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1983 F1 monocoque designs


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#1 bartez1000

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Posted 11 September 2019 - 19:27

In 70s, before ground effect era, most monocoques were rather wide and low. Often, the widest point was along driver's hips. Such design was used in Tyrrell 008, Ferrari 312T,T2,T3, Mclaren M23 and other successful designs. Fuel was usually stored in sides of monocoque, with deformable structures mandated by regulations from 1973 widening the cars even more. Sometimes there was no fuel bag between driver and engine.
When ground effect was utilized, the space in sides had to be freed from fuel, in order to place wing profiles. Fuel cell was moved between driver and engine, and it stayed there until now. The narrower monocoque was, the more space wings could take, which resulted in stronger downforce.
Using narrow monocoques has disadvantages - as is harder to ensure appropriate levels of rigidity. Narrow and high construction also increases height of mass center, which is further impaired by tall fuel tank. Such drawbacks were of course outweighed by massive downforce from underwings. Yet, after 1982 season these were outlawed and cars had to utilize flat floors. After few years it became clear that using wide, long floors gives aerodynamic advantages, but in 1983 other concepts were also tried. Championship winning Brabham BT52 and Ligier JS21 looked like darts - sidepods moved far back, narrow monocoques, no floor to the side of driver.
 
Why post 1982 monocoques and fuel tanks were so similar to 1982 ones, and not to 1977 design? Carbon fibre and aluminum honeycomb designs made ensuring rigidity easier, but even then by having low, wide monocoque with low fuel tanks, some benefits could be reaped.
Moreover, where are deformable structures? Were these not mandated in 1983? 1981 Fia appendix "J" still requires them for Formula 1, in future years F1 regulations are missing from appendixes.
oIjPqQb.jpg


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#2 blackmme

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 07:27

The 1983 regulation changes were brought in by the FIA very late, as late as November 1982 if memory serves.

 

There was thus very little time to do much conceptual work to identify what the optimum solution would be for the new rules and there was something of a 'Cambrian Explosion' of solutions. 

At one extreme some teams such as Williams and  Renault completed a fairly conservative (in the case of Renault a very conservative) update of their 82 cars before in the case of Renault bringing in a carbon fibre monocoque after the first few races.  This car the RE40 whilst being on the face of quite conservative aerodynamically introduced the 'blown' diffuser to F1.

 At the mid point were Ferrari and McLaren, with McLaren's solution developed by John Barnard ultimately providing the best answer with the 'Coke Bottle' shape.

The furthest extremes were exhibited by Brabham and Ligier (actually probably Toleman but that's a different story) but they were very different in execution.  Brabham under Gordon Murray scrapped the BT51 ground effect car and went for a relatively simple car with a definite rearward weight bias help manage the power of the BMW Turbo.  Ultimately this would prove something of an aerodynamic dead end but certainly an effective weapon in 83.  Ligier took a similar route but for differing reasons.  They were I think under significant financial pressure at the time due to a poor 1982 with the JS19 whose aerodynamics simply didn't work and were ruled illegal anyway. 

They had a quite an effective and stiff monocoque for the JS19 and the JS21 was that monocoque with very few changes.  In the early season it was quite an effective car and I rather liked the look of it.

 

As to the width of the monocoque's themselves that is a slightly different story past the upheaval of 82 to 83.  At the same time as this was going on we had of course the rise of the turbo's with their ever greater fuel capacity, cooling and inter-cooling requirements and the widespread effective use of carbon fibre.  Quite simply with a wide flat monocoque despite any stiffness gains where would all the required turbo 'gubbins' go?  The carbon tubs of 82, 83 and 84 were already far (orders of magnitude) stiffer than those of the mid 70's and for the reduced aerodynamic loads of those years from the heights of the ground effect era perfectly adequate.

 

​On the subject of the deformable structures they were never particularly large as specified in the regulations as far as I understand.  Certainly it was possible to take an existing chassis and engineer it in as Lotus did with the 72, the McLaren M23 had a far more robust interpretation.  Those 'lumps' sticking out from the side of the JS21 in the photo above ARE the deformable structures and somewhat different to the specification of today's!

 

So the answer to your question is, different rules, new and different materials and very different engine packaging requirements all came together to make the 1970's style monocoque's unsuitable.

 

Regards Mike


Edited by blackmme, 12 September 2019 - 08:11.


