Jaguar may be the name on the car, but without the vital input and support of the team's sister companies Cosworth Racing and Pi Research, along with tyre supplier Michelin, their efforts would be for nothing. Jaguar Racing, Cosworth and Pi make...
Jaguar may be the name on the car, but without the vital input and support of the team's sister companies Cosworth Racing and Pi Research, along with tyre supplier Michelin, their efforts would be for nothing.
Jaguar Racing, Cosworth and Pi make up the Premier Performance Division, a group of companies dedicated to the task of building world-beating race cars, engines and motorsport electronics. Their pedigree is without question: Cosworth Racing is one of the most famous names in the sport, its engines having won races F1 races since the 1960s; and Pi Research is the world's leading supplier of telemetry, data-logging and control systems. Together with Jaguar they make up one of the best teams in racing.
NICK HAYES, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR, COSWORTH RACING
Q: Can you describe how different the new CR-6 engine is to last year's?
NH: "Well, the CR-6 is a development of last year's engine, so it remains a 90-degree V10, but we have new longer-life requirements in 2004 thanks to the rule that means we can only use one engine over a whole Grand Prix weekend."
"Previously an engine would last for 450-500km but now we expect engines to have to survive for around 800km so we've been doing a lot of work on the CR-6 to extract the best performance but at the right life. A lot of the components in a 2003 engine wouldn't last for much more than a race, let alone a whole weekend, so much of our recent work was seeing how we can extend the lifespan without hurting performance."
Q: Engine builders sometimes change the 'V-angle' of the engine. You are staying at 90-degrees for 2004. Why have you stuck to this?
NH: "A change in the angle between the two banks of cylinders doesn't actually change the power of the engine, but what it does do is help the car designers with things like centre of gravity, packaging of other systems around the engine, weight distribution and so on. We will listen to the requirements of the car design team and then come up with the ideal angle for car. In the past we built 72-degree engines and even experimented with a very wide 120-degree version but for now 90 degrees seems the best compromise."
Q: How do you change an engine to make sure it lasts longer?
NH: "Having a longer-life engine means that you have to look hard at what we call the duty cycle - how long the engine runs at each circuit - and try and optimise all the parts that come under high stresses to make them last just long enough. It's really the same process as we went through with the engines last year, the difference is we were used to building them to last 450km and had plenty of experience at doing just that. Now we have to find nearly twice the life expectancy out of every part - that's a big leap."
"All the bits that you'd expect to be highly stressed in an engine - the crankshaft, pistons, valves, camshafts - need a lot of attention to try and make sure that you get the best performance but also meet the new life requirements."
Q: Will the characteristics of the engine change as a result?
NH: "All of the things that we have worked on in the past - good mid-range power, flexibility and so on - will continue to be just as important. And we are working incredibly hard to increase overall power by improving the airflow into the engine and getting better combustion efficiency. These are the ways you increase horsepower without wasting fuel."
Q: One way to make engines last longer is to make the parts thicker, but that increases the overall weight. Will this year's CR-6 weigh more than last year's version?
NH: "No, you can't make those assumptions. I'm not going to tell you exactly what it does weigh and I'll admit that it probably weighs a little bit more than it would have done if the rules hadn't changed. But F1 technology moves forward so fast you can't use last year's model as a benchmark. We are always trying to save weight, so if you were going to make an assumption, you'd be safer to assume it is lighter still..."
Q: Cutting back on revs is another way you improve engine life. Will you have to cut back for 2004?
NH: "I'm sure that everyone will be running lower revs on average than they would have done without the 'one engine' rule. But it's the same as the weight issue, again. How big a step forward have we made over the winter compared to how many revs do we need to cut back to improve lifespan? The same also applies to the power output. The engines won't be as powerful as they would have been without the new rule, but that doesn't stop us developing as the season goes on. I expect at the start of the season they might be a little less powerful than at the end of last year but we will all quickly catch up."
Q: If you have a large budget, what is to stop you bringing different types of engine to a race, rather than just the one kind?
