What Does a Formula E Tire Engineer Do?

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This is part of Electronic Design’s TechXchange Talks series and the TechXchange: Formula E Racing.

It can take a large amount of men and women to make a profitable Formulation E crew. At Mahindra Racing, they have rather a couple engineers to make this materialize. I was able to communicate with Carlos Rayo, Mahindra’s Tire Engineer, to get far more insight into what he does for the staff and how he got there. 

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Transcript

Wong: If you get a glimpse at any race car or truck as you have regarded that it can be obtained tires on it. Carlos, you are a tire engineer. What do you do to make absolutely sure that all these matters are working thoroughly?

Rayo: Confident.

So naturally, as a tire engineer, I appear right after the tires on our race vehicle here at Mahindra Racing.

So it is truly rather a intriguing subject. Tires in race cars or, well, in the vehicle, definitely, simply because tires is pretty a dwelling issue within the auto. It can be rather a complex issue to have an understanding of and clearly to get it correct when you speak about simulation, for case in point, and that is a little bit what I do.

So as a tire engineer, my purpose is to check out to, from a simulation side, I test to assemble all the information and facts that we require from data that we have acquired on the car in get for us to replicate that on our digital product that we’ve acquired, for example, the driving simulator that we’ve gotten on our personal in our headquarters.

So, of course, since it truly is this sort of a complex aspect of the vehicle to consider to get appropriate, is also pretty an crucial one particular. There is certainly a great deal of sensitivities, much too, as to how to behave.

For instance, definitely, monitor layouts will perform a quite important part on temperatures and pressures and different issues. For example, distinct surfaces in unique tracks, we have a completely different result in the way that these tires generate the grip, which is, at the end of the day, what we try out to optimize.

So, yeah, mainly I try out to make guaranteed that our simulation resources and simulation environments seize these behaviors from the actual car and from a true tire as near as possible so that as soon as we maintain keep track of we are as close as possible to exactly where we assumed we would be and hopefully our pre-function simulations aided us extract some potential from that car.

Wong: Superb. So what is your part in the course of the race?

Rayo: So through the race, typically when we get there to a race keep track of below, we will have now done a good deal of research beforehand. So that indicates we will have ready, at the very least run, all the simulations that we assume will give us the finest efficiency in conditions of how we use the tires in this particular observe on this individual set of disorders. Simply because certainly various temperatures and distinctive nations around the world in the entire world in distinct temperature situations will impact tires incredibly otherwise.

So reducing down this research will allow us to clearly seize what we feel is likely to materialize. So when we are on keep track of, we start off performing some no cost observe classes, which will enable us to decide if what we did back again house was actually pretty close or we have skipped something.

So in case we missed a thing, we would test to proper for that. We would consider to fully grasp why we less than-believed or in excess of-believed some effects, and we would consider to proper for that so that by the time we arrived to the critical session, which is qualifying and race, we are clearly as near as attainable.

Obviously, some issues that we may do is to try out to have an understanding of the race. For case in point, the area roughness of that individual track, that is something that we search into. We measure the tarmac qualities of every keep track of that we go to due to the fact often you may possibly believe that that you know in which you happen to be racing for the reason that you have been there in the preceding time, but, in fact, even tracks alter very substantially, from time to season.

And, if the observe has been resurfaced or a handful of things have adjusted or even the temperature is five or 10 degrees greater from exactly where you were past 12 months, in fact, you could see what you are accomplishing. But it might be not as near as you assumed it was.

So yeah, on keep track of, we make positive that all the homework that we deliver back again home is precise more than enough, and if it is not, we test to suitable for that.

Wong: So how do you get ready for the race?

Rayo: You know, just what kinds of tire we are likely to be bringing together and placing on.

So it is really certainly there is a good deal of planning which is, as I claimed, the little bit of homework that we do in advance of hitting the observe is a tiny bit unique than, for instance, other traditional racing autos. For example, Components A single, mainly because we have not got a distinct established of tires or unique parts that we can use.

That suggests that we will need to make confident we have an understanding of these tires that we’ve obtained due to the fact there is certainly going to be a great deal of tire management all through the weekend.

We are heading to be reusing tires that we have now operate on, for case in point, in practice, and then we might come to a decision to run on all those the moment once again on qualifying or race on.

Obviously, as I reported at the begin of the of the interview, tires are a living detail.

