Good things come in small packages

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Current page

169

Current page

170

Current page

171

Current page

172

Current page

173

Current page

174

Current page

175

Current page

176

Current page

177

Current page

178

Current page

179

Current page

180

Current page

181

Current page

182

Current page

183

Current page

184

Current page

185

Current page

186

Current page

187

Current page

188

Current page

189

… but talk to the chassis designer before you begin building him a Formula 1 engine.

Back in the early 1980s, John Barnard established himself as the dominant design leader within Formula 1. His composite chassis, electrohydraulic finger-flip gear changes and brutally pared-down overall packaging proved both race-winning and trend-setting. He was certainly no politician and tended to bulldoze his way over — or through — any views contrary to his own. I remember him blistering Porsche on one occasion and saying, “Engine designers seem to pay more attention to how they can mount their latest baby on a test-house dyno than how a chassis designer can ever hope to make it fit into a Formula 1 car’ It was against such a background that the TAG Turbo-byPorsche V6 engine, which carried McLaren, Lauda and Prost to multiple World Championship honours, was packaged, constrained and confined dimensionally toJB’s requirements and almost entirely to the complete distraction of Hans Mezger’s engineers at Porsche Weissach.

In recent times, it seems that racing engine designers have learned that lesson and learned it well. Modern Formula 1 engines are tiny when seen in isolation, outside the car on the workshop floor. Back in 1991 Adrian Reynard began to build a friendly relationship with Yamaha of Japan and was developing Formula 1 ambitions. He had 18 people on his Fl project team, had built a wind tunnel, developed software and data acquisition systems, investigated four-wheel steering and designed an in-house active suspension system. Seeking a suitable engine he had spent time courting Nissan and Toyota but, despite both having 3.5-litre endurance racing engines under development, they were aggrieved at being ill-treated in the World Sportscar Championship. Yamaha had no such political grievances, but in practical terms its motor racing record was pretty poor and its centre-seat OX-99 `supercar’ project had become a laughing stock.

There was a real possibility that a Reynard F1 car would emerge with Yamaha power, but when the British engineers saw the full specification of the proposed engine their jaws dropped. Adrian Reynard is on record as recalling that once his team was provided with engine dimensions, weight and cooling requirements, his team was “Dismayed at the size of the radiator ducts we would need. The Yamaha V12 was not that powerful, yet it was big, heavy and in terms of heat rejection it was basically a pressure cooker…”

Reynard and his then-designer Rory Byrne were unconvinced about Yamaha’s promised 700bhp, but more so by its proposed V12’s sheer size. He avoided falling into the same trap as Jackie Oliver, Alan Rees and their Footwork/Arrows project with the Porsche V12, which was effectively two TAG Turbo V6s combined in tandem — immense, overcomplicated, under-powered, clumsy and no credit whatsoever to Zuffenhausen’s finest. Reynard found himself chasing his tail after time and effort wasted with Yamaha. He approached Michael Kranefuss of Ford to use the Cosworth HB engine, but Tom Walkinshaw as a Benetton partner had beaten him to it. Any HB would only be available on a leasing deal that Reynard — having failed to secure any sponsorship in those recession years — could not contemplate. Consequently the British constructor found his options restricted to vanishing point. The recession was threatening to topple even his core business and, by August 1991, it became plain that the writing was on the wall for the F1 programme and that September he closed it down. The core team found new berths at Benetton, and the team’s 1992 car demonstrated clear lineage from Reynard’s long months of clean-sheet research, while the formal stillborn design, wind tunnel model and active ride programme sold to Ligier for £400,000.

Reynard would bounce back from this chastening experience and impending bankruptcy was averted, or in practice postponed as the marque went on to boom most notably in the US-based CART series. But perhaps size is the key here — not just engine size, but also company size, budget size, scale of ambition and a penetrating appreciation of what is possible… and what is not.

You may also like

Related products