Welcome to new JA on F1 Innovation and technology section
Welcome to new JA on F1 Innovation and technology section
Posted By: James Allen  |  28 Jul 2012   |  4:52 pm GMT  |  49 comments

“F1 is all about innovation” – Ross Brawn, AMG Mercedes F1 team principal

We are delighted to launch a new section of the JA on F1 site, aimed at bringing fans closer to the sport and dedicated to the very heartbeat of F1: Innovation.

Research has shown that F1 fans see Innovation as one of the sport’s USPs and a key area of interest. Innovation puts puts the “Wow Factor” into F1. The cars are remarkable as is the pace of their development. F1 is real life on fast forward, it’s the speed of thought and innovation that really sets it apart.

We will have 3d animations, videos explaining how F1 cars work, an image gallery with the latest ideas on the cars as well as regular posts, insights and analysis, with input from the key names in the sport. The idea is to have a section full of original content that all F1 fans can understand and which helps them to get more from the sport.

However we will not just be looking at car technology, but groundbreaking ideas in all areas of the sport; we’ll look at any fresh ideas in rule making, the TV coverage and communication of the sport, even new ideas for team gear or websites. We’ll have a regular guest blog from one of the key behind the scenes technical people and innovators in the sport, looking at new ideas.

To help us bring this section to reality we have to thank Tata Communications, a new company to F1 but one that is set to change it. Readers will remember that at the start of the year they announced a groundbreaking deal with FOM to provide fixed line connectivity at every F1 track, which will soon replace satellites in the broadcast of the TV world feed and will give the teams the chance to send and receive data from the factories much more quickly. And fans will be able to interact much more with the the sport via their computers, iPads and mobile devices.

As a company innovating in F1, who better to support us as we seek to bring unique content to fans all about Innovation?

* Like all areas of JA on F1, this section is fully interactive with comments so if you have areas you’d like to see covered on the Innovation and Technology page then please do get in touch via the comments section.

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Dear James…

I was just doing a bit of Interweb searching to find out some more about the Lotus DRS, and suddenly came across your website. Excellent stuff, this is just the kind of thing I’ve been looking for for AGES. Good work fella, and all the folks you’ve got working with you there! Quality, mate, thank you.



Thanks. Spread the word..


Something that continually frustrates me is the comment on tv, “so and so was delayed/stoped/slowed/had to pit/returned to the garage/was towed to the pits/failed to make the start/made a slow getaway etc., etc., by a technical problem/issue”! It would be really great to know what that “technical problem” was!

All that aside, your site is great, James, THANKS a MILLION.



I would like to know the reason why there is so much difference in straight line speed between the Renault powered Lotus and the Renault powered Red Bull.


Downforce level


James have you seen this story using an F1 ECU in hospital?


I am surprised it has not been splashed by McLaren, it would be good for F1’s image. Even more so if MTC does the development as a charitable gesture.




Great idea James. Thanks very much for the site. It has some fresh thinking on F1 journalism. Something that was sorely needed.

Is it possible for you to persuade the FIA to release the “technical clarifications” they issue during the season. I can’t find them on their web site.


Good question

Liam in Sydney

James, I like your tech drawing grid paper background. Very techy. 🙂


It would be interesting to hear about innovations that failed, and why they failed. For example this years Mercedes double DRS.


Great initiative James, best wishes with it. I’d like to see some comparisons between the teams KERS especially given commentary during Hungary about Lotus KERS not quite being a match (40kw comp to 60 kw) to the Mercedes. Also some updates on developments for 2013/4 regs. On a separate note – nice interview with Mark pre race , who did his best to hide concern over Fernando getting away in the points! Thanks again

Leigh Schickerling

The Lotus KERS seems to be an ongoing problem, when it does operate it is lacking in performance compared to Mercedes, surely Lotus will have fired a rocket up the supplier to get there act together?


Great idea James, and I’m especially looking forward to this section coming online.

I would like to know in detail how McLaren have resolved their pitstop problems, to the extent that they are setting World Records.

Also, their’s some great innovation at Williams, by bringing in Michael Johnson to examine their pitstops, and McLaren, if I remember correctly, have brought in GSK to help with various areas.

I would also be interested in hearing what innovations the various partners have made by being involved in F1. For example, have Lenovo taken anything out of their partnership back into their marketplace? We constantly hear about how the car manufacturer’s are doing this, so it would be interesting to hear if other organisations can do the same, eg GSK, LG, Vodafone.