When you have acquired a tire in the morning, you would use this tire for the to start with session of the day, and which is by no means heading to be the exact as it was this morning. It’s likely to be consistently modifying. It can be heading to be its homes on its sensitivity in the way it is effective. It generates grip. It is normally likely to be consistently transforming.

So, yeah, effectively earning certain we fully grasp what we want to do with this tire so that at the conclusion of the working day, anything that goes on the best of it, any established up optimizations or increasing general performance engineers may choose to do or anything at all that is to do with handle devices or anything at all that goes further than on the chassis amount is all heading to be heading via tires.

So we will need to make guaranteed that we comprehend how they perform so that we can enhance everything else. Definitely at the conclusion of the race is incredibly essential, and this is the form of simulations that we operate. It will give us the base operate after we strike the monitor to make your mind up how very good we have optimized all the things based on simulation and how significantly we have to have to deviate, or optimized for employing genuine data from the auto at the time we are there.

Wong: Ok. So how did you come to be a tire engineer?

Rayo: So a tire engineer is not almost certainly the kind of purpose you feel when you have been a child. I guess is not the variety of point you say, “Effectively, I am going to be a tire engineer.”

But I have often been quite, really passionate about cars and trucks and about motor racing. I knew what I needed to do back then. So I studied mechanical engineering again in Spain, I am at first from Spain, and at some point moved to the United kingdom with my master’s in motorsport engineering.

To be truthful, I did not have any unique interest from tires up to that place, but once you get associated in System Pupil racing, which is in essence a college student level of competitiveness wherever you design the vehicles, and you do your own form of racing competing with other universities.

So I basically took the tire subject matter, and began obtaining rather intrigued in that.

It is, I believe, a extremely intriguing topic for the explanations I stated prior to is a little something that quite a few people really don’t genuinely imagine about. It is just these black round things that you get on the car and truly, at the end of the day, they just do practically nothing, but, in fact, they are 1 of the most complicated features.

So it is really really hard to get to understand them, but once you test to have an understanding of and you realize that there is a couple of tendencies and few matters that you can get out of it and how essential these are, mainly because almost everything finishes up heading through tires at the end of the day, racing or even on street automobiles.

So you understand that it is essentially really an essential task and an significant detail to understand.

So yeah, I just got interested from System College student from there ever since.

I’ve basically been functioning in the automotive market as a tire engineer. So I have not deviated from that and inevitably landed on this position at Mahindra Racing a handful of months in the past.

Wong: Superb. So what other roles have you had in possibly motorsports or engineering?

Rayo: So, as I said, I feel for about five many years I have been working in the automotive market, which was also about tires, so I have been a tire engineer for very a whilst now.

And yeah, it really is very unique marketplace because, in the globe of automotive, you check out to optimize a couple of the things that definitely are not however applicable for racing. But at the conclude of the day, it is nonetheless the same.

You try to understand tires. You have to have to get some knowledge, then later use it to produce your digital product and make them respond and behave like the true types. So at the conclude of the working day, it is really not so unique.

It is been a bit of a improve as effectively.

In racing, there is not so significantly that you can take a look at due to the fact there are some polices that restrict the amount of money of testing and the selection of hrs that you can check and what can you do. So, clearly, you want to be a great deal much more innovative and this has been section of the interesting obstacle so significantly.

Wong: So how did you get started off in Formula E and why this individual sequence?

Rayo: Well, I guess this is really quite a traditional sort of route for any person which is been on the lookout for the Formula E, potentially as an automotive or race motorsport engineer. In the beginning I examined mechanical engineering simply because it was what I was intrigued in and what I considered would give me the prospect to become an engineer in the planet of motorsports.

When I commenced my master’s degree, which I feel in the British isles they experienced their individual staff, which is in fact fairly their reliable workforce, it was quite a good option for me to get commenced in the real environment of racing instead than just the pure inexpensive way of implementing physics and math to it. So it was pretty attention-grabbing.

On the Mahindra side, they tried out to transfer myself as substantially as they could and come across men and women who operate other racing teams and check out to get my arms dirty by likely out and knowledge how actual factors work.

And that is unquestionably something that’ll enable you later on the moment you get into a far more specialist setup. This is the circumstance, for illustration, the place lots of points are actually transferable and then you know that there ended up factors that you discover that are truly transferable. That’s unquestionably really useful.

Wong: Fantastic. Perfectly, thank you, Carlos, for filling us in on what a tire engineer does, and we’ll glimpse forward to seeing you in the pits in the subsequent race.

Rayo: Thank you quite substantially.