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Old 25 Jul 2004, 22:17 (Ref:1047085)   #1
Adam43
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BAR's front torque transfer system

I was quite intrigued by this and don't really know the full details. Obviously anything new in F1 is stamped on by other teams if they don't have it and it remains to be seen if Whiting allows it. At the moment BAR think its OK (obviously) and the rest don't (obviously).I see Dave Richards says that after clarification it might race at Hungary.

but, what is it? This is what I think, please add or contradict.

The system is basically a differential between the front two wheels allowing torque transfer. A limited slip diff for the front? Well it stops the inside wheel locking up under braking.

This has been tried before. Many years ago Benetton had a purely mechanical system. It was very heavy and difficult to set up, so wasn't really used much.

The way forward is to have a more controllable device. An hydraulic diff that can be control electronically. However several years ago the FIA offered a clarification on the rules that said it was banned.

I don't know the BAR system, but it sounds more electronic than mechanical. And I am unsure whether either are currently allowed. the rules seem quite clear. In the section of transmissions in the technical rules we have:
Quote:
9.5 Torque transfer systems :
Any system or device the design of which is capable of transferring or diverting torque from a slower to a
faster rotating wheel is not permitted.
Now this seems clear, but it is in the transmission section. Does this imply rear suspension?

Anyway if we look at the brake rules
Quote:
11.1 Brake circuits and pressure distribution :
11.1.1 All cars must be equipped with only one brake system. This system must comprise solely of two separate
hydraulic circuits operated by one pedal, one circuit operating on the two front wheels and the other on the
two rear wheels. This system must be designed so that if a failure occurs in one circuit the pedal will still
operate the brakes in the other.
11.1.2 The brake system must be designed in order that the force exerted on the brake pads within each circuit
are the same at all times.
11.1.3 Any powered device which is capable of altering the configuration or affecting the performance of any part
of the brake system is forbidden.

11.1.4 Any change to, or modulation of, the brake system whilst the car is moving must be made by the drivers
direct physical input, may not be pre-set and must be under his complete control at all times.
11.1.3 has been pointed out by Brawn. This rule seems vague as many things that effect the attitude of the car also effect this, but then the key is presumably a 'powered' device.

Does anyone else know more specifics of the BAR system?
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Old 26 Jul 2004, 08:46 (Ref:1047433)   #2
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I think the description you have is correct, in that while similar to the bennetton system (from '98 or '99 IIRC), the BAR one operates with an electro hydraulic diff, which is far more controlable, and more consistant than the mechanical version (something which the benetton system suffered from).

So basically you have the two front wheels, connected by driveshafts, to a diff housed in the front of the chassis (I would assume in front of the drivers feet). The diff action can then be controlled, and allows torque to transfer between the two front wheels, moving it from an uloaded wheel to a loaded one, with the intention to stop the front wheels locking.

From what I've read though, I think it was only the T-Car that had the system fitted this weekend, neither of the race cars turned up with it fitted.

I personally don't think that Rule 9.5 would be the one to look at, as it's regarding transmission, however 11.1.3 might be the one, because as it's an elctronic conrol unit, it would technically be powered.

Personally, I have never seen the advantage of the system, as if your to think about all your affecting (stoping the inside wheel locking), and then all the asscoiated disadvantages (more weight, higher CoG, more aerodynamic drag due to spinning driveshafts in the airflow coming off of the front wing), and it just doesn't add up.

Just my veiw.

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Last edited by Try Hard; 26 Jul 2004 at 08:52.
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Old 26 Jul 2004, 11:42 (Ref:1047629)   #3
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If you are allowed to adjust bias front-to-rear (although admittedly they don't/can't actually do that whilst braking, and it is totally in the driver's control...), it doesn't seem like a big leap to adjusting bias side-to-side. In fact, that was the aim of the infamous 'tractor-brakes' that were banned a few years back...
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Old 26 Jul 2004, 11:57 (Ref:1047647)   #4
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Originally posted by Try Hard
I personally don't think that Rule 9.5 would be the one to look at, as it's regarding transmission, however 11.1.3 might be the one, because as it's an elctronic conrol unit, it would technically be powered.
This doesn't surprise me. I chose to highlight rule 9.5, Ross Brawn mentioned 11.1.3!
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Old 26 Jul 2004, 13:24 (Ref:1047749)   #5
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Clearly BAR think it's legal or else they wouldn't have spent the time, money and effort researching and getting it ready.

As far as I am aware they got the OK from the FIA but under Charlie Whiting's advice removed it and hope to get a clarification from CW over whether they will be allowed to use it in Hungary. I think it was attached to Anthony Davidson's car (he who went fastest in practice).

