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updated 10/9/2001

USGP Start Page

BAR aero detail: Uploaded 10/3/2001.

People at the USGP: Uploaded 10/4/2001.

McLaren Hospitality: Uploaded 10/5/2001.

Saturday at the USGP: Uploaded 10/8/2001.

Thursday at the USGP

I left Springfield headed east toward Indianapolis at 6 am Thursday morning September 27. Just after 9 am I turned off Crawfordsville Road into the parking lot at the Speedway Administration building. Ten minutes later I had my credentials and parking pass. Although the press parking lot wasn't inside the track as it was last year, the walk was actually shorter. In fact everything seemed easier than even just last May. An entrance right at the door to the Media Center prevented the long walk around to the paddock entry station required last year. After signing in at the Media Center I took my camera and headed for the F1 paddock.

Not far inside the F1 paddock I sighted Bob Varsha, Speedvision announcer and host of the F1 programs on that network. We shook hands and said our greetings and then I repeated the ritual with David Hobbs and Sam Posey, Speedvision racing analysts. I've talked and shared information, both factual and rumors, with these guys for almost ten years now and always enjoy their company.

Bob introduced me to Steve Matchett, the new guy on the team. Steve was a mechanic at Benetton and brings an interesting point of view to the broadcasts. We continued to talk about racing in general and F1 specifically as we ambled toward the entrance to Pit Lane. This is how my 2001 F1 experience began. I hope you enjoy the report.

Sam and Bob watch pit stop practice

A view past the Benetton team practicing pit stops toward the front straight and scoring pylon. That's Sam Posey and Bob Varsha on the left.

Arrows pit stop practice

The Arrows team during pit stop practice. Notice how many people are involved. The guy at far left videotapes proceedings for critical review.

Hobbs & Matchett with BAR car

David Hobbs talks to the BAR guy. That's Steve Matchett kneeling by the front tire. Steve was taping a piece on the car for later airing. I took the rare opportunity for a close view of an F1 car to snap a bunch of photos. Those photos will appear on a separate web page. I was amazed at the number and complexity of the aero doo-dads and the sculptured shapes of the control arms.

Keep Out sign

Get the point, Dudester?

Jaguar aero

The right rear sidepod area of the Jaguar car is complicated. That mini-wing-on-a-pylon is very complex for its size. But it wouldn't be that shape if it weren't better that way. L/D is the holy grail, a higher number means more lift (negative of course) for the drag caused. Behind the small wing is what I call a kick-up that also trys to add downforce but also minimize drag caused by the rear tire. On an open-wheel car the tires cause a lot of drag as well as lift (positive). Finally, notice the exhaust exit at the right rear.

Sauber front wings

The Sauber team had two nose-wing configurations prepared for use. The end plates, however, look about the same. The front wind is extremely important because the flow off the front wing influences everything else downstream. The goal of the end plates is to provide downforce while lowering lift and drag caused by the tire.

Williams aero

Aero tweaks on the Williams cars looked different from all others in the area from front tires to sidepods. I have no idea what these flat horizontal surfaces are supposed to do except, of course, the obvious-higher L/D.



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