#3 chr1s

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 09:42

This is something I've often wondered about. I was sure that the 1983 Brabham was going to have a triangular monocoque!

 

And in a similar vein, why didn't the 1989 Ferrari have a flat 12 engine?



#4 blackmme

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 10:58

This is something I've often wondered about. I was sure that the 1983 Brabham was going to have a triangular monocoque!

 

And in a similar vein, why didn't the 1989 Ferrari have a flat 12 engine?

 

It would have made the coke bottle shape Barnard required rather difficult/impossible.

In his biography Barnard talks a length about the thinking behind the car, including the fact that the original reason for the paddle-shift gearbox was do away with the gear linkage and enable the slimmest monocoque possible. 

The tub for the 639 and 640 did have a smaller fuel tank behind the drivers than was conventional at the time and two additional side fuel tanks, but i believe this was more for packaging the length of the engine and not for any inherent structural optimisation.

 

I am sure those much more knowledgeable than me will be along to comment further!

 

Regards Mike



#5 Henri Greuter

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 17:38

This is something I've often wondered about. I was sure that the 1983 Brabham was going to have a triangular monocoque!
 
And in a similar vein, why didn't the 1989 Ferrari have a flat 12 engine?

 
 

It would have made the coke bottle shape Barnard required rather difficult/impossible.
In his biography Barnard talks a length about the thinking behind the car, including the fact that the original reason for the paddle-shift gearbox was do away with the gear linkage and enable the slimmest monocoque possible. 
The tub for the 639 and 640 did have a smaller fuel tank behind the drivers than was conventional at the time and two additional side fuel tanks, but i believe this was more for packaging the length of the engine and not for any inherent structural optimisation.
 
I am sure those much more knowledgeable than me will be along to comment further!
 
Regards Mike

 
 
 
If you can find them, look at pictures of the Coloni-Subaru/MotoriModerni.  That car had a Flat12.
Now I will give that car the benefit of the doubt aerowise because I still believe the engine was even more worse than anything else except the Life W12.
 
Indeed, the Cokebottle areo mandated narrow engines
 
BTW, mentioning the Subaru and the Life, I always get a kick out of people hailing the V12 as the epithome of F1 engines.
Have a look at this list of Twelves crated since 1989:
 
Life W12
Porsche V12
Subaru-MotoriModerni V12
Yamaha V12
Lamborghini V12
 
On the bit brighter side we have Ferrari V12 and the Honda V12
 
How many world titles won wit a Twelve?    with a genuine V12?   Only one ..... (1991)
 
The epitome of  F1 engines?
Make it the most overhyped and most overestimated of them all.....
Much noise for effectively: little to nothing....

Edited by Henri Greuter, 13 September 2019 - 07:14.


#6 Henk Vasmel

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 18:18

 

How many world titles won wit a Twelve?    Only one ..... (1991)

 

Poor Niki, Niki and Jody



#7 Henri Greuter

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 18:44

Poor Niki, Niki and Jody

 

 

Henk,

 

Correction applied: thanks.

 

 

There is, at least a little difference between the Ferrari Flat 12's of the 70's and the later ones I listed with the exception of the Subaru.

 

I have a different opinion of the Ferrari Flat12 as not being a genuine V12 though I agree, technically it ia a 180degree V12. But not a true V12

 

Of course you are right with naming Niki and Jody for becoming wold champion with the Flat-12.

But still, for me that feels a little bit different because of being a Flat engine.

 

But it still is the white raven among the 12s: the one that actually was a success. But I don't think that was because of its power advantage. I think the Flat12 was a success because of the low CG of the engine benefitting the handling of the chassis. the Power advantage of the engine was pretty much erased because of the higher weight of fuel the car needed to make the distance and the effects that had.

I have a feeling that the success of the Flat 12 is primarily because of what it enabled for a chassis in the pre-groundeffect era than its power advantage because of being a 12.

Makes me wonder what a Flat-8 could have achieved in that same era!.


Edited by Henri Greuter, 12 September 2019 - 19:29.


#8 Bloggsworth

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 21:03

If you can find them, look at pictures of the Minardi-Subaru/MotoriModerni.  That car had a Flat12.

Now I will give that car the benefit of the doubt aerowise because I still believe the engine was even more worse than anything else except the Life W12.

 

Indeed, the Cokebottle areo mandated narrow engines

 

BTW, mentioning the Subaru and the Life, I always get a kick out of people hailing the V12 as the epithome of F1 engines.

