Belated 2016 welcome!

Hello and welcome to 2016. I realise that by now it is almost 2 months in to 2016, but it has really been my first chance to update this blog since the year began, so please forgive my belated-ness.

This year has started with an increased vigor, excitement and optimism, together with the harsh realities of time and pressures to succeed. Fun fun!

Formula 1 2016 Season Race Review

The 2016 Formula 1 season is almost upon us, with pre-season testing starting yesterday on the 22nd of February. 8 days of testing will go ahead before the season kicks off in earnest on March 28th for the first practice sessions.

Last year I developed a concept for a Formula 1 Season review, with a page dedicated to each race weekend, showing things like practice, qualifying and race results, and some other infographical items such as tyre strategies.

Initial versions of the Race Review for the 2015 British Grand Prix

I didn’t quite make it to finishing it last year as I was still working on the concept and layout, but I have been working on refining the layout and concept, including the splash page, and have come up with the following style.

Current versions of the Race Review, new splash page on the right

To be completely honest, the overall design hasn’t changed too much. The major change to the concept was to reduce the size down to an A3 standard sheet size, for better costs down the track if I were to ever get the designs printed. I toyed with the idea of having the practice sessions lined up at the top as opposed to the side as it is now, but the sizing just wasn’t working very well. So, on the side they remained. Other information from the previous version remains, including visual qualifying results, race history charts and tyre strategy.

One of the new additions to the layout is the introduction of weathr icons to show the weather on a particular day. This will be useful for when a particular session is wet, but will also tell how wet a session was (i..e stormy as opposed to showery). The con set looks like this.

Weather Icon Set

Race Review weather icon set (snow, storms, rain, showers, overcast, partly cloudy, sunny/clear)

I still have to implement night-time icons, including icons for night time rain just in case we get something like that, however i don’t think I’ll be using the snow icon very much at all 🙂

With the 2016 Formula 1 cars having recently been launched, I can also start to develop the car graphics. Last year I developed pixel-art style graphic which have proven to be quite popular. I was not satisfied by the realism they provided and have been experimenting with something a bit more realistic, especially considering that I plan to include team-sheets as well i the Race Review. I have begun developing something based on the newly released Ferrari SF16-H:

Ferrari SF16-H (early work)

Obviously this isn’t finished, but I am not 100% convinced on the style so far, so I may try something a bit more realistic. The good news is that it will serve as the basis of the other cars, but one of the aims of this task was to reduce the workload in producing the other cars by converting to a more realistic approach.

As the F1 season kicks on, I will start to develop the weekends as they come about. Before the start of the season I hope to knock off a chunk of the cars and present them on this blog as soon as I can!

Sunbury International Circuit

The Sunbury International Circuit design continues into 2016. Admittedly i have put this on the back burner a bit on order to concentrate on other projects, which is a shame, however the design of the circuit is really in its last phases.

Since last time I have concentrated on the realistic top down design of the circuit. This design also considers things like circuit access, circuit provisions, and spectator access. The top down view includes grandstands and viewing mounds, as well as the three design features, the train station (completed, to be CADed), the main grandstand (completed, to be drawn up) and the main put building  (incomplete).

The current state of the project is shown here:

SIC RL Layout 20160224


I plan on developing the car access to the circuit, and I am trying to consider what would happen without the outer ring road  (large road that goes from left to the middle top). I need to develop a way in which cars can get in and out of the circuit without causing major traffic issues (although this may just be inevitable).

Further to this, I need to complete the pit building design, draw up the main grandstand design and implement into the top down view and finish up the layout design for the circuit. The main grandstand currently looks a bit like this:

Grandstand snippy 20160224

After this I still would like to develop a design book of the circuit, showing the history of the design, as well as a promo book as a mock marketing for the circuit itself.

Single Seater Racing Car Design

Late-ish last year I started a project to develop a realistic racing car design that was designed to tackle some of the issues currently faced by Formula 1. The main issue today is the inability for cars to follow one another due to the presence of turbulent air – the turbulent or ‘dirty air’ that comes off a car ahead causes the performance of the car behind to drop off, causing the car to be unable to overtake. This leads to fairly processional racing, whereby cars are unable to attack each other because either they cannot get lose enough, or extract too much from the tyres in order to gain time on the car in front, meaning that overtaking becomes meaningless.

