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Greatest in F1/GP


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Poll: Who is the greatest engineer in F1/GP (122 member(s) have cast votes)

Who is the greatest engineer in F1/GP

  1. Gerard Ducarouge (1 votes [0.58%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.58%

  2. Owen Maddock (2 votes [1.16%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.16%

  3. Harvey Postlethwaite (5 votes [2.89%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.89%

  4. Vittorio Jano (2 votes [1.16%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.16%

  5. Gordon Murray (22 votes [12.72%])

    Percentage of vote: 12.72%

  6. Mauro Forghieri (1 votes [0.58%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.58%

  7. Patrick Head (9 votes [5.20%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.20%

  8. Rory Byrne (26 votes [15.03%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.03%

  9. Colin Chapman (51 votes [29.48%])

    Percentage of vote: 29.48%

  10. Adrian Newey (54 votes [31.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 31.21%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 Lazy

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:30

Personally I think it's a shame that in a sport that is primarily an engineering exercise, the drivers, over paid prima donna's that they are, get so much of the accolades.

Arguably the greatest men in F1 are the engineers and they deserve more recognition. Adrian Newey and Colin Chapman are the only one's who get any where near the status of drivers yet there are many more who have done far more to win races and championships than any driver.

For me Chapman was the greatest for consistently changing the sport with revolutionary ideas. Newey , with his genius for aerodynamics, has probably won more races than anyone. Byrne probably dominated F1 for the longest run.

There's not so much information around about the rest, I would be interested if people could shed light on them.

I nicked the list for the poll from F1 Fanatic but there may be more you know of. I would especially like to hear about engine designers who we hear so little about.

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#2 SpaMaster

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:45

I would add the money part as well..

#3 Juggles

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:45

I don't feel I know enough about enough of them to vote. Colin Chapman was clearly a staggering innovator but I didn't realise (until seeing a couple of F1 documentaries, one of them was called 'the Killer Years') quite how obsessive, almost sociopathic, he was. Then again, engineers like Newey are renowned for pushing the envelope too - perhaps he would sacrifice structural integrity for outright speed, therefore putting his drivers at extra risk, just as Chapman did if the regulations allowed it.

Also, Alarcon might complain that Paddy Lowe isn't on this list...

#4 KnucklesAgain

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:47

I don't feel I know enough about enough of them to vote. (...)


This. A similar thread exists, and while I agree with the premise that we should now more about the engineers, the fact is that we don't and nothing much can be said in such a thread.


#5 Lazy

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 08:53

This. A similar thread exists, and while I agree with the premise that we should now more about the engineers, the fact is that we don't and nothing much can be said in such a thread.


Maybe. I was hoping there would be people out there who did know.

#6 Fulcrum

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:18

Vittorio Jano

#7 Shiroo

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:35

Chapman was great engineer but 2nd tier human being. If we consider only engineering skills, then he wins no doubt

#8 Jackmancer

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 10:47

Not the best by a far margin, but Sergio Rinland made some great designs for Sauber and Arrows from 1999-2001. Shame he's out of F1, could have done great.

#9 HuddersfieldTerrier1986

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 11:31

Overpaid? Matter of opinion. Prima donna's? Sorry, but that's a stupid thing to say as far as I'm concerned. As for the poll, same as KnucklesAgain and Juggles, don't know enough about all of them to vote with any degree of certainty.

#10 Kelateboy

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 12:05

IMO, Rory Byrne is the greatest of all time. He made another legend looked pedestrian during the 1999 - 2004 period.

#11 BetaVersion

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 18:05

Horrible thread to be honest.

Many misconceptions by OP

Collin Chapman was never an engineer. Peter, and some other, were the responsibles for the ground effect cars's revolution

Plus, you are putting engineers of very different area into a comparison.

Newey is an aerodynamicist, Byrne know less about aerodynamics than some members in this forum, for instance.



