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Going low tech to go high tech

india Updated: Sep 30, 2011 23:53 IST
Vinayak Pande
Vinayak Pande
Hindustan Times
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It's quite something to see a Formula One car get put together from the ground up by its attending crew in the space of two and a half hours in the parking lot of a five star hotel (the ITC Maurya).

You see aerodynamic components like the wings that have been moulded out of carbon fibre and intricate paraphernalia that goes into putting together an F1 car. Your attention turns to a set of drawers with various nuts, bolts and washers and you marvel at the intricacies of such a thoroughbred racing car. And then you notice a compartment filled entirely with duct tape. Duct tape? On an F1 car? Whatever for? "We use it for all sorts of things, mate," says the mechanic in charge of the engine of the show car for the Red Bull Speed Street event with a smirk before taking off without elaborating.

Fortunately, Julian Marlow, the head of logistics for the event is a bit more detailed with his explanation. "We have all sorts of duct tape that is indispensable to us," said Marlow. "We have a really thin one that we use to cover up the gaps in the bodywork in order to reduce the drag on the car." And it doesn't stop there. In order to heat up the car's carbon brakes, duct tape is put on the air inlet on circuits where the temperatures are cooler in order to get the brakes to their operational temperature (about 750 degrees celsius).

"On a street demo event like this where we won't be building up a lot of speed before braking, we would need the tape in order to keep the brakes nice and hot," said Marlow. Think about that the next time you tear of a piece of tape to hang up the poster of your favourite F1 driver!