Red Bull partners with Oreca for Le Mans hydrogen class car

Red Bull Advanced Technologies will partner with French manufacturer Oreca to design the chassis concept for the new... The post Red Bull partners with Oreca for Le Mans hydrogen class car appeared first on F1i.com.

Red Bull partners with Oreca for Le Mans hydrogen class car

Red Bull Advanced Technologies will partner with French manufacturer Oreca to design the chassis concept for the new hydrogen class planned for Le Mans in 2024.

The classic endurance event's future ground-breaking category will be based on one-make chassis powered by hydrogen fuel-cells.

The collaborative effort between Oreca and RB Advanced Technologies - the company behind the Aston Martin Valkyrie Hypercar - will see the former draw on its vast design and production skills in the world of endurance racing while the latter leverage its Formula 1 expertise in aerodynamics, vehicle dynamics, simulation technology and energy recovery optimization.

According to a joint statement from Red Bull, Oreca and Le Mans organizer the Automobile de l'Ouest, the first task for the British and French companies is to "undertake and provide a detailed feasibility study for the vehicle concept".

"I am delighted that Red Bull Advanced Technologies have been chosen by the ACO along with our partners ORECA to develop the concept of a hydrogen powered endurance racing car for Le Mans," said RBAT CEO Christian Horner.

"Red Bull Advanced Technologies are well equipped to take on the challenge set by the ACO having access to many of the tools used to design and develop the Red Bull Racing F1 car, along with significant experience on other cutting edge vehicle programs.

"The Hydrogen Class at Le Mans offers an exciting glimpse into the future of sustainable motorsport and promises both to advance the use of hydrogen in transportation, and also deliver exciting racing."

Oreca boss Hugues de Chaunac said: "Collaboration is vital if we are to succeed in introducing a hydrogen class at the 2024 24 Hours of Le Mans.

"ORECA enjoys challenges and pioneering change and we can fully express our talents in such an engrossing enterprise.

"With the LMH and LMDh classes, endurance racing is entering a fascinating new era. From a technical and sporting point of view it will have us on the edge of our seats."

Read also: Toyota pulls the covers off Le Mans Hypercar

Commenting on the success of the bid by RBAT and ORECA, Pierre Fillon, president of the ACO said: "This exciting announcement confirms the appeal of Mission H24 and offers a promising future for zero-carbon motor racing and hydrogen prototypes.

"Thanks to ORECA, a mainstay of the 24 Hours of Le Mans for many years, and Red Bull Advanced Technologies, a successful motorsport business, the ACO will benefit from extensive endurance racing experience combined with cutting-edge technology to guarantee outstanding performance in its hydrogen class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2024.

"We’re delighted to welcome ORECA and Red Bull Advanced Technologies alongside Plastic Omnium, producer of the hydrogen class fuel tank.

"Having these top-flight automotive firms on board is likely to draw even more interest from car manufacturers, especially those who regularly contribute to our hydrogen working group.

"We are living in difficult times but the ACO is resolutely pursuing its route towards zero-carbon racing and mobility."

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Source : F1 i More   

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McLaren turns towards the wind to solve MCL35 weakness

McLaren technical director James Key has been working hard over the winter to try and iron out the... The post McLaren turns towards the wind to solve MCL35 weakness appeared first on F1i.com.

McLaren turns towards the wind to solve MCL35 weakness

McLaren technical director James Key has been working hard over the winter to try and iron out the weaknesses of the papaya squad's MCL35, with a particular focus on the car's sensitivity to specific wind conditions.

McLaren is confident of taking a step forward this year in the wake of its switch from Renault to Mercedes power.

But a few weaknesses nevertheless remained imbedded in the papaya squad's 2020 car at the end of last season and have been the focus of Key's team of engineers over the winter.

While low-speed performance was a bit of a chink in McLaren's armor last year, the MCL35's proneness to the wind was also a soft spot that required Key's attention in the past months.

©McLaren

"I think in terms of weaknesses, we still need to improve ourselves a bit in low speed," Key explained, quoted by Motorsport.com.

"It's not quite as weak as it was [in 2019], and that was one of the big pushes to try and improve that low speed, balance and consistency that we had in certain types of low speed corners.

"Then, in some conditions, the car doesn't perform quite as well as we'd like it to - and that's in some weather conditions or some grip conditions, which we can kind of see in the data.

"We need to understand that actually, but it's not one of those overnight fixes. So that's what we're really targeting.

"I think if we can iron some of that out, we'll have a more consistent car from one race to the next."

  • Read also: McLaren's Key hails 'fantastic' interaction with Mercedes

Getting a grasp on the complex and variable impacts on a car of the wind is a long process, and one that cannot be easily analysed with the help of simulation.

But Key believes his tech department now has a good fundamental understanding of how to tackle the issue for its modified MCL35M the car that it will field this season.

"It has been a bit of an issue for us," added the McLaren engineer. "We think we've pinned it down to one thing, which is just a characteristic of the car that we need to iron out.

"But with all these things, there's no silver bullet – you just have to work on it. But there is an element of probably being a bit more affected by it than others, positively as well as negatively, depending on the direction of the wind.

"Every car, of course, suffers from this. Our drivers have said they've seen cars ahead locking up and having troubles as well [when it is windy], so I think it affects everyone.

"But possibly on occasion, when it's been in the wrong direction or affected a certain corner a certain way, it has had a worst effect on us."

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