's a non-issue, apparently.

The pain engendered by the Anabolics, however, is as nothing compared to that caused by the five-week break before the next Grand Prix. There may have been comparable in-season gaps before, but perhaps they occurred when the racing was a little less interesting than it has been this year. Going back several decades, there was a similarly interminable five-week break in 1983 between the Canadian and British Grands Prix, but on that occasion the latter race was still being held on a Saturday, so strictly speaking the break was only 34 days in length.

So, how to bridge this gap? Well, here's a thought experiment for starters: What would happen if diffusers were completely banned? Would it still be advantageous to have a raised nose, or does the latter depend upon the so-called 'pumping effect' of the diffuser? Without a diffuser, would a raised nose increase the mass-flow rate under the car?

Secondly, suppose that the underbody regulations were completely opened up, so that anything was permitted. If you designed a car with underbody venturi tunnels and sliding skirts, would it still be advantageous to have a raised nose and diffuser? Would a car with a raised nose, sliding skirts, venturi tunnels, and a diffuser, corner so fast that the drivers would need g-suits? What sort of lap-time would be achieved around Brands Hatch by such a car equipped with a 1.5 litre V6 twin-turbo engine, pumping out over 1,000bhp?

1 comment:

TheGreg said...

there are many instances where torque falls as rpm increases. it would be nearly impossible to require an engine to have increasing torque as a function of engine speed.