Have a look at this list of Twelves crated since 1989:

 

Life W12

Porsche V12

Subaru-MotoriModerni V12

Yamaha V12

Lamborghini V12

 

On the bit brighter side we have Ferrari V12 and the Honda V12

 

How many world titles won wit a Twelve?    with a genuine V12?   Only one ..... (1991)

 

The epitome of  F1 engines?

Make it the most overhyped and most overestimated of them all.....

Much noise for effectively: little to nothing....

 

On the louder side, the Matra...



#9 Bikr7549

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Posted 12 September 2019 - 22:21

Wasn't it Keith Duckworth who analytically or experimentally came to the conclusion that right around 350 cc per cylinder was the most effective size for gasoline engines in F1, power and fuel consumption wise? The DFV at 375 cc was right about there and the 12 cylinder engines were at 250 cc. You might think (at least I do) that for a given displacement the 12 would be somewhat narrower than an 8 and lend itself better to a ground effect with tunnels chassis especially if the cylinder angle was 60 degrees, but no one ever pursued that except for MATRA. An inline 6 might be an even better package maybe but only BMW seemed interested in inline configuration. 


Edited by Bikr7549, 12 September 2019 - 23:29.


#10 Henri Greuter

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 06:18

On the louder side, the Matra...



Yes, but I only listed the Twelves from the post "First Turbo-Era". Hence why I initially left out the Ferrari Flat12 as well and got pinned for.....
And then, if we include the Twelves of before the First Turbo-Era then we have to list:

Weslake V12
BRM V12
Tecno Flat-12
Alfa Romeo Flat12

Edit: Addition: Ferrari V12's in all kind of different lay-outs of valve configurations) EndEdit

Did I overlook one or more? Then likely because of being even less of a success that any of those 4 and the Matra were.... :) :)

Four of them won at least one race but I honestly can't say that any of these engines was a real success and worth going for.

If you ask me, the more we talk about them the more approval comes up that, apart from the Ferrari Flat12 and the 1991 Honda V12, "Twelves" were case of "getting back too much of the bad in return for too less of the good"

Edited by Henri Greuter, 13 September 2019 - 07:12.


#11 Henri Greuter

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 07:17

Wasn't it Keith Duckworth who analytically or experimentally came to the conclusion that right around 350 cc per cylinder was the most effective size for gasoline engines in F1, power and fuel consumption wise? The DFV at 375 cc was right about there and the 12 cylinder engines were at 250 cc. You might think (at least I do) that for a given displacement the 12 would be somewhat narrower than an 8 and lend itself better to a ground effect with tunnels chassis especially if the cylinder angle was 60 degrees, but no one ever pursued that except for MATRA. An inline 6 might be an even better package maybe but only BMW seemed interested in inline configuration.



Gerd Hack & Fritz Indra wrote a book about F1 engines that was published in the mid 80s and they came up with the that for 3 liter engines the ideal configuration had to be a V10 as being the ideal compromise between the V8 and V10. This was based of research power loss due to internal friction and other parameters known for V8 and V12.
History proved them right between 1995 and 2005 .....

Edited by Henri Greuter, 13 September 2019 - 07:18.


#12 Michael Ferner

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:42

Yes, but I only listed the Twelves from the post "First Turbo-Era". Hence why I initially left out the Ferrari Flat12 as well and got pinned for.....
And then, if we include the Twelves of before the First Turbo-Era then we have to list:

Weslake V12
BRM V12
Tecno Flat-12
Alfa Romeo Flat12

Edit: Addition: Ferrari V12's in all kind of different lay-outs of valve configurations) EndEdit

Did I overlook one or more? Then likely because of being even less of a success that any of those 4 and the Matra were.... :) :)


Yep, the V12 Alfa - I'm sure Chiti and his men would like to forget that one, too (although it had one pole and looked a likely winner in that race).

#13 Henri Greuter

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:44

SNIP

 You might think (at least I do) that for a given displacement the 12 would be somewhat narrower than an 8 and lend itself better to a ground effect with tunnels chassis especially if the cylinder angle was 60 degrees, but no one ever pursued that except for MATRA. An inline 6 might be an even better package maybe but only BMW seemed interested in inline configuration.



EDIT: I wrote this post before Michael's correction above was posted! Thanks Michael :up:. How strange to have writtten the lines below while I actually failed to list the Alfa V12 in my previous post Michael reacted on. )


The Alfa catastrophy that debuted in 1979 was also 60 degree Vee angle.

