Technical Fernando's 6-tenths...

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
The formula1.com website is reporting that Ferrari have modified their car, based on a suggestion from Fernando Alonso, based on something that the Renault team had been running since early 2001.

http://www.formula1.com/news/technical/2012/865/948.html

So, this raises 2 questions. Firstly, it appears that Fernando truly does bring ideas to the table when it comes to developing the car, which does allow for potential performance enhancements. However, it also does raise the thorny question of IP. Does this sort of suggestion raise the thorny idea of intellectual property rights? This was something Renault were doing. Alonso worked for Renault, and saw this being done, then suggested to Ferrari that they do it to their car.... I realise that it is a very muddy issue - as no particular part was directly copied, but a concept was brought on board due to a member of staff who worked for the other team. Why would this be any different to, say, the gas used for filling tyres???

(edit: I am NOT saying that there is anything wrong with this at all... Just raising this as a discussion point!)
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
I suspect this has been happening for decades - drivers and technical staff regularly change teams, and after all, one can't conveniently forget everything one has been a part of or learnt from before.

It doesn't bother me - if you think about it, virtually every 'innovation' becomes standard very quickly - and every team has its own way of checking out the opposition.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Firstly, it appears that Fernando truly does bring ideas to the table when it comes to developing the car, which does allow for potential performance enhancements.
Seems to me he brought someone else's idea to the table. That someone being whoever thought of it at Renault.

As for the IP issue, it's always been a problem. I have no doubt all of the former McLaren employees who now work for Ferrari were mined for every bit of information possible.
 

Incubus

Champion Elect
Not quite sure what the premise here is to be honest. Bringing ideas into the table if they have any has always been part and parcel of being an F1 driver has it not? There would be no need for them to attend technical de-briefing otherwise. As for intellectual property, that could apply to just bout anything in F1. If team A comes up with a new front wing concept, are team B, C and the rest of the field guilty of collective IP violation if they turn up at the next race with a similar front-wing design?
 

Fenderman

Rooters Reporter
There appears to be an unwritten rule in F1 that ideas can be shared given an appropriate hiatus. In particular, the contracts of employees involved in the design and engineering of the cars routinely contain clause with regard to how soon they can take up employment with another team upon resignation or "letting-go" from another.

F1 is also somewhat peculiar in the world of technical and scientific innovation in that very few of the advancements are patented by the constructors. Intellectual Property is generally protected by copyright law but is easily circumvented by even minor variations in design and specification since it is the drawing and written word that is copyrighted rather than the actual physical device.

Patents and Patent law apply to the design, prototype and finished product. Hence, a design and even a finished product may carry the tag "Patent Pending" or "Patent Applied For". F1 dispenses with the hassle because the designers are seeking year on year innovation rather than necessarily chasing perfection in any one particular area. So long as their solutions keep them ahead of the competition they are less concerned about copying past years developments than they are about piracy or espionage of current IP.

Question, just how much does a driver know that the competition has not discovered or thought about from observing the team the driver has come from?

Oh, and whilst I think about it, has the performance of the Ferrari suffered because, actually, the suggested route has knocked six tenths off of their pace?
 

sobriety

Pole Sitter
Also, in order to establish a patent, you have to provided details of the device for public scrutiny, and the last thing any team wants to do is tell the competition what it's up to.
 

RickD

Pole Sitter
Not quite sure what the premise here is to be honest. Bringing ideas into the table if they have any has always been part and parcel of being an F1 driver has it not? There would be no need for them to attend technical de-briefing otherwise. As for intellectual property, that could apply to just bout anything in F1. If team A comes up with a new front wing concept, are team B, C and the rest of the field guilty of collective IP violation if they turn up at the next race with a similar front-wing design?
That is a slightly different premise to a driver knowing about a system and the technical workings and another team spotting it on a car and copying it. In the first instance, I and many others would class this as stealing IP, as far as the second method goes, the team that spotted the device have had to go away and worjk it out for themselves.
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
That is a slightly different premise to a driver knowing about a system and the technical workings and another team spotting it on a car and copying it. In the first instance, I and many others would class this as stealing IP, as far as the second method goes, the team that spotted the device have had to go away and worjk it out for themselves.

I suppose it comes down to the idea that if someone were employed from another team, it would be IP theft if they took diagrams with them - however, it would not be IP theft if they just happened to remember certain aspects! It does make a bit of a mockery of the entire system though!
 

Jen

Here be dragons.
Contributor
I suppose it comes down to the idea that if someone were employed from another team, it would be IP theft if they took diagrams with them - however, it would not be IP theft if they just happened to remember certain aspects! It does make a bit of a mockery of the entire system though!
No it doesn't - everyone who changes jobs takes their past experience with them, whatever the industry - and that is what makes them employable.

It could be said that in this day and age there is no such thing as an original idea, which would make IP irrelevant.
 

sportsman

Sidecar racers have the biggest cojones
Contributor
No it doesn't - everyone who chances jobs takes their past experience with them, whatever the industry - and that is what makes them employable.

It could be said that in this day and age there is no such thing as an original idea, which would make IP irrelevant.

Quite right Jen.It is for that very reason that many employers state previous experience in this particular industry essential.
 
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