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Do F1 teams officially release the original 3D CAD models of all parts of their F1 cars to the public? Quite definitely, as long as the existing FIA regulations are more or less similar, teams are not bound to release the drawings, but have Ferrari, for example, released the detailed engineering drawings of the 312B (1970 F1 car) or F2004 (2004 F1 car)?

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In general terms no, and why would they?

Sure, there's no real competitive issue going to be caused for the current cars in Ferrari releasing detailed information on the F2004 but there's no benefit for Ferrari as an organisation either.

The older cars might not be racing any more but that makes their designs no less the teams intellectual property. I'm sure Ferrari wouldn't be amused if ACME Cars Inc released their new track day car the EFFTWOOHOHFOUR based on said CAD files for example. Not least because Ferrari has it's own nice little side line charging those with deep pockets a not inconsiderable sum to drive around in their older cars. So the older cars might no longer be competition assets but they can definitely still be commercial assets. The private market for F1 and "F1-based" car ownership might not be huge in volume terms but there's some eye-watering amounts of money changing hands for these cars - a TDF-One which started life as a 2011 Sauber or Marussia will set you back £1.5million

It's complicated even further by the fact that not every part of the car is even the team's IP either. The majority of the teams don't design and manufacture their own engines, gearboxes, brakes, control electronics, wheels so unless the respective manufacturers of these parts are willing to also release their CAD data such a release by the team is going to have significant chunks missing.

If we step away from the legal and commercial aspects for a moment and look at what such a release would mean for a curious fan. Well assuming the fan could get their hands on the appropriate CAD software to even open the files (I think something like Catia or Siemens NX is what teams will use) is a pretty big stretch, we're talking about something that costs thousands of dollars in licensing costs!

But let's say they've done that - what is the layperson getting from that? If you aren't already in the industry it's not going to mean much to you anyway.

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  • Although the purpose for which I had asked this question is fulfilled, I feel that for the sake of academics, F1 teams should release 3D CAD models for CFD/FEM analysis in schools and universities such that there is a larger pool of people who can work behind the door away from the track. I am not sure what others have to say on this? Thank you. Commented Feb 5, 2023 at 15:47
  • @SuddhasattwaGhosh Whether any team specifically releases CAD models to university departments I don't know but some teams do work with academia to a certain extent - Aston Martin and Mercedes (through Mercedes HPP) are both partners/sponsors of Formula Student in the UK for example, and I know that when I was at university at least one team was seeking to recruit new staff from the engineering programme there. Commented Feb 7, 2023 at 10:47

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