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Monday, March 4, 2024

The 2-gram weight saving that highlights F1’s particulars obsession

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However whereas the close to kilogram of mass that engineers have gained in stripping again liveries has been clear to see, there are different much less apparent areas the place the weight-saving push has been simply as excessive however for a lot tinier positive factors. 

One illustration of how each ingredient counts in F1 is the large progress that has been made through the years in bringing down the burden of overalls, boots, and gloves. 

However whereas drivers have gotten used to their racewear getting lighter (overalls have come down from round 1.6kg greater than a decade in the past to now be round 800g), that doesn’t imply racewear corporations are resting on their laurels. 

Actually as Puma, which provides a lot of groups together with Ferrari and Mercedes, revealed at a particular occasion forward of the Bahrain Grand Prix, no stone has been left unturned in it pondering the place enhancements will be made. 

This has triggered some excessive tweaks – together with changing steel zip pullers for cloth ones and distinctive Velcro fitments to chase positive factors that may be as small as 2g. 

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George Russell, Mercedes

Photograph by: Mercedes-Benz

Puma’s motorsport racewear marketing consultant Maurizio Sicco stated: “The Velcro contained in the overalls is perforated to avoid wasting just a few grams. It seems loopy, however in the event you speak about two grams – when it goes by way of a nook at 4G, that’s eight grams. 

“Ross Brawn used to say that you’ll by no means discover one modification that may make you achieve one second, however you could find ten completely different modifications that may assist you to achieve one tenth of a second. And that’s so true.” 

Such particulars appear ever extra necessary now as a result of racewear producers have just about hit the restrict of with the ability to make massive positive factors in decreasing weight due to the FIA’s ever extra stringent security requirements. 

“The FIA elevated the protection two years in the past as they realised that the extent of security was not sufficient,” added Sicco. 

“They requested to extend the performances not solely in fireproof phrases but in addition on warmth safety, as a result of you may burn your self simply from warmth. 

“To achieve this safety, you want completely different layers and the correct quantity of air in between: as air is the perfect insulation. So, they ask to the producer to extend the burden of the underwear and the burden of the fits. So now we’re at that degree.” 

Additionally, as the results of classes discovered from Romain Grosjean’s fiery accident on the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix, for this season the thickness of the gloves has additionally been elevated to supply higher safety. 

Efficiency positive factors 

The hunt to enhance racewear is not only about weight although, as additionally it is an space the place driver consolation will be simply as necessary in delivering additional efficiency out on observe. 

Lewis Hamilton stated he realised the distinction that extra superior racewear might deliver when he was as soon as sat a few years in the past in a press convention with Mercedes drivers who have been sporting Puma package on the time. 

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, and Michael Schumacher, Mercedes AMG, in the post qualifying Press Conference

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG, Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, and Michael Schumacher, Mercedes AMG, within the publish qualifying Press Convention

Photograph by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

“I keep in mind after I acquired to F1 my package was so heavy, and it wasn’t Puma,” he stated. 

“I keep in mind seeing the drivers at Mercedes, and I used to be in a press convention as soon as with them. I used to be sweating [and] I used to be actually so sizzling in my gear after qualifying.  

“I checked out one of many Mercedes drivers subsequent to me and their stuff was so gentle, and I used to be like: ‘What the hell? How’s your stuff gentle and breathable and mine isn’t?’  

“So, I actually cranked down and, after I joined this workforce, the nice factor with Puma is that they have been actually ahead pondering with their innovation. They’re actually centered on tech, and I used to be like: ‘Nice. Let’s work on this. Let’s make this the perfect package that we have now’.” 

Additional efficiency can come from the tiniest of tweaks. Puma’s senior supervisor of sports activities advertising and marketing Gregor Huebner remembers how, amid the depth of the 2016 world championship battle between Hamilton and Nico Robserg, he was requested to make a key change to the gloves of the German. 

“On the 2016 Singapore race, we acquired approached by Nico Rosberg as a result of he wished to vary the development of his gloves,” stated Huebner. 

“Throughout begins, there was seam in between the finger and the shifting pedal, which made it truly a bit tough for the beginning process. So, we sat down and analysed that there was a high layer, a backside layer and elements on the fingers that linked each layers.  

“Along with him, we truly achieved to eliminate that center layer, and to place the seam on high of the finger.  

“There was truly no seam anymore in between the finger on the shifting pedal.  

“In the long run he stated he was fairly pleased and that was an necessary half for him to win the championship truly.”  

Private style 

Maurizio Sicco, Puma

Maurizio Sicco, Puma

Photograph by: Puma

Not all requests are based mostly on doing issues higher within the automotive. Sicco remembers one unusual demand from a driver. 

“I had a request to suit some belt loops to the overalls, though we removed having belts,” he stated.  

“I requested, why would you like the loops if we have now no belt? He replied that when he was hanging round within the paddock, there weren’t any pockets so he favored to have the loops to place his fingers in…” 

Sicco additionally remembers an illuminating chat with Hamilton when he first joined Mercedes and so they mentioned their plans for the partnership. 

“We did some match assessments on the go well with and, as he was not new for us, as a result of we did the go well with for him for F3 and GP2, it was only a fine-tuning,” he stated. 

“Nevertheless it was attention-grabbing how detailed he was, and the way useful to develop the merchandise – even in the way in which that he defined issues to me as a result of I’m not an English native speaker. That was signal of kindness. 

“Then, additionally, he spent no less than quarter-hour explaining me how the caps needed to be, with the angle between the brim and the crown.  

“He stated it needed to be at a sure diploma, and he wrote down on paper what he wished.  

“I used to be a bit sceptical about how necessary this all was, however he advised me, ‘Maurizio, each grand prix I’ve lots of people take footage of me, and I wish to look the suitable method each time.’ 

“He stated he had a bag with him through which he saved six caps with out folding them, so the form would all the time be good. These are the small particulars that rely.” 

Which is precisely why these two grams of weight saving are so necessary.

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