One of the ways to combat this is to implement a ground effect to the cars. Ground effect uses the sidepod design as downforce generating devices that are largely free from the effects of turbulent air. The sidepods (which house things like the car radiators for cooling) are shaped like aerofoils, producing downforce. However, in order for these devices to work efficiently, the airflow underneath needs to be effectively sealed from the outside. These seals were known as ‘skirts’. Ground effect was largely popular in Formula 1 in the 80s when the technology was developed, and by implementing the design, Formula 1 cars ended up having their front wings largely removed, such was the effectiveness of ground effect.

The drawback to a ground effect was that when the seal was broken, outside air would enter the underside of the sidepod, and a dramatic loss of downforce would occur. This mean cars would lose control, and an accident would likely occur. This of course was back when circuit safety standards were still a bit primitive, however there remains a risk of accidents occurring with a full ground effect being implemented on Formula 1 cars today.

All that said and done, my concept in development tries to implement ground effect by implementing a limited ground effect. A concept 3 view study design is shown below.

Untitled 4 view rough

The sidepods on both sides of the driver cockpit (middle grey rectangle on the top view) house the aerofoil shaped sidepods. The skirts in the concept act the same way as the design from the 80s, however I have mandated a 20mm gap between the skirt and the road. This will enable any loss of downforce to be less dramatic. Furthermore, The floor of the car extends out, thus also helping to reduce the risk of outside air entering underneath the sidepod. The design also features scoops to divert air away from the rear wheels, and small venturi tunnels that create downforce and help divert air through the car out the rear rather than along the outside of the moving wheel. The front wing is simplified due to the increase in downforce from the sidepods, which reduces the sensitivity of the car in turbulent air.

The other design factor I wanted to explore (but not necessarily implement) was a closed cockpit. Closing the cockpit on a Formula 1 car is a currently a fiercely debated topic,with drivers, fans and team members divded on what the best thing to do would be. Some are happy for the increased safety, but others say it goes against the sence of Formula 1. Either way, I wanted to explore the options, and explore them properly.

Here’s a (not-so) quick sketch I did of the above concept with a closed cockpit:


I am still working on the engineering side of a closed cockpit, and whether it will actually help or hinder driver egress, but my work continues!

Screen Printing style Formula 1 artworks

While undertaking my Race Review layout design, I developed the Lewis Hamilton Mercedes art piece below. I was really intrigued by the design process, and the reception to it was really great, so I took to trying out another image, this time the Ferrari 641 driven by Alain Prost. check it out!

Vienna 12 Hour Display

Viernna 160603 to 1150

A slight aside to the usual work I have been doing. There is a website called that takes photos of places in and around the European alps, mostly concentrated in Austria and Germany, that automatically take photos every 10 minutes. I had this idea, based on a similar idea I saw weeks ago, to develop a ‘timeline’ using these photos.

The above is the city of Vienna from 00:00 to 11:50, with each strip representing a photo every 10 minutes. The timeline shows night time in the early morning, followed by sunrise and the morning sun.

I think this is a really great way to show the passing of a day in a particular location – the way the city looks with all ligths on, during the beautiful sunrise, and when the city is bathed in sunlight thereafter, revealing many more different aspects of the city.

I originally had developed one of these over a 24 hour period, but couldn’t get the nuber of strips to line up, forcing me to start smaller to get the process right. I have also half developed a piece like the above, but having a shot for each day of the year at 13:00. It looks not too bad, if not a bit messy!

That’s it from me for this round!

Welp, that’s all I have to offer this time around, but stay turned as I hope to be able to update this blog a bit more often than the bi-monthly schedule I seem to have made myself.

I will continue to develop the Race Review work, including developing the 2016 F1 cars, and will continue work on the Sunbury International Circuit and Racing Car design, plus whatever else comes in between!

Finally, I now have Instagram! Woohoo! You can catch me at the following places:





‘Til next time!

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