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Old 12 Mar 2001, 16:01 (Ref:70460)   #1
Dino IV
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Dino IV should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridDino IV should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
The teams are enlighting every part to its absolutely minimum. Really to extremes. And they don't pursue that dollar-burning race for nothing. They have to if they want to be competitive. The cars format is totally wrong and that's something the FIA or rather stubbornhead Mosley doesn't want to acknowledge.

In 1993 the rear tyres (slicks) went back to 380 mm which was actually too small for the cars. However the cars had a quite natural balance in that format. That totally changed in 1998, when grooves were added and the track became 200 mm smaller. This led Bridgestone to widen the front tires in order to get some more rubber down. Balance was absolutely nowhere and the rear was totally disturbed with the even more overpowered tyres. To solve this the designers needed to get more weight to the front in a low position. Everything aft of the CoM became their biggest enemy. That's where the freak race towards the smallest and lightest engines, suspensions, diffs etc comes from. Lighter parts result in severe vibration problems and an dangerously raise of the dynamic loads. This means extremely rapid shortening of a parts lifespan if these vibrations aren't controlled. Most problems are just recognized when a crash already has occured. Something that is very dangerous for the drivers. That's something the FIA should have acknowledged and acted accordingly to prevent safety margins needed on the cars being threatened by the designer goals. They did not and the list of severe crashing cars because of malfunctioning parts is ten times longer than the ones initiated by driver error (Burti, Hakkinen this GP, but the list is endless). Continuing this way allowing the teams to get their anorectic cars as light as possible is equal to 22 timebombs ticking.

So the question is this: F1 seems to be in despair for a solution but no-one has come up with something yet. What do you think will solve this?

Regards,
Dino
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Old 12 Mar 2001, 19:34 (Ref:70533)   #2
THR
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THR has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
i have to say...
wot a load of poo!

your basically saying that the cars have been made lighter at the rear end cos of the tires?

rubbish. lighter is faster.
if they could, they would make the ends of the cars (front as well) weight nothing and put all 600Kg where they would like it to get the balance right.
the tires where made to suit the balance, but so wot?

they are making the cars lighter as a matter of course, its what all race car engineers strive to do (we do it), if a hole can be put somewhere it will be put in!

when the parts do fail its due to the designers being optimistic and the loads the part is to take.. or just a manufacturing fault.
crictale parts on fast cars are lifetimed, and crack tested to prevent failier.

the rules in any formula are quite tight (even in open ones, ie engine capacity) and people will always moan. the tighter they are controlled the less things people can play with. wieght is the FUNDENMENTAL race car enemy so its the easy one to get rid of.

i dissagree more problems are made from reliabilty, wot poo.

also, if a race car isnt a time bomb, they its called a road car. everything must be RIGHT on the limit.

you agree u lot?
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Old 13 Mar 2001, 18:39 (Ref:70850)   #3
Neil C
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Dino, if what you say is true about the need to move mass to or forward of the CoM, then perhaps they've paved the way for a front-engine F1 design?
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Old 13 Mar 2001, 22:03 (Ref:70942)   #4
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THR has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
nope u cant do that
in the regs it says driver must sit infront of engine.
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Old 13 Mar 2001, 23:18 (Ref:70969)   #5
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I think Dino IV is saying that teams are trying to make certain areas of the car lighter than others.

It is not just a case of shedding weight anywhere you can, thats what minimum weight rules prevent.

My take on this is that to get a better balance teams are trying to lighten the rear. This makes more sence then adding weight to the front!! If they succed then any weight saved could be used as ballast or to offset more equipment.

I certainly don't think his comments are "poo"!
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Old 14 Mar 2001, 05:08 (Ref:71023)   #6
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The goal as a designer is to shed excess weight off of every single part of the car to the point where each part has a specific life expectancy. Some parts are designed to last no longer than a race distance, others a certain # of stress cycles (which can be quantified to laps run or minutes of use).

Every ounce shed allows the use of more ballast placed at the floor of the chassis, reducing the center of gravity height. Every miniscule gain in lowering the CG is a quantifiable gain in traction, and therefore performance.

The change in regs really had nothing to do with this quest being seemingly more strident in recent years - the presence of more money to play with is the main reason, followed closely by the swift escalation of computer analysis capabilities. As we designers have undertaken more and more in-depth analysis of all aspects of our cars, we keep trying to optimise every single part. Unfortunately, the actual part produced doesn't always perform up the the calculated predictions. My motto is that anything made by Man can be fu*ked up !

So what happens if a part proves to be too frail? You most certainly DON't make it heavier! Instead, you opt for a more expensive and tougher higher-tech material. Then you learn to optimise with THAT material, to the point where it also becomes too fragile, and so you search out the latest & greatest new high tech stuff. And the circle continues ad nauseum.

