This paper presents some results of a method aimed at extracting instantaneous engine speed information from acoustic emission measurements obtained from Formula 1 (F1) vehicles during a race. The results presented in the paper show that it is possible to reconstruct the instantaneous engine speed for an entire race, if desired, from available sound intensity measurements.
The analysis method used in this work is applied to acoustic emission data recorded by the microphone of the in-car cameras mounted on F1 vehicles. The data analyzed in this paper were acquired during the 1998 Grand Prix of San Marino (Imola), and pertain to the performance of the Ferrari and McLaren-Mercedes vehicles. At the time of writing the paper, these are the two teams challenging one another for the driver and constructor championships. The analysis presented in the paper is based on data acquired in three different sections of the Imola circuit: the starting straightaway and two curves, to highlight the capabilities of the method.
The result of the analysis demonstrates that it is possible to estimate a number of useful variables from sound measurements. These estimates are related to engine performance (e.g.: engine speed and its acceleration, top engine speed), to engine architecture (e.g.: gear ratios), to driving strategy (e.g.: shifting strategy) and to vehicle performance (tire adhesion, aerodynamic behavior).