When McLaren used medical gear to outwit F1 rivals

Method 1 has at all times been a sport of engineers decoding the principles to their very own profit, nevertheless it’s not usually that medical gear is co-opted by an F1 group to realize a bonus over its rivals.

But that’s precisely what McLaren did when making an attempt to realize an edge within the pits when F1 final allowed refuelling throughout pitstops.

Talking on the newest episode of the Deliver Again V10s podcast, reviewing the 2004 Belgian Grand Prix, McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley revealed the ingenious technique his group employed to realize essential time over rivals throughout a extremely aggressive part of races.

“Within the refuelling days, when everybody had this mandated expertise, identical equipment, identical {hardware}, delivered gas on the identical price, you weren’t allowed to switch the gas rigs in any manner,” Priestley remembers. “And but, if you happen to might discover a strategy to velocity up your refuelling pitstop it was a differentiator.

“We had an ideal little trick at McLaren the place the refuelling man wore a physician’s stethoscope. He had the factor in his ears after which the tube went down his arm, the sleeve of his race go well with, got here out at his hand which had the piece that the physician places in your chest to hearken to your coronary heart, and because the gas rig went on he held that little stethoscope onto the nozzle of the gas rig, so when the gas was being delivered he might hear what was happening inside.

“And simply earlier than, when the required quantity of gas was delivered, there was somewhat kind of motorised butterfly valve contained in the nozzle that used to whir closed. Solely when that was closed did the lights then flip to inexperienced on the nozzle and you can begin the two-stage technique of releasing it.

Formula 1 Grand Prix, Belgium

“So after all, he might hear when that butterfly valve was beginning to whir up and shut having had all of the gas delivered. And he might then begin the primary part of this launch, earlier than the lights went inexperienced. After which because the lights went inexperienced we have been prepared to simply take the nozzle off.

“No person knew about it, it was completely authorized as a result of we weren’t modifying the rig, and it most likely solely saved us a number of tenths, perhaps half a second on every cease, however after all as everyone knows these issues could make the distinction.

“That was a kind of little genius concepts that I used too love about Method 1, nonetheless right now, however while you’re concerned in it maybe much more so – it was an enormous secret, no-one knew, solely us on the within had any inkling of, however I believed it was so easy but efficient.”

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