The shark on the nose of the 2001 machine is a very appropriate metaphor for a Formula 1 car, as like a shark, its design never stops moving forward. But perhaps a unicorn would be a more appropriate image, because like the unicorn, a grand prix...
The shark on the nose of the 2001 machine is a very appropriate metaphor for a Formula 1 car, as like a shark, its design never stops moving forward. But perhaps a unicorn would be a more appropriate image, because like the unicorn, a grand prix car is something of a mythical beast. The longest period of time it ever spends in one piece is the couple of hours on a Sunday, from when it leaves the pits to when it returns to parc ferme at the end of the race. For the rest of its life, it is invariably reduced to its component form and by the time it appears at the following round of the championship, several of its components will have changed. The EJ12 that ran for the first time on January 21st will have evolved considerably by the time it takes to the track in Melbourne for the season opener.
When the first Jordan F1 car appeared in 1991, it was the work of a tiny team of designers and they actually used pencils and a drawing board! Today, a team of well over fifty people are involved in the design, most of which is done on computer. In overall charge of the project is Head of Engineering, Tim Holloway.
"My role is to oversee and coordinate the design, to get the car running efficiently in time for its first test. From its main concept to overall performance, the car is the responsibility of Technical Director Eghbal Hamidy. I have an input on the design, making sure we are moving in the right direction and the ideas we are trying are indeed practical. Eghbal works with a design team of around fifty people, operating under two joint chief designers, a head of aerodynamics and a design group. Within it there are six of us who thrash out and expand on ideas. The various areas then work on their programmes based on what comes out of the meetings. The car is designed by committee. It is impossible for one man to design an F1 car these days. Everyone is working flat out and it is still a difficult task. Within that committee, you have the mechanical designers, the composite designers, aerodynamic designers, the vehicle dynamicists and the race engineering department. Everyone has their input."