In the end, you'll have things such as some passionate Ferrari fans claiming: "IMO, Rory Byrne is the greatest of all time. He made another legend looked pedestrian during the 1999 - 2004 period."

When in fact, Byrne had quite little to do with Ferrari's sucess. Many of it was down to Tombazis, Costa and others.

The same as in Chapman's case, Byrne just got the reputation for other's people work.

I would vote for Newey and Gordon Murray who really are aerodynamicists which belongs to a class of their owns.

#12 senna da silva

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 18:09

Mario Illien.
Aerodynamicists are well interesting but without a great engine its all moot.

arguments for Costin and Duckworth could easily be made as well.

Edited by senna da silva, 24 November 2012 - 18:11.


#13 scheivlak

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 18:12

Many misconceptions by OP

Collin Chapman was never an engineer.


Talk about misconceptions :rotfl:

There's a whole era before the ground effect cars  ;)

#14 Shiroo

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 18:27

Horrible thread to be honest.

Many misconceptions by OP

Collin Chapman was never an engineer. Peter, and some other, were the responsibles for the ground effect cars's revolution

Plus, you are putting engineers of very different area into a comparison.

Newey is an aerodynamicist, Byrne know less about aerodynamics than some members in this forum, for instance.



In the end, you'll have things such as some passionate Ferrari fans claiming: "IMO, Rory Byrne is the greatest of all time. He made another legend looked pedestrian during the 1999 - 2004 period."

When in fact, Byrne had quite little to do with Ferrari's sucess. Many of it was down to Tombazis, Costa and others.

The same as in Chapman's case, Byrne just got the reputation for other's people work.

I would vote for Newey and Gordon Murray who really are aerodynamicists which belongs to a class of their owns.

Collin Chapman

Edited by Shiroo, 24 November 2012 - 18:27.


#15 Lazy

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 18:53

Mario Illien.
Aerodynamicists are well interesting but without a great engine its all moot.

arguments for Costin and Duckworth could easily be made as well.


:up:
Yeah, for sure he should be in there, impressive achievement from a small company.


#16 BetaVersion

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 19:07

Talk about misconceptions :rotfl:

There's a whole era before the ground effect cars ;)


misconception again. He was not responsible for those previous things, either.

Repeating things is just waiting the forum's digital memory but, sadly, many members leave no choice: Chapman was never an engineer, or at least, that's what I was told in a documentary I previously watched about the Lotus of old

Collin Chapman


So, I guess the documentary was wrong and wikipedia is right.

edit: Well, the documentary wasn't wrong though. He was a civil engineer, not an automotive expert one. Still no reason for him to be compared with Murray or Newey. If you wanna pick somebody from Lotus to compare with those guys, then put Peter Wright

Edited by BetaVersion, 24 November 2012 - 19:15.


#17 DarthWillie

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 19:10

John barnard anyone?

#18 BetaVersion

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 19:18

John barnard anyone?


unfortunatelly, his Ferraris didn't have much success, so I guess it would be quite hard for most to pick him :well:

He's credited for having introduced some things(eventhough I don't have a clue if it was really him or the staff working with him as well ) in the sport like : semi-automatic gearbox, first carbon fibre composite chassis and 'coke-bottle' shape of sidepods. Still, he doesn't have that much success to kind of back it up. He "successed" at Mclaren in the 80's but his results at Ferrari really tarnished his resume a bit imo

Edited by BetaVersion, 24 November 2012 - 19:23.


#19 BoschKurve

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 19:22

If F1 was not so focused on this aero rubbish, Adrian Newey's exposure would be greatly limited.

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#20 Tsarwash

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 19:27

Collin Chapman was never an engineer. Peter, and some other, were the responsibles for the ground effect cars's revolution.

I don't think this is true. Everything that I have read about Chapman points to him being an engineer.

Newey is an aerodynamicist,

I think this is incorrect also. Newey is not just an aerodynamicist. He is a race car designer, and also a Formula One engineer, who happens to excel at aerodynamics.

