Sauber cut an F1 car in half and reveal what’s inside

F1 technology

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Sauber have produced an enlightening video which shows how the internals of an F1 car are laid out.

The team split a 2008 BMW Sauber F1.08 chassis in half lengthways to show the positioning of components within the car.

As always, even with a four-year-old car, the team avoid showing the rear of the car in too much detail, as the engine and drivetrain are among its most sensitive parts. This being a 2008 car, is does not have a Kinetic Energy Recovery System or Drag Reduction System.

However the video gives a rare view of the layout of an F1 car, and is worth watching just to see Sergio Perez perched inside the Willy Wonka half-car.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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39 comments on “Sauber cut an F1 car in half and reveal what’s inside”

  1. Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey)
    30th May 2012, 13:32

    That was awesome. Really cool.

    I can’t wait until they cut Checo and Kobayashi open and let us have a look at all of their insides too.

    1. carlitos way
      30th May 2012, 13:47


    2. Jayfreese (@)
      30th May 2012, 14:10

      they’ve done the same in the Williams garage, but with full tank of fuel

      1. dodge5847 (@)
        30th May 2012, 18:04

        lol, very witty.

      2. LOL! And I was beginning to think F1 Fanatic lacked people with a sense of humor.

      3. Comment of the day!!! :-)))))))

    3. Hahh!!!!!!!!!!!!

      1. hhahaha brilliant comment :))

    4. Vettel is worth cutting too :-)

  2. Brilliant video! Would have liked to have seen the engine and gearbox a little more but that’s understandable. I now know where things live in an F1 car.

    1. Agree, really wanted a close shot of engine/clutch/gearbox :l Still very cool

  3. Maybe they could’ve used Toyota engine and gearbox parts (as they left F1 in 2009).

  4. The whole video I was thinking why is he holding an apple? Then it hit me, because an F1 car isn’t a place to store apples.

    That was brilliant though to see the internals, especially the carbon fibre honeycomb. Wowzers

    1. Broxter (@)
      30th May 2012, 18:09

      He was simply comparing the slicing of an apple down its centre to the slicing of the car.

  5. Was decent that, could have got somebody who wouldn’t say “um”, “erm”, “er” so much, although no doubt I don’t have room to talk on that score!

    Good though, very interesting, enjoyed the fuel tank part.

    1. I actually liked the umming and erring! It’s refreshing in these days of corporate media slickness.

      1. SubSailorFl
        30th May 2012, 19:59

        Bingo! I’m good with it as well. His first job has nothing to do with being a tour guide. He’s trying to dumb down the video for the average person and hold everyones interest.

  6. Fantastic video, really interesting to see a formula one car bisected like that.

  7. Great video. I’ve always been amazed how drivers can sit in that position for two hours. It almost appears like their legs would start to go numb due to lack of blood-flow. Also, at about the 40 second mark you can see exactly how low all the engine and transmission components sit.

    1. I think the G-forces they go through under braking is enough to pull all 5 liters of blood straight into their toe nails. When they are just sitting around in the garage it must be pretty bad though.

  8. Great video!! To think that their bums are just 10 mm away from the ground!!

  9. For the tech loving F1 fans there is a similar video here with McLaren test engineer Ted Bowyer explaining a lot about their car. The video is very long, so grab a snack :) (the subtitles are hungarian)

    1. Actually its not so long, they just forgot to cut after 13 mins :D

    2. Interesting video, thanks for that.
      I goes to show the amount of work that goes into the cars on the race weekends. Changing 1000 settings just in the software is crazy.

  10. I really like how Sauber are clearly investing a lot of time and money into PR and opening themselves up to the fans. They have almost everything a good team needs now: decent car, decent drivers, decent staff, they just need to sort out a decent team logo and livery and they will be a very valuable and attractive F1 team.

    1. I agree – it’s refreshing to see the team’s renewed (new-found?) interest in PR and connecting w/ the fans. Gotta love the Internet :)

  11. That’s brilliant!

  12. Jonathan Rooney
    30th May 2012, 16:35

    I’ve always thought the drivers feet where as close to the floor as possible. i don’t know how they manage to sit in the position for that length of time. brilliant insight!!

  13. Fantastic video, well done Sauber.

  14. Marussia should do that to one of their cars. They could get Arthur Pic to drive it.

    1. So they would halve the gap to the frontrunners?

  15. What a great video. I liked how you could actually see the drivers position. Never realised their feet were so high, with the toes almost at eye level.

  16. Wow, that is really good! So not only does a full tank of fuel slow the car due to weight, but imagine how much higher the centre of gravity is at the start of the race!

  17. Great video. I’m glad they did that. It deserves to go in a science museum or an art gallery. I assume they are going to display it somewhere and that’s why they did it.

    An all white car looks good. They should change to being all white. Their colour scheme now is terrible.

  18. Just wow!

  19. Great video and so timely…I was just wondering (again) about driver position and the layout of things in general. Agree w/ the previous poster who commented on Sauber team’s renewed (new-found?) interest in PR…

  20. Sweet !!

  21. nice video, would be nice to see some hi-res pictures of the halves, too

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