BMW Sauber F1

Formula One is a seriously expensive sport but it’s really hard to visualize how expensive it really is by just looking at the race cars battling it out on the circuits. There’s a tremendous amount of hard work, time and money put into the development of Formula One cars, and to even begin to grasp the idea of how much equipment and etc it takes, you will have to take a stroll behind the scenes to check out the development and manufacturing of the car. Look after the jump for a series of videos released by the BMW Sauber F1 Team called “Understanding Formula 1”. It looks like there are plenty more to come but these are the few released so far, so please enjoy!

Understanding Formula One: Robert about Helmet.

Formula One is truly a high-tech sport. Members of the BMW Sauber F1 Team explain some basic terms and let you into some of the technical secrets: Robert Kubica speaks about his helmet.

Understanding Formula One: Nick about Helmet.

Nick Heidfeld speaks about his helmet.

Understanding Formula One: Tyres.

Members of the BMW Sauber F1 Team explain some basic terms and let you into some of the technical secrets: Willy Rampf, the teams Technical Director, speaks about tyres.

Understanding Formula One: Pit Stop.

Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica speaks about pit stops.

Understanding Formula One: Robert on Drivers’ Clothing.

Understanding Formula One: Steering Wheel.

Understanding Formula One: Telemetry.

Understanding Formula One: Aerodynamics.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Atrium.

The Formula One race cars of the BMW Sauber F1 Team are serviced on the second floor of the new factory building in Hinwil. This area is designed as an atrium to allow the cars to be seen from the third floor as well. The second floor also accommodates the carbon-fibre, car body, hydraulics and rapid prototyping departments.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Design Office.

The heart of the BMW Sauber F1 Teams aero department beats in the Design Office. Here, the engineers analyse the results from the CFD simulations, create new ideas and explore innovative ways to enhance the performance of the BMW Sauber F1.09.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Silicone.

For the construction of a modern Formula One car, many sophisticated materials are used in order to achieve the best performance. One of these materials is silicone. Here, you can watch how it is used to create a high-tech model of a vehicle component.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Rapid Prototyping.

Rapid Prototyping provides assistance to speed the development of new components. As soon as such components have been designed on a CAD system, computer-guided machines can use laser sintering or 3D printing technology to create scale models from resin, plastic powder, acrylic, wax or metal.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Autoclaves.

Carbon-fibre components of the BMW Sauber F1 Team car are being cured in the autoclaves between ten and 20 hours at a temperature of around 50 degrees Celsius.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Composite Assembly.

In the composite assembly, the BMW Sauber F1 Team is completing the different composite components. A front wing unit for example consits of ten different components.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Cutting.

In the cutting room at the team’s site in Hinwil, all the carbon fibre parts from the BMW Sauber F1.09 are given the “right cut”. The result are high-precision carbon parts. Engineers use up to 1500 of these parts when constructing the monocoque.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Truckhall.

In the truck hall, the team members in Hinwil load and unload the equipment required during Formula One races and tests. The fleet at the European Grand Prix consists of five trucks from Hinwil and one engine truck from Munich.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Clean Room.

In the clean room, the BMW Sauber F1 Team produces all the components made of composite materials. The high degree of cleanliness in the room provides ideal conditions for manufacturing vehicle parts that are sensitive to dirt, such as various chassis elements.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Wind Tunnel.

In the wind tunnel, the BMW Sauber F1 Team develops the aerodynamics of the F1.09. To do this, the engineers use virtual tools, such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), as well as real methods. These include a 60-percent model, which the team uses to realistically create and trace the effects of various forces on the car.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Aerodynamics Office

The team from Munich and Hinwil’s aerodynamic specialists and Computational Fluid Dynamics engineers work in the BMW Sauber F1 Team’s aerodynamics office. They come up with new ideas, develop the wind tunnel programme, and analyse the data gained in the tunnel. In supercomputer Albert3 they have one of the most powerful computers in the world as their partner.

Understanding Formula 1: Factory Hinwil. Model Shop.

In the model shop, the BMW Sauber F1 Team assembles its 60-percent model and prepares all the compoments for the next wind tunnel session. This scaled down model was designed and constructed by highly qualified specialists, simplifies development work on the chassis.