#21 scheivlak

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 19:36

edit: Well, the documentary wasn't wrong though. He was a civil engineer, not an automotive expert one. Still no reason for him to be compared with Murray or Newey. If you wanna pick somebody from Lotus to compare with those guys, then put Peter Wright

You're really deluded.
Some diploma is worth more than conceiving the Lotus 25?

Gordon started much the same way as Colin BTW, building his own car to get the knack of it.

#22 jeze

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 19:44

Perennial cheater Newey that had a huge losing streak at McLaren over Chapman? I really think people have gone nuts.

1, Chapman

2, Byrne

3, Murray

4, Newey



#23 BetaVersion

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 19:46

I don't think this is true. Everything that I have read about Chapman points to him being an engineer.

I think this is incorrect also. Newey is not just an aerodynamicist. He is a race car designer, and also a Formula One engineer, who happens to excel at aerodynamics.


Adrian Newey have gained a First Class honours degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics

Most other engineers, that are often compared to him, are not aero experts or at least are not graduated with expertise on aerodynamics

#24 BlackCat

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 19:48

Jano

#25 One

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 20:37

Rory

#26 scheivlak

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 20:47

Adrian Newey have gained a First Class honours degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics

Most other engineers, that are often compared to him, are not aero experts or at least are not graduated with expertise on aerodynamics

What a strange answer.......

"X can play guitar, and piano and drums as well"
"X has finished his studies for guitar and for banjo too. Most other musicians don't have that diploma"

#27 Tsarwash

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 21:48

Adrian Newey have gained a First Class honours degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics

Most other engineers, that are often compared to him, are not aero experts or at least are not graduated with expertise on aerodynamics

Newey is a world class expert in his field of aero, but my point is that he is a fine car designer and engineer as well. He is not just a astronauticist.

Jeze, many people would contend that Chapman 'cheated' as much as Newey does, perhaps even more so.


#28 SpaMaster

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 22:21

Perennial cheater Newey that had a huge losing streak at McLaren over Chapman? I really think people have gone nuts.

1, Chapman

2, Byrne

3, Murray

4, Newey

As a Ferrari fan, you should not call others names such as cheaters.

#29 SpaMaster

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 22:31

If F1 was not so focused on this aero rubbish, Adrian Newey's exposure would be greatly limited.

What an ignorant thing to say! Without aero downforce, F1 cars won't have their unique speed. F1 aero is one of the most tightly clamped one, stringent of freedoms. But the nature of the tracks mean that that is still the area that offers biggest gains and widest scope. Aero is what gives the car these speeds. May be if the races are all in Monaco and Singapore, aero scope would reduce. Newey is made for F1!

#30 nordschleife

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 22:55

John barnard anyone?


I should say! A great engineer revolutionizes the science. Before Barnard's introduction of carbon-fibre chassis any crash could mean a career's end at best. From then on, odds were a crash didn't even guarantee an automatic injury. Kind of changes the game, doesn't it?



#31 BoschKurve

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 23:08

What an ignorant thing to say! Without aero downforce, F1 cars won't have their unique speed. F1 aero is one of the most tightly clamped one, stringent of freedoms. But the nature of the tracks mean that that is still the area that offers biggest gains and widest scope. Aero is what gives the car these speeds. May be if the races are all in Monaco and Singapore, aero scope would reduce. Newey is made for F1!


F1 was infinitely more fascinating to watch when aero wasn't the freak show it is now.

And...what unique speed? Cornering speed?

Watching cars slide around corners because they aren't glued to the track is quite a test of skill.

#32 scheivlak

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 23:20

F1 was infinitely more fascinating to watch when aero wasn't the freak show it is now.

And...what unique speed? Cornering speed?

Watching cars slide around corners because they aren't glued to the track is quite a test of skill.

