FOTA consider new 2011 downforce cuts

F1 cars are now producing almost as much downforce as they were in 2008

F1 cars are now producing almost as much downforce as they were in 2008

The Formula One Teams’ Association is considering further restrictions on how much downforce F1 cars can generate as the 2010 cars are already producing almost as much downforce as they were in 2008.

The changes introduced last year at the urging of the Overtaking Working Group have not succeeding in reducing downforce levels.

FOTA is considering going beyond the banning of double diffusers in 2011 to cut downforce further in an effort to encourage more overtaking in F1.

Speaking during the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Phone-In the team’s engineering director Paddy Lowe explained why overtaking has become even more difficult for F1 drivers in 2010:

I think things are getting worse in terms of how close are we to getting to the intentions of the Overtaking Working Group.

Principally, that’s because the cars are generating much more downforce under the floors than was ever envisaged, and that’s driven by the opportunity you get with the double diffuser interpretation.

One of the intentions with the OWG package was the downforce generated from the floor should be much lower, and this helps overtaking for two reasons.

One, the cars have less downforce altogether, and there is a direct correlations between the amount of downforce cars have and the weight of the problem. That’s obvious because you lose downforce in the wake of another car, and if you have less to start with you lose less.

The second one is to do with where the downforce is generated, and generating it from the floor is a bad characteristic because of the wake it generates.

So we’ve gone in the wrong direction. Downforce in these cars is approaching where it was in 2008.
Paddy Lowe

Not everyone agrees with Lowe’s analysis – Red Bull designer Adrian Newey claimed in January that banning double diffusers won’t make it easier for cars to overtake.

However the teams have already agreed to ban double diffusers in 2011 – and may go further:

We’ve agreed to ban double diffusers next year and also reduce the height of the diffuser, both of which will significantly reduce floor downforce.

That’s correct for the same two reasons: less downforce is better and less floor downforce is better for following cars and therefore overtaking.

We are looking at whether that is sufficient, and that’s an ongoing discussion as to whether even more should be planned for next year. But I think what we’ve already agreed are very big steps and absolutely correct for what we’ve learned from the OWG.
Paddy Lowe

These are not the only changes being considered for the 2011 technical rules. The teams may also have to accommodate a change in wheel size from 13 to 18 inches which could further increase development costs.

Michelin are talking to the FIA, FOTA and FOM about a return to Formula 1 for 2011-2013 and 18-inch wheels would be a requirement. They feel those wheels are more contemporary in terms of appearance and technology, similar to high performance road cars.

It depends how we manage it as to how big a problem it could become. The teams, I hope, will agree to certain constraints so that we don’t expand the development into any envelope that’s freed up by that.

I think we can do it in a way that manages the cost.
Paddy Lowe

Both changes could be positive for F1, potentially improving the quality of racing and making F1 more useful for tyre manufacturers. Do you think this is the right direction for F1? Have your say in the comments.

Double diffuser ban and low profile tyres

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179 comments on FOTA consider new 2011 downforce cuts

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  1. Franton said on 13th April 2010, 12:46

    I would like to see a big swap from aerodynamic grip to mechanical grip, but i’m with Keith on the best and cheapest way is to increase the tyre size to 15″. I’d also like to remove the raised noses from the car too. That should nicely return the cars (mostly) to a circa 1990 style of design.

    • It would be nice but whatever they do the teams will constantly find “loopholes” in the rules and they’ll end up back at square one with the same problem again.

      • which is why the rules need to constanly evole.

        I believe downforce should be greatly reduced again, cutting the height of wings in half both front and back, and a much shallower diffuser, and then compensate with wider, softer tyres

        • theRoswellite said on 13th April 2010, 18:53

          @Sam: Oh that you were writing the FIA’s new, hopefully, regulations regarding a reduction in downforce….I’d even be happy if you were just head of the OWG.

          Obviously, I’m a 100% behind your ideas!

          • PatrickL said on 14th April 2010, 9:14

            Softer tyres is a bad idea though.

            They damage too quickly and thus mean that drivers need to be careful not to damage them too quickly. Which means no overtaking.

      • Uncle said on 14th April 2010, 18:24

        Tommy, that’s the whole point of F1!.. But, an aero reduction is a good start.

    • Fred Schechter said on 13th April 2010, 18:54

      Amen, Wiiiide tires, CDG wing (seriously that’d help central wake a ton). Require the shark fin (who’s really going to complain about bigger billboards?)
      Then, single diffuser with and under-tray template that halves the current undertray downforce amounts. Open the rest and the goal will be aero efficiency.

