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Anyone worked in F1?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by NicktheNorse, 9 May 2006.

  1. NicktheNorse

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,364

    Location: Oslo, Norway

    Has anyone worked in F1 or more specifically, been to an interview?

    I've got an interview with the Computational Aerodynamics section at Renault next week, and I've got absolutely no idea what to expect in terms of the technical side. I've been scheduled quite late in the day to have an intervew with the head of the department so I doubt the process will take very long - its not a full day assessment day as has become so common in engineering these days.

    My CFD knowledge is pretty good, aerodynamics knowledge even better and due to me being a bit of a F1 geek I know quite a lot about the Team and its history, as well as current F1 technology, rules etc etc. I just hope he doesnt sit me down with a sheet of paper and asks me to solve PDEs or derive the potential flow around a cylinder or something silly along those lines - I've forgotten most of that crap!
     
  2. gavsim

    Hitman

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 730

    Thats fantastic! Congratulations on getting the interview.

    Renault have a really strong aero team and I think it is headed by Dino Toso a very well respected aerodynamicist. I have no experience working in F1 but wish you all the best with your interview.
     
  3. leaskovski

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 22 Oct 2004

    Posts: 9,086

    Location: Berkland

    Cool, i hope you do well in the interview. As i grew up in Silverstone Village, i know a couple of people that have worked in the F1 industry. 1 friend of the family used to do the cool job of driving the trucks around and getting sorting out what kit was to be loaded. Another mate is a coder for a team. From the things he tells me he does some smart stuff. Not that he should really be telling me :eek: :D
     
  4. Kol

    Capodecina

    Joined: 8 Jan 2003

    Posts: 13,961

    Location: London

    :huff: :( Best job in the world that would be, working for an F1 team and Renault no less.

    If I'm correct, I recall Flibster working in F1 at some point? Or at least having some extensive ties.
     
  5. philio16

    Gangster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 158

    Location: Manchester, UK

    My cousins ex boyfriend worked for Jordan doing something with the aerodynamics on the nose :) Thats all I know though! :p
     
  6. Sirrel Squirrel

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 5 Aug 2003

    Posts: 7,847

    Location: Essex

    the car or the person?
     
  7. philio16

    Gangster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 158

    Location: Manchester, UK

    lol :p

    edit - the car just in case you wernt being funny ;)
     
  8. NicktheNorse

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,364

    Location: Oslo, Norway

    Thanks for the kind words! I hope I do well also :p

    I'm not quite sure it can be considered the best job in the world - It requires extreme amounts of hard work - and long hours 7 days a week during the busy testing periods. I'd be working for the CFD department - churning out numerical predictions of the flow over different spoilers/fins/nacelles and then passing that information on to the chief aerodynamicist - he'll decide whether or not the potential gains are worth testing in the wind tunnel.

    According to some people who have worked with F1 (but not in F1, if that makes any sense), young engineers (ie, me) tend to burnout quite quickly and many leave before the end of 2 years.

    I also had word from my supervisor yesterday that he'd been contacted by Ferrari and he said they will almost definitely have me flown to Maranello for an interview in their F1 Aero department in the next month :D

    Still, the original question stands - I'm still trying to find out how the interview will be structured!
     
  9. Hodders

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,360

    Location: Aldbourne Wiltshire

    I had an interview with Williams back in the mid nineties (I was doing loads of embedded DSP algorithm work for Philips Reasearch at the time).

    The day started with a bit of a tour (none of the sensitive bits) but I did get to actually touch a F1 car ! Followed by the standard talk through my CV and any questions sort of thing.

    There was a technical interview that was actually pretty easy given that my work at the time was so similar to what they were looking for.

    Very interesting day - I got offered the job but actually turned it down as just before I received the offer letter FIA banned active suspension and all the gizmos that I was going to be working on :-(

    I guessed that it would have been a very short period of employment !
     
  10. MarcLister

    Capodecina

    Joined: 7 Mar 2005

    Posts: 18,945

    Location: LU7

    My exact feelings. Would love to work in F1 in some capacity. Do the teams employ anyone to test out the sunbathing suitabilities of each track? :cool::p

    I once had a 2 week work experience with a company based at Cranfield University. Amongst other things this company crashed tested racing chassis including F1 and Champ Cars. I got to press the button to smash a chassis up. Was very happy with that until my bosses told me I had to clean the ruddy ramp of all the carbon fibre dust and spray it clean. Hmm pushing the button didn't seem so fun after that. (Sugababes reference fully intended btw).