The smaller Vee angle did have one major setback compared with the 90 degrees of the Cosworth. The Center point of gravity (CG) was much high er with both the Alfa and the Matra.

Now I recall having read somewhere (wish I knew where) that Ligier claimed that the latest version of the Matra V12 they used wasn't that much heavier heavier than a Cosworth, also thanks to the use of titanium exhaust pipes. Again, i believe I have read this, I don't claim this to be a correct fact.
I believe that it was the same source that stated that the higehr GC of the engine was a problem initially. the 1981 matra powered car JS17 was in many ways the Matra powered version of the quite successful '79-80 JS11-15 types. But I d recall and the results are printed to read that initially the car was difficult and slow to drive and the team needed some time to sort the car auto properly. Given the results of latger in the year, who knows how much this have cost them a world title for Laffite.

But there is also a case of change from V12 to V8 that may suggest something.
Brabham started out 1979 with the BT48-Alfa V12 and had an absolute disastrous year with it. So bad that when the contract between Brabham and Alfa was terminated, the team instantly fielded Cosworth powered cars for the final two races of the 1979 season. These early versions of the BT49 were direct descendants of the BT48. Though there were no good scores for the cars that year anymore, they were inmediately competitite and fast. Any handicap of less powerful than Alfa powered cars not obvious at all. And one year later, Piquet was there with the best all season long.

Thus, two entirely different cases of engine swap
Now: is the jury out on a 60 degree V12 being an advantage over the Cosworth?

(

Edited by Henri Greuter, 13 September 2019 - 09:47.


#14 Michael Ferner

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 09:52

:D

And we both seem to have forgotten about Imola '79! Looks like that engine was not the total catastrophy we all seem to remember.

#15 Charlieman

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 10:09

Gerd Hack & Fritz Indra wrote a book about F1 engines that was published in the mid 80s and they came up with the that for 3 liter engines the ideal configuration had to be a V10 as being the ideal compromise between the V8 and V10. This was based of research power loss due to internal friction and other parameters known for V8 and V12.
History proved them right between 1995 and 2005 .....

The rule of thumb about 350cc as the optimum size for a racing engine cylinder predates the 1980s and 1990s. I have looked many times for a source -- Duckworth was a believer but it may originate with Harry Ricardo or someone from his era.

 

Regarding the flat (180 degree V12) Ferrari engine, Lauda wrote that it worked well but required a lot of attention. If used aggressively in practice, the engine lost power significantly so a fresh engine for the race was common. That suggests internal friction was a problem -- as well as exhaust pipe cracking and slipped fuel system belts which have cropped up in contemporary race reports I have been reading recently.

 

Lauda was a bold man to move to Brabham for 1978!



#16 Henri Greuter

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 10:19

:D

And we both seem to have forgotten about Imola '79! Looks like that engine was not the total catastrophy we all seem to remember.



But that race was not as long as a regular GP race so still a question mark if it had survived a full GP race distance !!!!

#17 guiporsche

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 10:45

Gerd Hack & Fritz Indra wrote a book about F1 engines that was published in the mid 80s and they came up with the that for 3 liter engines the ideal configuration had to be a V10 as being the ideal compromise between the V8 and V10. This was based of research power loss due to internal friction and other parameters known for V8 and V12.
History proved them right between 1995 and 2005 .....

 

Not really. Develoments in alloys and electronics explained why, as reported by Ian Bamsay in the RaceCar Engineering mag, both Cosworth and Toyota (under Luca Marmiroli) had V12 projects undergoing around 1999-2000, which were halted after the FIA forbade V12's to avoid another round of development and increased expenditure (with various manufacturers supporting the ban including, it seems and quite ironically, Ferrari). Toyota's entrance into F1 was delayed precisely because of that. I would add, in my humble opinion, that the last evolution of the V12 Ferrari, in 1995, was certainly at par with the best V10's (too late, too little). Berger's and Alesi's comments for that season make it clear that unlike previous years, the engine was for once not to blame.

Much is said about Schumacher's comments upon testing the V12, but much less is said about Berger and Alesi's surprise upon testing the Renault V10 (in the same test as Schumacher's) and finding out that it was not the star-ship reactor they expected it to be....


Edited by guiporsche, 13 September 2019 - 10:45.


