May 6, 2010

F1 News: Mclaren's Suspension and Renault's Diffuser

Ahead of the Spanish GP week end I found these cool animations, one showing details of Mclaren's rear suspension, a three shock arrangement with two torsion bars and a central spring allowing precise control over roll and pitch, essential for traction.

The second clip shows Renault's innovative "double" rear diffuser. The videos are in Italian but the pictures are clear enough to get an idea. Renault cleverly moved the lower slits forward but cover them with a box structure which allows them to fall within the regulation parameters.

(Gazzetta Dello Sport)

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  1. Not quite sure what they are talking about in the first video, but its been a common suspension design for a while now. Here is an old 05 or 06 Renault with the same setup.

  2. Nice animations - particulary the first.

    As Jonathan says, it is a conventional 3rd spring arrangement. Most of the teams use something resembling this and have done for a number of years.

    The two torsion bars are actuated in ride (vertical body motion), roll (body lean sideways), pitch (body lean forwards or backwards) and single wheel bump. In practice this means the torsion bars set the overall stiffness of the car, particularly over the bumps.

    The anti roll bar (T-shaped section, yellow @ 1:37) is activated when suspension movement is uneven (roll or single wheel bump). The ARB increases the roll stiffness from what is provided by the ride springs (torsion bars) up to what is desired by the drivers/engineers.

    Finally the 3rd spring is intended to control ride (although it also activated in pitch). This will generally be used to control the degree to which suspension is compressed under aero load (downforce).

  3. @Jonathan Indeed, in fact I had a very similar animation explaining where the string that hit Massa came from. But it's such a cool design I could not resist!.
    @Tom In the video they mention the idea behind this type of design is, in its simplest terms, to separate motions and allow more adjustment parameters...

    The Renault rear diffuser I had not seen before.

  4. @AC, that's right, the ultimate design would have a seperate spring and damper for each motion to allow complete seperation and freedom. The 3rd spring design is close but the ride springs are still actuated in all motions.

    What staggers me is that they have time to set the 10 springs and 6 dampers correctly during the limited practice ahead of qualifying. In my opinion thats where the new teams struggle most, they have to rely far more on simulation than experience from previous years.


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