More on the Lotus Renault gizmo…

Posted: January 10, 2012 in Formula 1, Technology
Tags: , ,

It appears that the hydraulic cylinders which adjust the ride height are positioned in the bottom area of the brakes’ cooling duct. These cylinders act upon the push rod’s strut, which is no longer fixed on the wheel, but it has a give of a few millimeters. It is suggested that a small pump will be used to drive the fluid in the cylinders, but to me this doesn’t make much sense, since you can re-direct part of the hydraulic fluid that is used for braking to drive these cylinders. This will be more light-weight and, arguably, more reliable, both in its operation (you will be sure that it will work every time the driver brakes) and its lifetime.

It’s not clear at the moment if such a device will be fitted on both ends of the car, but it makes sense to have them in both ends to eliminate squat and dive effects. The anti-dive will be useful at corner entries and braking, whereas the anti-squat will be useful in corner exits. The positioning of these cylinders inside the brakes is delicate, what with all the fluid lines, sensors, ducts, discs and struts that are there. Furthermore you wouldn’t want to disrupt the airflow and you don’t want to increase the size of the duct dramatically, which will hurt your aerodynamics.

I am also wondering whether the presence of these cylinders will affect the positioning of the lower wishbone (will it have to be attached higher up now?) and what kind of effect that will have.

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