Why F1’s First Success Handicap Is Revolutionary | F1 News – Motorsports

In 2021, the F1 team will be working for the first time with a successful handicap created by a sliding scale of aerodynamic test limits based on last year’s results.

This means that as the worst performing team of 2020, Williams is now able to do more aeronautical R & D work on WindTunnel and CFD than anyone else.

Correspondingly, world champion Mercedes can be less than the other nine teams.

In the first season of operation, the slope of this sliding scale is relatively gentle, but after 2022 it will be very steep and the potential impact will be great, but it will fully achieve its main purpose of closing the pack. There is a possibility that it can be done.

The principle of penalizing top players or helping those in need is new to F1, but it is well known in MotoGP where struggling manufacturers do additional testing, engine updates and more.

Over the years, ideas such as successful ballasts and reverse grids have been kicked by the FIA ​​and F1 teams.

It was generally agreed that most were too artificial, and the focus shifted from a direct impact on the race to the core of what makes the top team successful, the R & D capability.

By being allowed to do more aviation work, the concept of giving people further down the field an opportunity to catch up has emerged.

“I think it’s a gentle fix, so I’m happy with it,” said F1 boss Ross Brawn last year.

“It still maintains meritocracy, you still have to get on the track and win the race.

“When the driver is on the track, we’re not doing anything to give the driver a handicap. It’s not a ballast of success.

“It’s like a draft NFL, where teams with low success rates get the most chance at first, but they still have to offer. They aren’t given points.

“I think it has a mild effect on modifying the competitiveness of the field without distorting it.”

People further down the grid, and those desperate to catch up, welcomed this idea.

“This is an interesting quest for F1’s handicap system,” said Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul at the time.

“But in my opinion, it’s far more relevant to F1 DNA than the balance of performance based on ballast and car competitiveness.

“It’s happening in factories, and factories aren’t equal based on their investment, their people, etc. anyway.

“It’s a very small distortion to the equality of teams that aren’t there anyway.

“In my opinion, the first attempt at a handicap system to make the grid more competitive is very acceptable. This is also great for sports.”

As Brown suggested, it’s still meritocracy, and the successful work of wise people is rewarding.

“ATR restrictions will reward those who have an efficient tunneling program,” said Otomar Safnauer, principal of the Aston Martin team.

“Everything is important if you can do things efficiently, do not have to experiment twice, and get good reproducibility from the tunnel.

“Therefore, instead of constantly trying to readjust, performance is improved. Running a high quality and efficient tunnel program will benefit.”

What are the limits of the new F1 aerodynamic test?

So how does it work?The first thing you need to know is the aerodynamic test limits [ATR] Under Appendix 8 has been in F1 Sport Regulations for many years.

What you can and cannot do is explained in great detail, and loopholes such as information shared between teams have been addressed and closed over time. The policing system has been sharpened and functioning.

The season is divided into 6 aerodynamic test periods [ATPs] 9, 8, 8, 10 (including the summer shutdown in August), 8, 9 weeks.

Each ATP period incorporates a limit on the amount of aviation work that can be performed, and the team must report to the FIA ​​exactly what was done at the end of each period. Therefore, limits are monitored “live” during the season, not at the end of the season.

Windtunnel tests are affected by three important parameters. The limits for each ATP period in 2020 were 320 runs, 80 hours of “on-time wind”, and 400 hours of “occupancy”. This includes downtime between actual runs on each tunnel shift.

To explain one situation, 400 hours of occupancy represents 50 8-hour shifts in a normal 8 weeks or 56 days.

The use of CFD is subject to a separate and highly complex set of restrictions that require the team to provide full details of the system and computing power at their disposal.

All of this is well proven and understood by everyone. The only difference in 2021 is that each team has different limits based on the order of the 2020 World Championships and uses the established 2020 ATR numbers as a starting point for the 5th place team. This is how it pans out:

2021 ATR test limits (January 1st to June 30th)

1.1. Mercedes: 90%
2.2. Red Bull: 92.5%
3.3. McLaren: 95%
4.4. Aston Martin: 97.5%
5.5. Takayama: 100%
6.6. Ferrari: 102.5%
7. Alpha Tauri: 105%
8.8. Alfa Romeo: 107.5%
9.9. Haas: 110%
10.10. Williams: 112.5%

One of the important details is that the reset will take place on June 30th. This corresponds to the end of one-third of the six ATP periods.

At that stage, the table above will be modified to reflect the order of the 2021 World Championships. French GP based on the current calendar after the 8th round.

How much impact will the new F1 aerodynamic test limits have?

Does the 2.5% difference between 2020 champion Mercedes and runner-up Red Bull give the latter a big advantage?

The three ATPs up to the June 30 reset will make a difference of 6 hours of “wind-on” time, or 24 tunnel runs, in the first half of the season.

This is a beneficial benefit to Red Bull, but it does not necessarily make a concrete difference. The same is true for the other 2.5% gap between adjacent teams at the 2020 Championship table.

