My location: United States
Mar 9, 2015

Designer interview

Serpent 1/10 scale F110 SF2
Serpent is about to release this new version of the Serpent F110 series, the SF2. Below an interview with Serpent’s chief onroad designer and co-owner Michael Salven.

Hello Michael,

We like to do this interview with you to learn all about the latest Serpent F1 1/10 scale car.

Q: 1st a general question: are you a full scale F1 fan and if yes, who is your favorite driver and team and which driver and team will be the 2015 champion ?
A: Yes, I am very much a F1 fan . Being a designer of rc cars and driver as well I was a big fan of the combination of Adrien Newey and Sebastian Vettel when both at Red Bull. However I could never decide which of them I was more fan of.
Who will be champion in 2015? Same as last year, although I hope Williams can challenge them, they are a great team!!

Q: While designing the 1/10 scale F1 car, do you actually check the full scale race designs as well, and if so can you really use similar solution ?
A: Well, not really, since the car is completely different from the suspension design. I look at the wings a lot, I wanted them to look scale and still work.

Q: This will be Serpent’s 2nd generation of the F110 platform. Is the F1 market developing so well ?
A: Yes, I think so. It’s a growing part of the ETS race series and as such quite popular as well. Also in Asia and USA its gaining popularity.

Q: What makes designing a 1/10 scale car such a challenge ?
A: since the design is quite restricted by the rules, the biggest challenge is to make a car work for all the different rules around. And to understand what makes them go fast.

Q: Which are the key drivers you rely on to develop the 1/10 F1 car ?
A: I worked close together with David Ehrbar, who races top-level in the F1 class at the ETS, as well as TC . Since he is an engineer himself, our communication couldn’t be any better. We speak the same language.

Q: What are the 5 main changes you developed for the new F110 ?
1 the new center pivot system, which is absolutely bind-free. It opens up new avenues as how you use the links. There is a much higher freedom how to mount them because binding is eliminated. Also the roll-center is adjustable quite easy
2 the new front end. It has improved geometry and additional adjustability as the adjustable kingpin angle. But most important the caster adjustment is very easy, as is change of ride-height. The whole front end is much simpler, but at the same time it has a lot of additional adjustments
3 the possibility to change the weight distribution. It is possible to mount the battery in two positions, as well as the servo
4 the adjustable wings. With both front and rear wings you can adjust the upper flap in three positions
5 the CG of the new car is much lower. This is mainly because ot the new steering servo layout. It also allows adjustable Ackerman.

Q: Since there a different rules in different parts of the world, how did you cope with that ?
A 0 In general we tried to incorporate enough range of set-up for all the different rules. On top of that we offer three types of front suspension. All of them are available also in a wider version which is mostly used in countries where they use foam tires
A 1: fixed front end
This is the front end for the ETS and all other rules where a kingpin spring is required. All the wheelmovement is on the kingpin, the lower arm is basically fixed. This is the standard kit version
A 2: flex front end this front end is used mainly in Japan and uses the flexibility of the lower carbon arm as a suspension. Also this suspension is included in the kit
A 3: flex front end with tubes, it is identical with A2, but with additional dampening, using 2 short tubes in the front

Q: Has the F110 SF2 already been run at some major races to test ?
A: Yes David used the car in the ETS round in Hrotovice. After struggling in the beginning ( he never raced a Formula car on carpet before), he finished on the podium eventually and also TQ’ed one round of qualifying.

Q: When will the F110 SF2 be introduced ?
A: release is planned for early march.

Q: Will drivers be able to upgrade the F110 car with a set to SF2 ?
A: Too may parts are different and new, so this we will not offer. Of course all the parts will sell separately for drivers that want to change only some parts.

Q: Will you be racing F110 yourselves or supporting it and which class will have your focus for 2015?
A: Maybe! I really would like too! But I will stick to my Viper 977, as I love the 1/8 scale class.

Q: What is the next project you are working on ?
A: Come on, that’s secret!!

Thanks very much for your input and answers.


Team Serpent