    • sheep said on 13th April 2010, 19:57

      I believe the noses are required to be high for safety reasons, so that cars don’t run under each other.

    • Finaly the ddd wake lie has been exposed! I have gotten sick of explaining that the ddd wake is a problem..

      • PatrickL said on 14th April 2010, 9:16

        Newey says that it isn’t a problem. I’ll pick Newey’s opinion over anyone elses anyday.

        The only problem is that the front wing is now too low. That means it’s exactly in the wake of the diffuser.

  2. Bartholomew said on 13th April 2010, 12:52

    I would also make the cars smaller, specially much shorter, and with smaller brakes.

    • Bartholomew said on 13th April 2010, 12:56

      There is a direct correlation between Tilkedomes and size and speed of cars.
      If we want to use beautiful historic tracks, cars cannot continue to be longer and faster.
      On television you cannot see how fast or technically sophisticated the cars are, what you see is the track ( and hopefully some good racing and overtaking ). Rules have to be created with this in mind.
      Whoever wants computerised spaceship racing can get a videogame.

    • Didn’t they restrict the maximum width of an F1 car quite a while ago? Also I remember reading an article before the season that because of the rules on fuel tanks such as location and that you can only have one, that it was inevitable that the cars would be longer this year with the need for larger fuel tanks.

  3. superted666 said on 13th April 2010, 12:53

    Why try find out what combination’s work on todays cars when we have already found a combination that works?

    Cars of the 80′s seemed to do just fine in overtaking, if we could just modify the regulations to get cars to a similar level.

    plus they looked bad-ass ;)

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2010, 13:02

      A big part of the reason why they can’t do that is because F1 teams’ can’t unlearn what they already know.

      Mid-80s cars a tyre-shredding turbo power and massive but inefficient wings.

      Teams are now much better at managing tyre degradation and wings are not only more powerful but also more sensitive to following the wake of the car in front.

  4. dcowlives said on 13th April 2010, 13:02

    Yep, this is finally the right direction for the sport. I would take it further though, not only would I reduce “cost” to 1990′s levels, but I’d reduce downforce to 1990′s levels too.

    Downforce does not give anything back to the motor industry, whereas all the other “standardised” components do. Give development back in these areas, including KERS/Hybrid, and allow Formula 1 to be a proper development area for the road cars.

    • macahan said on 13th April 2010, 14:53

      what ever is done I just wish before they make any radical changes on paper based on paper exercise and brain storming that they actually do some testing to see how the new proposed changes transform into real life.
      One of the problems with some of the changes in the last few years is that they where never tested and the expectations of the changes didn’t happen because things didn’t behave as expected. I would like to see cars ran with say 18″ wheels, without double diffuser and any other changes they might propose and test to see how a car behaves behind another car to test overtaking before making another radical change that end up not working as planned.

  5. Scribe said on 13th April 2010, 13:07

    Well I’ve made my veiws clear on how we should reduce downforce a few times now so no need for another big one. Interesting to see Neweys veiw. As the best aerodynamicist in the paddok he’s probably unlikley to be very helpful about ways to slash downforce but presumably if he thinks banning DD isn’t the problem then it’s top downforce that is the problem?

    So Ban Wings!

    Anyway FOTA’s discusions could leave us with 18 inch wheels, further reductions in downforce than loosing the DD, an a few more discusions. Hope they go at it sensibly.

    • Agreed. Ban diffusors and ban wings completely and be done with it! Any other way, and the teams will find a trick to get around the rules.

  6. Jonathan said on 13th April 2010, 14:23

    Formula One is getting slower and slower. I am only supporting this only if they bring wider and bigger tyres to give the cars more mechanical grip to compensate for the lost of downforce.

    • Xibi said on 13th April 2010, 21:30

      No, you’re not alone.

    • Cars are going faster and faster Jonathan. Banning wings would be silly, but by reducing the dimensions here and there we can make the teams find new ways to become aero efficient which is sort of the point. If you don’t like wings, then watch Nascar.

      I agree that there needs to be more mechanical grip and a need to reduce wakes causing limited passing; however, I the wake allows for drafts down the straights which helps passing. In my opinion the problem is that the tracks themselves develop singular lines so that we no longer see cars going around the outside 2×2 on a corner. I believe the tracks are as much to blame.

