F1 expertise fuels breakthroughs

Written by: Tom Shelley | Published:

Radical design technologies developed in Formula 1 and being made available for mainstream engineering

Five ex-Formula 1 engineers are offering their materials skills – including how to combine metal matrix composites and carbon fibre composites in the same component – to the wider engineering market.

F1 regulations outlawing costly and exotic materials have seen the engineers – who operate under the collective XF1Tech – acquire particular expertise in producing cost-effective and serviceable solutions. And while many of these are aimed at improving mechanical performance per unit weight, they also have unique solutions to offer for stepping up impact performance.

These were developed in F1 for the greater safety of drivers, but are also of relevance to the growing market for armouring civilian cars.

“We’ve all had about 20 years in Formula 1,” says design director Tim Robathan. “We want to take the technology and mindset into other places.”

A longer version of this article appears in the February issue of Eureka.


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