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Adrian Newey: What if he went to NASCAR?


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#1 aportinga

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 14:06

Watching the Nascar race yesterday at a freinds house and they (friends) started to talk about the domination of Max in F1. They were not completely up to date with F1 so I explaimed that a good deal of Max's success comes from the car that Adrian Newey designed.

 

I had to go into Neweys success over the last 2-3 decades and they were all pretty shocked that an engineer could have such a significant impact. The host says: "That would never happen in Nascar" Then I started thinking - why not? Not knowing a whole lot about that series I started wonder what sort of impact Newey would have if he decided to go tin-topping?

 

Thoughts?



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#2 AncientLurker

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 14:10

I may be wrong, but NASCAR was (is?) heavily regulated as to what you can do to the cars to keep it even. Hence the (S)tock in the series name.



#3 PayasYouRace

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 14:17

I think Adrian is probably quite happy doing top level design for racing cars. I’m not really sure who designs the chassis and bodywork for the NASCAR teams.

He’s done a bit of engineering in Indycar, but he’s probably far beyond those sorts of trackside roles now.

#4 ARTGP

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 14:19

NASCAR rules are boring.

Edited by ARTGP, 04 March 2024 - 14:20.


#5 juicy sushi

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 14:19

Watching the Nascar race yesterday at a freinds house and they (friends) started to talk about the domination of Max in F1. They were not completely up to date with F1 so I explaimed that a good deal of Max's success comes from the car that Adrian Newey designed.

 

I had to go into Neweys success over the last 2-3 decades and they were all pretty shocked that an engineer could have such a significant impact. The host says: "That would never happen in Nascar" Then I started thinking - why not? Not knowing a whole lot about that series I started wonder what sort of impact Newey would have if he decided to go tin-topping?

 

Thoughts?

Because if someone tried doing what Adrian Newey does, they'd experience what Ray Evernham did after the infamous T-Rex car.  After the race he came back to the transporter to find Bill France waiting, and who told him that the car couldn't be run ever again.  Ray responded that it fully complied with the rules as written.  Bill's response was that "It won't tomorrow morning."



#6 Clatter

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 14:20

Watching the Nascar race yesterday at a freinds house and they (friends) started to talk about the domination of Max in F1. They were not completely up to date with F1 so I explaimed that a good deal of Max's success comes from the car that Adrian Newey designed.

I had to go into Neweys success over the last 2-3 decades and they were all pretty shocked that an engineer could have such a significant impact. The host says: "That would never happen in Nascar" Then I started thinking - why not? Not knowing a whole lot about that series I started wonder what sort of impact Newey would have if he decided to go tin-topping?

Thoughts?


He could probably make about as much difference as he could moving to F2.

#7 absinthedude

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 14:33

He did design winning IndyCars in the 80s. But that was at a time when teams could choose to design their own cars.

 

in NASCAR, my understanding is that the rules are very restricted regarding design. I am unsure that he'd enjoy that. And at this stage of life, he might as well work in an environment that he enjoys. The only thing that might tempt him would be if he felt the challenge were worth it.



#8 eibyyz

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 14:42

IIRC, Dallara designed the car and a fab-shop-on-steroids that I'd never heard of actually builds the cars.  

 

Methinks Newey would find a home at NA$CAR HQ doing R&D, if he had any interest at all.  Personally, I'd like to think he'll get a call from Elon Musk one of these days.



#9 Jerem

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 14:51

I think Max Verstappen would make more impact than Adrian Newey in NASCAR.



#10 nissan_gtp

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 14:51

Even though I know there is next to 0% chance, I'd like to see Adrian design a new Indycar. Chassis, powertrain, aero for road course/street/ovals, then whole thing. 



#11 NewMrMe

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 15:15

Isn't NASCAR a silhouette series, i.e. the shape and dimensions of the bodywork is defined in the rules. If so there would be very little for someone with an aerodynamics background.



#12 Nathan

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 15:17

I think his managerial skills and processes would make a noticeable difference at all but two of the teams.  Perhaps better quality control, probably better simulation use.