    I also worked in a pub whilst in the sixth form and one of the chefs and I got on really well. She knew I loved F1 and once told me a mate of hers was responsible for the suspension or something on the Jordan cars. Lucky so and so he was.:mad:

    I've just remembered whilst writing this post that someone off another forum I use got a job with McLaren, albeit making the SLR cars and not the F1 team itself. Apparently he left after a while and now works with another F1 team and is actually in the F1 team itself.

    Anyway good luck with the interview, hope it goes well and let us know what happens after, if your contract allows you to.;)
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2006
  11. Hodders

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

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    Location: Aldbourne Wiltshire

    Another question for the OP....

    I know that marine fluid-dynamicists are looking at things that replicate fish skin in order to reduce drag/turbulance on submarines - has the same thing ever been considered for aero drag ? The peregrine falcon can reach over 100mph in level flight - low drag or what !
     
  12. DaveyD

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 19 Jan 2003

    Posts: 12,647

    Location: Warwickshire

    I'd have thought it would have to depend on the application, as with aeroplanes, you're going to be going a hell of a lot faster than what a submarine can do. Not sure how much the coefficient of drag would change if you used feathers on a plane... it would just look silly :p
     
  13. Kol

    Capodecina

    Joined: 8 Jan 2003

    Posts: 13,961

    Location: London

    Work wise - ie. what you will be doing, no :p I have no idea, but working in F1 would be a dream come true. Even if it was a lowly tea boy I would do it, then go back to research during the break.
     
  14. GravyMonster

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 14,379

    Location: The land of milk & beans

    a C programmer i used to work with worked for McLaren in the late eighties, re-writing their logging software.

    The most impressive part of it (for the 80's remember) was where it'd draw the path the car took by measuring it's speed, angle of steering input, gforce etc, to show exactly what input the driver had put on the car at a given point of the track.
     
  15. Hodders

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

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    Location: Aldbourne Wiltshire

    Its the same kind of thing with golf balls - everybody thought a smooth golf ball would have less drag. It turns out the pimpled golf balls help the seperation layers and prevent the airflow 'holding on' to the sphere. The result is less turbulance and less drag....

    Birds have had millions of years to get it just right I would be surpirsed of they didn't have a trick or two up their wings !
     
  16. NicktheNorse

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 4,364

    Location: Oslo, Norway

    Funny you should mention it, this type of flow effect has been studied for a long time, including applications within F1.

    [big breath]

    The "fish skin" contains lots of scales - if you look at the surface of the fish its not perfectly flat but instead is quite rough - almost bump-mapped to use a PC/graphics analogy. You would perhaps think that this "bumpiness" would increase the fluid drag, but instead the bumps act as tiny vortex generators - and importantly, they don't protrude outside of the boundary layer.

    This has the effect of energising the flow (the bumps add vorticity to the fluid - that is, they spin the fluid and therefore accelerate it) which means the boundary layer stays attached all along the surface and also remains quite thin. All in all this means reduced drag, although it is not the primary effect.

    This exact same concept is currently widely in use on cars and aircraft, but generally speaking these vortex generators stick out beyond the boundary layer and into the general flow (the "free stream"). Although they keep the flow attached to the surface (which is good!), they stick out into the free stream which causes an added drag penalty.

    So there has been lots of research on keeping these vortex generators within the boundary layer (literally just making them shorter) - and several studies have even been funded by Renault F1 (hows that for continuity!) in an attempt to reduce drag from the rear wing on the F1 car.

    So:

    Type 1: Vortex generators that stick out into the free stream = good
    Type 2: Vortex generators that dont stick out in the free stream = excellent

    Fish scales = Type 2. And yes, they have been used in "aero" drag.

    pedantic: there is no difference with drag in air or water - the principles are all the same - and they fall under fluid mechanics. its just the viscosity that changes.
     
    Last edited: 9 May 2006
  17. NicktheNorse

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

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    Don't mean to sound like a smart ass, but the pimples in the golf ball actually help the air to "hold on" to the sphere. The pimples actually add turbulence (or cause the boundar layer to transition, more specifically), and this causes the flow to separate later.

    The earlier the air "lets go" of the golf ball = the more drag because of a greater pressure difference between the front and rear of the golf ball.

    Now whoever said that fluids wasn't fun :p
     
  18. Hodders

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    I stand corrected - thanks :)

    And to think I nearly did aerodynamics at Bath ! (Settled for Electronic Engineering at Surrey in the end...)
     
  19. NicktheNorse

    Mobster

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

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    Location: Oslo, Norway

    I've got a few friends doing EE here at Imperial... They are weird :p :D
     
  20. kaiowas

    Capodecina

    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

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    Good luck with the interview. I was hoping to go into F1 aerodynamics during my more naive younger days. After my first year at uni I realised I wasn't anywhere near clever enough for it though.