#18 Henri Greuter

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 12:20

Not really. Develoments in alloys and electronics explained why, as reported by Ian Bamsay in the RaceCar Engineering mag, both Cosworth and Toyota (under Luca Marmiroli) had V12 projects undergoing around 1999-2000, which were halted after the FIA forbade V12's to avoid another round of development and increased expenditure (with various manufacturers supporting the ban including, it seems and quite ironically, Ferrari). Toyota's entrance into F1 was delayed precisely because of that. I would add, in my humble opinion, that the last evolution of the V12 Ferrari, in 1995, was certainly at par with the best V10's (too late, too little). Berger's and Alesi's comments for that season make it clear that unlike previous years, the engine was for once not to blame.
Much is said about Schumacher's comments upon testing the V12, but much less is said about Berger and Alesi's surprise upon testing the Renault V10 (in the same test as Schumacher's) and finding out that it was not the star-ship reactor they expected it to be....



You should read what John Barnard had to tell about the '95 Ferrari and why it was deemed the end of the line and the V10 the way to go.
And as of why MS liked the V12 Ferrari while Berger and Alesi both had their troubles with it.





@Moderators,

I'm responsible for the drifting off topic, is it by chance better to split this topic into the original one of the OP and a V12 thread????

Edited by Henri Greuter, 13 September 2019 - 12:33.


#19 BiggestBuddyLazierFan

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 17:30

Not really. Develoments in alloys and electronics explained why, as reported by Ian Bamsay in the RaceCar Engineering mag, both Cosworth and Toyota (under Luca Marmiroli) had V12 projects undergoing around 1999-2000, which were halted after the FIA forbade V12's to avoid another round of development and increased expenditure (with various manufacturers supporting the ban including, it seems and quite ironically, Ferrari). Toyota's entrance into F1 was delayed precisely because of that. I would add, in my humble opinion, that the last evolution of the V12 Ferrari, in 1995, was certainly at par with the best V10's (too late, too little). Berger's and Alesi's comments for that season make it clear that unlike previous years, the engine was for once not to blame.
Much is said about Schumacher's comments upon testing the V12, but much less is said about Berger and Alesi's surprise upon testing the Renault V10 (in the same test as Schumacher's) and finding out that it was not the star-ship reactor they expected it to be....


Alesi and Berger were lesser drivers in comparison to magnificent Michael Schumacher.

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#20 Regazzoni

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 22:58

Between 1970 and 1979 included 144 GP were contested, of which 36 won by the engine 312 B, 25% exactly (and not counting the races Ferrari didn't enter, otherwise the percentage is actually higher).

 

Weight was between 148kg in 1970 to 145 in 1979, on par with the DFV. Fuel consumption on average among the different tracks was slightly, very slightly, above 50 litres per 100km, which means just above 150 litres for an average GP; don't know the fuel consumption of the DFV but I doubt it was miles off.

 

For a given displacement (cc, cm3), power output is higher if greater is the number of cylinders and smaller the stroke/bore ratio, which are equivalent to say when greater is the surface of the piistons. Obviously there are practical limits, above 12 cylinders constructive complications and weight quickly outweigh the theoretical advantages.

 

I'll spare the comparison between the 312 B and DFV. By the time ground effect emerged, the DFV was comprehensively "outgunned" by the Ferrari engine, ground effect extended DFV's "design life" by few years, two or three, before turbos took definitely over. The 312 B was primarily dismissed by ground effect, before than the turbo revolution.

 

312B.png



#21 Henri Greuter

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Posted Yesterday, 09:01

Between 1970 and 1979 included 144 GP were contested, of which 36 won by the engine 312 B, 25% exactly (and not counting the races Ferrari didn't enter, otherwise the percentage is actually higher).

 

Weight was between 148kg in 1970 to 145 in 1979, on par with the DFV. Fuel consumption on average among the different tracks was slightly, very slightly, above 50 litres per 100km, which means just above 150 litres for an average GP; don't know the fuel consumption of the DFV but I doubt it was miles off.

 

For a given displacement (cc, cm3), power output is higher if greater is the number of cylinders and smaller the stroke/bore ratio, which are equivalent to say when greater is the surface of the piistons. Obviously there are practical limits, above 12 cylinders constructive complications and weight quickly outweigh the theoretical advantages.

