Keynote – Why F1 and Motorsport teams spend so much energy and resource creating light, strong and stiff structures.

Prof. Willem Toet, Sauber Aerodynamics



Composites in Motorsport – A Historical Perspective

Brian O’Rourke, Williams F1

Whilst simpler types of composite material had, undoubtedly, been employed in Motorsport for many years beforehand, the introduction of ‘advanced’ composites to the industry from 1981 represented a step-change in racing car development. In particular, the application of composites using carbon-fibre reinforcement and epoxy resins – supplied in ‘prepreg’ form – to primarily structural duties in Formula 1 fundamentally altered the way in which cars would be built from then on. The initial interest in composite of this type began when it was realised that existing designs exhibited significant deficiencies in their stiffness performance. This restricted engineers in their wish to exploit recent advances in other design fields, particularly those of aerodynamics. In addition to the foremost aim of reducing lap times, a significant additional requirement in F1 since 1985 has been that of improving driver safety; a feature for which it, historically, had never been noted. The introduction by the governing body for motorsport, the FIA, of chassis impact and strength demonstration testing – and its regular incremental changes in severity ever since - has increased the demands of the design task markedly over years. Alongside this, design, simulation and production techniques have advanced rapidly and many efficiencies have resulted. This presentation will take you on a journey on the development in the uses of composites in Motorsport from the perspective of an engineer involved continuously from its beginning to the present day. The changes will be described and illustrated by examples from designs over that period of time.


Design and manufacturing innovation for lightweight structures using composite materials

Andrew Mills, Cranfield University & EPSRC National Centre for Innovation Composites


Refreshments & Exhibition


Stiffening a thin shell walled element with novel natural fibres to outperform carbon fibres

Christian Fischer, Bcomp Ltd


Additive manufacturing in high performance composites

Kieron Salter, K W Special Projects


Integrating laminate optimisation techniques into the uncompromising development world of Motorsport

Martin Gambling, GRM Consulting Ltd


Lunch & Exhibition


Formula Student: Methods for low volume composite manufacturing

Joe Jones, Oxford Brookes Racing


Event Sponsor – Flexible automation for complex composites

Christian Fleischfresser, Cevotec


Refreshments & Exhibition