When McLaren used medical gear to outwit F1 rivals

Components 1 has all the time been a sport of engineers decoding the principles to their very own profit, however it’s not typically that medical gear is co-opted by an F1 staff 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 Convey Again V10s podcast, reviewing the 2004 Belgian Grand Prix, McLaren mechanic Marc Priestley revealed the ingenious technique his staff employed to realize essential time over rivals throughout a extremely aggressive section of races.

“Within the refuelling days, when everybody had this mandated expertise, identical package, identical {hardware}, delivered gasoline on the identical charge, you weren’t allowed to change the gasoline rigs in any means,” Priestley recollects. “And but, for those who might discover a strategy to velocity up your refuelling pitstop it was a differentiator.

“We had an excellent 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 take heed to your coronary heart, and because the gasoline rig went on he held that little stethoscope onto the nozzle of the gasoline rig, so when the gasoline was being delivered he might hear what was happening inside.

“And simply earlier than, when the required quantity of gasoline was delivered, there was a bit 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 might begin the two-stage strategy of releasing it.

Formula 1 Grand Prix, Belgium

Refuelling rig F1 2004

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

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

“That was a type of little genius concepts that I used too love about Components 1, nonetheless at the moment, however once 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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