    • VXR said on 15th April 2010, 2:17

      “Formula One is getting slower and slower.”

      Are you entirely sure about that? What evidence have you to back up that statement?

      What is this obsession with F1 being the ‘fastest’? Doesn’t anyone watch Drag racing?

  7. Ned Flanders said on 13th April 2010, 14:26

    Why not kill two birds with one stone and bring back the one set of tyres per race rule? This would not only create better racing (like in 2005, which had some great races), but also mean potential tyre suppliers would have to bring fewer sets of tyres to each race, reducing costs

    • R.E.M. said on 13th April 2010, 15:04

      Keep in mind, they also had V10 engines in 2005. After they were banned, we saw the beginning of this massive down-force cars.

      • Scribe said on 13th April 2010, 15:55

        However a return to tubo’s is being considered so imagine wingless turbo one tyre f1.

        My f1 wish at the mo.

  8. Evan said on 13th April 2010, 14:28

    Personally, I think banning the double diffuser will have an adverse effect beacus ethe floor downforce isn’t disturbed by following another car. If anything we should be making some sort of limited use of ground effects or at least increase size of diffusers. Just think, GP2 and IndyCar are two of the best open-wheel series in terms of the quality of racing and both types of car generate alot of downforce from the floor.

    • Patrickl said on 13th April 2010, 15:18

      I would assume the extra turbulence from the double diffuser interferes with the low down front wing though.

  9. Mouse_Nightshirt said on 13th April 2010, 14:32

    What I don’t understand is if Adrian Newey of all people says banning double diffusers won’t have an effect, why is everyone else harping that it will? Has Newey ever been completely wrong on anything in his career?

    • Xanathos said on 13th April 2010, 15:09

      i think it is totally wrong that the teams are making the rules to begin with. If someone like Adrian Newey suggests a new rule, the next moment he’ll already think of a way to get around it. i think a while back someone suggested an FIA-led independent group of engineers, I wonder what happened to that.

    • the MP4-19 maybe??

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2010, 18:02

      if Adrian Newey of all people says banning double diffusers won’t have an effect, why is everyone else harping that it will?

      The more the rules restrict aerodynamic design, the less scope designers like Newey have to make a difference.

      As the rules become ever more restrictive, sooner or later we could be looking at have a specification aerodynamic package. Then teams like Red Bull can save themselves a few million by not hiring F1′s best aerodynamicist.

      • macahan said on 13th April 2010, 21:12

        but do we really want to get to where we have basically a spec car? Isn’t this the very thing that makes F1 unique that each team build and design their own car and you have multiple engine manufacturers and all that. If the chassis would be a spec aero package then the only thing different between F1 and GP2, Indycar et al is that you have 4 different engine manufacturer instead of one. Next step would be to make one mandatory engine manufacturer and vola you have a spec series no different then GP2, Indy, Formula 2, Formula 3, Formula Renault and what all others there are out there spec series open wheel racing.

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 13th April 2010, 22:27

          Some parts of the car are already essentially spec parts. Others are homologated at the start of the year and then unchanged. It’s a question of degrees.

          • I believe that we can all agree that there is some sort of solution, but as of yet nothing has come into effect that illustrates this. The series cannot become overly restricted, spec or homologated. There must be development and the rules should change to reflect this. With that said, there needs to be static rules for a minimum number of years, say 3 or 4. Before this can happen, we need to see passing occur. Rain shouldn’t be the only good race!

            What if the rear wing had to have a 1 foot or .33 meter wide hole such that there are essentially two wings divided by a slot so that air would pass behind the car to the following car? Is there anyone who knows whether this would be a positive aero rule such as an engineer or whatever? I’m curious. If this did allow for following, the teams would then have to work on getting the most downforce out of it while maintaining efficiency and low drag.

          • macahan said on 14th April 2010, 19:48

            @seattlechris

            such a wing was explored and ultimately thrown out (CDG Concept wing, Central Downwash Generating wing)

            Detail technical analysis
            http://www.f1technical.net/articles/4577

            But the idea was finally scrapped (at least for now)
            http://www.fia.com/mediacentre/Press_Releases/FIA_Sport/2005/October/241005-01.html

        • I don’t see why we can’t have one spec aero and open the engine / mechanical regulations, surely that’ll new manufactuers more inclined to sign up.

          • @macahan

            Thanks for the link! What is interesting is that there is not much discussion on how large the rear wing is in this analysis. After reading the article I find it odd that they went with a smaller rear wing instead of the double rear element. The article shows how the rear tires create a significant wake so keeping a central wing element makes almost no sense at all. At least in the split wing scenario there is some, albeit small, clean air passing to the following car.

