Wiring harness firm also has a handle on tyre temperatures
The time and effort that goes into building an F1 car is mind-boggling. A recent trip to BERU f1systems in Norfolk only confirmed this, when I was casually informed that a wiring harness can take up to 150 man hours to build – quite astonishing when you consider how small the thing is.
“We started as a wiring harness business in 1993, but a one-product business isn’t a good route to take if you want to grow,” says MD John Bailey. “We still are a wiring harness business, but we also do force measurement, tyre pressure monitoring, tyre temperature monitoring via infrared (below) and special one-off projects.” It may appear unassuming from the outside, but BERU f1systems supplies the whole Indycar grid, all the Formula 1 grid bar Williams, some of the Le Mans teams, plus outfits in ALMS, touring cars, MotoGP and Rally Raid. As for road cars, pick any performance car manufacturer at random and they’ll probably be running a BERU system.
To get a tyre monitoring system working on an F1 car is by no means as difficult as on Dakar vehicles, where temperatures can reach 180 degrees. The system provides measurements for the temperature of the tyre carcass, the air cavity and the pressure. “It’s a micro-processor-based sensor with a temperature sensor in it,” says John. “Then there’s the infrared element that points at the inside of the carcass.”
The BERU system may be a small element in a large machine, but it’s providing crucial information for teams to work with.