Formula 1 Engine Evolution Analysis Using the Engine Acoustic Emission 2002-01-3330
This paper presents some results of a methodology capable of extracting instantaneous engine speed information from acoustic emission measurements, obtained from Formula 1 (F1) vehicles during qualifying or race sessions, from the early races in 50s-60s until present days. The results presented in the paper show that, from this signal, it is possible to gain information regarding the instantaneous engine speed (that in racing engines is strongly related to the power developed by the engine itself), but also regarding the way the combustions are distributed within an engine cycle, the time needed for a gear shift, the gear ratios employed, the driving strategy and so on.
The analysis conducted in this work is applied to acoustic emission data recorded by microphones placed on-board the investigated cars. In recent years each F1 vehicle has been equipped with its own microphone while, in early races, in-car microphones had not been systematically used. It is anyway possible to find in the literature some recordings coming from microphones placed on board, during tests or even qualifying and race sessions.
The analysis has shown to be insensitive from the type of microphone employed and from its position on-board the vehicle; even the signal coming from a low-cost microphone showed to be good enough for successfully applying the developed methodology. This made possible a useful comparison between the information obtained from all the engine acoustic emission signals available in the literature, thus allowing to analyze F1 powertrain evolution over the last four decades.