      • VXR said on 15th April 2010, 2:19

        Maybe then, the drivers can start winning races. LOL

  10. James said on 13th April 2010, 14:48

    James Allen wrote about how the front wing is the biggest area for downforce on the F1 cars at the moment. Apparantly the front wing is worth as much as 5 or 6 times more downforce than double diffusers…

    I reckon we need to tghten up the rules with regards to front wings. Make them “smoother” and cleaner”.

    • Bartholomew said on 13th April 2010, 14:58

      I agree with James. If we removed all that front wing snowplough we could also make the cars at least half a meter shorter.

    • macahan said on 13th April 2010, 14:59

      One thing he points out is also how important the wing is to remove aero drag on the tires. One option would be to limit the width of the wing further. In 08 the wing covered about 1/3 of the front tire and in 09 it went all the way to the outside of the tire. Make the wing only cover again 1/3 of the front tire as maximum with NO vanes or other aero devices on the outside or in other word a flat straight end plate.

      • I agree that the wings need to be narrower but I don’t think eliminating the endplates or other developments. Making the wing smaller automatically reduces the amount of advantage even Newey could glean from it yet still allow for some room to develop. I don’t want to see the Newey’s of the world disappear if we can come up with ways to continue research and development while maintaining a competitive racing league.

        Its almost polar on this website whereby the reactionaries freak out if the race doesn’t have 20 lead changes. Removing all wings? Making the cars spec? There are plenty of feeder series in the world, YES- even in America, where this is already done. I watch F1 because I want to see whats new, what can be done and leave it to the brilliant imaginations of engineers. The F-duct is awesome for the sport. I don’t root for Button or Hamilton, but I do like what their team has done. I want more of the outside the box thinking, not less. I too desire some more real racing action and some changes are going to get us there we just need to iron out a few more details. There’s got to be some middle ground that allows for cars to follow, reduces costs and yet still allows for some crazy new concepts. If the ideas proposed thus far were political I would say most of you are either Radical Left or Radical Right. Where is the middle? Where is reason? Lets do what America’s government can’t: Compromise! Find something to satisfy both sides!

        • James said on 14th April 2010, 12:15

          It’s a tough one to call, but the front wing is where there needs to be some changes. I’d say revert back to 08 wings. Some drivers in 08 said that the front wing from that time would better on the cars in future compared to the propsed.

    • We want turbos said on 13th April 2010, 15:51

      How about banning front wing supports and having them as 1 single piece with 1 endplate and maybe let them have a small adjustable flap??

    • MuzzleFlash said on 13th April 2010, 16:28

      I’d have the front wing look and operate in a similar fashion to the canards on a Eurofighter, shorter and swept a little, single element. Driver adjustable angle of incidence across a larger range.

      This would also hopefully stop such finely tuned aerodynamics; if your front wing can vary by say 15 degrees or more, so will the aerodynamic performance of the entire car, as it affects airflow over the entire car. So you would be forced to design a better aerodynamic “all-rounder” rather than something which only works 100% effectively under certain conditions.

  11. nemo said on 13th April 2010, 15:01

    i hate this.. are they trying to slow down and ruin everything that is Formula One..?

    it seems as there is NOTHING the teams can do to progress these days without the fat cats butting in.. :\

    F1 is the pinacle of motorsport.. it should be the most spectacular and fastest motorsport on the calendar..

    stop slowing everything down..!

    this is Formula ONE NOT Formula Twenty six..?

    • nemo said on 13th April 2010, 15:05

      sorry i should just clarify, im all for the cutting costs and whatever but if the teams can make their cars faster whilst cutting costs.. why stop them

      to many rules will just make it boring

      what next.. every driver must paint their helmets the same colour so they can be orderd in bulk.. pffft

