The Motorsport Valley in the UK is the world leader in motorsport engineering. It is home to around 4300 businesses that employ over 40,000 people and have an annual turnover of approximately £10 bn. Speed and competition are at the core of F1 racing. It is hardly surprising then that the motorsport industry in the UK spends 30% of its revenue on R&D to develop faster, more efficient vehicles every season. Over the last seven decades, Britain has dominated the Formula One racing series by conducting ground-breaking R&D and developing innovative technologies for the top manufacturers. Such that seven out of the ten F1 teams have chosen Britain as their base.
The success or failure of a team is just as dependent on the technology that runs the car as it is on the driver that sits behind the wheel. And R&D plays a big part in the development of that technology. There are several areas of R&D within motorsport engineering that contribute to the development of these superfast cars. Some of them include:
- Improving engine performance by using innovative components that convert kinetic and heat energy into electrical energy that accelerates the car
- Developing unique components to create resilient tyres that give optimal performance on any track and under all weather conditions
- Testing and developing new designs to enhance aerodynamics, downforce, grip, and other speed-related features
- Developing new technology and processes to make pit-stopping smooth and efficient
- Experimenting with new materials and technology and their application
R&D in Motorsport Industry Beyond F1 Racing
The R&D within this motorsport industry has applications in several other industries, such as:
Applications in Healthcare
Several technologies used to make and monitor F1 cars have applications in the healthcare sector. For example, the software used to collect and monitor data from the F1 cars are being tested and used to collect vital data from chronically ill patients and detect abnormalities earlier than before. Research is also underway to develop wireless monitoring systems that can have a positive impact on the quality of life of patients and the elderly.
Another area of research involves using a strong carbon fibre shell that makes up the body of F1 cars to develop “Babypods” that can withstand a 10 G force. This material protects an F1 driver from severe injuries in a crash. It is now being used to develop transport pods that can protect children during transportation from one place to another. Such a carrier can have several applications in hospitals where children frequently need to be transported.
Applications in Energy
F1 cars use an Aerofoil system to maintain the airflow and temperatures at the time of braking. Without this technology, the brake discs would easily explode when used at high speeds and cause critical injuries to the driver and damage to the car. Retailers are actively using this technology to reduce energy consumption by multiple refrigerators. The Aerofoil technology helps prevent the cold air from escaping from the fridge and keeps it cool for long. Extensive R&D is ongoing to test large scale applications of this technology in various environments to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.
Advanced motorsport technology has paved the way for R&D and innovation in various other sectors. From improving R&D and manufacturing processes in pharmaceutical companies and developing advanced air traffic scheduling systems to optimising production processes in oil and gas industries and delivering a new range of advisory services based on predictive analytics, R&D in motorsport engineering has helped several industries streamline their process and produce high-quality products and services.
Motorsport Industry and R&D Tax Credits
The Motorsport Valley is no doubt the largest hub of R&D and innovation in this sector. Any business conducting vital R&D in this area could receive substantial cashback or tax relief for their pioneering work. But it’s essential to let experts take care of your claim as there are many ways it could go wrong, and you may not receive the maximum potential payout you deserve. Datafox has a brilliant team of R&D Tax experts who can help you win the race for innovation and funding. Get in touch with us on 0800 035 2510 to learn more about claiming R&D Tax Credits in the motorsport industry and how we can help.