Ballast

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FW17
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Ballast

Postby FW17 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:21 am

Ballast forms a significant part of the cars today and can be considered a driver aid.

The FIA just keeps increasing the minimum weight of car + driver in each recision of the regulation. 605 bececame 640 and is set to increase again in 2014.

Ballast is a driver aid and is a performance alternator as the front end teams do produce lighter packages and play with a lot more ballast around the car.

My suggestion would be a car with all its elements at 500 kgs. cockpit occupant weight as 100 kgs, with a fixed ballast location at the in a config of (driver weight + ballast = 100 kgs).

bhall
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Re: BALLAST

Postby bhall » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:27 am

If I'm reading your idea correctly, I think it would introduce anorexia and bulimia into the world of F1 from sources other than the grid girls and virtually assure that no driver of Juan Pablo Montoya's "stature" ever gets a drive again.

In all seriousness, though, I've never really considered ballast to be a competitive issue of contention. It is what it is.

thisisatest
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Re: Ballast

Postby thisisatest » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:16 am

ballast is a necessary evil. and the difference in performance between two 640kg cars, one with 20kg of extra ballast, is much closer than two cars, one 580kg and one 600kg.
if the minimum weight is raised, then the potential difference in performance between the heaviest car and the lightest car shrinks.

natehall
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Re: Ballast

Postby natehall » Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:28 am

WilliamsF1 wrote:
My suggestion would be a car with all its elements at 500 kgs. cockpit occupant weight as 100 kgs, with a fixed ballast location at the in a config of (driver weight + ballast = 100 kgs).


The simple way to prevent an eating disorder is to force the teams to have the weight of the driver seated measured... so weight of seat, driver, HANS and helmet must weight at least 100kgs (to give a figure - I dont know what any of the drivers actually weigh).

This would be a performance equaliser as all of the weight is in the same place on each and every car.

The current system could be seen to be causing eating disorders, as for every gram a driver loses, thats another gram of ballast that can be placed in a more optimal position. Im surprised face fur is allowed by the teams!

FW17
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Re: Ballast

Postby FW17 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:27 am

natehall wrote:
WilliamsF1 wrote:
My suggestion would be a car with all its elements at 500 kgs. cockpit occupant weight as 100 kgs, with a fixed ballast location at the in a config of (driver weight + ballast = 100 kgs).


The simple way to prevent an eating disorder is to force the teams to have the weight of the driver seated measured... so weight of seat, driver, HANS and helmet must weight at least 100kgs (to give a figure - I dont know what any of the drivers actually weigh).

This would be a performance equaliser as all of the weight is in the same place on each and every car.

The current system could be seen to be causing eating disorders, as for every gram a driver loses, thats another gram of ballast that can be placed in a more optimal position. Im surprised face fur is allowed by the teams!



That is what i meant; a standard ballast location for equalization of driver weights.

Car should be of a minimum weight with no ballast. Parts should be made heavier to meet minimum weight. Engineers job should be to design a balanced car.

DaveW
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Re: Ballast

Postby DaveW » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:25 pm

In my opinion, the ideal c.g. position is dictated by the tyres. Hence the very forward c.g. positions forced by the last generation of Bridgestone tyres, & the current rules regarding c.g. postion (courtesy, I suppose, of the aerodynamic fraternity).

You may have noticed that the subject of c.g. restriction has not been raised of late - that is because (according to me) the tyres are not a bad match for the current restrictions. Nevertheless, the ability to adjust c.g. position remains a useful tool, & that (ideally) requires an underweight vehicle.

It is fair to state that in the past some teams, on occasion, have been too aggressive with saving saving & have produced vehicles that are overly compliant, to the deteriment of mechanical control (the odd comment about "mechnical set-up has no effect" may be significant).

Hence, as in all things, a good compromise is important.

N12ck
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Re: Ballast

Postby N12ck » Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:32 pm

Lotus f1 team say the weight of an f1 car is 440kg
Budding F1 Engineer

DaveW
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Re: Ballast

Postby DaveW » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:31 pm

N12ck wrote:Lotus f1 team say the weight of an f1 car is 440kg

I think one needs to define the build state. My guess would be that, at that weight, the car would be fluid free & probably plank-less.

machin
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Re: Ballast

Postby machin » Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:35 pm

I've been an advocate of the 'driver + seat minimum weight' rule in the past... However it wasn't an issue last year because the front:rear balance (with very small margin) was mandated by the rules... Not sure if that rule still stands for this year...

ESPImperium
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Re: Ballast

Postby ESPImperium » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:21 pm

The mandated weight distrubution last year has helped alot, however i think ballast rules can be tightened up a little futher.

I am an advocate of a maximum weight with and without fuel. I belive that the car should weigh 650 kilos without fuel as the minimum, but no more than 655 kilos without fuel.