 

I'll spare the comparison between the 312 B and DFV. By the time ground effect emerged, the DFV was comprehensively "outgunned" by the Ferrari engine, ground effect extended DFV's "design life" by few years, two or three, before turbos took definitely over. The 312 B was primarily dismissed by ground effect, before than the turbo revolution.

 

 

 

 

I have always felt it to be ironic that, with hindsight: the end of Flat12 started in 1977 because of two new trends within F1 that were both fatal for the Flat12 and both were introduced in that very same:year 1977.

- The introduction of ground effects by Lotus (Lotus 78)

- The introduction of the turbocharged engines (Renault)

 

Each of those two, in its own manner, spelled the unavoidable end for the 312B engine.



#22 Regazzoni

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Posted Yesterday, 09:35

I disagree. The 312 B was dismissed by ground effect, not by the turbo. Without ground effect it would have gone on and been competitive for quite a while. The engine had limits that were never reached, as Forghieri has discussed in several occasions in conferences and his books; it ran well below its capabilities from the very beginning, due to lack suitable components (ignition, to begin with). The development numbers from 1969 to 1980 prove it. The first turbo engine won only in 1983. Without the tragic happenings of 1982, Ferrari would have been the first too in that department.

 

There is another factor introduced in 1977 that contributed to change race car technology, radial tyres.

 

Oh, and the reviled Alfa Romeo flat 12 won one or two sportscar championships.



#23 PayasYouRace

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Posted Yesterday, 10:15

I have always felt it to be ironic that, with hindsight: the end of Flat12 started in 1977 because of two new trends within F1 that were both fatal for the Flat12 and both were introduced in that very same:year 1977.
- The introduction of ground effects by Lotus (Lotus 78)
- The introduction of the turbocharged engines (Renault)

Each of those two, in its own manner, spelled the unavoidable end for the 312B engine.


Yes I’ve often read that the flat 12 design was looking to be the ideal F1 engine in the mid-70s, due to its power and low centre of gravity.

As you say, if ground effect hadn’t made it obsolete, the turbos would have anyway. Though I do wonder if horizontal turbo designs might have come along if underbody aerodynamics hadn’t been pursued. Even after flat floors came along, narrow V engines were the way to go, bringing us back to coke bottle side pods for best airflow to the rear.

#24 Ray Bell

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Posted Yesterday, 10:28

Didn't someone work out that a flat 12 had a higher centre of gravity because the crank had to be higher, that there was a limit to how low you could run the heads because the exhausts needed to be at least somewhat smooth in exiting the heads and it all added up to not so low?

#25 Regazzoni

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Posted Yesterday, 13:12

Eventually it would have been made obsolete by the turbo, but when it was withdrawn it wasn't obsolete yet, not by a mile, that is my point.

 

Ferrari mulled over, it was reported, how to go about ground effect, whether to design anew or reuse a design of a naturally aspirated engine, and decided to develop both ground effect and turbo together. At the time, I recall, season 1980, the talk was all about ground effect - RE Ferrari - the reliability of the turbo was still a question mark. Then they discovered the chassis wasn't stiff enough for the increased aero loads (wrt T4 and T5) as well as for the brutal power delivery of the first version of the 126C, and decided to invest in new chassis technology too. They reacted quickly to the technological change, embraced it and almost pulled it off quite early if it wasn't for fate. They knew a thing or two about how to make race cars.



#26 Charlieman

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Posted Yesterday, 14:25

The first turbo engine won only in 1983. Without the tragic happenings of 1982, Ferrari would have been the first too in that department.

 

There is another factor introduced in 1977 that contributed to change race car technology, radial tyres.

 

Oh, and the reviled Alfa Romeo flat 12 won one or two sportscar championships.

Err, the first GP win for a turbo 1.5 litre engine was France 1979, with follow up wins for Renault in 1980 demonstrating that it wasn't a fluke. The first Constructors' Championship win for a turbo was, err, 1982 by Ferrari.

 

A further factor in turbo success is the loyalty of Jean-Pierre Jabouille at Renault -- three points finishes in three and a half years, but two of them were wins. Just count the retirements which were beyond J-P J's control.

 

JP-J out qualified Jody Scheckter (but not Villeneuve) in a Ferrari at Monaco 1980. That was the weekend when hope for the Ferrari flat 12 died. And the rest of the season was dreadful for Ferrari.



#27 Regazzoni

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Posted Yesterday, 14:31

I was referring to the drivers' championship, obviously.

