McLaren-Ford MP4/8 | Projects | McLaren-Ford MP4/8 | Update 417

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Feb 2 2010

Update Information

Here is a close up of the Bilstein active dampers/shock absorbers. 1993 was the final year of active suspension, which Williams had used so successfully on their FW14B in 1992, giving Nigel Mansell a significant technical advantage and helping him on his way to the title that year. From 1994 onwards, the cars returned to passive suspension. The active setup allowed the cars to remain near enough level through the corners—practically eliminating body roll, and so through maintaining the cars' aerodynamic downforce at the optimum, allowing for high cornering speeds.

With these I have possibly fallen into another little 'trap'. With detail items like these, sometimes you can focus on a small number of references, and forget to look at others. In this case, the ones I was focusing on were the photos of the car as it exists now (or rather in 2001, at McLaren's old factory). The dampers appear to be a little different than they are shown in a couple of photos from races in 1993—namely the end piece is different, the length of the body (and the exposed section of the spring) is different, and the red ring is not present. I don't know whether this arrangement was ever raced, so I will probably come back to these at some stage and rework them a little, to match the photos from Kyalami and Adelaide that I have.

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