Notes on the Cars at Zolder



Notes on the Cars at Zolder

THERE WAS along gap between the Grand Prix of the USA (West) at Long Beach and the Belgian GP at Zoldcr, but none of the teams were idle. They were repairing damaged cars, building nevv ones to replace those destroyed, modifying their existing cars. re-organising management or team personnel, working out new aerodynamic theories for the underside of the cars, developing new tyres and wheels, testing ideas and theories, preparing new transporters for the European season, building up their supply of spare pans, wheeling and dealing on projects for the future, you name it and it was happening in the break between races. One thing for certain, unlike most of the industry in Great Britain and elsewhere, was that nobody was on strike or taking “industxial action” or fouling up the system for want of something better to do, or due to having too much leisure time. In Formula One there is no such thing as “leisure time.” Throughout An whole field there were adequate examples of thought and work, from Britain, France and Italy, while the rule-makers had been working overtime, but they do not concern as here. Ferrari: The starch for engine reliability is never ceasing at Maranello, while the problem of extracting as much effectiveness from their Michelin tyres as Renault achieve is keeping Mauro Forghieri and his staff awake at night. Nothing seems to have gone right with the Ferrari design since the arrival of the T5 with its narrower overall engine width, achieved by redesigning the cylinder heads and valve-gear, and at the same time enclosing the engine within fibreglass ducting in the interests of under-ear airflow. Behind the scenes the 11/2-Stan V6 engine with exhaust-driven turbo-chargers, continues to make progress in the horsepower stakes. For the Belgian GP Scheckter and Villeneuve had the same cars as at Long Beach, 046 and 045, respectively, while the ntidena was 044, though the identification plate on it did not quote that number. It was not used at all.

Tyrrell: Like many of the Goodyear supported teams Tyrrell were trying the new 15″ diarneter front tyres in place of the previous 13″ ones, which naturally meant new alloy wheels and a re-rig of the suspension geometry to accommodate the front of the car being higher. The team still had the same three 1980 cars as used at Long Beach, with the latest one as the spare car. Brabham: Piquet was in his Long Beach winning car, BT49/6, while the car that was virtually destroyed by Regazzoni’s Ensign, was replaced by the rebuilt BT49/2. This was fitted with the Weismann transverse gearbox and revised rear suspension with the spring units close together behind the differential housing. This can was for Zunino as a test-project and a brand new car, with Hewland transmission and standard suspension layout as on the normal BT49. wits completed and was the spare car. This was BT49/7 and was used by Zunino as an alternative on Friday and later by Piquet. McLaren: A lot of detail tidying up on tbanana, with improved sliding side-skirts, better ducting under the cars and revised side-plates ahead of the rear wheels. Front brakes were given stiffening plates between the two calipers. to prevent flexing and the spare ear was brought up into line with all the C-specification rear suspension geometry and layout, as well as the latest improvements. Watson in M29C/2, Alain Prost back in the team

again, with M2904 and the spare car was M29C/I. As is fashionable the cars were experimenting ranning with no front canard fins during practice.

ATS: Only one entry at the moment from Gunther Schmid’s team, for Jan Lammers in the Long Beach car 04/02. A brand new car to the same design was being completed in the paddock, 04/03, and though finished it was not used. Lotus: Andretti started practice in 81/2, in short wheelbase form, but soon switched to the spare car 81/1 which was in long wheelbase form, as was the car driven by de Angelis. The young Italian still had 81/3 but it was totally rebuilt following its Long Beach accident. All three cars were fitted with the latest Lotus gearbox/rear axle unit.

Ensign: Not surprisingly, after MNI 1 was demolished in Regazzoni’s accident at Long Beach, thc next car, MN12 was the team’s mainstay, while a brand new one was being finished off in the paddock. Although it was completed during practice it was not used, the new driver Needell doing practice and the race with MN12. The new car is the 13th in the Ensign’s Forrnula One series but superstition caused thern to number it MN14. Depending on which way the wind is blowing Morris Nunn refers to his car as MN ;for Morris Nunn) or MNO (Morris Nunn Opel) recalling hs debut in Formula One with Rikky von Opel, who financed that early entry, no take your choice of MN12 or MNO-12.

