AUSTRIAN GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE
First Practice session: 1:06.165, Position: 2, Laps: 23
Second Practice Session: 1:05.832, Position: 4, Laps: 33
“All in all, I think it was a positive day. We had a small issue with a brake connection at the start of FP2 meaning we had to take the floor off the car which lost us some time but we pretty much completed our programme so we can be happy with that. This is not the highest grip track and with the higher speeds this year, if you have a moment, it is difficult to correct without hitting a kerb or going through the gravel which a lot of people have experienced today. The yellow kerbs were definitely a challenge and I think maybe they are not the type of kerbs for Formula 1, the cars just aren’t designed for it. We still have some work to do tonight as I’m not fully happy with the balance we had today but we are also not too far off. We always know that in qualifying Mercedes will turn up their engines and of course the weather here can change very quickly, so it will be interesting to see what happens tomorrow.”
First Practice Session: 1:06.620 Position: 5, Laps: 32
Second Practice Session: 1:05.873, Position: 5, Laps: 27
“It was another good Friday today and we seemed to be relatively competitive. I didn’t really get to do a proper long run at the end because we had a couple of issues but otherwise it was a smooth day. The surface of the circuit has a lot of grip this year and with the new cars you really feel it. Especially the high speed corners of the second sector are pretty fast and fun. As soon as you lose that grip though you lose everything so a lot of guys were going off track. I guess everyone is trying to find their limit and then you feel the grip so you want to push more and more but then sometimes it breaks away from you. The top five cars were within four-tenths so hopefully that remains for tomorrow and then it’ll be quite an exciting show for the weekend. I’m sure Mercedes will probably turn it up for qualifying but I hope we can stay in that fight.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sigmund Freud, Gustav Klimt, Niki Lauda… err… Falco, everybody knows a handful of standout Austrian legends but over the centuries this weekend’s host nation has produced a steady stream of less storied but equally brilliant minds. Here are just a handful who’ve helped make the world a better place…
- Edward Rumpler – Not a name many are probably too familiar with but Vienna-born Rumpler had a significant impact on automotive design, including race car design. Born in 1872, aircraft and auto engineer Rumpler collaborated with Hans Ledwinka on the first Tatra car in 1897. After working for Daimler and Adler he turned his attention to aviation and became Germany’s first aircraft manufacturer in 1910. After WWI he returned to automotive design and began to apply aerodynamics to car design and in 1921 he built the Tropfenwagen (‘drop car’). Rumpler’s revolutionary teardrop design resulted in a car with an astoundingly low drag coefficient of just 0.28. Rumpler’s design inspired the 1923 Benz Tropfenwagen racing cars (built at the Rumpler aircraft factory in Berlin) and the legendary Auto Union Grand Prix racers. The Tropfenwagen also received cultural recognition, with a number meeting a fiery end in Fritz Lang’s 1926 sci-fi classic Metropolis. Just two examples are known to survive, one in the Deutsches Museum’s Verkehrszentrum in Munich and one in the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin.
- Hedy Lamarr – One of the most remarkable women to ever grace the silver screen, Hedwig Eva Maria Kiesler was born on November 9, 1913, in Vienna. Discovered by an Austrian film director as a teenager, she gained international notice in 1933 with her role in the Czech film Ecstasy. She moved to Hollywood and after signing a contract with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer became a movie sensation as Hedy Lamarr. The actress was not just a pretty face, however, and forged a parallel career as an inventor of some note. A dalliance with fellow innovator Howard Hughes led to Lamarr contributing to advances in wing design for the legendary aviation pioneer after he had put a team of researchers at her disposal. During WWII, Lamarr and a friend, the composer George Antheil, developed and patented a radio frequency-hopping device that prevented radio-controlled torpedoes being jammed. The complex design was not successfully implemented on US Navy ships until 1962 during the Cuban missile crisis and the concepts proved an important step in the development of technology to maintain the security of both military communications and even cell phones.
- Paul Eisler – Own any kind of electrical device from a phone to a tablet, a TV to a toaster? Then you have Austrian-born inventor Paul Eisler to thank for it. Eisler was born in 1907 in Vienna and studied engineering. After qualifying in 1930 he was unable to obtain work in Austria and went to work for EMI in Belgrade. He returned to Vienna and again unable to work as an engineer began jobs in journalism and printing, skills that proved crucial in later life. He moved to London and living in a Hampstead boarding house during WWII he sketched the first designs of what would become the printed circuit board. He established a number of patents for the application of his designs and formed a new company Technograph, though disagreements resulted in him splitting from it in 1957. His ideas were adopted by the US military during and following the end of the war they released the secrets of PCB design and from 1948 all electronics in airborne instruments were printed. Eisler never really reaped the rewards of his remarkable innovation, however, and moved on to other, often hit and miss, inventions, such as a rear windscreen heater, heated clothes and a pizza warmer. The world market for bare PCBs exceeded $60.2 billion in 2014.