 

As far as design, the aerodynamics are so tightly monitored you have to be careful what you lean against before a race.



#13 Collombin

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 15:25

Isn't NASCAR a silhouette series, i.e. the shape and dimensions of the bodywork is defined in the rules


Is that the definition? I thought silhouette just meant it looks like a production road car but is nothing like it under the shell.

#14 ARTGP

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 18:40

Is that the definition? I thought silhouette just meant it looks like a production road car but is nothing like it under the shell.

 

It's both. There really isn't a lot to play with aerodynamically in Nascar. It's not prescribed to the mm in some areas, but it's not open season either.

 

Nascar is a lot more focused on the team element, engine builders, drivers, and pitstops. That's always been their formula. 


Edited by ARTGP, 04 March 2024 - 18:42.


#15 LolaB0860

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 18:53

Current NASCAR is essentially spec series under the branding silhouettes, whatever he'd do would have zero impact

 

Same if he went to design a car for BoP series like WEC or IMSA, the organizers would just dumb it down immediately so it'd be pointless (other than the looks but they don't need Newey there for mere aesthetics)


Edited by LolaB0860, 04 March 2024 - 18:55.


#16 Newtsche

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 18:53

Isn't NASCAR a silhouette series, i.e. the shape and dimensions of the bodywork is defined in the rules. If so there would be very little for someone with an aerodynamics background.

Does that include the floor?



#17 Ickx

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 19:00

I think you are both over and underestimating Newey. Overestimating the design work and underestimating the leadership capabilities. His job is not only to be ultimately responsible for the design, it is to lead the large organization that is developing the car. 



#18 PayasYouRace

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 20:12

I did ask earlier. How much design and engineering work do Nascar teams actually do nowadays?



#19 New Britain

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 20:37

I did ask earlier. How much design and engineering work do Nascar teams actually do nowadays?

Little, which is why the racing is so tight. The main differences in the various makes of cars are the stickers meant to mimic a brand's head- and taillights. There are tiny differences between the cars, but the idea is to minimise aerodynamic freedom and thus the expense entailed in developing that element of the package.



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#20 red stick

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Posted 04 March 2024 - 21:07

What if Einstein taught high school? Discuss. :smoking:

#21 jonpollak

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 09:48

I’d sign up but what classes would he teach ?
Scenography?
Wood shop?
Girls PE ?

These are the questions we want answered.

P.S.
Adrian is designing a Red Bull WEC car


Jp

Edited by jonpollak, 06 March 2024 - 17:05.


#22 AlexS

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 11:10

Newey would have died of boredom.



#23 PayasYouRace

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 11:17

Newey would have died of boredom.


I don’t think he was particularly bored when he did race engineering in the US in his early career. He might have had a good time engineering for a nascar team in the 80s.

But as a top-level designer now, I don’t think there’s anything for him.

Do we even know the name of a NASCAR chassis chief designer nowadays?

#24 Nobody

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 11:20

Maybe if teams could design their own gloves...

#25 Primo

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 11:23

Watching the Nascar race yesterday at a freinds house and they (friends) started to talk about the domination of Max in F1. They were not completely up to date with F1 so I explaimed that a good deal of Max's success comes from the car that Adrian Newey designed.

 

I had to go into Neweys success over the last 2-3 decades and they were all pretty shocked that an engineer could have such a significant impact. The host says: "That would never happen in Nascar" Then I started thinking - why not? Not knowing a whole lot about that series I started wonder what sort of impact Newey would have if he decided to go tin-topping?

 

Thoughts?

In a team, there's basically nothing a guy like Newey could do since all parts are what they are. As a designer for NASCAR, he'd learn that the goal is not to make the car faster. I doubt that is anywhere near his dream.



#26 AlexS

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 11:31

From Dallara webpage

 

The NASCAR Next Gen race car was born out of incredible collaboration between NASCAR and Dallara. 
The innovative machine was co-designed by NASCAR and Dallara, and Dallara is one of the selected vendors of the Next Gen parts and will supply the teams with the carbon fibre radiators inlets and outlets, made in the Indianapolis facility.

