The Coolest Supercars of 2013, According to Gianfranco (The Coolest Supercars: Annual Publication)

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This will move forward next April with the start of a new one-year pilot scheme. We are starting this with 1, drivers in Finland and based on that experiment we will improve the service. A high-speed camera for Formula One, a virtual crash simulation for sports cars and new load cell harnesses for Formula E — these are just a few of the recent research projects undertaken by the new Global Institute for Motor Sport Safety. In the longer term, it will also focus on ways in which these technologies can be applied for road safety. For the time being, however, it is putting in place a three-tier plan to develop safety at all levels of motor sport.

The Geneva-based organisation is chaired by Luc Argand, a leading Swiss lawyer who has been heavily involved in motor racing for most of his career, working with the FIA since the s and also as President of the Geneva Motor Show. He is responsible for chairing a board made up of business leaders and motor sport professionals see list, p25 with Laurent Mekies, General Manager Research, and Quentin Crombie, General Manager Administration, also reporting to him.

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Together they choose the safety research projects to be carried out across three main areas: high-technology, cascading technology and grassroots research. At the Global Institute we have the duty and the responsibility to further this progress and to cascade down the research to all levels of the sport.

The work of the Global Institute extends beyond Formula One right down to the grassroots level of motor sport, with the aim throughout of improving safety. This research - a continuation of projects initiated by the FIA Institute is focused on pushing the boundaries of what is survivable in a competition vehicle. It was terrible and I want to make sure that the work the Global Institute does means avoiding a return to that.


There is no longer any romanticism associated with death. When played back in slow motion, this will show high-speed events in far greater detail than was previously possible. The technology will be implemented in Formula One next year with a view to filtering it down to other championships in following years.


F1 drivers already have accelerometers built into their ear-pieces to measure the movement and forces on their head during an accident. Institute researchers are now looking to incorporate other tools into this device that will provide biomechanical measurements such as heart-rate, pulse, temperature and even sweat analysis. A further high-tech project has seen the development of a virtual simulation that has proven a theory to reduce spinal injuries for drivers. This has been conducted in partnership with Toyota, which has developed a computer model of the human body that it uses for virtual crash testing.

Called the Total Human Model for Safety THUMS , it is made up of almost two million elements that accurately reproduce the human form, from precise bone strength to the structure of organs. This project has significant potential for application in road cars and will be one of the priority targets for road safety development by Global Institute researchers. This also has applications in any series involving driver changes, such as in endurance racing. In the future, we will also be looking for ways to help take these ground-breaking developments and apply them to the motoring industry in general and for the betterment of society.

But this is just the start. Another important study is the development of a safety harness load cell that is being trialled in FIA Formula E and may be introduced fully in future seasons. It is a device that can attach to any safety belt and ensure it has been adjusted properly by the driver. This is especially important in FIA Formula E where the driver changes car halfway through the event and has to adjust his belts quickly.

When it is introduced, the load cell light will come on when the driver has safely done so.

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This may help to facilitate a change in the format where the driver no longer has a mandatory wait in the pitlane. The car swap can be done as quickly as possible because the device ensures that the drivers are safely in the car and feeds back to the race director if they are not. On the surface the differences appeared slight but the variation in sounds demonstrated the changes that have gone on under the skin of season two Formula E, a progression that has not only We wanted to have a championship that was interesting in terms of racing.

We wanted drivers racing the same cars, fighting each other. We wanted close racing. And we achieved that. We wanted to create interest and momentum with the series and then in the future we would develop more on the technological side. TEAM BENEFITS The invitation for teams to transition from simply being customers of the original Spark chassis and powertrain developed by F1 stalwart McLaren to manufacturer status required significant buy-in, however, and the federation was rewarded in February when eight of the 10 season one teams agreed to take the next step.

As soon as it opened up for manufacturers and constructors we jumped at it. We sincerely believe that the planet is in trouble and we need to do what we can to reduce CO2 emissions and clean up the atmosphere. A large contributor to this is transportation. What we need to do is work with these OEMs to see if we can come up with better forms of powering the cars that you and I drive.

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We spend over a billion dollars a year on research and education. Action: Spoken to CI regarding height awareness. Solutions will vary and the timeframe for results will not be quick in all circumstances as government departments are slow to deal with issues, but we must have a go to improve the situation in the interest of all members. Kavitha K. Of course this was an extreme comment but a point I want to get across to people. For the Baselworld edition, there have been a few pre-event announcements that have already got the conversation started.

In other series you are given regulations that specify the size of engine, maybe some fuel flow restrictions and your job is to extract as much power from this as possible. You obviously need to be able to design a powertrain that can deliver the maximum power allowed by the FIA.

Each time you go out for a given distance — a lap — and for a given speed — a lap time — the idea is to use as little energy as possible to achieve that distance and time. Pursue the wrong development route and performance can be lost, edges are blunted and recovery becomes complex. While we have a limit on the battery output, which is very similar to season one, we felt that improving the efficiency of the powertrain It maintains reliability and keeps us on top of the evolution going forward.

We got the final regulations in January and we had to homologate the car in June. In six months we had to design the powertrain, prototype it, test it on the bench, test it on the track, crash test it and homologate it, which is an awful lot of work. Even by F1 standards it was pretty tricky! Also, I strongly believe that any technology we develop in Formula E can trickle down [to road cars] very quickly. It is possible. There are not many components and you.

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A lot of it is simply programming and software. You can develop more efficient software quickly. But if we partner with a car manufacturer then we can develop better technology faster because they have more resources but also we have purpose, because whatever we develop the manufacturer can put on their road cars. Partnering with an OEM is one thing, but the racing world is different because of the pace of development and a manufacturer needs to understand the imperatives.

But that is for the far future. It has to push electric vehicle technology; it has to make it more exciting; it has to make it more relevant. I think we need to push boundaries. We want people to understand that these vehicles are a genuine alternative and pushing the boundaries of the sport will help that. Technology migrates from the race track to the road, but the path of migration changes.

In the first century of motor sport, that transfer was a haphazard affair, an exercise in blue sky research that occasionally led to great discovery. Innovations such as anti-lock brakes and paddle-shift gearboxes came from motor sport; the technology of direct injection, disc brakes and turbocharging all benefited from the helter-skelter rapidity for which racing development is famed and for which automotive development, pointedly, is not.

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Today, however, rather than technology transfer being a product of serendipity, it comes through targeted programmes of development. The game has changed. It is the modern hybrid regulations in F1,.

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Now, with the change in regulations driven by the FIA, F1 is engaged with future-oriented technology: turbocharging, downsizing, hybridisation. The teams on the F1 side and the road car side have the same language.

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They can talk to each other. Would the automotive company not make bigger gains by spending that budget seeking automotive answers to automotive problems? Weber suggests not. Competition, he insists, improves the breed. Every two weeks, on the fastest test bench in the world, they have to demonstrate how good their technology is. And though the technology is now the same, the mentality is different in the car industry because the life cycles are so many years long.

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Engineers need to look for perfection. The speed is different; the approach to risk-taking is different. How much horsepower does a road car need? I can envisage that in the road car world. That expertise has got direct road relevance, even without requiring a car to be a hybrid. Managing that and making it driveable is made possible by the electric machine on the turbocharger.

In the road car world the e-booster is being developed and our expertise in this will help. The new F1 battery has both high power capability and also high energy density. In a road car it will be what provides the range. The low-volume model, an electric derivative of the SLS AMG, utilised a powertrain comprising four synchronous electric motors and a lithium-ion battery pack.