Originally Posted by planktonnn
I know this is a bike forum, but I remember this Horizon programme from original broadcast...
If I recall correctly this was followed by a later episode (The Grid? Can't find a copy or upload), which detailed, as far as detailed was for the time*, how BC Ecclestone Esq & Gordon Murray sidestepped the 6cm rule via driver adjustable suspension ride height - pull a lever/drop the car. Once it proved dominant in the early season races**, everyone & their timekeeper naturally felt obliged to follow suit, but by that time Nelson (SM) Piquet had racked up enough points to put him in the frame to overcome a self defeating Reutemann in a car park at the end of the year. Compliance to the 6cm rule was seemingly described in the rule book as being measured in the pit lane***, so those delightful lateral thinkers (supported by their legal beagle Mr Mosely) simply designed a system which dropped car on pit exit & brought the skirts back down to the track surface, closing off the in-rush/side-bleed of air & stealing back the lost down-force. In all probability the Hydro Pneumatic Willams version of the rules workaround was the beginnings of the later adopted then dropped then readapted & dominant suspension of their 92/93 car.
With reference to this, it's my understanding that over some of the recent MOTOGP seasons Yamaha used a GPS aware self adjusting suspension system to optimise set-up for each track sector. A sort of unnerving refined ongoing auto-adjusting version of the handlebar sport/touring map switching on more recent superbikes? It's a bit like the reported brake effect modulation caused by KERS harvesting during the braking phase on current F1, or the auto-adjusting power delivery map switching of the fuel consumption responsive MOTOGP bike electrics of recent times, which leave a rider wondering what he's going to get every time he twists the wrist. But if I start digging into supporting information for that I'll never get back to sleep... And I'm not even going to start thinking about Prost for all intents turning off the turbo to dominate in the wet at Brands Hatch one year...
From a great distance I watched ground effect develop from a very early BRM wooden concept model, thru Lotus 78 (non sliding skirts) into the sliding skirt 79, into general production in cars like the March 791 in a previous post or Ayrtons F3 RALT, but to take a sleep deprived delerious diversion or two I have a memory of appearing at a public speaking event (aged 15?) to explain the fundamentals to a throng of uninterested peers.
My only regret regarding public speaking is of a missed opportunity - while expounding Soundtudio to 1500 uninterested 'peers' I spotted my friend Tom in the audience, and while my mouth was tripping over telling them the project age range my brane was at that very moment finally realising who he reminded me of - the singer from The Bay City Rollers. I ploughed on but I'd so much rather I had stopped to explain my dual-think, and ended with "Shang-a-Lang Tom"
* Graphics to an almost Stilton standard, and complex technical issues translated into simplisms for the scientifically deficient.
** As evidenced by the unexpected success of the less than speedy Hector (here's the cash now give me the keys) Rebaque?
*** Oft with a comical 6cm wooden block on a stick, and sometimes with laser measurement, tho this was disputed by the recalcitrant teams on the grounds of the flatness of the bit of pit-lane chosen for the measurement station. Of course the background to all this was the wrestle between FISA & FOCA, and the commercial aspirations of BCE, for which I both thank him & curse him, but that's another story...
Aaaaaaand finally. In all frankness I must admit my icon (here & elsewhere) is very much nicked from a session apparently connected to the following photo, to which I am unable to find rights attribution, tho it appears
to be connected to a Spanish Woman rider Ana, via the FB of BMW Boxer Club Pirineos Sur? Tho I like the cut I've adopted, I would reluctantly withdraw usage should the rights holder object.