 



#27 PlatenGlass

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 15:02

I'm surprised how much effect Newey supposedly has even in F1, and wonder if its slightly exaggerated. More and more, stuff is just done by computers. They can simulate a lot of stuff and presumably make incremental design changes to then test in the simulation.

#28 PayasYouRace

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 15:09

Computers (CFD and CAD and stuff) are very good for optimisation. CFD is a come a long way and can refine a design very well. But they can’t come up with new ideas. Certainly not from a point of understanding where a clever engineer can conceive of a solution and get the ball rolling. Much like AI chat or image bots, they can only work with what they’re given.

Experience and knowledge for senior engineers is probably getting more valuable, rather than less, and you get engineers often have different skill and knowledge sets. Someone with an intuitive understanding like Adrian is still invaluable to an F1 team.

#29 red stick

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 16:19

I'm surprised how much effect Newey supposedly has even in F1, and wonder if its slightly exaggerated. More and more, stuff is just done by computers. They can simulate a lot of stuff and presumably make incremental design changes to then test in the simulation.

You're familiar with, garbage in, garbage out (GIGO)?  Computers are only as good as the input.  



#30 Radoye

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 16:31

It's both. There really isn't a lot to play with aerodynamically in Nascar. It's not prescribed to the mm in some areas, but it's not open season either.

I've watched NASCAR scrutineering both pre- and post-race. They basically have templates that they apply to the cars that must fit within a proscribed tolerance. Teams would occasionally try to cheat by (for example) pushing down on the hood during a pitstop or some such, but that's pretty much the extent of any aero "work" that happens in NASCAR. There's no place for someone like Newey who is an aero genius there.

If we're talking RBR personnel, Horner would probably be more useful as a manager / organizer in NASCAR than Newey.



#31 PlatenGlass

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 16:53

Computers (CFD and CAD and stuff) are very good for optimisation. CFD is a come a long way and can refine a design very well. But they can’t come up with new ideas. Certainly not from a point of understanding where a clever engineer can conceive of a solution and get the ball rolling. Much like AI chat or image bots, they can only work with what they’re given.

Experience and knowledge for senior engineers is probably getting more valuable, rather than less, and you get engineers often have different skill and knowledge sets. Someone with an intuitive understanding like Adrian is still invaluable to an F1 team.

I suppose my thinking is that it would reach a point where the design complexity must go beyond what a human would come up with. Within a given ruleset you must run out of intuituon at some point.

Edited by PlatenGlass, 05 March 2024 - 16:53.


#32 juicy sushi

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 17:09

I mean, that's when you get fiddling with winglets or complicated bargeboard arrangements.  But to see where the development opportunities in a given ruleset are takes someone to be able to see the rules as a holistic whole and work out the relationships, and where the biggest differences are made.  That's not really something you can just CFD out, as you need to figure out where to work on initially.  It's the blank piece of paper moment where people like Newey have their edge.



#33 Red5ive

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 17:27

That would be like going from the worlds most advanced race engineeering - to designing things made out of Lego.



#34 AustinF1

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 17:38

NASCAR? LOL, no, silly.

 

Newey's going cow racing.

 

13bboe64lcma1.png



#35 PayasYouRace

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 17:39

I suppose my thinking is that it would reach a point where the design complexity must go beyond what a human would come up with. Within a given ruleset you must run out of intuituon at some point.

That will only happen when computers develop imagination, which is a long way away.



#36 red stick

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 18:06

I'm sure Cyberdyne Systems has their best people on it . . .    :cool:



#37 Sterzo

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Posted 05 March 2024 - 22:40

I suppose my thinking is that it would reach a point where the design complexity must go beyond what a human would come up with. Within a given ruleset you must run out of intuituon at some point.

I suspect the current state of technology is such that it actually makes a designer's job more complicated. Back in the sixties the "if it looks right it is right" approach could suffice, but now the desigers are bombarded with masses of data about every detail of the car. They have to absorb and understand it all - while still taking an overview rather than getting bogged down in one angle. And that, apparently, is Newey's great strength.


Edited by Sterzo, 05 March 2024 - 22:40.