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F1 tech boosts Sochi bobsleigh teams

2014-02-25 09:07

F1 MEETS BOBSLIEGH: Olympic bobsleigh teams are harnessing the cutting-edge technology of Formula 1. Image: AFP


ROSA KHUTOR, Russia - Olympic bobsleigh teams are harnessing the cutting-edge technology of Formula 1. 

The British bobsleigh team has a tie-up with F1 team McLaren and British defence company BAE Systems, Marussia helps the Russians, while the Italian team can call on Ferrari's know-how.

British four-man pilot John Jackson said the idea came from McLaren applied technologies, a division of McLaren, which signed a deal with British bobsleigh chiefs in 2010 to provide access to the company's test facilities and scientific expertise.


Jackson a sergeant in the Royal Marines Commandos said: "We've been doing a lot of work this year in the BAE wind tunnel and had the F1 McLaren racing team working alongside us, and we've made changes to the bob aerodynamics and the chassis as a result of it.

We hope even a little  one-percent improvement here and there will make all the difference.

"When it comes to the Winter Olympics you need a bit of luck with the right conditions. But there's a lot of things you can do to make your own luck."


The combined talents of the US team and the BMW North America design department have come up with a new, carbon fibre two-man sled described as "the fastest in the world". The US women's bobsleigh team also has one.

Steven Holcomb who won bronze in the two-man event at Sochi and also pilots USA-1 in the four-man competition called BMW the "best machine". "They're passionate and want to make sure they have the best machine on the hill. It's obvious that BMW indeed has the best machine on the hill - BMW came through with a two-man sled that was radically different."

The four-man team, which Holcomb piloted to victory at the 2010 Vancouver Games, has a tie-up with the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project, founded by former Nascar driver Geoff Bodine.
Read more on:    mclaren  |  ferrari  |  bmw  |  russia  |  racing  |  f1  |  motorsports

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