Butterfly Effect - this video explains how a very simple idea resulted in massive system improvements. I’m a huge F1 fan, not just for entertainment value but also because the relentless pressure and rapid development cycles have resulted in some astonishing advancements that transferred far outside the sport, both in technology and how humans work together to develop it.
This year, Mercedes has achieved a significant performance advantage over the competition, with a design choice so simple it can be explained in layman’s terms in under 3 minutes. This is a prime example of how new materials technology enables old technology (a turbocharger) to be executed in fundamentally new ways, achieving massive improvement.
This progress tends to come fastest and hardest when F1’s sanctioning body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile, enacts a long-list of changes to the rules (i.e. the “formula”) with which every team’s car must comply, as it did this season. This year, the biggest surprise to emerge in the aftermath of this sport-wide overhaul has been the Mercedes’ ingenious split-turbo engine – a master stroke of imaginative engineering that has has thus far enabled the team to not just beat the competition, but positively trounce it.