      • Yeah, after the helmets get painted the same color I’m hoping that all drivers must be 5’10″ tall and be right handed. Next, they must all be of the opinion that Citizen Kane is the best movie ever made. They must then all be pay drivers because teams are not allowed to spend any of their own money above $5/year… however, any profits must never go into the drivers pockets or the teams, it must go directly to Ecclestone and his cronies. After this is accomplished, all races must be held in the poorest middle eastern countries where 95% or higher of the wealth is held by fewer than 5 families. There must be no actual fans at the race. They must build new tracks every other year that has so many slow corners with a width capable of only allowing 1 car to manage it at a time. Anyone in the luxury box must have at least 5 cars in their garage worth over $250,000. They must travel to the track in a limo and if they are on holiday, must arrive in whatever country in their own private jet. Regarding the teams, each must pass the Briatore school of ethics taught by Symonds and Briatore themselves at a cost which will be passed onto the driver super license costs. In this school they will learn that crashing to help out an established teammates career is the most important aspect of their legacy. They will also learn to accept full responsibility and be immediately banned from all FIA racing sanctioned events. Their fathers must also become involved.
        Each year there should be a randomly chosen group of new teams that are “allowed” to compete. They must agree that they are fortunate to even be there and expect that they will not be competitve. This will be accomplished by allowing the established teams test for two whole weeks while they are required to build cars using only freeware such as google’s sketchup program; they will not be allowed to test the car before the first race. They do have the honor of building two complete cars to have crash tested at a palatial mansion established at the whim of Ecclestone whereby he invites the wealthiest individuals over for a catered extravaganza and a good laugh to all attending.
        Any websites that pertain to F1 must demand payment for viewing yet accept none of the income and pass the money directly to the FIA. It should be noted that no negative comments about the FIA or its leaders are to be allowed.
        I am hopeful that these changes will go into effect as soon as possible. I know I am not alone in my hopes.

        • macahan said on 14th April 2010, 19:50

          ROFL.. Excellent one… Love it… =)

        • gpfan said on 14th April 2010, 22:51

          @Chris. Are you an idiot? All helmets the same colour? How will we then know which pilot to hate?

          Btb, they are pilots. With the aeros, the cars are more aeroplanes than racing motorcars.

          Ach aye, the noo. Bonnie post, Chris.
          Jaggy andy.

        • Gilles said on 16th April 2010, 10:46

          You made my day !
          Just wondering: did you write all that up in the spur of the moment ? Impressive !

    • Patrickl said on 13th April 2010, 15:08

      Keith showed a few days ago that F1 cars are about as fast as hey ever been.

      • nemo said on 13th April 2010, 15:19

        and they are still trying to kill that..

        havnt they learnt that whatever rules get introduced the teams will always find a loop hole..

        id love to see more overtaking and what not.. but all these rules are just annoying me..

        i think the refuling ban was a silly idea.. but thats my opinion

        ..im just having a rant haha

        • Patrickl said on 13th April 2010, 16:49

          Well the speeds need to be brought down because otherwise the cars go too fast. That could endanger the lives of the drivers, marshalls and spectators.

      • Xibi said on 13th April 2010, 21:36

        Not exactly. On race pace, they are even slower than last year. Besides this point,the comparison Keith made can be deceiving too. The new records are being posted by cars running on petrol fumes. In 2004, they were done with cars carrying race fuel. (some 40-60kg more, which is a massive difference)

    • sato113 said on 13th April 2010, 15:19

      hear hear nemo. i agree, f1 needs to be the fastest otherwise it wouldn’t be f1!
      they need to free up development too. like unfreeze engines, build whatever kind of wing you want.

      • nemo said on 13th April 2010, 15:26

        give it a few more years and we’ll have Formula Prius hahaha

        im not so sure about the 18inch wheels either.. think it will look daft :\

        the 13 inch are pretty much unique to F1.. keep it that way

        if not, someone mentioned maybe 15 inch..?
        i think i could learn to love that :D

        • macahan said on 13th April 2010, 16:45

          actually it’s the rim that is 13″ with balloon tires. The idea with 15 or 18″ is still to keep same outside tire diameter but with a bigger rim (otherwords bring in low profile tires that is used in almost every other form of racing as well on performance street cars). I’m all for this because this means lower sidewalls on the tires which means the tires can easier handle lateral forces without thick reenforced sidewalls and less cost in development for tire manufacturers.

          • nemo said on 13th April 2010, 17:19

            yeah i knew that :) i just think it will give the F1 cars too much of an indy look..

          • nemo said on 13th April 2010, 17:34

            just had a flick through AutoSport magazine.. and they have a photoshop of the Renault with the 18″ wheels on..

            hrmmmmm.. :\

          • PatrickL said on 14th April 2010, 9:19

            Here on the site someone posted a mockup of a McLaren with 18″ chrome.