NH: "Nothing, and I think that might happen. Manufacturers with the best resources could easily bring different specification engines depending on what they expect to happen over a weekend."
Q: You don't have the same budgets as some, what does the future hold for Cosworth Racing?
NH: "We've been through a difficult time recently because the business conditions have changed. The long-life engine rule was a cost-cutting measure, which is good for everyone except the engine builders! But as the reorganisation of the Premier Performance Division continues we will increasingly see the benefits."
GEORGE LENDRUM, DIRECTOR OF MOTORSPORT, PI RESEARCH
Q: How does Pi Research fit into the Premier Performance Division that also includes Jaguar Racing and Cosworth Racing?
GL: "We provide the electronics systems for the car which includes controllers, data acquisition systems and the telemetry. It all needs to be 100 percent reliable and wherever possible give the team a competitive advantage."
Q: What exactly do all the different electronics systems on a modern F1 car do? It seems they are increasingly complicated.
GL: "You're right to say that a 2004 F1 car is a high-tech machine. The telemetry system means the continuous transfer of data from the car to the engineers in the pits - we send about 4Mb of information every lap. That is different to data-logging, which is when we store the data in the car and then download it when it returns to the pits."
"With telemetry we aim for a constant feed but certain things do interfere with the signal - buildings, the terrain of the circuit itself, even the chain fencing that goes round the track can block it. We generally, though, get sufficient connection time to allow the engineers to be able to monitor the car and also analyse how well it is performing at any particular time. That information means we can make mid-race changes to wing settings at a pitstop, for example, or get the driver to adjust the engine settings from the cockpit."
Q: You also do a lot of work with the Jaguar Racing wind tunnel. What can Pi Research bring to the aerodynamics department?
GL: "We provide instrumentation for the wind tunnel models that the teams use to test how well the cars slip through the air. The scale models they build are perfect replicas of the race car and we have developed a range of sensors that are built into the model and measure the forces that are acting upon it."
"By carefully taking the right measurements as the wind tunnel is running we can work out the lift and drag for any particular car set-up. With every run we build up what we call performance maps that allow us to compile a book of varying set-ups which we can take to each race. It's a vital process because it means that when we hit the track we can dial in the best possible set-up as quickly aspossible. Without the wind tunnel work we would spend much more time looking for the right settings when the car was actually running. As track time is at an absolute premium we need to make sure that what we do at the circuit is not a waste of time."
Q: Does the new 'one-engine' rule affect how the cars are set-up?
GL: "Yes, in terms of how much time we will have before qualifying. If everyone is trying to conserve their engine lifespan that means even less running to get a decent set-up. That in turn means that our performance maps have to be even better than before to allow us to go out and be quick from lap one."
Q: What is the link between Pi Research and Cosworth Racing?
GL: "We act as a service to Cosworth, because our products are the eyes and ears of what is going on inside the engine. From the data that we collect, Cosworth can make an immediate decision about performance or longevity or whatever it is that is affecting them at that moment."
"We don't own or act upon the data, we are there to extract it and allow the car or engine people to make the right calls at the right time."
Q: What role do the Pi Research engineers play over a race weekend?
GL: "Well, we have 300 people working at Pi Research on all forms of motorsport programmes all around the world. Jaguar Racing has four dedicated Pi engineers who are based at the team's factory and will work for the Vehicle Performance department, fulfilling our 'eyes and ears' role. At a race we will have seven people trackside to ensure that both Jaguar and Cosworth get the information they need."
Q: Are the drivers becoming more aware of the growing importance of the telemetry?
GL: "Absolutely. They have to. If they don't they are missing out on an opportunity to go quicker. As a driver you need to remember why you are there, which is to drive quickly, but you also need to be able to assess the information we have on tap. Good data, simply explained to a driver, is a superb way of showing where he can make changes. So understanding telemetry is a very important factor in being a modern F1 driver."
Q: Do you give the drivers training in how to use it?
GL:</B> "Increasingly, yes. We don't look at it as training but we are developing tools all the time that help them to interface with the systems. The more computer-friendly a driver is, the better chance he has of going quickly. The very top drivers are interested in learning it all."