James, can I just say I really appreciate the work by Bernie and co at the last three races in the podium procedure. The interviews on the podium are a welcome move. Hopefully, they may have plans in place should future WC’s be crowned without finishing on the podium – eg Lewis in 2008, JB in 2009 – to perform an interview on the podium.


James, thanks for continuing to evolve your website. Just like F1 itself, it’s amazing how much development you’ve put into your site. It’s now the one and only F1 website. That you so much.


Thanks !


Thanks James, for me as engineer this is the reason for trully loving F1. Keep up the good work!



Great as always! It even looks technical! (the website!)

Maybe interesting for in the future;

– how do teams design new parts?(Philosophie behind the drawings)

– how does the ‘race control’ work at their home base?

Anyway.. I will read this section as much as possible, cause the technique behind the cars is what it makes it so interesting!



Sounds a brilliant idea, thank you James.

Dunno if this is the right time or place for this comment, James, but regarding the live TV feed, which I believe is supplied by the FIA, I wish there could be less cutaways to faces in garages unless there is a good reason for it. Of course it has to happen now and then, but there’s too much of it.


This sounds really good. 🙂



This will be a fantastic addition to an already authoritative site on F1. I see it has potential for a couple of thing – within the sport and outside the sport.

Within the sport things like the fluid dynamics (aero testing), gearbox developments, anti- stall and the level of and changes in driver control through the mapping are of interest and wheels/tyres. The new engine developments (not sure how deeply you may be able to get into the engine) will be of interest as will be the use of metals and non metals and electromagnetic aspects in their operation and development.

The second point that may come from the technical information is the spin off and the path taken by the developed technology. Many people, who have little interest in F1, can easily dismiss F1 racing as a simple process of using finite resources and turning them into waste products with little benefit to society. An explanation that can show the positive aspects of technology transfer from F1 developments to areas such as lightweight composite components for the disabled i.e. transport and prosthesis through to elegant ultrathin furniture or education aids etc. Other spin off such as fuel development, engine power, engine weights, recoverable energy and their path to everyday life will, in my opinion, lift the understanding of the sport (among the not so informed and the fairly well informed). The connection of F1 developments to things/actions involving the “person in the street” provides, in part,a licence to operate for F1. This helps promote the positive aspects of F1. Is this an aim? Am I on the right track?


animations?? coolio


Thanks James! You are doing amazing things with this site.

For the first time I think someone is realizing the full potential of what can be done with a proper F1 enthusiasts site.

Well done


Wow James, I like this section very much. Looks like I’m gonna spend more time reading up. Thanks once again!


“…fresh ideas in rule making…”

Yeah, lets see some of that!


Quit micromanaging *everything!

If we *want a spec series we’ve got Indycar!


Hey James, one more thought. As you get into the series, maybe a look at some of the cars from the past. Like maybe the 1993 Williams. Unbelievable technology. I’d love more info on it.


Great idea James! I’m looking forward to reading how Engineers identify, resolve and come up with new ideas.


This is a fantastic addition to the site. It’s what many F1 fans have been craving.

We constantly hear about the development race over the course of a season but this is often confined to a team bringing ‘upgrades’ or simply ‘new parts’.

To be able to get an in-depth analysis of what the upgrades are and how they benefit (or hinder) a car’s performance is great.

I’d really like to see how a team channels it’s developments based on driver feedback and input. At Ferrari, for example, I’d expect whatever Fernando wants, he gets, but how do teams like McLaren cater for drivers with equal status but differing styles and how do they decide where to divert their resources.


Great addition, James.

One subject I would like to see covered is the whole process of the KERS. How is heat energy, stored in a special cell, transformed into horsepower?



Thanks for that


Hi James,

Great initiative, as usual. This website is part of the great transformation of the way F1 is being taken to fans across the globe.

On the technical aspect, it would great if you do a section on the materials used on an F1 car.






Would love to hear how the teams solved the pitstop “traffic lights” issues that Ferrari had when pioneering the lollipop free pit stop.


We said we wanted more and you portend…very cool…congrats


Well i should say produced…no clue what portend is 🙂


portend – verb

1. To serve as an omen or a warning of;

2. To indicate by prediction; forecast:

eg. black clouds that portend a storm.



A small town in Pennsylvania.

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