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Monday, March 23, 2009

On the Usefulness of Formula One ( F1 ) motor racing

An alternative title to this post could be as in an old popular song
"Dreams,dreams dreams all I ever need are ....
dreams dreams dreams!

In times such as ours, could such lullabies be "part of the problem and not part of the solution"?

Dreams? OK, as long as its during your regenerating sleep otherwise keep it short.

With the new season opening in Melbourne this week, the economist, 090320, in a "Boost for Formula One" had some harsh words to say.

Putting this aside for a moment, The Economist correspondent does provide several informative links to the themes reported of interest to F1 adepts. But one link not an obvious general reader choice was "Regulations" at the heart of the Economists demonstration and call for more sanity. As a book and library adept, I took a squint at the F1 regulations whereby all car (F1) parts are comprehensibly listed in english and french.

Since cars are here to stay, for some time to come, and the industries have an immense "dream hold " on many and perhaps more so on the "perks starved" developing countries populations. I chose this bilingual Parts List as a good place to start building a comprehensive dictionary and encyclopedia in order to address the real problems of transportation within the sustainable limits of our now well recognised and fairly well known natural resources limits. It is expected that economies may follow.

F1 gets a gutting-out from the Economist

"The idea that motor racing is an incubator for technologies that make passenger cars safer and better has always been something of a myth. With its demand for the ultimate of engineering in terms of performance and lightness (and scant regard for endurance and cost), F1 racing is so far removed from everyday life on the road that there is little scope for transferring its technology from the exotic to the mundane. "

"As often as not, the flow of new automotive ideas is the other way round, from road to track. In fact, the biggest innovation being introduced to F1 racing this year comes from the lowly Toyota Prius and its hybrid forebears." The technology is known in F1 and mechanical engineering circles as KERS (kinetic energy recovery system) for capturing and storing the car’s braking energy instead of wasting it as heat. Just picture that golden oldie fly wheel concept . (Wikipedia Link)

For the Mechanical Engineers or Mechanicals vs Electricals:
According to the Economist's correspondent, "The key is to make the flywheel as light as possible and to encase it in a vacuum chamber. With little inertia, friction or drag, the wheel can be spun up to speed in a trice (very short time), and then made to dump its rotational energy back into the car’s transmission in seconds. Both mechanical systems are said to be lighter and faster than their electrical equivalents."

For the consumer and more so the gas guzzler
As car-makers downsize their engines to meet tougher fuel economy and pollution standards, driveability and overtaking performance is beginning to suffer. Something like KERS is going to be needed in road cars to boost their torque temporarily for climbing hills and overtaking safely.
An instance, then, where race-bred systems find their way into family cars? Your correspondent would be delighted if they did. But he suspects Jaguar and BMW will be selling passenger models equipped with KERS long before Formula One has made its power-boosting technology a decisive factor in wining races.

If you can't beat them join them. See you all at the F1 venue at Nevers_Magny-Cours.

Hopefully, we will soon see a truely renewable energy produced electric car race here, in the pastoral setting of Nevers_Magny-Cours F1 race track.
Dreams, dreams, to day dreams?


More references upon request.

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