  12. Sigmund said on 13th April 2010, 15:03

    I read a post at James Allens blog that made sense to me. If downforce was the reason for the lack of overtaking, wouldn’t that mean that you got less overtaking in the rain than in the dry? – That’s when you go for maximum downforce, but have a very reduced mechanical grip.

    If it was up to me i would try to give the cars a longer braking distance – worse tires and steel brakes. I seem to remember there being better racing in 2005 because of worse tires. And to keep the speed up, and the chance of making mistakes I would free up the engine regulation – why not restrict CO2-emissions instead of capacity – to give the rear tires an excess of power. That would make sliding and wheelspin more common, and todays drivers makes way to few mistakes.

    I might be wrong and I’m sorry for rambling, but I find it incredibly frustrating that very few of the solutions the teams and the FIA comes up with seems to work.

    • hyoko said on 13th April 2010, 16:47

      What makes rainy races so exciting is not that mechanical grip is lower, but that it’s impredictable: conditions are changing all over the place and all the time. So it’s a lot more of a gamble and there are many more mistakes. Reducing the grip in a predictable way, e.g. with smaller/harder tyres would not improve excitement or overtaking

      • macahan said on 13th April 2010, 21:18

        lowers speed as well because grip is less so in cornering you have to slow down more making aero less effective and usable and you have to start breaking sooner and you don’t get the same launch from a corner. One thing also it’s different from each corner to another corner on different area on the race track because of how water collects and runs off making things unpredictable. With smaller/harder tires on a dry track things are still very predictable because the tires react the same on any portion of the track. When it’s wet a slight late breaking and you miss the apex and you now of the “drying” line and the other car might either be on it or at least manage to put one set of tires on the dry line for better grip while the other car has all 4 on wet asphalt.

    • Icthyes said on 14th April 2010, 3:26

      I’m guessing, but the reason there’s more passing in the rain may be because, for all the efforts in maximising the car’s downforce levels, conditions mean that the cars still produce less downforce than in the dry.

      • Gilles said on 14th April 2010, 11:55

        I haven’t heard anybody complaining about the wake turbulence in rain conditions. Where’s that gone ?
        That said: how come Hamilton can slipstream on Rosberg in Australia and yet be unable to do the same thing in Bahrain ?
        OK, you can grill me now …

  13. Antifia said on 13th April 2010, 15:03

    Call me repetitive, but if the more downforce = less overtaking relation holds, the Herman Tilke venues must generate a hell of a lot of downforce. No double-difuser banning will ever compensate for that.

    • MuzzleFlash said on 13th April 2010, 16:31

      I think Herman Tilke tracks have all those slow corners because aerodynamics are of course, airspeed dependent, they don’t work until your moving at over about 60mph, so any chance with an apex speed of 40mph should theoretically have more overtaking on it.

      • theRoswellite said on 13th April 2010, 20:50

        @ MuzzleFlash:

        Airfoils “function” at any speed. Their downforce is a constant relationship and is, as you say, airspeed dependent. Once you have laminar flow across the top and bottom surfaces then, thanks to Mr. Bernoulli, you get a difference in effective pressures. (Sorry, you probably know all this)

        I’ve never heard what the required speed is for most F1 front wings (obviously, the front wing isn’t a wing, but a structure of multiple wings) to move from a stalled condition to generating lift, but I doubt it is as high as 60 mph.

        The problem with passing in a corner with an apex speed of 40mph is you probably need to position your car for the passing maneuver in
        a braking zone in which the speed is considerably higher, thus the wings are working to generate downforce. If you are the following car your disrupted downforce decreases your ability to steer (front wing loss) and brake (front and rear wing loss); and it is this handicap that “prevents” many passing attempts, or turns some of the attempts into crap shoots….the banzai move!

        @ Antifia:

        Downforce from wings doesn’t negate passing, the interruption of the downforce when following closely behind another car is the culprit.

        • macahan said on 13th April 2010, 21:23

          case in point. Webber on Hamilton in Oz. Webber got to close lost down force on his front wing and couldn’t steer and hit the end of Hamiltons car. If the cars where not so aero sensitive he would still had steering control of the car and might have manage to stick the pass instead of loosing control. Car less reliant on downforce or at least affected by turbulent wake of another car and more mechanical grip would allow closer following and more overtaking. The problem is the design today create to much reliance on downforce and the car creates to much disturbance behind them destroying air flow for car behind to function well.

    • Patrickl said on 13th April 2010, 17:10

      The problem with a lack of overtaking is not Tilke.

      There is plenty of overtaking on the Istanbul, Bahrain, Sepang and Shanghai tracks.

