Ferrari reveal telemetry lap of the Hungaroring

F1 technology

Ferrari telemetry - HungaroringThe Hungarian Grand Prix may be behind us but Ferrari have provided some extra insight into the demands of the tricky, 4.3 kilometre Hungaroring*.

These two images reveal the key data behind a lap of the circuit in a pre-2014 specification F1 car. The first shows a single car on the track, and the second includes an overlay of the same data for a second car, which is used by drivers to see where they might be losing or gaining time relative to their team mate.

Most of the information in the chart is self-explanatory: which gear the driver is in, how much steering angle they are using, DRS use, KERS use and recharging (which as of this year are no longer under the direct control of the driver), how much they are accelerating and braking, and what the car’s speed is.

The trace also shows relevant information from other sensors including wind speed and plank height – i.e., how close the car is to the ground – and the load cell, which is used to understand the positioning of the car to draw further comparisons between the two drivers.

The throttle pedal trace shows two lines – one for the input from the driver and one for the input from the car. For example, when the drivers comes off the throttle completely for the first time the car continues to blip it to prevent the engine from stalling.

Ferrari have not identified which of their drivers corresponds to which line on the second chart, or given any information about the condition of the cars during the laps. However data engineer, Giuliano Salve provides some insight into how drivers’ lap times are compared using telemetry:

“The blue and the red driver display minimal differences over a lap, producing almost identical graphics, but if one looks deeper into the management of the throttle and brake and look at the speed graph, one can spot interesting differences.

“Looking at the first part of the speed and brake line, one can see that the red driver is harder on the brakes, but quicker to get back on the throttle, as soon as he’s passed the apex of the corner. On the other hand, the blue driver has a more gentle style, braking slightly earlier but with less force, which results in him scrubbing off less speed under braking.

“In fact, in the throttle and brake graphic there is an extra line, a comparison of the lap time of both drivers. The engineers continuously compare the efforts of both drivers to try and get the best possible result.

“It’s all down to thousandths of a second, but that’s how one improves, closing gaps that might even be measured in seconds and help a driver get to the top.”

This same lap time comparison was what Lewis Hamilton was so eager to share with the world at Spa-Francorchamps in 2012.

Team mate Jenson Button had used a low-downforce rear wing on his McLaren and taken pole position. Hamilton had opted for a high-downforce wing, and as a result had lost a lot of time on the straights, which was highlighted in the telemetry sheet he posted on Twitter, then quickly deleted when his team pointed out their rivals could glean valuable information from it.

Ferrari telemetry - Hungaroring - driver comparison

*Ferrari did not state which circuit is represented in the data however inspection reveals it to be the Hungaroring.

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26 comments on Ferrari reveal telemetry lap of the Hungaroring

  1. Tricky (@tricky) said on 7th August 2014, 12:24

    Really interesting. I notice the engine management is reducing the amount of throttle well before the first braking zone, suggesting an engine mode to “lift and coast” without the driver doing it.
    I am surprised there is not more balancing on the throttle in the last two corners, nowhere is the car taking a constant(ish) velocity through the arc of the corner.

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 7th August 2014, 12:35

    Wow, very interesting they chose to make this public!

  3. andae23 (@andae23) said on 7th August 2014, 12:40

    Interesting to see at turn 1, both drivers lifting the accelerator a bit (about 70%) before braking (i.e. saving fuel), especially by the red driver. I don’t see this at any other corner on the track though. Also, the red driver uses the brakes more sharply than the blue driver. This is not the case for the final turn, though.

    Just analysing that final corner: the blue driver brakes a bit harder and takes less speed into the corner, while also having a smaller steering angle. But when he gets back on the power, he has to correct with the steering wheel more than the red driver. The red driver brakes less severe, but steers into the corner more aggressively. He accelerates out of the corner more evenly than the blue driver too.

    Anyway, fantastic that Ferrari have released these two sheets. And pretty uncharacteristic too, from a team that didn’t even release pictures of its power train earlier this year. This may be Mattiacci’s influence, but that’s just me speculating.

  4. Joaquin (@fat-tyre) said on 7th August 2014, 12:51

    I thought it was Gran Turismo’s data logger. :)

  5. AmirAnuar (@amiranuar) said on 7th August 2014, 13:23

    can someone explain to me what happened to DRS(red) it look like the DRS is on and off in the same DRS zone.

  6. lockup (@lockup) said on 7th August 2014, 13:55

    How could ‘rivals gain valuable information’ from Hamillton’s tweet when Ferrari casually put this out in the public domain?

  7. Bruno (@brunes) said on 7th August 2014, 15:19

    What do you guys think?
    Red – Alo or Massa?
    Blue – Alow or Massa?

    • Gdon (@gdon) said on 7th August 2014, 15:32

      Going by a comment above of driving styles to me it seems the red is Alonso and the blue is Massa.

    • lawrence said on 7th August 2014, 15:51

      @brunes
      At least one thing sure about Ferrari, is that the faster one is probably Alonso. :)

    • TdM said on 9th August 2014, 0:21

      I think blue is massa. Look at the comparison line. Blue carries some good apex speeds at times but red brakes deep into the apex turns cleanly straightens and picks up clean throttle. The way I read it blue loses lots of time at the early/mid throttle stage. Blue tries to get on it early and then corrects. Red slows down more and then gets a clean smooth exit.

      That’s why you see blue lose some time into the apex (braking phase) then pick it up in his initial stab of throttle, then all that time bleeds away through the acceleration phase as he fiddles with the throttle to find traction.

  8. Yuriy said on 7th August 2014, 16:59

    Exciting to see how teammates compare, would like to see all other teams as well

  9. Forotherruns said on 7th August 2014, 18:22

    Hi Keith

    Seeing that this information has now been made public, why is there no similar furor over the fact that rivals can get sensitive information from this? Like you highlighted in your article, it is similar to what Hamilton posted, albeit taken by a cell phone. So was the press just keen to give a dog a bad name or what?

  10. @keithcollantine, Brilliant piece of information. Would be even brilliant if they pointed out where the red/blue pilot made a mistake, per example. But that’s too much, I know.
    But, hey, how about RBR shows us some graphics too? That would be awesome. :)

  11. Carlitox (@carlitox) said on 8th August 2014, 0:35

    There is a telemetry option in Grand Prix 3 that allows you to compare your laps with yourself or the AI. Looking at the RPM and speed charts it was easy to see where you could’ve lost time. It’s awesome to see real life telemetry charts look almost the same! No wonder I felt a real driver those days…

  12. Might be a silly question, but can we assume from the fact that the steering is so closely overlayed that these lap times are actually very similar despite the obvious differences in driving style?

    • bag0 (@bag0) said on 8th August 2014, 7:39

      @andy-m
      I think those graphs are stretched to the same width, menaing the X axis is not showing time but distance, so the drivers can compare their data corner by corner, meter by meter. The time difference however could be calculated from the speed difference.

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