Bottom line? Race cars are fragile. It's the nature of the beast - always has been, and always will be.
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Old 14 Mar 2001, 11:04 (Ref:71042)   #7
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THR has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
here here enzo!!

thats wot i was trying to say.
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Old 14 Mar 2001, 11:08 (Ref:71043)   #8
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Dino IV should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridDino IV should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
We all know that racingar designers strive to the lightest possible solutions. We all know too when a designer doesn't have to worry about enlighting some part of a car. When is that? When the area isn't really significant to the position of the CoG, nor disturbing the balance of the car in motion. So there wasn't very much pressure on the designers to save al the grams they can around they car if the areas weren't that significant.

THR wrote:
"if they could, they would make the ends of the cars (front as well) weight nothing and put all 600Kg where they would like it to get the balance right. the tires where made to suit the balance, but so wot?"

There you have it: "to get the balance right". So what do they do when the balance is right already? Simply nothing. Through the regulation changes (small rear tires, grooves, wider front tires, small track, little less downforce) the balance which was right, became totally wrong. Now that is an emergency situation in designer country, isn't it? The engineering efforts shown in the past few seasons in F1 are unmatched in autosport history for the only goal of saving weight on one end of the car and putting it's equivalent in tungsten towards the front of the car.

That never happened before that much, simply because there was no need for it. The engine engineering efforts went in lowering the crank, but no-one really cared muched about the casing coz it already was very close to the CoG. With an almost natural balance of 40% front, 60% rear it was not even necessary to worry much about the gearbox or cooling system. With the wide track and slicks even the pitch was quite naturally resolved.

Today you need to be able to shift weight forward to get 45-47,5% front, 55-52,5% rear, depending on the track. The 3-litre V10's today are as tiny as the 1,5 V6's from the turbo-days, every team has experimented with titanium, magnesium and carbon bellhousings and most feature full-carbon suspensions. Another example: the oil tank of the dry sump system used to be next to the gearbox and no-one bothered to move the thing somewhere else. Today there's no car which doesn't have this tank somewhere inside the monocoque.

They simply have to or they'll lose a season with a troublesome handling car. Problem I posed above raises the question how an organizing body like the FIA can turn this freak quest for absolute lightness around untill a point where you can expect that all parts and constructions on the car are fail-safe.

If regs don't change it's inevitable that cars will crash because of failing parts. Parts tend to fail under the highest dynamic loads so either in high speed corners or at top speed. Burti, high speed corner, rear suspension collapses. Mika, top speed at hitting the brakes, front suspension collapses. Those boys are not untouchable and their protecting monocoques are not 100% guaranteeing they'll survive. It's a low estimate if you consider 1% dies in accidents like these. Is it therefore unreasonable to act against the reason they crash in the first place? Collapsing parts should be investigated and followed by stringent regulations IMO.

Cheers,
Dino
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Old 14 Mar 2001, 12:00 (Ref:71048)   #9
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THR has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
Drivers are never happy, they always want the balance better.

like enzo said, they are making the cars lighter to make them go faster. its the cash that is making them lose the weight and shoving it further up the front.

i think its up to the designers to make the cars last the distance, not the FIA to regulate it. if they did that, would take a lot of the design out of the car!

if the balance isnt how they would like it just makes the car slower (like the FIA wanted) they are still fast, and still just as safe.
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Old 14 Mar 2001, 14:33 (Ref:71088)   #10
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Dino IV should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridDino IV should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
I'll try to illustrate why regulation changes have huge impact on the problems designers have to solve and that today's enlightment race is not something which is as old as autoracing itself. Today it's not just about optimizing cars' GoG, that's fairly easy. It's a real race for enlighting the cars to have as much ballast as possible to play around with. I didn't call it F1 anorexia for nothing after all. Well, here goes:

You actually race yourself, right? I bet you are not 100% satisfied with the balance you have now but I am also sure that you've done all you can within the rules and your abilities and budget to get the most out of it.

Now new regulations come across for the next season. Assuming you race a rear-engined rear wheel driven car the folowing rules will be enforced: front and rear track will be narrowed 200 mm, your rear tires will be only allowed half as wide as today and rear thread must be rainpattern-grooved together with twice as wide slicks at the front. Furthermore a power increase of 0,2 hp per kg dry weight of the car you race is allowed.

The car's behaviour will be totally different, don't you think? Everytime you enter a corner the rear gets upset because of lack of grip and too much weight. Now I don't think you'll be able to master that as instinctious as Mika can so you'll suffer from severe handling problems and will not be able to put in any decent laptimes. The well sorted out car you race today will be undrivable next season. Try solve that in the same way you got it the best you could the way it is now. You won't succeed that's for sure. You too will have to take really extreme (and expensive) rigorous measurements too solve any handling problem the car suffers so much from. Exactly the road F1 has gone since 1998.

