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Stake F1 C44 Innovative Design Insights

James Key Unveils C44’s Innovative Design Process

05/02/2024

James Key’s insights into the Stake F1 C44 reveal a blend of excitement and nervousness as innovations mark a departure from past designs, showcasing the thrilling uncertainty and potential that new developments bring to Formula 1.

You have significant experience and have contributed to the creation of numerous cars: do you still get nervous when a new car is unveiled?

There’s always nervousness, of course: the most stressful moment for me is usually the qualification for the first race, because that’s when you truly find out where you stand – it’s not something you can ascertain during winter testing.”

“You never know where your competitors stand, as they have done exactly the same work as you, they share your ambitions, they want to move forward and make progress. It’s always a moment of nervousness, and always very exciting.”

“It’s amazing to see a new car run for the first time, knowing that it has been in digital form for most of its life and was built at the very last minute before hitting the track – and everything works as it should. “

Stake F1 C44 Innovative : Aerodynamics and Suspension

Stake F1 C44 Innovative Design Insights

Can you give us some examples of what exactly has changed on this C44?

“The front suspension is very different on our new car, as we have moved to a pull-rod front suspension (photo below, editor’s note), which other teams have also adopted. This choice was dictated by aerodynamics rather than mechanical reasons.”

“It’s a quite significant project to try and find the right balance, but the team has done a fantastic job on a very challenging project to produce something that should work as expected.”

“Of course, aerodynamics dominate, so many of the external elements you’ll see aim to generate more efficient downforce: the bodywork is a huge battleground in these cars, much more so than in the previous generation.”

“It’s a fresh start for the team, but more in line with current trends, and maybe even a step forward. I’m sure some of our competitors have done similar things, which will be interesting to see.”

“Of course, under the car, the floor is where the majority of the downforce is generated: we have a quite different approach, a new concept, in this area, and it seems to be a quite prolific solution at the moment. All these things are new, and many are invisible.”

Season Start Sparks Development Race

Stake F1 C44 Innovative Design Insights

The start of the season signifies a race in development. What will we see in this regard?

“As we’ve seen in previous years with new regulations, we’ll witness a continuation of the development curve: these cars still have a lot of potential to unlock, but the grid is already starting to converge.”

“We saw this at the end of last year when the cars were incredibly close, even though there was still a hierarchy. I expect this to continue, but with new cars, you can unlock new potential pathways from what you learned the previous year.”

“There’s a lot to do: we’ll see a lot of development throughout the season, and we have an aggressive plan. I’m sure many competitors have done the same and it will be tight – and it may come down to second and third-order performance parameters, rather than first-order ones as we progress.”

“I would definitely judge a team’s performance on the second half of the season rather than the first because, undoubtedly, the situation will change and, as things evolve, the hierarchy will shift.”

Team Restructuring Fuels New Growth Path

Team Restructuring Fuels New Growth Path

Your appointment last year was part of a broader restructuring of the team: how is the team developing as a whole?

“The team is developing very well and, on a personal level, it’s fantastic to be back in Hinwil. I’ve always felt there was unfinished business here, and now we have a great opportunity to complete it.”

“There are many familiar faces still working hard, and at the same time, there are many new faces. We are proactively expanding the technical structure and its size: this gives us the opportunity to create new positions, new capabilities within the team, as well as to strengthen the strong capabilities we already have.”

Team Strengthens with Top Talent for C44

“It also allows us to look for top-tier talent with significant experience to bring into the team: we’re looking for strength in depth and aim to augment the team with excellent engineers and designers we already have.”

“We have a great opportunity for the future; we know there’s not a lot of time to prepare things, so we’re working hard to ensure everything is in the right place. It’s a rare opportunity and everyone is eager to face the upcoming challenges. It’s a very, very exciting time ahead.”

C44: New Look and Enhanced Performance Promised

Of course, you don’t know what other teams are developing right now, but what can fans expect from the C44 this season?

“I think fans can expect a new look for the car, not just the livery but also its shape. We can expect a more performant car than last year’s, as we’ve made good progress over the winter: the quality of this progress depends on our competitors. I hope we’ve outpaced them!”

“We’ll know a bit more in the very near future, but we can expect a very hungry team, with everyone eager to make progress. We have a very clear plan on how we want to approach the season, we’ve worked hard to put ourselves in the best possible condition to hit the track with an understanding of the car and a very clear plan.”

“We’ll see the developments arrive very early too. I think you’ll see an ambitious team with a new car that has a lot of potential, and with a very, very deep desire to move forward compared to where we finished last year.”

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