Unexpected proof that F1 must let design geniuses loose again

Unexpected proof that F1 must let design geniuses loose again

Amazon’s delivery of Petrillon’s excellent book on the Shadow Racing dynasty is a complete record of the new process as I plunged into the Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​Hill Climb Course with the ingenuity of a small McMurtry Automotive team.

These two seemingly unconnected automotive strands are, in fact, essentially combined by the wonders of the invention and the refusal to fit.

The small Spéirling is reminiscent of the original design of Trevor Harris’s Advanced Vehicle Systems (later to Shadow). Its small wheels and powerful Chevrolet V8 engine are somehow incorporated into Harris’s wacky Can-Am design. Both are drawn with a simple spirit. Smaller is better.

The image of Goodwood with a person standing next to Spéirling shows the amazing proportions of this car, and driver Max Chilton considers it to be one of the tallest race drivers of our time. increase. I think this car can be made even smaller for the Lando Norris size. pilot.

Similarly, Don Nichols, the man who deposited Trevor Harris in a bank to build the first Shadow Canadian race car, took part in the first race of the AVS Mark 1 at Mosport Park in 1970. It stands above DN1.

And that’s not the only similarity. Both the McMurtry and Shadow projects have been supervised and funded by eccentric and wealthy businessmen who do things differently and are passionate about being non-conformists.

David McMurtry is a Dublin-born executive chairman of Renishaw, an engineering and science and technology company co-founded in 1973, and he chose to spend a significant portion of his wealth on the McMurtry Spéirling project.

The recently departed Don Nichols was probably a much more mysterious person than McMurtry, but in front of the internet it was much easier to do so. Don was rumored to be a CIA operative and even an American spy at some point in his life, but there was one thing for sure.


Shadow was the winner in F1 and Can-Am with no small achievements. The ultimate ambition of McMurtry Automotive is a bit unclear, but it is certain that both marks share an innovative, unrestricted and bold approach. Car design that has captured people’s imagination for over 50 years.

The strange nonconformist design has a dangerous element about it. Did it fail miserably, or did it find the key to unlocking possibilities that someone had never imagined? And that’s exactly why we love them.

And that made me think. I’ve written about Formula 1 and Formula E FIA financial regulations earlier, but if they prove to work, God will be pleased. Hope they work for the economic sustainability of the sport. Then you will be able to enter an innovative golden age. An advanced design concept that stirs and fascinates the imagination of race fans around the world?

If financial regulations work as intended, many of the normative rule-making that top motorsport manufacturers produce nearly identical cars in multiple racing series will be discarded only if safety / impact regulations are met. May be done.

Gran Turismo 5 released 2010

Imagine what Adrian Newey would create without the bondage. His 2010 digital design, the X1 Prototype, was designed by Newey in collaboration with Gran Turismo creator Polyphony Digital for PlayStation, giving him the widespread and unrestricted design freedom. rice field.

If the maximum amount of money you can spend in a season and the safety and impact regulations are met, race designers can produce what they want. Do you want to move the aerodynamic device? All-fat ground effect with a sliding skirt? Funker Technology – McMurtry has proven at Goodwood how effective it is – and all fully active cars are acceptable.


Patrick Head, Gordon Murray and other design gurus may be tempted to retire to play under these rules.

What David McMurtry and his team of talented engineers (and some of these are now unleashed by former F1 guys) is to show the art of potential.

Yes, the 1978 Brabham BT46B funker was probably illegal for safety reasons, but with today’s knowledge and understanding, you should adopt the funker concept. Same as above Mobile aero system, active suspension, etc.

Why can’t we rethink these concepts with more knowledge, wisdom and wisdom of material knowledge than decades, just because they were banned decades ago?

Yes, I admit that my glasses are definitely rosy, but if you can control your overall spending well, you can have an economically sustainable race and design engineers have been in sports for decades. There is no reason to be a paria. Rulemaker – You can’t redeem, innovate, or surprise.

And Armen, Don Nichols and David McMurtry.


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