As for fuel, tanks should hold a mandated of 100 kilos. However id also bring back refueling, with a DTM style shoulder filler that is filled with 20Kg for each fill, cars can have 2 attached from each side of the car to give 40Kg per stop. Id mandate that the engine be switched off when the fill is in progress, and fuel stops be seprate to tyre stops and make stops for fuel last a mandated 10 seconds. Cars would be weighed before the went straight to the grid, no passing thru the pits twice to reduce the fuel load to an optimal. But the fuel rule is more a dream of mine to spice up racing even futher.

I belive the ballast should only be allowed to be be held between the front wheel and rear wheel centre lines, nothing forward or rearward of theese points, and be held no more than 50mm higher than that refrence plane.

The result of this would be for teams to weight up the benifits of aero gain Vs tyre performance. McLaren for instance could have a tyre advantage with a low nose being able to change arround ballast in the region specified, however that may not have the downforce, the cars with the downforce may have to make a stop more per race.

Also it would mean that the teams couldnt put ballast at the rear of the gearbox and in the front wing to dial out over or under steer as quickly and as easily. The only way to do this would be via a better mechanichal set up and better aero.

Id also tighten up the ballast rules with the types of material that can be used, as some teams are starting to use even more exotic materials for ballast as a small ballast package will be better for packaging. Personally id restrict ballast to just plain Steel.

The way teams would get arround the ballast regs that way is by having chassis that were slightly heavier at the front and nose boxes and wings would become heavier as they would be outside the wheel centre line at the front. It would become a way for teams not to fail crash tests as well. An extra few layers of carbon would bring the weight up by say half a kilo or so, and flexi wings could more or less be gone as teams want wings to weight a little more as well.

Some teams last year with the mandated distrubution were over weight by as much as 20Kg just so they could get the Pirellis in their sweet spot, and with this get better tyre usage. This would be in effect be outlawed, meaning that some teams may have problems with switching on tyres (Cold graining as a posible result) and some would have a problem with over heating tyres (Blistering as as a posible result) some teams would be in decent shape. It would also be a way for ballancing aero development Vs mechanichal development Vs tyre development as if the teams got a handle on the tyres, Pirelli would become more aggressive.

hardingfv32
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Re: Ballast

Postby hardingfv32 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:55 pm

ESPImperium wrote:Some teams last year with the mandated distrubution were over weight by as much as 20Kg just so they could get the Pirellis in their sweet spot, and with this get better tyre usage.


Can you expand. I do not understand how this is a benefit with mandate distribution.

Brian

PhillipM
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Re: Ballast

Postby PhillipM » Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:24 pm

Afaik the mandated distribution was in the form of minimum weights over each axle?

So by running overweight you could alter the distribution slightly.

hardingfv32
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Re: Ballast

Postby hardingfv32 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:12 am

PhillipM wrote:So by running overweight you could alter the distribution slightly.


Very good

Brian

ESPImperium
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Re: Ballast

Postby ESPImperium » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:28 am

As long as the weights over the front and rear axels are to regulation, you can buy yourself maybes a +/-2% change in distrubuton. And if that can change the cars handeling from one that has some slight oversteer on exit to being more neutral to a slight bit of understeer you could gain half a second over a lap. And with that you may find over a long run you could change the tyre wear from a 12 lap stint to a 16 lap stint, meaning more time out on track over who you are chasing.

There was reports that last year that at certain tracks it was an advantage to run over weight, an in the case of one team, and one drivers policy, an extra 10 kilos of ballast for tuning your car would provide a massive ammount of lap time gaines.

Sometimes a change in ballast posistion can be better than a change in mechanichal set up or increase or decrease in downforce. Arguably ballast is the most powerful thing in a car.

bill shoe
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Re: Ballast

Postby bill shoe » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:04 am

Ballast can be used for more than static weight distribution.

Raise ballast to raise static CG and increase dynamic load transfer. This makes the car feel more active and responsive to the driver. A car with low CG and long wheelbase can feel pretty numb because the driver can't use weight transfer to influence handling. I think this inability to use weight transfer much in F1 may be one reason it's difficult to go between Ralley/MotoGP and F1. Kimi prove me wrong! Monaco might be the best F1 track to try raising the CG because laptime is sensitive to acceleration (and therefore weight transfer) out of slow corners. Driver confidence and the ability to actively control the car also counts for much there.

Move ballast longitudinally outward to raise the pitch moment of inertia. The pitch MOI influences primary ride, especially flatness. On an F1 car with really small MOI relative to wheelbase, it should be possible to get a flatter ride with a larger pitch MOI. Tradeoff is larger yaw MOI and slower transients. Likely a bad tradeoff in F1, but I wonder if Indycar teams have tried large pitch MOI's on big ovals where the velocity is high but the yaw rotation rate is low. A flatter ride could have aero ground-effect benefits.




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