      Classics like Hungaroring, Barcelona, Monaco and even Silverstone offer much less overtaking.

      Granted there are some Tilke duds too like Valencia and Singapore, but those are street tracks forced on him by Ecclestone. With a street track there isn’t much anyone can do.

      Do his tracks lack atmosphere and tradition? Sure, but they are new tracks, what else can one expect.

      The whining about Tilke tracks preventing overtaking is just nonsense though.

      • Gilles said on 13th April 2010, 19:29

        I agree; surely nobody invests that kind of money to increase boredom …

        I would suggest they listen to the drivers, what suggestions they might have in changing track layout, not like Bahrain mind !

      • macahan said on 13th April 2010, 21:28

        consider all but one track was built in the last 6 years the track should function more to suit todays car which is not the case. Bahrain does not see much overtake and this year change utterly destroyed the track just curious if Tilke had anything to do with this change or not. One big reason why he gets so beat up is because so many of his tracks are created in the last 6 years and produced so poor racing and represent a high percentage of all race tracks used by F1. The best track he done is Malaysia which he did 12 years ago and was his first track. Korea his latest track seems to be a inverted Malaysia instead of the two straights on the “inside” of the “ring” it’s now on the outside of the ring. It might actually be a good track consider it’s similarity to Malaysia that can create exciting racing even in the dry.

        • Patrickl said on 13th April 2010, 22:35

          Bahrain is one of the tracks that has the most overtaking. 21 during the last race and about 15 on average. Only Turkey and Interlagos have a higher average number of overtakes (in dry races).

          It would be much better if people argued about these things absed on facts rather than just guessing.

          • macahan said on 14th April 2010, 3:29

            21 is highest at Bahrain except for 06.

            Back at you then. People complained on some of the traditional circuits are bad.
            Average overtakes on some of the “booring” traditional tracks Silverstone was mentioned above..

            Silverstone 22
            Nurburgring 17
            Hockenheim 21
            Canada 18
            Spa 20
            Interlagos 21
            Melbourne 15 (last race 41 in wet)
            Hungaroring 15
            Monaco 9
            Spain 8
            Monza 22
            Suzuka 15
            (dry overtake average)

            Tilke tracks
            Bahrain 17
            Yas Marina 6
            Valencia 2
            China 13 (last race 60!! in wet astonishing 30 average if you can all races)
            Malaysia 15
            Istanbul Park 18

            Singapore 6 (design based on modified Tilke design)

            So yeah alright Bahrain is not the MOST boring of Tilkes tracks but some of the tracks of the traditional tracks including hungaroring pointed out to be bad for overtaking and have boring races produce as many and more overtakes then Tilke tracks.
            Monaco and Spain is the exception and well Singapore (kinda Tilkes but not really).
            I must say I was VERY disappointed in his latest creation Yas Marina but put it down to a hopeful fluke.

            Tracks that can go. Valencia, Barcelona, Singapore, Bahrain or Turkey. Sure last two have a decent high overtake but they are guaranteed to be dry I take Malaysia and hope for wet or a wet Suzuka.
            Turkey started out VERY good 26 and 27 overtakes the two first years. Bahrain with exception of 06 (what happen there 34 overtakes??) would have a average of 15 instead of 17 if it wasn’t for 06.
            A race that is guaranteed to be dry has less excitement in my book I would rather see race go to a location that maybe don’t have as many overtakes in dry condition but have the chance of being a wet quali or wet race. Bahrain have the record the last 10 years for the most overtakes in a single dry race with 34. Man now I will have to figure out what went on in that race because I can not recall.. lol

          • macahan said on 14th April 2010, 3:40

            FYI Bahrain 06 was the first race of the year with the new quali rules. Some drivers got caught out and didn’t get the starting grid position expected. One of these was Kimi Raikkonen whom finished 3rd after climbed 19 positions from his grid starting position. Button finished 4th behind Kimi after a slow start and had a fight with Rubens and Montoya (passed twice).

          • PatrickL said on 14th April 2010, 10:00

            You have to correct your data. First of all you should only look at recent races.

            In the eighties and nineties Silverston had something like 40 overtakes per races. That’s much higher than today. They had massive numbers of cars on track in those days.

            That way indeed the “classic” tracks will show much more overtaking.

            Look at the data since 2000 and you get the following dry Silverstnoe races:
            8 6 46 11 6 6 13 9

            I then removed the outliers (46 and 6) to produce a clean result of 8.8 overtakes on average in a recent dry race at Silverstone.