 

Hindsight is always great; we know NOW how things went hence it must have been easy and clear at the time to see how they would eventually have panned out. Don't think so.

 

In 1980, with the T5 hopelessly outgunned by the ground effect cars, all the talk at Ferrari was how to produce a wing car. That the turbo would have eventually succeeded was not a foregone conclusion.

 

Look at the standings of seasons 1980 and 1981, the DFV had an unexpected lease of life from ground effect, the turbo won few races but were far down the standings.

 

The 312 B’s demise was entirely on ground effect, not the turbo.


Edited by Regazzoni, Yesterday, 14:36.


#28 Charlieman

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Posted Yesterday, 14:46

As you say, if ground effect hadn’t made it obsolete, the turbos would have anyway. Though I do wonder if horizontal turbo designs might have come along if underbody aerodynamics hadn’t been pursued. Even after flat floors came along, narrow V engines were the way to go, bringing us back to coke bottle side pods for best airflow to the rear.

Packaging the intercoolers for turbo engines is difficult. Cutaway diagrams of 1980s cars show that turbo engines of any layout were very wide, lots of compromise unless the designer had a custom built engine. The DFV ground effects cars were partly successful because packaging was straightforward; designers could concentrate on the elements which made a difference, and they could learn from lessons at other DFV engine teams.



#29 Charlieman

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Posted Yesterday, 15:06

In 1980, with the T5 hopelessly outgunned by the ground effect cars, all the talk at Ferrari was how to produce a wing car. That the turbo would have eventually succeeded was not a foregone conclusion.

 

Look at the standings of seasons 1980 and 1981, the DFV had an unexpected lease of life from ground effect, the turbo won few races but were far down the standings.

 

The 312 B’s demise was entirely on ground effect, not the turbo.

The 312T3, T4 and T5 were unable to copy Lotus-style wing or ground effects. However Ferrari were very creative at producing body form downforce, within the limits imposed by the flat 12 engine.

 

The Renault 1.5 litre turbo engine was unreliable in 1980 and 1981, but the DFV engine teams were getting worried. The turbo engine had been shown to work at slow circuits. I don't need the benefit of hindsight to understand that a 1.5 litre turbo engine would soon outperform any 3 litre engine under all circumstances.

 

Ferrari were spot on at initiating their 1.5 litre engine project. And, to return to the original topic, it was the right layout for future chassis developments.



#30 Regazzoni

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Posted Yesterday, 18:13

The T4 won a championship against wing cars... Just sayin'.

 

EDIT;: "unable"


Edited by Regazzoni, Yesterday, 18:14.


#31 Charlieman

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Posted Yesterday, 18:40

The T4 won a championship against wing cars... Just sayin'.

Yes. As I wrote above, Ferrari worked out ways to generate body form downforce in spite of the impediment, the big engine lump at the back. The reasons why Renault turbo engines failed to win were 1) unreliability, 2) not enough cars starting with a Renault engine and 3) insufficient confidence and money invested in the project.

 

Ferrari invested in their "turbo" project, with the backup Brown, Boveri & Cie compressor designers. Ferrari were serious about it.



#32 Regazzoni

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Posted Yesterday, 19:07

BBC didn't take part in the turbo effort. That was the comprex that went nowhere.

 

They used Garrett and KKK, switching between the two (don't recall which way) at a certain point.



#33 Henri Greuter

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Posted Yesterday, 20:12

I disagree. The 312 B was dismissed by ground effect, not by the turbo. Without ground effect it would have gone on and been competitive for quite a while. The engine had limits that were never reached, as Forghieri has discussed in several occasions in conferences and his books; it ran well below its capabilities from the very beginning, due to lack suitable components (ignition, to begin with). The development numbers from 1969 to 1980 prove it. The first turbo engine won only in 1983. Without the tragic happenings of 1982, Ferrari would have been the first too in that department.

 

There is another factor introduced in 1977 that contributed to change race car technology, radial tyres.

 

Oh, and the reviled Alfa Romeo flat 12 won one or two sportscar championships.

 

Now I disagree....

 

We both agree on the 312B being `killed` off by ground effects first. As much as I love the T4 ( Call me crazy, call me stupid but I think it to be a beautiful car Then and now)  but we all should know that almost all year long it was rarely the best car in the field. Had Ligier not messed upp and lost the plot after their flying start of the season, or if the FW07 had come along earlier and be as reliable as it was in the second half of the season, no way that either Scheckter or Villeneuve had stand a chance against either these cars. But Ligier and Williams each of them only had half a season in which they starred with Ferrari being all season long seonc or even third best but the stupendous reliability playing into their hands.

