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Old Yesterday, 16:08 (Ref:3713170)   #16
GORDON STREETER
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Originally Posted by bella View Post
fair point gordon - can't some of the late 90s mclarens only be fired up using a period laptop?
You're probably right Bella but I suppose a 5 year old with an iPod could probably do it !! I can remember doing a winter warmer at Brands when some of the cars that were in the same race as me had to be started with a laptop
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Old Today, 08:38 (Ref:3713279)   #17
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Originally Posted by GORDON STREETER View Post
No doubt they are still about and complete, however running them is another matter as the years go on and the mechanics that serviced the complicated beasts in the day are slowly disappearing.
I know Bernie has a few at Biggin Hill !
Clare Williams referred to this as part of a discussion over the gift of a car to Massa.
She said that they have very few options for the cars once they are finished with, as it is too complex to fire up the engines.
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Old Today, 09:22 (Ref:3713295)   #18
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Originally Posted by old man View Post
Zak Brown has a few, collection includes Senna's Monaco Toleman and his later John Player Special as well as an Alan Jones Williams.
Zak Brown also has a Hakinen McLaren (and that was before he got his hands on the keys to the McLaren garages!)

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Clare Williams referred to this as part of a discussion over the gift of a car to Massa.
She said that they have very few options for the cars once they are finished with, as it is too complex to fire up the engines.
That's part of the reason you see a lot of the cars in EuroBOSS (or whatever it's called these days) running with different engines - there were a lot of Judd powered cars last time I saw it. The correct engines are too complex / lack of spares / too expensive - some of these cars were running in the 'throw the engine away after each session' era (slight exaggeration but certainly they weren't built with longevity in mind!).
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Old Today, 09:48 (Ref:3713308)   #19
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old man should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridold man should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridold man should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Actually this whole engine thing is a historic element in itself, the keepers of F1 history need to have a record of, even examples of, these complex and exotic engines. I know I for one would like to know more about what went into them, the power available and why they were so complicated to fire up.

Has anybody written a book?
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Old Today, 14:48 (Ref:3713400)   #20
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perhaps there should be renewed calls for an F1 hall of fame?
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Old Today, 16:16 (Ref:3713438)   #21
Richard Casto
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Sorry, what follows is a bit of a technical rant about the longevity of content on digital media and systems that rely upon dead or dying legacy hardware/software.

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Has anybody written a book?
So let me rant about digital media and the impact on the history of modern F1! You hear talk occasionally about the difficulty of digital storage in that formats change and equipment no longer exists to read the data. There is that for sure, but there is also the situation in which I think a lot of modern history lives on the internet be it wikipedia articles, new stories, forum posts, whatever. However there is little guarantee that information will persist long term because the parties who currently host that information are generally "for profit" and at times have little incentive to maintain the information long term. I am sure we have all had the experience of clicking a link from an old article somewhere and it is just gone. So my hope is that yes, this stuff should be documented in a way that can last. Otherwise we may find that in some ways modern F1 will be the least documented in the long term.

Here is an example of digital decay... Before things like forums were popular, there was what is/was known as Usenet newsgroups. I think they are still in use today, but they were much more popular around a decade or more ago. At some point someone started to archive them, then that seemed to get consolidated into a searchable system by someone known as "DejaNews". Then eventually that archive was acquired by Google which was folded into their "groups" system. It continued to be searchable and you could read older content. Then at some point within the last few years the ability to search and view older content (pretty much all that was archived by DejaNews) was removed from the search interface. So all of that content is currently not available to anyone (unless they have made their own archive). Depending upon what a Google does with it, it may be gone forever.

So... oddly enough paper may last longer than some digital media. That is why I continue to buy paper books.

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Originally Posted by old man View Post
Actually this whole engine thing is a historic element in itself, the keepers of F1 history need to have a record of, even examples of, these complex and exotic engines. I know I for one would like to know more about what went into them, the power available and why they were so complicated to fire up.
I have two comments regarding the complexity of modern racing (and sometimes street) cars. First, I have to wonder how teams (and future owners) handle the situations in which they don't own the engines. So for example the car Williams gave to Massa. That car used a Mercedes engine which I assume was returned to Mercedes at the end of the season. I don't know the details, but I assume that Massa has only a chassis with "something" (highly likely completely non-functional) mounted in place of the power unit and maybe the transmission. The point being that unless you are someone like Mercedes, Renault or Ferrari... complete "modern" F1 cars likely don't exist when a season ends. That is why everyone talks about those who have working cars have different (none original) solutions for the engines.

Second, there is the issue brought up above about the reliance upon older hardware. There is the story that has floated around for quite awhile how McLaren is reliant upon a 1995 Compaq laptop for work on the original F1 road car because of a unique CA card required to make it all work. The IT industry is littered with stories like this. Usually it is some type of unique hardware system that requires related ancient computer equipment. I think the US Air Force still uses a system as part of the nuclear deterrent that relies upon 8" floppy drives.

I do think that long term this can be solved, but it does require some work. Machine virtualization is one example. But special hardware interfaces makes that difficult (which I think is the McLaren issue). But I believe that even McLaren is biting the bullet and working on a replacement that doesn't require the ancient Compaq laptops.

This next bit is VERY esoteric, but in 2014 a group established contact with a satellite named IEEE-3 that was from the 1970s. The satellite had long been retired and had a proprietary system for communication that was long gone. But it was still orbiting the sun and sending back data. Using some newer hardware and special software techniques (radio geeks will know about what is known as "Software Defined Radio") that were not really available decades ago, they recreated (relatively cheaply) the ability to to talk to the satellite without the original communication hardware.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intern...#Reboot_effort

My point is that, if someone wants to, they can solve the problem with interfacing with the older cars without having to rely upon the old associated computer hardware and software. It just takes someone who is dedicated to make it work.

Richard
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Old Today, 19:52 (Ref:3713495)   #22
Mike Harte
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Mike Harte should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridMike Harte should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
To add to your last point about needing someone to be dedicated to make it happen, you need also to have sufficient monetary recourses as well.

But as you say about what you think may have happened to Massa's power-unit, this was also part of the problem that restricted the Pirelli testing to just the three teams; most of the others didn't have or couldn't afford to keep the units for the tests, and they also didn't have enough chassis available.

Look at what happened to the wet weather tyre test that Ferrari recently conducted. I don't believe that Vettel had a major shunt, but even Ferrari couldn't provide replacement parts. It is almost as though the teams are copying the car manufacturers, etc., and parts only come on stream just in time. Long gone are the days of huge stock bins of parts.
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Old Today, 21:13 (Ref:3713522)   #23
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To add to your last point about needing someone to be dedicated to make it happen, you need also to have sufficient monetary recourses as well.
I almost added that point as well. Today that is very true. I do think that over time it may actually cost less given the assumption of more and more technical capabilities in the future. That has to however be measured against the difficulty of poor or non-existent documentation as well as personal domain knowledge (i.e. having access to engineers who know the details) disappearing over time.

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