It’s more interesting when looking at gaps in a few or more places between teams. And the most interesting aspect is about Ferrari, the sixth lowest in the ranking last year.

Ferrari’s aero test limits compare to the five teams chasing in the first half of 2021:

Windtunnel Limit of Top 6 Teams (January 1st to June 30th)

Mercedes: 864 run / 216 wind time
Red Bull: 888 run / 222 wind time
McLaren: 912 run / 228 wind time
Aston Martin: 936 run / 234 in the wind
Takayama: 960 run / 240 wind
Ferrari: 984 run / 246 wind time

The 120 runs between Ferrari and Mercedes and the 30-hour delta of the 6 months before the reset on June 30 are not important and can be of immense value if used effectively. There is.

Assuming Ferrari is above sixth in the championship after the reset, the Maranello team will have a lower advantage than their major rivals for the remaining six months of 2021.

Why does F1’s new aerodynamic test limit such challenges?

A key challenge is the need to share the work of wind tunnels and CFDs in 2021 between current car development and the significant rule changes in 2022 and the preparation of very different packages.

All teams need to decide how to allocate the missing wind tunnel and CFD resources between the two projects. Therefore, all runs or time in the tunnel is correspondingly more valuable this year than in 2020.

Teams facing the strictest limits face particularly difficult challenges because they really have to focus.

“Last year was lucky,” said James Allison, technical director of Mercedes, last week.

“Unfortunately, after 2021, we are paying a little for the low usage of our basic assets, the WindTunnel and CFDs.

“The challenge for us was how to respond to this new regulation in the most positive way. How can we avoid tripping over it?

“And if you aren’t allowed to use as many wind tunnels and CFDs as before, how can you adapt the world so that you can get more and more from every opportunity in that wind tunnel? There was an issue of whether it could be done.

“There is only one run in the wind tunnel. Make that run as valuable as possible.

“If only a small amount of CFD calculations are allowed, try to make those CFD calculation methodologies and approaches as valuable as possible.

“So we tried to adapt our approach to this, so we mitigated the impact of this reduction in the amount allowed to use these basic tools and perhaps completely. It even offsets. “

When will the F1 team switch resources to 2022 cars?

All teams were banned from starting the 2022 aero test until January 1st, so they only worked on the 2021 package at the end of last year.
Obviously, they couldn’t make a full switch that day, but that could be fascinating. They still have a lot to do to optimize the 2021 cars both pre-season and as the season progresses.

Nonetheless, at some point this year, all teams will gradually ease their current development until the aero focus focuses on completely new rules.

The timing of the switch is always a hot topic, especially during the season prior to major rule changes. This year is even more relevant for a variety of reasons.

Keep in mind that aviation development will remain free while the team uses the 2020 car as a starting point for 2021 and much is taken over. Thanks to the freezing of mechanical parts, it is, by definition, an important area where you can find a competitive advantage this year, along with power units.

In addition, there are four aero rule mod packages aimed at trimming downforce to reduce the load on Pirelli tires. Taken together, these will make a big difference in the airflow around the car, learning lessons and profits for this season.

The World Championship battle is an important factor in the decision to switch to the next year’s car. Traditionally, teams competing for the title, or even closer contests for favorable positions below, lose to rivals who keep pushing because they are wary of stopping current car development too early. There is a possibility.

Each position on the final World Constructors’ Table represents not only fame, but also a significant amount of cash from F1 prizes. The ATR sliding scale has even greater impact, especially since 2022, so we have added another dimension to the championship position equation.

Starting next year, we will introduce a steep sliding scale as follows, so the above figures apply only to 2021.

2022-25 ATR test limits are based on the previous year’s championship

First place: 70%
2nd place: 75%
3rd place: 80%
4th: 85%
5th place: 90%
6th place: 95%
7th place: 100%
8th place: 105%
9th place: 110%
10th: 115%

The delta between teams will be larger, and the success penalty will be more important accordingly. For example, the difference between 1st and 6th place doubles from 120 runs to 240 runs in the first 6 months of the year.

This means that a team that made a breakthrough under the new rules in 2022 and won the title will more likely maintain its momentum after 2023 if other teams make good use of additional resources. Also means that it will be much more difficult.

The most talented aero dynamists with the most effective CFD programs and optimally tuned tunnels always have their benefits. In other words, quality plays a more important role than quantity.

However, the difference in quantity between teams is so large that there is definitely some impact and you can see the seesaw of the form between seasons. This is exactly what F1 and the FIA ​​want.

The debate about the correctness of the system will undoubtedly increase as its impact becomes more apparent over the next few seasons.

“It was really fun,” Brown said. “One of the Mercedes guys was complaining to me about it, and I said,” You’re assuming you’re always going to win. Just think, you’re second Or third, don’t you like it? A little help? “

“And suddenly I realized that this would be very helpful if they didn’t win.”

– Motorsports

Why F1’s First Success Handicap Is Revolutionary | F1 News Why F1’s First Success Handicap Is Revolutionary | F1 News

Back to top button