I saw many beautiful automobiles this weekend – Alas, no mesmerizing engine sounds!
Politically correct Austin, Texas, has succumbed to the lure of fast cars and fast women. Let me rephrase that, starting this Fall, Austin will host Formula 1 Motor Racing. The roar of fast cars will definitely be in the air, the women will have to decide for themselves …
Jimmy Clark, Sterling Moss, Graham Hill, Jack Brabham, Hans Stuck, Jochen Mass, all of them Formula One racing legends, whose names were revered when I was growing up. I’ve followed F1 for as long as I can remember, cheering for my favorite drivers and attend Grand Prix events when ever possible.
Unfortunately, we will have to miss the inaugural US GP in Austin this November. Should you be able to go, here’s a link for ticket options at the brand new track Circuit of the Americas. To make up for my disappointment, my son invited me to spend Father’s Day with him in the company of several F1 cars, and some lovely classic cars at the Formal Expo 2012.
Since I already posted some pictures of the Expo here and there, I want to focus now on the car F1 pilot Sebastian Vettel named ‘Kinky Kylie’ (remember those loose women? 😉).
Visiting the Expo, I had a chance to acquaint myself a little further with his vehicle, our famous Kinky Kylie, the Red Bull Motor Racing car, with which German F1 driver Vettel won his second consecutive world championship in 2011. She had pride of place in the Expo exhibit space. Minus her engine, which I can fully understand, from the point of view of the constructors, who have to protect their design secrets.
Unfortunately, though, Kinky Kylie’s display was not graced with any explanatory write-ups nor did the Expo organizers provide any explanations, diagrams, statistics or any other data about this remarkable car. Nada. This and other slipshod set-ups in the event were rather disappointing. Unaided, I set out to get as close a look at this racing marvel as I could. That wasn’t easy to do, as dear Kylie was surrounded by ‘Infinity’ logo safety tape at some distance and I only had a little point and shoot. Nevertheless, I was pleased to discover a number of interesting details about our fast lady.
Front Wing configuration
Front wheel suspension. Notice the curved air intact to cool the brakes.
The undercarriage. Floor plate anchored to the main body of the chassis.
As seen from the front of the car.
The floor plate. Barely an inch off the tarmac. No wonder sparks are flying!
The center chassis containing the Kevlar bladder for fuel – located right behind the cockpit. The driver essentially reclines against this highly volatile fuel supply.
Moving around behind little Kylie’s rear, things became rather complicated and confusing. There are so many details that it would be very helpful to have a team mechanic explain the specific function of all these different structural elements.
As there wasn’t an engineer to be found, I had to help myself to some information by scooting on my knees under the perimeter tape, to shoot more detailed pictures in a sneaky stealth move.
Most of these carbon fiber elements are part of the right side diffuser system
in the 2011 Red Bull.
The same view, a little closer in. You can see the curved carbon fiber blades guiding airflow, which comes from the side pods, under the rear wheel suspension, out and away.
Here we have the left rear with it’s tire, some more diffuser parts and the inside of the left rear wing. The tires were marked ‘show’ on tiny stickers, in inconspicuous spots, so I doubt they were ever driven on a race track. Notice again, how close the bottom or floor plate is to the ground. One can see the edge right below the neon green apple shaped thingy. In the lower corner of the wing plate is a kind of serial number (next picture), I found in several places on carbon elements. Each is different, indicating, I think, their different fiber composition.
This one reads: RB5-RW-..289-01 #101
Maybe ‘Red Bull5-RearWing-..’?
After a last look through the rear wing box for inspiration, we return forward for a last glimpse into the tiny cockpit. These guys must really be build like elves to fit in such narrow spaces. Extremely fit elves that is! Delivering inspired performances in such hellishly hot, claustrophobic space, can’t be easy. Oh wait, combined with astronomical salaries … maybe one could get used to the hardship?
I wonder about the white ‘DRINK’ button. Bar service included?
The little computer screen displays a diagram of the Circuito Permanente de Jerez
Lastly a shot of the steering column, as it disappears under the chassis rim. The carbon fiber material on the wheel has it’s own serial number.
It’s a little hard to make out, but one can just see the gear shift and clutch paddles as black sticks, parallel to and just behind the steering wheel.
I wish my Bouvet Islander dream team buddies happy tipping for the rest of the season and all of you a good night!