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Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?
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Author:  cmberry20 [ Fri Feb 08, 2013 3:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

No, I'm not that stupid - I know they are covering up to hide new parts or new innovations, but is there any point in doing this?
Red Bull are famous for this & usually get mechanics to stand & 'cover' the back end of the car when it lines up on the grid just before the start. But what's stopping photographers from taking pictures just before the start of the race when the grid is cleared or when its going around the track? Modern SLR cameras with high tech zoom lenses will get all the 'detail' that they are trying to hide, so why bother covering up when you're going into the garage - surely you are drawing attention to the very thing you are trying to hide?

On a side note - Who remembers when garages used to shut their shutters & push camera men out of their garages when a car came in for retirement. Ferrari used to do this all the time during the 90s, as soon as a car came in to retire it was 'Get lost - you're not allowed anywhere near our garage'.
I remember several occasions when photographers where quite literally man handled out of the way.
I wonder why it changed - may be Bernie had a word?

Author:  Tricky0001979 [ Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

Teams like red bull who have lots of improvements on their cars they don't want to give away their developments to other teams that easily you'd guarantee that all teams will have contracts with photographers to give them the pictures of competitors.

Author:  funkymonkey [ Fri Feb 08, 2013 6:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

Remember this is still testing and officially season has not started.
When they are at race track for races, they are not allowed to put up those curtains in garages. This is allowed only during these testing sessions.

Author:  DanmanFIN [ Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

Standing in front of something is also perfect way of drawing attention to a part of the car that is not interesting at all. If Red Bull wanted to hide something they would have the whole crew lay over the front wing, or maybe not that good idea as it would show the flexing :)

Author:  Adaemus [ Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

Tricky0001979 wrote:
Teams like red bull who have lots of improvements on their cars they don't want to give away their developments to other teams that easily you'd guarantee that all teams will have contracts with photographers to give them the pictures of competitors.


Most teams have their own pitlane photographer, and you can rest assured they get every gory detail of the rivals' cars on film.

I think it's just become 'the done thing' to cover up. Besides, there may be developments under the hood that couldn't be spotted out on track.

Remember this little incident from Darren Heath...

Image

;)

Author:  Blinky McSquinty [ Fri Feb 08, 2013 7:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

Obviously they are attempting to cover up secrets. And just as obvious, you can't keep that secret concealed forever. But if a team can keep some secret from being revealed for even one race, it may offer and advantage that could be worth as much as 10 points more. And at the end of a season, 10 points can decide a championship.

But even with modern high speed and high resolution video capture devices, sometimes you have to focus on a specific angle to discern something different. And if you cut off the angles and limit the exposure time, you hope that the secret has not been revealed ..yet.

There is an active game of cat and mouse going on, secrets concealed, sleuths looking for clues. For instance, no one was aware of the Mercedes 2012 DDRS system until a sharp observer noticed that a Mercedes mechanic picked up a from wing with a grip pattern slightly different, to make sure he didn't touch certain delicate holes on the bottom of the wing. Just from the way that mechanic held the wing, he deduced that it had holes on the underside, and figured out most of the elements of the secret. The word was out, and other sleuths took up the hunt. As other photos were carefully scrutinized, the DDRS was slowly stripped of it's secrecy, until everything was figured out.
Image

As another example, in 1997 sharp observers noticed that the McLaren brakes were still glowing after exiting corners. At the Grand Prix of Luxembourg Hakkinen's car ground to a stop during the race, and F1 Racing photographer Darren Heath stuck his camera inside the cockpit and snapped this famous picture of the extra pedal.
Image

It all depends on being at the right place, and having the right angle to capture something interesting.

Author:  mac_d [ Sat Feb 09, 2013 2:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

If a part takes 3 weeks to make, teams seeing it at testing and seeing it in Oz could make a reasonably difference for a race or two.

Author:  beanchimp [ Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

I reckon the red bull blokes all standing round the back of the car is a smokescreen to 'make' people think they have something to hide

In reality it is probably somewhere else on the car they are trying to hide

Author:  cmberry20 [ Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

^ This.
Why draw obvious attention to something, you are only going to get a swarm of photographers taking pictures of this area the next time the car leaves the pits & then an army of experts go over the photos to see if there’s anything 'worth nicking'

On a side note - why can’t stuff be 'patented' in F1?
If F1 made phones there wouldn’t be any racing, the teams would be too busy suing each other in court!!

Author:  A2jdl [ Sun Feb 10, 2013 5:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

cmberry20 wrote:
^ This.
Why draw obvious attention to something, you are only going to get a swarm of photographers taking pictures of this area the next time the car leaves the pits & then an army of experts go over the photos to see if there’s anything 'worth nicking'

On a side note - why can’t stuff be 'patented' in F1?
If F1 made phones there wouldn’t be any racing, the teams would be too busy suing each other in court!!

I think the reason think don't get patented is because of the time it takes. I think it is easily over a year by which time if its worth copying it would have been.

Author:  Blinky McSquinty [ Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

cmberry20 wrote:
On a side note - why can’t stuff be 'patented' in F1?


When a patent is applied for, it becomes public domain, and anyone can access that information. The patent forbids them from using the concept or part, but if you allow others to be made aware of it, then they will probably think of a better mousetrap.

Author:  Infidelity [ Mon Feb 11, 2013 5:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

@OP: Cos in some Muslim countries they're expected to cover up for cultural reasons, aka they believe uncovered cars might make their men folk r*pey. :P

Joking only.

Author:  moshbeard [ Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

Blinky McSquinty wrote:
cmberry20 wrote:
On a side note - why can’t stuff be 'patented' in F1?


When a patent is applied for, it becomes public domain, and anyone can access that information. The patent forbids them from using the concept or part, but if you allow others to be made aware of it, then they will probably think of a better mousetrap.


I also believe there's some kind of agreement between the teams not to patent things anyway? But yes, if you let everyone know what you're doing it might mean they can't recreate it exactly but it'll put them on the path to developing something similar.

Author:  chrcoluk [ Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

yet the car behind will see from the onboard cam :)

Author:  scuderia_stevie [ Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Why do teams try cover up their cars in the pits?

beanchimp wrote:
I reckon the red bull blokes all standing round the back of the car is a smokescreen to 'make' people think they have something to hide

In reality it is probably somewhere else on the car they are trying to hide

It's been alluded to by various team principals that often they'll do this make the other teams think there's something to hide. In reality, they've still got to figure out which bit is the precious one gaining the times anyway.

Some are more obvious than others. There was no way for example that McLaren could have hidden their F-Duct.

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