Haynes manuals are the standard reference material for anyone looking to repair their cars. I have dog-eared examples for the various cars I’ve owned over the years.
Of late Haynes has applied its distinctive branding beyond car repair, covering subjects as diverse as child rearing and playing the electric guitar.
Now, in collaboration with Red Bull, it’s produced its first manual for an F1 car, with “Owners’ Workshop Manual” emblazoned on the front in large, red letters.
This creates a level of expectation that the book is never realistically going to be able to match. No F1 team, least of all the reigning world champions, would publish the inner workings of its car in a £20 hardback.
Author Steve Rendle acknowledges this problem in the introduction, saying it has been “occasionally” necessary to use pictures of earlier cars.
As you’d expect, this particularly applies to the rear of the car. Where pictures of the gearbox and suspension were required the RB4 and in some cases the five-year-old RB2 have been used.
Nonetheless there is some interesting material in here. The major developments and controversies of 2010 are covered – double diffusers, front wing and floor flexing, F-ducts and so on.
But a lot of the information is general and could apply to any F1 car, and won’t be of great insight to anyone familiar with the F1 rule book. The shortage of quotes from Red Bull’s technical team is particularly disappointing and could have added a lot to the narrative.
If you expect this to be a true Haynes manual guide to owning and servicing an RB6 then you’ll be disappointed.
Think of it instead as a guide to modern F1 car design with some close-up photographs of last year’s world championship-winning car. And a particularly comical picture of Christian Horner pointing at the fan in his wind tunnel.
The idea of producing Haynes manuals on F1 cars is a great concept. But it would probably work better if it was applied to older cars where the need to maintain secrecy no longer applies.
Who wouldn’t want to see such greats as the Williams FW15C, McLaren MP4-4 or Ferrari F2004 given the Haynes manual treatment?
F1 Fanatic rating
- “Competition car aerodynamics” (Simon McBeath, 2nd edition 2011, not reviewed)
- “The Science of Formula 1 Design” (by David Tremayne,2010)
- “The Chariot Makers” (Steve Matchett, 2005)
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