Chapter 2 – Note 3 | Occam

Chapter 2 – Note 3 | Occam

 

Formula 1 is a game of rules, made up by the French. And we all know how well the English get along with the French. For Colin Chapman, it was a delightful and invigorating challenge. Some little American chemical company named DuPont came up with this “greasy” translucent, white plastic that slipped on everything, kinda’ like PTFE (Teflon.) They called it “Delrin.” So Colin put air dams with the bottom edge made of Delrin on the sides of his vehicles that were spring loaded and actually made continuous contact with the ground. At speed, this contact made an air channel under the car that actually sucked it down to the road, with negligible additional drag. The cars could now run mind-bendingly fast through the turns and gave him a significant advantage over all the other racers. The French rulemakers lost their minds.

The following year they changed the rules to eliminate Colin’s advantage.

 

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