How do the FIA expect to get support for their cost-saving measures when they end up doing things like this? Time and again a team gets the go-ahead for some new device only to have it banned as soon as it's operated in anger at a GP.

Some procedure or other needs to be looked at...
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Old 26 Jul 2004, 14:19 (Ref:1047795)   #6
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I suspect BAR will provide the FIA with a full explanation of what they system is and how it complies with the rules.

David Richards is certainly optimistic that it will be on the car in Hungary.
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Old 26 Jul 2004, 15:29 (Ref:1047859)   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by shiny side up!
If you are allowed to adjust bias front-to-rear (although admittedly they don't/can't actually do that whilst braking, and it is totally in the driver's control...), it doesn't seem like a big leap to adjusting bias side-to-side. In fact, that was the aim of the infamous 'tractor-brakes' that were banned a few years back...
Technically, with the front diff, your not adjusting the bias of the braking system from side-to-side, as the bias affets the amount of pressure applied by the hydraulic brake system, which while the device is connected to it, it isn't controlled by it. Instead, I suspect it's an independent system, linked to the brake pedal (how else would it know when it's braking?), and having speed sensors on both front drive shafts.
When it senses that one has almost stopped spinning (ie locked up), the diff (probably) tightens up, transmitting the torque from the wheel thats still spinning to the one that (almost) isn't, avoiding a lock-up.
This could maybe even be used in a general situatuion, possibly by reducing wheel scrub, but to be honest I don't have enough knowledge to be able to back that up, it's just an idea.

But maybe the side-side bias adjustment is something to look into, with a system that could be manually adjusted by the driver, similar to the front-rear systems employed.
Of course that would have to be manual control as if an electronic unit was used it would be similar to an Anti-Lock system, and so therefore, banned.
But even with the manual systems, some drivers have been known to adjust them from corner to corner, and with a side-side system, you would be able to set up the brakes for the side that is going to be loaded the most, hopefully avoiding lock-ups.
Final thought about that though, is the change couldn't be very big, from side-side, as other-wise the car wold pull to the side with greater bias under braking.... Which thinking about it is probably why such a system isn't used.

I can't remember exactly how the tractor brakes worked, but I know they were only on the rear wheels, and I thought they were used on the exit of the corner to provide more traction? No use for them now, what with the evil that is TC....

Just some thoughts
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Last edited by Try Hard; 26 Jul 2004 at 15:35.
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Old 26 Jul 2004, 19:45 (Ref:1048103)   #8
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So the only difference with Renault's a couple of years ago is how it's employed, not the end result?

Seems a bit like when Ferrari jumped at McLaren in 1998 to me.
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Old 26 Jul 2004, 22:00 (Ref:1048253)   #9
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Basically yes, then princaple behind the two system is the same, their both working towards the same result.
The difference is that the BAR system is able to produce much more consistant and repeatable results, as the Electro/hydraulic diff can judge the amount the torque transfer required a hell of a lot better than a mechanical one.
Mainly this is because with a mechanical diff you can't vary the amount of locking whilst out on the track, something which the E/H can, allwoing the system to "adapt" to the requirements of different turns, and hence level of braking etc.

HiH
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 05:01 (Ref:1048414)   #10
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The last I heard of a system like this was that it had been explicitly declared un-illegal (not legal but not illegal) with the ruling that they couldn't outlaw it because the rear diff performs the same function

11.3 seems to me like the brakes end when the caliper clamps on the disc all the BAR system does is change the torque on the wheels
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 07:04 (Ref:1048449)   #11
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I suppose by linking the front wheels with any form of diff you get the situation where, under certain definitions you have a front wheel that is being driven. Not by the engine, but by the other front wheel. The other teams could easily argue that this goes against the spirit of the rules.
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 08:14 (Ref:1048490)   #12
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The technical explanation are really good guys. It's a pleasure for me to read posts like these. I'm in heaven!

And, btw, BAR's Torque Transfer System surely have a weight... and considering the exceptional efforts all the teams make to save 1 pound on the cars... it has to be very very advantageous if they decided to mount it on (and it's not in a low-position...)... am I right?
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 08:37 (Ref:1048507)   #13
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AVSfan: I see your point, but with the rear diff you could argue that it's explicit function is the control of torque from thte engine, not the brake system, whereas this front diff's main purpose is to affect the front braking torque, so technically being illegal under 11.1.3.

studying 11.1.3 closerly
"affecting the performance of any part of the brake system" This is the bit the TTS i think would become illegal in, as it does affect the performance of the brake system.
However the writing of the rule is still a little bit vague, as what do you class as a powered device?

ParkLife: I think that deffiently something to consider, as thats how the system operates. But again how do you classify a "powered" device? Is it by electronic control, or by something else (ie engine or other front wheel?)

