Carbon fibre and titanium F1 parts design.

I found some pictures on an old hard drive of some design projects i worked on from F1 and on a rather special Porsche road car.

When i was growing up and interested in this sort of thing i could never find any details on the design and manufacture of this type of part, so for those that are interested i've written a couple of brief blogs about them on another site.

Magazine - Kit Car Builders

I also run a blog on car technology and I find what you have written very interesting. I would love to leave a comment on your blog, but i don't want to sign up. I would suggest enabling some sort of semi-anonymous comments that go to moderation before being posted. I can suggest a plug-in that will prevent spam if that is a problem.

I really liked your posting on upright design and will read through more of your postings later. Although I never competed at the professional level; the formula SAE team I was on had a very similarly designed upright. Instead of titanium (hey, we were college students and couldn't afford such an exotic metal!) we used a 7 series aluminum that worked out very well. We even experimented with aluminum axles that ended up not working so well. I guess our FEA was completely off for that one since one of the front wheels flew off during testing. That's when we decided to go with chromoly axles that rotated to help distribute the load. We never had a problem with those, but they were tough to machine due to the material not forming a proper chip...
Hi John,

I was lucky to work directly with John Barnard in F1, and he is a pretty free thinker and is prepared to take calculated risks. That allowed us to come up with some blue sky ideas and try them out. Most worked and even though the Prost was towards the rear of the grid mechanically our car was envied by most teams and the things we did on those cars and the earlier Ferraris have left a legacy on the designs of the current crop of cars.

Unfortunately in F1 mechanical elements don't play enough of a role in terms of the cars overall performance and our aero-dynamic performance, and awful engines hampered progress.

I like that you tried aluminum axles, even if they didn't work. It's all too easy to follow the trend and play safe. With experience and applying real engineering thought you can make these creative ideas work. When you find something that works you should then push it to the absolute limit.

F1 is really hard work, but, it's the best place to be if your a creative design engineer, so long as the management have the same vision. what you draw today will be made tomorrow and tested the following day. Very few other engineering roles give you that.

D - as an engineer myself, I'm jealous. Nice job in your accomplishments - you should be proud. I'm amazed to see that you worked with John Barnard - one of the best. When he moved away from spherical joints on suspension arms, he really moved things ahead. And there's plenty of things he's done that I wouldn't even know about...

F1 is truly the pinnacle of automotive engineering.