Renault: Having got their turbo-charged cars to go, Renanit are now in trouble with making them SI0p, ands new front brake layout was being used. The front wheel diameter was increased from 13′ to 15″ to allow bigger discs to be used and the Lockheed twin caliper layout was changed for a single Girling caliper with four pads. These were mounted on the trailing edge of the disc and the front part of the disc was closely ducted to pass air through the disc. Michelin came up with some suitable 15″ diameter tyres. The rear brakes were still the twin-caliper Lockheeds. The two team drivers had their usual cars, jabouilk RE23 and Arnoux RE24, while RE22 was the spare and it was fitted with the AP hydraulic servo system which Arnoux tested during practice. Shadow: A major change of face in this team. Don Nichols, the originator of the AVS-Shadow team. sold the major part of the concern to Hong Kong racing enthusiast Teddy Yip and his Theodore Racing team. At the same time a new

design was completed, this being the DN12 and the first can was driven by Geoff Lees, while Irishman Kennedy had .DN II/0. The new car has been designed and built on orthodox lines using all the current trends and fashions of “under-car” air-flow. Gone arc the black Shadows and in their place are white Shadows carrying the Theodore Racing emblem and adv.ertising from lnterlekt.

Fittipaldi: The Reading-based all yellow team were back to full strength with F7/2 repaired after Rosberg’spractice accident at Long Beach. Team leader Emerson Fittipaldi was still using F7 I and F7/3 was the spare as Mal.

Alfa Romeo: A his of a Malia-ctimedy surrounding the Alfa Romeo team with four cars in she paddock but only three ever being on view! In Italy there is pressure from some cleansers for the team to run three cars. with Brambilla joining Depailler and Giacomelli. but another faction opposes this idea until such time as the team has proved itself. In consequence of this it was politic to officially only admit to three cars. These were 179,03 for Depailler and 179/02 for Giacomelli, wish 179/01 as the communal spare car. However. work progressing tin the Tipo 180, which will be a more effective “ground-effect” car and this being aided by a new V12 engine and gearbox which smaller and more cornpact. retaining the same basic design. To give this new unit a test-run it was installed in 179/04 with the standard bodywork and aerodynamics and was used during the first day of practice, after which n was spirited away and replaced by 179,01. Ligier: The French team have beet. concentrating on detail aerodynamic changes and their adaptation to various circuit requirements. In other words. instead of trying to achieve the ultimate Formula One car, en theory if not in practice. they have taken their hasi, car and paid a lot of attenticm the specific requirements ot each circuit eyeful the result tense ideally perfect. There is little wrong with the basic JS I 1 15 cars. regards general handling. steering and hraking and she fine tuning centres around side.pods, rear .aerofoils and under-car ducting. Whatever set-up is used the cars seem remarkably well balanced and very driveable under most circumstanees. Both drivers are essentially “worker drivers” able to get the most from a car that is basically right, and both are prepared to drive hard. Laffite used JS1 L 15,03 and Perom fell I f, 04, while the spare

was JS I 1;15,01 which had experimental side-skirts. Williams: Quite ales of changes to the FWO7B cars. Under she can the entireengine has been enclosed with fibre…glass panels. including the sump of the Cosworth The total enclosure of the engine haS caesed a slight increase in running teniperatures which has meant a major revision of the oil cooling and water cooling systems. Previously the water passed through an aluminium radiator in the right-hand side-po.d and through a heat-exchanger in the left-hand pod and all theed passed through this heat exchanger, has making an oil radiator unnecessm Oil and water temperatures were satisfactory with this system, but very close to the bone. so that an increase in ambient temperature often meant uSing a beass water radiator instead iel else aluminium one, which RISC kept things in balam.e. The increase in running temperatures due to the ‘enclosure cif the underside ol the engine has proved just too much for the heat-exchanger system, so a conventional oil radiator is used in the left-hand pod. with the water radiator in the right-hand pod. The bods-sides have been

reprofiled with curved edges instead of the small lip and the rear end is smooth and straight ending in a shapely “kick-up.” Improved mechanism is used on the side-skirts to keep them in contact with the ground and a small scoop on the left of the back of the body top surface takes air to the ,gearbox oil cooler. On F5X’07B;7 which Alan Jones used. the mechanical fuel pump on the top of the tank was driven by a.flexible drive from a small gearbox on the back of the inlet camshaft on the left-hand cylinder head of the DFV. Reutemann used F X’071V5 and FW0713•6 was the spare for both drivers.

Arrows: The same three cars as at Long Beach. with Patrese in A3.3, Mass in A3,4 and A3,1 as the spare.

Osella: The samesingle car entry for Cheever, though quite a lot of weight has been removed from the car by attention to details. —0.03.