            Bahrain has the following numbers of overtakes:
            12 8 34 18 13 15 21

            remove the outliers 34 and 8 and you get an average of 15.8

            Almost twice as much as Silverstone.

      • Antifia said on 15th April 2010, 9:08

        @Patrickl: Do you actually read what you write? For one, you cite 4 of the worst tracks in F1 as an argument for the Tilkedroms. Bahrain and Sepang already provided a fresh borefest this year and, if no rain comes in China, the next one is coming thick and fast. Add to those, Abu Dhabi, Valencia and Singapore and you have all the fast-parade circuits in F1. Granted, Barcelona and Hungaroring are also junk, and they cannot be blamed on Tilke. But hey, my argument is that every circuit designed by Tilke is crap, not that every crap circuit has been designed by him.

  14. Front wings should have only 1 wing element on each side, and flat side plates. They wlao need to be only the width of the stace between the wheels. The width of the cars should go back to 2m, and we need wider tires. Also, the cars need flat bottom floors, and all aero helper devices that are not part of the bodywork itself should be banned (barge boards, splitters…)

    And yeah, i definetly want lower noses back.

    • They also need to be only as wide as the place between the wheels. Same goes for the rear wing, and the rear wing should be lower.

      WHat i’d also like to see is an impact test for the front wing elements.
      First to prevent wings randomly falling off (kobayashi in aus, virgin in testing…)
      Second, to make a contact less costly and allowing the racing to continue, without one of the participants needing a new wing immediately after just touching something else.

  15. Gilles said on 13th April 2010, 15:07

    Strange line of thought: generating downforce from the floor is bad because of the wake it generates.
    That wake is only a problem if your car’s downforce is dependent on clean air, so make downforce independent from the wake of another car: limit the wings, widen the tires.
    Go back to early ’80s design: wing-cars or even fan cars. Or introduce counter-wake measure: additional grids of some sort to neutralize air flow behind a car.
    Unbelievable that the aero lobby can find arguments to point the finger somewhere else. Job protection anyone ?
    Just a thought however: if Lewis can pass Rosberg in Australia, why didn’t he do the same in Bahrain ?

    • sato113 said on 13th April 2010, 15:19

      they could make wind tunnels produce turbulent air. and design their cars around that…

      • DGR-F1 said on 13th April 2010, 15:55

        I have always wondered a bit about just how necessary wings, diffusers etc really are on a racing car. I was at Castle Coombe recently watching Formula Fords, and they seem to survive without them!
        Also, thinking back to when wings were first added in F1, they were really little more than an extra place for advertising, and had a terrible habit of falling off the car too.
        Now all the designers seem to be completly dependant on wind tunnels and computers for the car design, and then have a big surprise when this ‘ideal’ shape for going fast in clean air gets into difficulties behind another car with the same ‘ideal’ shape. Are the designers blind? They need to spend time at the trackside and pay attention to what really happens out there.
        I had thought that the OWG had maybe knocked sense into car design last year, but Brawn’s diffuser just complicated matters. Maybe we need to be thinking back along the lines of ‘brute force’ as well as ‘grip’ and ‘aerodynamics’ to find the answer…..

        • Gilles said on 13th April 2010, 19:34

          Just reading through the post here and picked up the interesting idea that aero needs to simply more inefficient or have a broader operating range with a variable Typhoon-like canard front wing. That seems to be the heart of the problem.

          Strange that everybody hangs on the lips of the aero guys, when all the evidence points in their direction: series that produce overtaking all have less efficient aero packages.

        • theRoswellite said on 13th April 2010, 21:03

          @ DGR-F1:

          Believe me the designers and aero guys are totally familiar the actual ontrack problems that you mention. The problem is, if they don’t design their cars as they are at present, they won’t be able to keep up with a car with the present downforce configuration…thus they can never get into a position to pass!

          • DGR-F1 said on 14th April 2010, 13:23

            I was thinking that as I was writing last time, but decided to stir the designers up a bit for a reaction…… :-)
            If the whole package was forced to backtrack to something much simpler, something similar to GP2 or F3, but kept the power advantage (with or without KERS), would that be going in the right direction? I mean if the FIA saw sense and decreed it……
            There is (or was) a series called Grand Prix Legends, where ex F1 drivers such as Our Nige were in new cars designed around an earlier generation of F1 car – perhaps this is more what is needed?

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