In the first part of our story, we began to talk about the most controversial and certainly innovative technical solutions in the history of Formula 1, which, for various reasons, were either prohibited by the regulations, or did not meet the expectations set on them by constructors. Vacuum race cars, helicopter turbine race cars and six-wheeled race cars. The inquisitive minds of engineers did not stop there, and we present the following three.
4. Twin chassis for Lotus
In the last post, we talked about Colin Champin, who, as the leader of the Lotus team, has been at the forefront of the technical evolution of Formula 1 cars year after year.
And 1981 was no exception.
It should be admitted that the ground effect invented by him significantly increased the speed on the Grand Prix tracks, which, to put it mildly, had a negative impact on the safety of the races. On the one hand, this very ground effect made it possible to pass any turns like on rails, on the other hand, the slightest unevenness of the road opened access to oncoming air flows under the bottom, and therefore the downforce was sharply reduced, and this, in the context of increased speeds, could easily send the car straight into the bump stop. As a result, in 1981, after the FISA decision, aerodynamic skirts were outlawed, and the car's clearance from now on should not be less than 60 mm.
Naturally, Chempen was absolutely not satisfied that his next brainchild was consigned to oblivion, thereby depriving Lotus of a competitive advantage.
But the brilliant engineer was not at all one of those people who tend to grieve for a long time over their own failures. And in the same year, the Model 88 with a completely revolutionary scheme leaves the stocks of the British stabledouble chassis. . Even during the tests, information was leaked to the press that the new Lotus is completely devoid of the suspension of all four wheels, which made it possible to reduce roll to a minimum, thereby compensating for the absence of curtains. But the truth looked even more stunning: the Lotus 88 had a double suspension system.
The thing is that the car actually consisted of two bodies - a supporting monocoque, which, together with the suspension elements, functioned in the systemcar is roadand an external body equipped with its own suspension system and working in the systemairflow - car. . As a result, when starting measurements88thmet the requirements of a minimum ground clearance of 60 mm, and with increased aerodynamic loads, the outer body, regardless of the supporting structure, was pressed to the ground, thereby blocking the air access under the car's bottom.
Lotus 88 was supposed to make its US debut, but almost all teams filed a protest against its start. Despite the fact that the technical commission recognized the car as meeting the technical requirements, the jury banned the start.
Champen's involvement of lawyers and appeals to representatives of local automotive communities did not work, and 88 did not see the races.
The situation is, frankly, twofold. On the one side, 88thmet all the requirements that existed at that time, since all measurements were carried out before the start and after the finish, on the other hand, the scheme with a double chassis was, in fact, a prohibited ground effect. You can debate for a long time about how gentlemanly the Lotus 88 was designed, but competitors during this incident also did not look in the best light. The fact is thatKB Champenthey were simply afraid, it is impossible to deny.
It was easier to strangle before the start than trying to get around after.
At the previous point, we were left with a dilemma as to how much the Lotus design satisfies the unwritten rulesfair play.
. Now we will give, if not the answers, then the reasons for doubts, for sure. Champen always played in the open, while some of his competitors, shouting about violations of all kinds of technical requirements on the part of the Briton, quite successfully found loopholes in the regulations with much less sophisticated methods.
So, for example, familiar to us byVacuum cleaner1978, the Parmalat Race Team implemented a hydropneumatic suspension with the ability to change the ride height in its Brabham BT49 after the Lotus 88 scandal. In fact, Brabham simply copied the idea of Champen with only one difference - the clearance was not changed under the influence of aerodynamics, but simply by pressing a button.
This was still a pure use of the forbidden ground effect. Largely thanks to this, in 1981, Brabham pilot Nelson Piquet won his first champion title. Let me remind you that in the same year, the Lotus 88 was not allowed to start at all.
Many teams bombarded FISA with protest petitions regarding the BT49 design, to which its president Jean-Marie The ballestr shrugged his shoulders shyly:I personally think that Brabham does not have everything right, but at the moment we can not prove it. .
Thus, the ground effect, officially prohibited in order to reduce speeds on highways, existed in the form of suspensions with variable ground clearance for another two years, until the tragic accident of Gilles Villeneuve at the Belgian Grand Prix caused a revision of the regulations.
6. Block Beryllium and Mass Dampers However, as you understand from all of the above, upstarts with their technical innovations, which allowed them to bring seconds to competitors with frightening stability, were not satisfied with these very competitors. And then not racers, but lawyers began to fight for trophies.
Team Renault and Fernando Alonso in particular performed excellently in the 2006 season, until the FIA saw a catch.
The problem was in the mechanism called the mass damper. In fact, it is a 9 kg disc, located between two springs. The main function of the unit, located in the nose of the R26, was to dampen the natural vibrations of the tires. Thanks to this, it was possible to stabilize the location of the frontplumageregarding the track coverage. The FIA has banned the mass damper, citing its indirect aerodynamic effect, while moving aerodynamics have long been outlawed.
After this incident, the initiative completely passed into the hands of Michael Schumacher at Ferrari, but the points earned in the first half of the championship were enough for Alonso to take his second championship title.
In the late 90s, McLaren was a serious thorn in the fifth point of Ferrari, and at a certain momentSilver arrowstangibly pulled ahead, seemingly out of the blue. Ferrari was perplexed about the current situation: the design of the engines is identical, the revs are the same ...
Where does Mercedes get excess power? The secret lay in a rare aluminum-beryllium alloy, from which the pistons and cylinder walls were made. The alloy combined a low specific gravity and unprecedented strength, which made it possible to achieve an increase in output to the maximum power of 40-50horses. . Naturally, the FIA immediately banned the use of any exotic alloys in the production of race cars. This happened in 2001.
What is the result?
SchemeWhat is not forbidden is allowedworks in Formula 1 exactly until the moment when your competitive advantage, due to technical innovations, becomes completely blatant against the background of your competitors. On the one hand, thesestrangleholdsallow you to keep the competition at the proper level, on the other hand, all these are excuses in favor of the poor, because it is much easier to write a slander in the FIA than to develop and implement in your cars something that will leave your opponents only one perspective - to swallow dust.