Ballast

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Post Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:59 am

Ballast (and relatively high minimum weights) is a good thing.

Reduce and/or restrict ballast? No thanks.
Grip is a four letter word.

2 is the new #1.
Jersey Tom
 
Joined: 29 May 2006
Location: Huntersville, NC

Post Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:25 am

The only logical reason a team would run a car overweight is to meet the mandated distribution target.
Light cars are (almost) always faster than heavier cars.

Question ....
When is the mandatory weight distribution established .... empty tanks (I suspect this is the case), full tanks (not likely) and is the driver (with seat) included in the measurement.??

If the latter is the case, it may explain the concept of running a car heavier to offset a light or heavy driver and get the distribution correct

I also understood that balast (official balast that is) could only be placed in the chasis between the front and rear wheel axels. Not in the nose.
Personal motto... "Were it not for the bad.... I would have no luck at all."
Ian P.
 
Joined: 8 Sep 2006

Post Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:11 am

1.9 Weight :
Is the weight of the car with the driver, wearing his complete racing apparel, at all times during
the Event.

4.4 Ballast :
Ballast can be used provided it is secured in such a way that tools are required for its removal.
It must be possible to fix seals if deemed necessary by the FIA technical delegate

Brian
hardingfv32
 
Joined: 3 Apr 2011

Post Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:26 am

What exactly do they use for ballast? Does anyone have any pics?
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Jeffsvilleusa
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco

Post Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:26 am

machin wrote:I've been an advocate of the 'driver + seat minimum weight' rule in the past.


That would also equal out the effect of driver size. The likes of Webber and Kubica have to be on starvation diets to keep their weight down due to their height.

If you decouple the driver and car weight then teams with overweight cars would still be overweight. How about a combined seat and driver weight of say 85kg and a separate weight for the car.

As JT says, allowing low car weights merely opens up an arms race for the lightest car.
richard_leeds
 
Joined: 15 Apr 2009
Location: UK

Post Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:09 pm

richard_leeds wrote:.... allowing low car weights merely opens up an arms race for the lightest car.

The "arms race" exists now - the lighter the chassis, the more scope for ballast. The lightest chassis is not likely to be quickest for stiffness reasons. I suspect that would be the case even without a regulated minimum weight.
DaveW
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2009

Post Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:12 pm

richard_leeds wrote:If you decouple the driver and car weight then teams with overweight cars would still be overweight. How about a combined seat and driver weight of say 85kg and a separate weight for the car.


Good idea.

Another thought: Horse Racing..... Let us take it a step farther and vary the weight based on the points the teams or drivers have!

Brian
hardingfv32
 
Joined: 3 Apr 2011

Post Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:13 pm

hardingfv32 wrote:
richard_leeds wrote:If you decouple the driver and car weight then teams with overweight cars would still be overweight. How about a combined seat and driver weight of say 85kg and a separate weight for the car.


Good idea.

Another thought: Horse Racing..... Let us take it a step farther and vary the weight based on the points the teams or drivers have!

Brian


Touring Cars already have weight based handicaps.
db__
 
Joined: 9 Oct 2006

Post Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:19 pm

Jeffsvilleusa wrote:What exactly do they use for ballast? Does anyone have any pics?

tungsten i think. some used depleted uranium(!) until it was banned.
thisisatest
 
Joined: 16 Oct 2010

Post Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:19 am

Ah, because of the high density. Any idea of what shape it is formed in or how it is attached?

to be honest, I always envisioned bags of sand, but I guess I'm not surprised it's not the case.
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Jeffsvilleusa
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco

Post Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:37 am

Any post(s) made by this user are (semi-)educated opinion(s), based on random fact(s) blurred by the smudges of time.
Any fact(s) claimed by this user will be supplemented by a link to the original source of said fact(s).
Fil
 
Joined: 15 Jan 2007
Location: Melbourne, Aus.

Post Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:49 am

cheers! =D>
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Jeffsvilleusa
 
Joined: 14 Apr 2011
Location: San Francisco

Post Fri Jul 25, 2014 7:33 am

Do you think the old f1 cars weight around 370 kgs without ballast and driver?

Image
Image

Ballast is a F1 specific tuning option. Ballast allows you to add weight to an already light car, with the specific intention of altering the weight distribution of the car. This works hand in hand with Weight Balance. Modern F1 car have ballast of more then 150 Kg. Applying very expensive and very heavy metal ballast in precise places, usually but not always on the underside of the monocoque, on the as lowest place as possible to further lower the center of gravity.

