Formula One: Made in Britain
Ahead of this weekend's GP at Silverstone, take a look at just how British F1 is
Posted: 26 Jun 2013
Also Made in Britain: Primary Designs
At the quiet end of an industrial estate in Oxfordshire, there's a shed that's home to 90 years' motorsport experience, including time served at Williams, Benetton and Renault F1. In it, men potter around turning sheets of thin Inconel - a nickel-chromium-based superalloy - into full-blown Formula One exhausts. Based on CAD designs from team engineers, it takes the company's 14-strong staff 100 hours to scratch-build a system - the collectors alone take 30 hours apiece. Before it lands on the grid each bit of pipe is examined under a microscope - the metal's just 0.5mm thick, so even the tiniest welding imperfection can cause cracks.