What links Max Verstappen to Math Salden and Megmeister?
Posted on May 18 2020
If this was a Pub Quiz, the answers could be:
- All of them love cycling and hope that Tom Dumoulin will win the Tour de France
- All 3 are bitterly disappointed that the Zandvoort Grand Prix is postponed
- Best cycling gear; Max rides in it, Math Salden sells it and Megmeister produces it
- All 3 are sitting at home, bored out of their brain, during the COVID -19 lock down
All these answers are factually correct, but unfortunately no cigar. They are all interested in how the latest technology can help them in their pursuit of success and they like to share that information with you, hence the link. Technology covers a wide spectrum so for this blog we like to focus on one of the main problems in sport in general and in F1 and cycling in particular, overheating. Why is it that Max Verstappen is more likely to overheat in his Red Bull Racing car than on his bicycle?
The short answer to this question:
In a Formula 1 car everything is geared towards power and speed (373 km/hour on the straight), optimum aerodynamics, as little drag as possible, and the comfort of the rider is compromised in the process.
All human ingenuity is applied to create as much speed, reduce drag (Aerodynamics) and ensure that the 800 horsepower engine transfers all its power onto the road and handles well through sharp corners, with breaking distances are as short as possible. All these efforts to cover the distance of the race in the shortest possible time. This simple explanation holds all the answers to Max Verstappen’s overheating problem.
Let's start by having a look at the 4 heat transfer mechanisms, in order to understand the problem:
- Conduction; this occurs when 2 objects of different temperatures come into contact
- Heat radiation; heat transmitted through empty space
- Evaporation; heat energy is needed to turn a liquid into a gas and removing heat in the process
- Convection; heat loss through the movement of air or water molecules across the skin.
How do these 4 heat mechanisms affect Max Verstappen in his F1 racing car:
The temperature in the engine of Max Verstappen F1 car, at the point of combustion, can reach up to 2,600°C, which is half as hot as the surface of the sun. So Max Verstappen is surrounded by all sorts of hot elements in his car. Heat moves from a hot object to a cold object (not the other way around), as Max Verstappen gets hot his body temperature might reach 39 degrees Celcius. This is hot and his body will start to sweat since this is the body’s mechanism to cool down. But while 39 degrees is a hot body temperature, compared to the temperature of his surroundings Max is cool, and this impairs his ability to lose his heat through conduction.
Because of safety requirements, an F1 driver has to wear a fire retarded balaclava under his helmet. He also wears flameproof underwear under his overall. Max will be sweating a lot in his F1 Racing car. That’s why Max has to keep up his hydration during the race through a tube attached to his helmet. Drivers can easily lose 3 kilos of body fluid, during a 90 minutes race, which is roughly 5% of their body weight. The problem for Max is that his sweat has no easy way of evaporating and cooling him down. His ability to evaporate sweat, the main cooling mechanism is greatly impaired.
Humans, as they hot up lose a lot of their excess heat through radiation of the head. But as we know Max is wearing a balaclava and a helmet during the race so his ability to lose heat through radiation is again greatly impaired.
Because of the aerodynamics of a Formula 1 racing car, the cockpit is a very tight space and the driver is completely nestled inside the car and strapped in very tightly. Apart from the top of his helmet. The hot air in the cockpit can only escape through the small space at the top of the cockpit but no good interchange of fresh air can take place. All of which impair the heat loss through convection. The drivers are surrounded by an aura of hot air.
The physical challenge of driving in a Grand Prix is often overlooked, particularly in the races in hot climates. Drivers try to make the most of air cooling, but this does not work so well if the surrounding air temperature is almost as hot as the driver's body temperature. The driver's main preoccupation is hydration.
Drivers try to cool down before the race by wearing ice packs and once in the car before the start the have umbrellas over them to shield them from direct sunlight. Every F1 driver has to look after his core temperature as best he can and basically suffer the heat for the period of the race. So the driver has difficulty in cooling yet his equipment is super efficiently cooled.
Math Salden’s provides and advises on the latest technology;
Math Salden (www.salden.nl) was founded in 1963 , based in the South part of The Netherlands (Limburg). In 2004 Ralph Salden took over from his dad. Over time they have earned a reputation as one of the premium cycling specialist retailers in The Netherlands. He can count Tom Dumoulin and Max Verstappen among his customers. Because Salden has a hard-earned reputation for quality and innovation. Like Tom, many cyclists flock to the area to enjoy the countryside and tackle the Cauberg. But tackling the Cauberg can lead to problems with overheating, which is a potential risk for any cyclist. Customers will benefit from better functionality in their clothing to help them stay dry, better ventilated, and/or cool. But cyclists mostly do not know what’s good for them and that’s where Math Salden comes in. Earning a reputation as a premium bike store is not just about selling expensive bikes, it has more to do with being knowledgeable and able to provide sound advice based on facts and personal experience. Salden likes to provide his customers with the best cycling cooling gear available, and Megmeister ranks high in his experience.
Megmeister’s water cooling system explained:
Similar to F1 Racing cars, the engine of an athlete (the body) needs cooling, particularly if riders need to perform in a hot or humid weather climate. Unlike a Formula 1 racing car that has to spray water into its airflow to create cooling, a human body can produce its own water in the form of sweat. Megmeister has created a unique cooling system by using the sweat of athletes to cool them down and named the patented invention “Ultra Fris Pro” jersey. The human body’s main cooling system is through evaporation. The “Ultra Fris Pro ” print technology functions like a turbo on a car, it creates a superior endothermic reaction that cools the rider down. In this endothermic process, the print absorbs excess energy in the form of heat and gets rid of the excess heat through radiation. As soon as a rider starts to sweat, the jersey starts to work by cooling you down and providing you with a great cooling sensation.
As far as we are aware, Megmeister is the creator of the best cycling jersey with an inbuilt cooling system, based on the same science as Red Bull’s F1 cooling technology! Math Salden is convinced and stocks our new jerseys, but we like to gift one of our “ultra Fris Pro” jerseys to Max Verstappen since he enjoys his cycling. We like to give him a cooling experience on his bike that he can’t even get close to in the cockpit of his Red Bull Racing F1 car. We have given Ralph a shirt for Max to try, so as soon as he picks it up another link is made.