Yes, but making them glue to the track is exactly the engineer's test of skill.
And it's like there there's a 'glue Formula 1' - it's the engineers that have made it that way.

#33 PNSD

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 23:22

Chapman, engineer?

Surely you murderer?

It's disgusting that he is recognized as a great man. The guy should have been jailed. He was a terrible, terrible person who had no thought for his driver's safety. Complete opposite of Newey.

edit - Ground effect was a complete random lucky discovery in the wind tunnel.

Edited by PNSD, 24 November 2012 - 23:24.


#34 BoschKurve

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 23:25

Chapman, engineer?

Surely you murderer?

It's disgusting that he is recognized as a great man. The guy should have been jailed. He was a terrible, terrible person who had no thought for his driver's safety. Complete opposite of Newey.


Safety is overrated.

I remember when racing used to be a sport for men.

#35 scheivlak

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 23:27

Chapman, engineer?

Surely you murderer?

It's disgusting that he is recognized as a great man. The guy should have been jailed. He was a terrible, terrible person who had no thought for his driver's safety. Complete opposite of Newey.

Engineers can be murderers as well - and murderers can be engineers.

#36 Skinnyguy

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 23:32

Safety is overrated.

I remember when racing used to be a sport for men.


So many stupidity in such a small number of words must be a record.

#37 DanardiF1

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 23:40

I view Chapman as a visionary more than an engineer, a visionary whose compromises were so few they crossed into ethical grey areas. However, if safety wasn't a consideration of the circuits, other teams and the public at large, why should Colin have considered it? He was merely the most uncompromising of a generation that though leather caps were enough for a driver to consider his safety.

Newey is probably the greatest aerodynamicist in motorsport, but I picked Gordon Murray because he was as brilliant as Newey but with a harder engineering edge. Newey has always had great vehicle dynamicists around him, but Murray was the aero guy, the suspension... the complete auteur of his vehicles. Whatever the trends or new innovations in the sport, Murray's cars always had the most beautiful and neat iteration of them.

Newey is almost unfortunate to have been working in an era of F1 when computers and simulation have largely replaced or made redundant the visionary ideas that his forebears had... and yet we see on the Red Bull cars even now pieces of design that not only have Newey's personality stamped on them, they still challenge the rules and what people think is possible with F1 cars. I get the feeling that Adrian Newey would've liked to have been in F1 in Murray's 'heyday', and their brief crossover period showed the greatest of one era, and the first fruits of a new one in the MP4/4 and March 881.

And aside from the F1 cars... the McLaren F1 still may be one of the greatest cars ever concieved. Even Murray reckons it would still be faster than a Veyron if it had an extra gear... with nearly half the horsepower, 2 wheel drive and early 90's design and manufacturing technology.

#38 BoschKurve

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 23:41

So many stupidity in such a small number of words must be a record.


Maybe instead of bashing me for something, you should try respecting my opinion, no?

Racing was more interesting when there was more danger involved. It added another dimension to the racing that made it quite interesting to watch.

We also had more proper circuits to race on in those days as opposed to circuits with car park runoffs. It's a shame we'll never see F1 at a circuit like the Osterreichring again.


#39 William Hunt

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 00:51

what about John Barnard?

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#40 RealRacing

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 01:19

Let´s put it in perspective. Imagine the McLaren MP4/4, or any car for that matter, driven by Karthikeyan, Sato, Fontana, et.al. on any circuit.

Now go to you tube and watch this Senna. Then come back and tell me, seriously, if you still think F1 is a sport that is primarily an engineering exercise.

Edited by RealRacing, 25 November 2012 - 01:21.


#41 Les

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:20

Maybe instead of bashing me for something, you should try respecting my opinion, no?

Racing was more interesting when there was more danger involved. It added another dimension to the racing that made it quite interesting to watch.

We also had more proper circuits to race on in those days as opposed to circuits with car park runoffs. It's a shame we'll never see F1 at a circuit like the Osterreichring again.


