Automotive and Motorsport

Formula 1 and high end motorsport

Automotive  and Motorsport

Formula 1 and high end motorsport

In one of the most innovative engineering industries, composites is a vital resource in staying ahead of the competition. Composites have been the leading edge in competitive aerodynamic based racing for decades.

From Motorsport to Nascar, and from Formula 1  to LeMans weve done it all

If its an aerodynamically engineered composite based candidate you're after. We've got the Man/Woman for the job! Permanent, temporary and fixed-term contracts available.


Formula 1 composites history

 Composites are very attractive to the automotive industry because they possess very high specific strength and/or specific stiffness. Composites also offer numerous advantages over many traditional materials like metals, including low density and enhanced corrosion and temperature capability. In more recent times, the makers of high-end sports cars turned to composites to find a competitive edge in performance, and in Formula 1, it was no different.

These materials were responsible for the biggest weight reductions in Formula 1 cars since the formation of the sport. Nonetheless, they also produced some dramatic changes in driver safety, comfort and overall performance. After years of adoption, the expertise of F1 teams in composite technology has seen F1 engineering being called upon in multiple other sports, including sailing and cycling. However, if you think that this transition to composite materials was smooth, you are wrong! Many engineers involved in the sport doubted this new technology. But McLaren Racing saw the potential that these new materials had, and rocked F1 with its first composite design. On March 6th, 1981, they completely changed the future of motorsport when they announced the first fully composite F1 chassis. It was 30% lighter than an aluminum monocoque with the same torsional rigidity.

According to John Bannard, the MP4-1 chassis designer, the project faced a lot of uncertainty and skepticism, especially related to fire/dust safety and how the monocoque would react to a big impact. Things got off to a great start: in its debut, McLaren won the British Grand Prix! However, a couple of weeks later, during practice in Monza, driver John Watson got involved in a huge crash. It was the first time the carbon monocoque was put to the test in a real situation. The car hit the wall so hard that the gearbox casing snapped in half and the engine got ripped off the back. When all smoke settled, Watson jumped out of the car unharmed! That accident set the tone for the carbon monocoque from there on after. It was the beginning of the safety cell.

Nowadays, a big majority of Formula 1 cars are made from carbon fiber composites, which makes them very light. Almost 85% of the volume of a modern F1 car is made up of composite materials, whilst accounting for less than 30% of its mass! Composites are widely used in many components such as bodywork, cooling ducts for the radiators and brakes, front, rear and side crash structures, helmets, HANS devices, wings, suspension, gearbox and the steering wheel and column, to name a few. But weight saving doesn’t come cheap: The price of a full carbon fiber monocoque can vary between $650,000 and $1.2 million, making it the second most expensive part of a modern Formula 1 car!

Job roles taken as examles from 2020 placements.

Project design
Composite trimmers

Composite laminators
Rohacell Programmers
Mechanical inspectors
Aerodynamicists Junior and senior level
and many more.



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