 

But as pointed out already by others, as early as 1980 Renault proved that turbocharging was coming off age and the future as also happened in 1981. But chassis-wise the British kit-kar still had an edge on any other team that used a different engine than the Cosworth.

I doubt that even a ban on ground effects as valid form 1983, even if it had been applied in 1981 already, maybe the Flat-12 could have had another spell of remaining competitive. But for the long term, turbo was the way to go and thankfully, Ferrari realised that in time.

But even with the ban on ground effects being introduced in '81, even then the Flat-12 was doomed, it would have been doomed even if ther ehad been a ban on turbos as well!  Because sooner or later the coke bottle would have been introduced and that aero package was as much havoc for a Flat-12 as ground effects was.

As for V12's standing a chance against the Cosworths from 1980 on: look to wha t a success the Alfa V12 and the Matra V12 were.

 

So for me, though the Flat 12 had tw good years coming up, the death bell for it was rung with two strikes against the bell in 1977. It got louder in '78 and was loud in '79 already. But misfortune for other teams gave the Flat-12  a fighting, glorious finish that year.



#34 Henri Greuter

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Posted Yesterday, 20:22

Didn't someone work out that a flat 12 had a higher centre of gravity because the crank had to be higher, that there was a limit to how low you could run the heads because the exhausts needed to be at least somewhat smooth in exiting the heads and it all added up to not so low?

 

Yes that's right. Primarily because of the exhaust the cylinder blocks had to be raised much more then otherwise could have been done. But the CG was still below that of the Cosworth or any other Vee engine other than the Alfa Flat12.

Makes me wonder if it has ever been considered to make the engine a extreme wide angle V12 like a 150 degree  (or shades of teh BRM V16: 135 degrees) to drop the crank and raise cylinderheads a little.

 

The original 126C turbo engine also had a lower CG that most other turbo engines, up to the moment wen the exhaustes etc were in place. Lots ow what was gained with that 120 degree Vee angle in GC was lost due to the turbos high on top of the engine.



#35 guiporsche

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Posted Yesterday, 20:23

You should read what John Barnard had to tell about the '95 Ferrari and why it was deemed the end of the line and the V10 the way to go.
And as of why MS liked the V12 Ferrari while Berger and Alesi both had their troubles with it.
 

 Yada yada yada: that does not answer what I wrote. Techonological evolution evidently made it possible for V12's to become a viable proposition in early 2000s F1. Or where they all idiots at Cosworth and Toyota? I know what Barnard wrote. He has his opinion and is entitled to it. Hopefully one day we'll hear about the 'other' side of the equation. Anyway, the issue is why Berger and Alesi were surprised at finding the Renault V10 was not as powerful or as good as they had believed... This is all off-topic, of course. But I love how certain narratives just become entrenched in people's minds.



#36 Henri Greuter

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Posted Yesterday, 20:37

 Yada yada yada: that does not answer what I wrote. Techonological evolution evidently made it possible for V12's to become a viable proposition in early 2000s F1. Or where they all idiots at Cosworth and Toyota? I know what Barnard wrote. He has his opinion and is entitled to it. Hopefully one day we'll hear about the 'other' side of the equation. Anyway, the issue is why Berger and Alesi were surprised at finding the Renault V10 was not as powerful or as good as they had believed... This is all off-topic, of course. But I love how certain narratives just become entrenched in people's minds.

 

Hoihoihoi

 

Being more powerful isn't the oily grail. Enough cases of cars that had more power than their opponents but ended up loosing out aginst those opponents because the power came with setbacks and handicaps. The V10 has always been seen as a compromise and being second best to either V12 or V8. The strength of the V10 was not so much that it was the most torquey, most powerful by default or so. But as an entire package it was in general the best possible option in engine performances and the car built around it.

 

 

If you know what Barnard had wrtiitne within his bio, then you know why Berger and Alesi had difficulties with the '95 Ferrari and where that came from. Maybe the Renault did not produce the power they were used to from the Ferrari but the Benetton was in in a number of details less extreme in behaviour and specs because of not having to use a V12.

 

BTW, to which `other side` are you referring to? People from Toyota and/or Cosworth revealling at long last why they believed a 22000 rpm V12 was a viable option?