Giando; Glad you like the posts. What you say about the weight is one of the reason's why I can't see too much advantage in the system, because of where the diff has to be mounted, plus along with all other required parts to make the system work. i.e. new front axles, front drive shafts, new front hubs, and all other asscosiated mounting hardware, which would all add weight to the car, raising it's Centre of Gravity. I would reckon a 10 to 15kg addition in weight minimum, might not sound like much, and the car is probably still massively underweight, but it eats into the positional ballast that all the cars run.
Plus, as I have already mentioned, their is an aerodynamic drag hit of having spinning driveshafts in controlled air off of the front wing...

For BAR to stick with running it, they must be convinced there is a big advantage in running the system, although if we never get to see it at a race weekend, we wil never know...

Last edited by Try Hard; 27 Jul 2004 at 08:37.
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 08:47 (Ref:1048514)   #14
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Try Hard: on the contrary, I believe that as an additional weight on the car (with bad effects on the centre of gravity, also) is a negative point... if they decided to put it on their cars, they surely have seen that the traction advantages were going to compensate and even give better performance! (Sorry, maybe for the language I make my opinions hard to understand)

And for the aerodynamics interaction, this is a really interesting point...

As you say, we'll never know.

But Geoff Willis uses to talk much about technique, maybe later in the season he'll explain some more.

Ciao
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 11:44 (Ref:1048659)   #15
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The way I read the rules, it becomes illegal all over the place...

11.1.2
The rule prohibits hydralic bias side-to-side. No problems here.

11.1.3
Depends on the definition of 'powered device', but clearly an electro-mechanical diff is 'powered' and not strictly mechanical. Add to that the fact that the inside front wheel may be considered 'powered' by the outside front at turn-in under braking, and there are all sorts of rules conflicts...

11.1.4
Any change to the braking system must be a direct physical input from the driver. Clearly, an electro-mechanical diff would alter the braking system w/o the driver's direct input.

BAR had to know that other teams, if not the FIA, would throw up all sorts of red flags when they saw this system on Ant's car!

On a side not, I think the system could be made to be pretty light. The 'diff' itself would be totally different to a rear diff, as there would only be inputs from the half shafts and no 'driving' force. As such it would essentially be a clutch pack, which can be made very light and compact. The torques on the shafts would not be all that much, so carbon tubes would easily cope... no, the weight placement and aero effects would not be ideal, but may not be a substantial roadblock, especially on the tighter tracks...
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 11:53 (Ref:1048671)   #16
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First of all let me say WELL DONE adam for posting a sensible,well thought out discussion,and -best of all- you have included the current rules on the matter.
How many people do that??!!
All too often there is nothing but pure guesswork and speculation on tech matters

As for the subject at hand...
i'm not sure which way this could go.
Dare i say that the rules are deliberately ambiguous so that the fia can feel free to interpret them to favour whoever they want to win this year ?

Sorry-i couldn't resist
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 12:54 (Ref:1048728)   #17
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During the Speed Channel feed, Steve Matchett (former Bennetton mechanic) said that the extra weight is actually a good thing - the cars are now so light the system would in effect act also as ballast bringing weigh forward in the car.

There is no aero impact as it fits in the existing cowling.

He pointed out that when Bennetton did it the weight of the mechanical system overcame the grip advantaqe. He thinks that this would be effective now if Charlie Whiting deems it legal.
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 13:17 (Ref:1048750)   #18
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There has to be some aero impact, as there have to be driveshafts running to the wheel hubs, but I imagine that the diff/clutch unit would indeed fit in the present nose. Maybe the shafts aren't such a big deal since the suspension arms muddle everything up already...

I missed Matchett's comments on it, wish I hadn't. What he says is more often than not spot-on. As far as weight is concerned, seems like it may help in front/rear distrubution, but maybe hurt in cog height.
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Old 27 Jul 2004, 13:17 (Ref:1048751)   #19
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For the BAR system there would have been an aerodynamic impact, whereas the benetton system wouldn't have had one, as it was desgined to accept it from the start.

The reason's i give for this are as follows
Neither of the existing suspension arms on the BAR are in the correct postion to "house" a driveshaft, so therefore a cowling would have to be placed in an already croweded area (the front suspension) to fit it.
Remember a few years ago, McLaren and Stewart ran the steering arms much lower down, in essecence having three arms connecting the front suspension. This was to get the weight of the steering rack lower. However the steering links were moved back into the uppeer wishbones (also raising the rack height) due to the aerodynamic advantage of having the arms there.
Also due to the size of the shafts (they would have to be fairly large, although not as big as the drive shafts), any cowling produced would be much thicker than a current suspension arm, and with the rules over aero profile of these pices (1 height to 2.5 length) would produce a fairly large section.

So your gonna get some form of drag increase by having such a system fitted.
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