Aerodynamics key to reactive ride ban

F1 Fanatic round-up

In the round-up: the FIA’s decision to ban reactive ride height systems is linked to their perceived aerodynamic function.


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

FIA ban new technical innovation developed by Lotus and Ferrari (BBC)

“Insiders say that, once it became clear its main role was to improve aerodynamics, banning it was a ‘no-brainer’.”

Vettel to step up a gear in 2012? (James Allen)

Dietrich Mateschitz: “Sebastian [Vettel] has improved and is stronger than ever. He has prepared during the winter break like never before and he will certainly not let us down.”

Horner excited to see STR duo’s fight (Autosport)

“[Daniel Ricciardo and Jean-Eric Vernge] are two of the most exciting talents on the periphery of F1. To put them in the same environment gives us a much better visibility in terms of seeing how they progress.”

Bruno Senna shows promise but not Uncle Ayrton’s F1 genius at Williams (The Guardian)

“The genius that distinguished his uncle has not made itself apparent, which is no surprise since most authorities would place Ayrton Senna among the half-dozen greatest drivers in the sport’s history. His much repeated remark ?ǣ ‘If you think I’m good, you should see my nephew’ ?ǣ has yet to be substantiated but, of course, it was made when Bruno was a small boy, before the tragedy at Imola in 1994 led him to put his racing career on hold for 10 years.”

Surtees: I fear for young Brits (The Sun)

“It’s a shame there is no scholarship system or ladder in place. The only alternative for getting drives is a big bag of gold.”

Gene rockets down the Doha sea front – Twenty thousand witness Ferrari?s first appearance in Qatar (Ferrari)

“A crowd of 20,000 watched Marc Gene do a demonstration run in an F2008 on the Doha cornice this afternoon.”

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Comment of the day

Fernando Alonso, Stefano Domenicali, Wrooom, 2012

"Fernando, use the best of your hair, we know how big it is."

We were treated to many great caption competition suggestions from Sennanumbr1, Dutch Tweeet, Blunt and Magnificent Geoffrey.

I have to give a special mention to Yddo whose suggestion I really liked.

But after much consideration and chuckling I plumped for Dan Thorn’s offering, which you can see on the caption.

From the forum

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Happy birthday to Nathan and Salut Gilles!

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On this day in F1

Today in 1959 Mike Hawthorn, who had been crowned world champion just three months earlier, lost his life in a road accident.

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103 comments on Aerodynamics key to reactive ride ban

  1. Carlito's way said on 22nd January 2012, 12:22

    @prisonermonkeys We don’t know how the idea was presented to the FIA by Lotus, but that’s neither here nor there. The system is patented and it’s technical information is therefore public knowledge. I expect lotus to have presented drawings of the system when they first enquired about its legality anyway and also what gains are to be had from the system. The FIA job as the regulatory body of the sport is to effect due diligence on the system to ensure it falls within the word of the regulations and either allow it or ban it. They are not innocent in this story, Lotus are. For an independent team to have a potential performance differentiator could be financially very damaging for the team. If the FIA were incompetent enough to have made a mistake in allowing the system, the correct thing to do would be to allow teams to run the device this season and ban it next year.

  2. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 22nd January 2012, 17:07

    This all seems to have been handled pretty poorly. What other benefits would this new innovation have if it wasn’t aero? I don’t really buy that the FIA didn’t understand it’s aero benefit.

  3. Hairpin (@hairpin) said on 22nd January 2012, 18:27

    No rules have been changed by the FIA to ban or make this device illegal, it never was legal. The rules state and always did for 2011 & 2012 –

    3.15 Aerodynamic influence :
    With the exception of the driver adjustable bodywork described in Article 3.18 (in addition to minimal parts solely associated with its actuation) and the ducts described in Article 11.4, any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance :
      ‐  Must comply with the rules relating to bodywork.
      ‐  Must be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car (rigidly secured means not having any degree of freedom).
      ‐  Must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car.
    Any device or construction that is designed to bridge the gap between the sprung part of the car and the ground is prohibited under all circumstances.
    No part having an aerodynamic influence and no part of the bodywork, with the exception of the skid block in 3.13 above, may under any circumstances be located below the reference
    With the exception of the parts necessary for the adjustment described in Article 3.18, any car system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited.
    and more importantly in my opinion is –

    10.2.3 No adjustment may be made to the suspension system while the car is in motion.

    Their simple really, now what don’t you understand about that ?.

  4. Buglemeister (@buglemeister) said on 22nd January 2012, 20:29

    Am i alone in thinking how can a little cylinder thingey in the brake calliper/suspension be a aerodynamic aid. Sure, the thing itself helps with aerodynamics of the car overall, but the part itself is not a moveable aerodynamic aid. Christ, there is not that much stuff on an F1 car that does not move in some way and effect aerodynamics. This to me smacks of Redbull, Mclaren and others moaning cos they do not have the system

  5. It’s an adjustment to the suspension system while the car is in motion. therefore it’s illegal OK

    Sounds pretty concrete to me. Sounds like the FIA could ban this with immediate effect as it is simply against the rules as it’s an adjustment to the suspension during motion. It’s function as a moveable aero device doesn’t matter in this case, but they could ban the mass damper system mid-season for that reason, banning this before the season starts is better.

    It’s great that we have so much controversy before even testing has started!!!

    • Sean Newman said on 23rd January 2012, 8:50

      The mass damper should have been banned because it was effectively unsecured/moveable ballast, which is not allowed. It was a case of the FIA not being consistent nor using the correct rule to ban it…again.

  6. For all of those who craving innovation, what do you reckon to the rumours of mclaren using “the peltier effect” by incorporating plates that use a current to provide some cooling so that they can have smaller side pods and thus better aero?

    • Sean Newman said on 23rd January 2012, 9:11

      The Peltier effect is a very feeble force with todays technology levels. Perhaps it could be used for small critical components buried deep within the car but I think airflow even with the associated drag would be far more efficient.

      I’d be surprised if McLaren could make this into a genuine performance differentiator.

      The opposite effect is called the Seebeck effect. Using this effect it is possible to create electricity directly at the point of temperature differences. perhaps between an exhaust and a surface exposed to airflow. I guess it might produce a few microvolts per degree Kelvin…not much.

      Which the scale of forces going on within a modern formula one car I very much doubt these types of effect could be much benefit.

      Go on McLaren prove me wrong!

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