Incredible Feats of Engineering in Formula 1 Racing

Wanna see something cool? Check out the moves on this pit crew. I don't care if you're not a Formula 1 person, a car person, or even a transportation person – if this video comparing F1 crews past and present doesn't blow you away your spark plugs may need changing.

The point of the video – that the speed and efficiency of Formula 1 pit crews have come a long, long way since the mid-twentieth century – can also be made about Formula 1 as a whole. The last six decades have seen the sport develop, from a technical aspect, in a high-octane flurry of advances in everything from aerodynamics to materials science.

This progress tends to come fastest and hardest when F1's sanctioning body, the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, enacts a long-list of changes to the rules (i.e. the "formula") with which every team's car must comply, as it did this season. This year, the biggest surprise to emerge in the aftermath of this sport-wide overhaul has been the Mercedes' ingenious split-turbo engine – a master stroke of imaginative engineering that has has thus far enabled the team to not just beat the competition, but positively trounce it.

For more information, we recommend checking out the pieces above, courtesy of Jalopnik. Not a gearhead? Check out Kottke's overview, where we first learned of this business ourselves.

We bring this to your attention not as car people, but as innovation people. The changes that the Mercedes team has made this season, changes wrought by a forced call to creative upheaval, add up to a fantastic case study in the dynamics of progress.

H/t Laughing Squid / Kottke