I think danger is one thing but to be blatantly negligent is another thing all together. The sport was dangerous enough in those days without some of his designs which whilst brilliant at getting a laptime was not what you wanted to be in during an accident. This letter from Jochen Rindt http://chronocentric...id=31906;page=2 after this makes incredibly poignant reading when you consider that poor Jochen was doomed. I know Jackie Stewart would not race for Chapman and I read a post by Brian Redman in the Nostalgia forum where he said he was glad a deal for him to drive for Lotus fell though as he probably wouldn't have been around to make the post!

I'll agree that Chapman was the greatest innovator in the sports history though but I'll also have to acknowledge some of the other truths in this thread '2nd tier human', 'he would have ended up in prison' etc.

Anyway I'm not surprised Chapman and Newey are leading the poll. I voted for Newey.

Edited by Les, 25 November 2012 - 03:21.


#42 SpaMaster

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:23

F1 was infinitely more fascinating to watch when aero wasn't the freak show it is now.

And...what unique speed? Cornering speed?

Watching cars slide around corners because they aren't glued to the track is quite a test of skill.

You are clearly not following what I am saying. No matter how much you clamp aero, that is where most of the time is there to be found. You have to pretty much totally ban aero for that. The point I am making is the benefits of aero are such that even if it has the most stringent of freedom it still offers the biggest gains. It's the easiest way to go fast through the kind of corners that make F1 circuits.

#43 Kelateboy

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:32

Horrible thread to be honest.

Many misconceptions by OP

Collin Chapman was never an engineer. Peter, and some other, were the responsibles for the ground effect cars's revolution

Plus, you are putting engineers of very different area into a comparison.

Newey is an aerodynamicist, Byrne know less about aerodynamics than some members in this forum, for instance.

In the end, you'll have things such as some passionate Ferrari fans claiming: "IMO, Rory Byrne is the greatest of all time. He made another legend looked pedestrian during the 1999 - 2004 period."

I am not a Ferrari fan, so that is the first misconception that you have.

Second misconception, this is not a discussion about the greatest F1 aerodynamicist of all time. It is a discussion about F1 designer/engineer. At Ferrari, Byrne was the "Chief Designer". He handled all design related matters, and aerodynamics is just a department, albeit a major one, within the whole design development team.

When in fact, Byrne had quite little to do with Ferrari's sucess. Many of it was down to Tombazis, Costa and others.

The same as in Chapman's case, Byrne just got the reputation for other's people work.

I would vote for Newey and Gordon Murray who really are aerodynamicists which belongs to a class of their owns.

This is a team sport. The whole team designs the car, but the key person, will invariably get the recognition. I know it is not fair. It is the same everywhere including with the Red Bull and Newey. Do you think Newey alone is reponsible for Red Bull being the WCC in the past 3 years?

Edited by Kelateboy, 25 November 2012 - 05:20.


#44 Lazy

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:29

F1 was infinitely more fascinating to watch when aero wasn't the freak show it is now.

And...what unique speed? Cornering speed?

Watching cars slide around corners because they aren't glued to the track is quite a test of skill.


Sort of the point of this thread is to highlight the contribution that the engineers make.

#45 Lazy

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:36

what about John Barnard?


Yup, he should be in there too, and there are probably others.

Engine guys seem to have an especially low profile, there are sure to be others like Illien, I was never sure who the main guys behind the great Honda engines were for example.

#46 Lazy

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 08:55

I am not a Ferrari fan, so that is the first misconception that you have.

Second misconception, this is not a discussion about the greatest F1 aerodynamicist of all time. It is a discussion about F1 designer/engineer. At Ferrari, Byrne was the "Chief Designer". He handled all design related matters, and aerodynamics is just a department, albeit a major one, within the whole design development team.