Cheers,
Dino

Last edited by Dino IV; 14 Mar 2001 at 14:36.
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Old 14 Mar 2001, 15:32 (Ref:71095)   #11
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THR has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
well of course the car would need to be changed to make it go as fast as b4.

but they change the rules to make them go slower, which is what they did.

the weight difference would be all changed yes.. and the aero balance..
the weight difference can be sorted by springs and roll bars to a large extent. the aero balance can be changed by reducing the areo effect at one end of the car.

the CofG would be moved after both these things have been decided to some extent.

if they decided to have 1inch wheels at the rear, they would make the back REALLY soft. and the fron harder. while moving the mass rearwards to assist traction.

ANY car can be sorted.
but some go faster than others due to, weight distribution, power, handling. etc.
basically the weight is moved abuot to get the most from the tires.

im sure that the F1 boys dont move the ballast around more than 1% during the year. once its sorted its done.

so they change the rules to make the cars slower, by altering the balance to some extent makes them even slow, ie, raising the front wing off the ground has reduced the front grip, so they would have had to reduce the rear wing to (i know they reduced that too but makes no difference).
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Old 14 Mar 2001, 16:09 (Ref:71101)   #12
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Dino IV should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridDino IV should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
THR wrote > "the weight difference can be sorted by springs and roll bars to a large extent. the aero balance can be changed by reducing the areo effect at one end of the car."

It's not that simple, THR. You don't want to reduce any downforce you can get from the regs to get your balance sorted. You don't want to reduce your allowed tiresize to get your balance right etc.

In the example I mention above, where your front tires are double sized slicks you could easily get some balance back by reducing them to one third of their allowed width, but it would result in a car which would be better balanced than before, but very slow in return.

In 1998 Bridgestone widened the front tires, just to get more rubber down under braking and cornering. That even further upset the balance, but enlarged the mechanical grip and therefore the speed potential of the car. So the additional front groove for 1999 was actually a good move (one of the very few) by the FIA because it affected everyone.

Now in 2001 there's no team who's even considering of reducing their rearwing downforce to find balance which got disturbed (again) by the frontwing. Why? Because reducing that the potential speed they can get from the car gets lost in favour of balance. And that's an absolute no-go area in a series like F1.

Spring and roll bar settings are highly determined by the pursuit of maximum downforce at a given track. They want to have a certain height stability in all the fases of cornering to achieve maximum downforce and ofcourse a scratch-margin at the bottom. F1 is a bit past the rockhard suspensions but not very much off (CART is miles ahead in damping tech BTW). The Ferrari F1-2000 i.e. was very troublesome when set-up soft and slightly higher, like we saw at Spa. So that leaves very litle room to play around with.

The only variabele which can return the disturbed balance in your car without upsetting other areas like maximum downforce or mechanical grip is the weight distribution. It will force you into scraping every gram you dare to sacrifice of every part, just to get you some blocks of ballast which you need so badly to get that balance and be competitive as well.

In F1 they shift between 1 and 2% of weight just between qualifying and the race and approx. 2,5%, depending on the characteristics of the track, from race to race.

Regards,
Dino
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Old 14 Mar 2001, 16:28 (Ref:71104)   #13
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They scrap every possible and impossible gram of every part anyway and if some more weight is needed somewhere just add ballast. So not only that you wander the CG back and forth, but you keep it as low as possible. Besides, that’s nothing new. Wasn’t Mr. Porsche who said (some 70 years back) that the perfect racecar wins the race and as soon as it crosses the line it breaks into pieces? Well, I guess that’s the engineers’ task to make sure that THIS is the succession of events and not the other way around.
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Old 14 Mar 2001, 17:21 (Ref:71116)   #14
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THR has a lot of promise if they can keep it on the circuit!
no u dont WANT to reduce the rear downforce, but u HAVE to, to make the car not understeer lots!
this is y they change the regs to make the cars SLOWER!

they dont do it so u have to change things to make them faster. they do it so the cars go SLOWER.

if this means changing the tire sizes, so be it. if everyone has the same rules who gives a ****!
they can always make the cars balance.

and i doubt they use better shocks in yankland, im sure they are pretty much the same.

its all just one big trade off. compromise. thats the name of the game.
ie u could make it really stiff but it would wiegh a lot.
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Old 15 Mar 2001, 03:08 (Ref:71298)   #15
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Shocks:
I work very closely with both Penske & Ohlins & can assure you that the vast majority of shock development goes on over here in CART. Penske even has a special program going on with a certain FF driver to test out mechanical grip improvements (FF's are totally dependent on mechanical grip, but they now regularly generate over 2.1 G's !)

There is also a new shock research dyno that a friend is putting the finishing touches on that is light years ahead of what the F1 boys use ( mostly SPA or Rohrig). The current generation of dynos are pretty pathetic when it comes to reproducing real shock motions.

As far as the new regs influencing weight reduction quests: on the surface to the unitiated, they may seem to be forcing designers to extreemes. But the reality is that the designers would be doing it anyway, as long as the budget is there to do so.

Reliability is actually no different than in previous years - cars have always broken, and always will. Kinda inherent with "pushing the envelope". I'd be willing to bet that the current crop of cars are actually more reliable than those of years past because of the advances in computer modeling and because of advanced manufacturing processes.
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