Jan 15, 2019 at 9:26 pm #70864
Am I mistaken that what Pat Symonds (SP) is referring to about making more wake by removing downforce would likely be because the rules he is thinking of would involve prescribing a specific amount of car surface area that is perpendicular to the direction of travel? Yes the FIA could prohibit wings, air-foil shaped bodywork and other known devices, but that is going to be a slippery slope leading to new and hidden forms of creating downforce, no?
Removing or Narrowing wings and bodywork to sit inside the front profile of all tires would help, but the tires sitting like bricks in the airstream may well create a much more unstable wake to get around at high speeds. Prescribing an “Aero-bumper” may well have the same effects.
The biggest issue I worry about if downforce is to be limited is that the FIA will choose a way to implement that will require perfectly conforming body work as done in taxicab racing (NASCAR) and most other single seat groups with prescribed body work.
If F1 is the true pinnacle, and each team has access to wind tunnels, then in my opinion, the way to implement would be to allow specific down-force and wake size numbers at specific wind tunnel speeds in a specific FIA controlled Wind tunnel that the teams and/or Liberty should pay for. The test should only be run on a non-rolling road tunnel with an actual race trim car with full fuel and fluids and no driver in the cockpit (possibly a control helmet fixed in place to prevent teams from creating extra drag that a helmet could dispel in a race). The test should be devised so that a car can be rolled in, tested and rolled out in 20 minutes tops. The FIA should not be responsible for keeping track of anything more than total down-force on all 4 tires and the size of a turbulence path 15 feet behind at say 75-100 mph. The limit of turbulence should be defined by specific changes in pressure for specific distances from a prescribed FIA template. Cars should not be allowed to be measured in a damaged state unless a team is found to be repeatedly getting their cars damaged in a similar manor that is making them more difficult for others to pass. The tests should be pass-fail, no data shared with any team or otherwise (possibly with the tire supplier if deemed safe and needed). The FIA tunnel should not be used by teams or any others and if calibrations become an issue, the teams would request a test of all cars on the grid. Cars that fail should be allowed to re-test within days of the next race weekend up to 2 times.
Complex? Yes, in a way…(not more complex than UltraHyperSuperDupersoft tires though) Expensive? Yes… Worth the demand of being the Pinnacle, also Yes, in my opinion…
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