Sport: Racing: Car
Formula 1 racing, with big magnets   (+4, -5)  [vote for, against]

Racing cars have to corner substantially slower than they travel along the 'straights' to avoid losing grip and spinning out. To allow higher cornering speeds there should be huge electromagnets sited on the apex of the corners which are controllable by drivers whose cars are within a short segment of track either side of the corner. If more than one driver is within this track segment the magnet is set to the average of the drivers' settings.

Cornering speeds will only be limited by the G-forces the drivers can withstand.
-- hippo, Jan 20 2006

Fast Mr Irvine
[coprocephalous, Jan 20 2006]

For [half] Aerody-manic_20steering
[Ling, Jan 20 2006]

I've a feeling that the magnets would act mostly upon the rear of the F1 cars, and even then not that strongly (aluminium engine blocks, carbon fibre bodies, alloy wheels, ceramic brakes, driver...).
Bone, sorry.
-- coprocephalous, Jan 20 2006

Very strong magnets would cause very strong eddy currents, which in turn would slow the cars down!
-- Ling, Jan 20 2006

Mr Irvine and dried fruit? What's that all about?
-- coprocephalous, Jan 20 2006

Could they not just add active control surfaces on bigger wings to really fly through the corners?
-- half, Jan 20 2006

Cool, Scalectrix!
-- skinflaps, Jan 20 2006

When I was a kid the toy race track was the same way. It took a great deal of skill more so than speed to win the race. The newer track sets these days have stronger magnets yet it takes the fun out of the toy. Being able to run around the track at full speed 50 times while holding the trigger all the way in gets boring after the 53rd lap.
-- Jscotty, Jan 21 2006

F1 is currently going through drastic regulation changes in order to slow the cars down, because without magnets and $500 million dollar yearly budgets the cars were already going through corners way too fast.

All the cars having leech-like grip will not induce exciting racing, as overtaking will be nearly impossible, and everyone could just keep the hammer down all the time.

The engines have been reduced from 3 litre V10's down to 2.4 litre V8's. The V8's however have less reciprocating mass and and are able to rev in the order of almost 20,000rpm.

The wing's were also regulated to have the endplates raised to a less efficient part of the car, but at the same time this forced designers to come up with different solutions not thought of before, and the return of slick tires in 2007 the cars will probably be back up to 2004 spec lap times by 2008.

Paraphrasing Eddie Irvine, "Down-force levels need to be reduced to 15% of current levels to create more passing opportunities".
-- Giblet, Jan 21 2006

I think the problem is too many rules, not too few. If drivers can't pass, legalize jet and rocket propulsion to improve acceleration (with some safety regulation, but if the jetforce was directed up at a 30degree angle it'd not burn other cars and would keep the one car glued to the track).
-- sninctown, Jan 22 2006

I can't help but think that we could power huge VanDerGraff generators with this, for the fans.
-- DesertFox, Jan 22 2006

Giblet - are you on a site (F-C) I moderate? If not, email me, as it will be of interest.

As for the idea itself - it takes the suspense out of the suspension.
-- thumbwax, Jan 23 2006

I don't know - I think additional skill will be required to balance the magnetic and centripetal forces against the thrust of the car, not to mention the sudden change in magnetic field strength when another car enters the corner. It could be quite exciting.
-- hippo, Jan 23 2006

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