This is a team sport. The whole team designs the car, but the key person, will invariably get the recognition. I know it is not fair. It is the same everywhere including with the Red Bull and Newey. Do you think Newey alone is reponsible for Red Bull being the WCC in the past 3 years?


Despite his misconceptions about the thread and your loyalties, there is some truth to what he says. True genii tend to be a little autistic in nature and and as such tend to be inconspicuous. Newey is a good example, a very mild mannered man, uncomfortable in front of the camera, it has taken a long time for him to reach the status that he has.

On the other hand, these people, by their nature, would probably never by able to pull a team together to make use of these abilities. This very often requires arrogant "2nd tier human beings" like Chapman, or even Ron Dennis (maybe Byrne too, I don't know much about him).

Personally I would very much be interested in the Peter Wrights of this world and they are part of my aim in this thread.

#47 BoschKurve

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 12:55

You are clearly not following what I am saying. No matter how much you clamp aero, that is where most of the time is there to be found. You have to pretty much totally ban aero for that. The point I am making is the benefits of aero are such that even if it has the most stringent of freedom it still offers the biggest gains. It's the easiest way to go fast through the kind of corners that make F1 circuits.


I don't dispute that it allows for the fastest way through corners.

What I dispute is the dominance of aero. It's turned F1 into a joke with these idiotic front wings, and everything else.

All the crying done regarding large budgets is laughable when the large budgets are all geared towards aero development; the refining aspect requires gobs of money.

It's not all that interesting. F1 has been relegated to a near spec race with this crap. I'd rather see more focus on mechanical grip and engine development than aero.

#48 BoschKurve

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 13:02

I think danger is one thing but to be blatantly negligent is another thing all together. The sport was dangerous enough in those days without some of his designs which whilst brilliant at getting a laptime was not what you wanted to be in during an accident. This letter from Jochen Rindt http://chronocentric...id=31906;page=2 after this makes incredibly poignant reading when you consider that poor Jochen was doomed. I know Jackie Stewart would not race for Chapman and I read a post by Brian Redman in the Nostalgia forum where he said he was glad a deal for him to drive for Lotus fell though as he probably wouldn't have been around to make the post!

I'll agree that Chapman was the greatest innovator in the sports history though but I'll also have to acknowledge some of the other truths in this thread '2nd tier human', 'he would have ended up in prison' etc.

Anyway I'm not surprised Chapman and Newey are leading the poll. I voted for Newey.


I have no problem with the advances of safety with car design. I'm not interested in seeing cars explode into fire.

But there is a balance to it all. Tracks should have enough danger designed into them so it gives drivers pause to consider risk/reward in choices on the track.

But calling Chapman a murderer/second-tier human is little over the top for my tastes. People are free to think it though, and I understand where they are coming from. I do agree he pushed the boundaries a more than necessary in his designs. His obsession with saving weight was understandable, but he took it too far in many cases. However, he was a product of another era who for all his greatness was flawed as a person. But that's what made Colin who he was.

#49 SpaMaster

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 13:08

Yes, I agree aero can be clamped much more than it is presently. But that would only increase the importance of aero. And I think that is how it should be. It still won't be as spoiled as it is now. The more stringent you make aero, bigger the difference an aerodynamicist like Newey would make. It is precisely because it still offers the biggest gains and that is where the most time would be found. It does not mean aero would be as interfering as it is today, as I believe it could be used much better. But F1 would always be an aero sport.

#50 Lazy

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 13:27

Yes, I agree aero can be clamped much more than it is presently. But that would only increase the importance of aero. And I think that is how it should be. It still won't be as spoiled as it is now. The more stringent you make aero, bigger the difference an aerodynamicist like Newey would make. It is precisely because it still offers the biggest gains and that is where the most time would be found. It does not mean aero would be as interfering as it is today, as I believe it could be used much better. But F1 would always be an aero sport.


Indeed, once you get over 70 mph the aero forces become massive, there is no way round that, so I think aero will always be the dominating factor.