For example, on the last race of 2008, after David Coultard crush, it became clear that RedBull Racing team is using small wolfram/tungsten plates strategically placed on endplates of front wing. As on most cars, the RB4 has tiny blocks of wolfram/tungsten inside the wing's main profile, hidden from view within covered housings. But in addition to this 'standard' ballast placing, the RB4's endplates also have detachable aerodynamically shaped covers which hide extra ballast pieces (picture down). The ballast may look small, but the high density of the ballast metal means they can carry 5 to 7 kilograms. This allows the weight distribution of the car to be moved more forwards, improving its overall weight distribution.



Image
Front wing balast in RBR

In a complete season, a team may use ten sets of these plates, at a cost over the year of something like a half million dollars and more. Most often teams use tungsten, but some resources talk about Osmium, Iridium, Platinum, and Rhenium, very expensive, rare, but very dens materials.

Just to highlight how dense Tungsten is:
Density Tungsten: 19.35g/cm3
Density Lead: 11.35g/cm3

Say the chassis of an F1 car without ballast - with driver weighs 450kg.
So we need to make up 200kg up in ballast.
With Tungsten, that takes 10336 cm3 to do.
That's the equivalent of a 1m x 1m x 1.03cm block

Using Lead (which traditional ballast is made out of, which is why I chose lead), that 1m x 1m block would have to be 1.76cm thick, to make up the 17621cm3.

Put in another way, you need 170%, or 70% more lead by volume to make up the same mass.

So, to make sense of what I just said: F1 teams like tungsten because it is dense, and they don't have to pack as much of it into a chassis to reach the required weight. but is not expensive like Osmium, Iridium, Platinum, and Rhenium. But some teams don't care about expenses.

Ballast must be fixed, and by FIA rules can't be movable in any time of the race.




After 2014 big rule change, the biggest in recent history, and after introducing new V6 engines with complex hybrid ERS system, FIA raised a weight limit of the F1 cars from 642kg in 2013 to 690kg. As teams begin to finalise their car designs for 2014, it is emerging that a number of outfits are struggling to get near the minimum 690kg that the car and driver must weigh because heavier, more powerful energy recovery systems are heavier than anticipated. the extra 48kg will almost certainly be taken up by the new power units, meaning even less leeway for additional ballasting of the car. This represent a problem also for heavier drivers. Lighter drivers will have the luxury of being able to move a little bit of ballast around the car in order to bring it up to the minimum weight. Heavier drivers will not have this luxury and that can create a problems for them. That means lighter drivers, such as Felipe Massa, who weighs 59 kilos, will have an advantage over taller drivers like Nico Hulkenberg, who weighs in at 74 kilos. The preference is for the car and driver to weigh in below the minimum weight and for ballast to make up the difference. The heavier a driver is the less ballast the teams have to play with. That means that taller drivers like Hulkenberg face the risk of being overlooked for competitive seats simply because they are too heavy.

1kg of weight equates to about 0.035secs a lap on an average circuit. So, for example, Sebastain Vettel (65kg) will be 0.35s faster on a lap than Nico Hulkenberg (75kg) all other things being equal. A taller driver is also at a disadvantage because his weight is high up in the car.
The sport has moved on a long way since Carel Godin de Beaufort raced in the late 1950s and 1960s in his own car. He was of such a size - he at one time topped 100kg - he was nicknamed "Fatty Porsche".
Image
WilliamsF1
 
Joined: 6 Jan 2010

Post Fri Jul 25, 2014 8:34 am

AFAIK (I haven't checked) Wolfram is (in English) the name of an ore containing Tungsten
Wolfram is a name known to geology, not to engineering

Tungsten has been a significant ingredient in many steels for about a century
having an extremely high melting point, it is not useable in the normal ways, sintering is necessary
Tungsten-based alloys have been used for eg crankshaft balance weights, but this is not ideal

are there people being told that cars were ballasted back in Dan Gurney's time ?
'he wishes' ..... !!
big drivers like DG and Brabham were really handicapped eg with the 1.5 litre cars
and only the magnesium version of the (3 litre) Eagle was even near the weight limit
many early 3 litre cars were 20%, even 40% overweight
btw F1 minimum car weights started in 1961 (AFAIK)
because in the late 50s some F1 or F1 eligible cars were very light
before that GP weight limits were maximum weights eg the 1900s and 1934-7
(German cars eg were expected to be painted white, but to make the max weight of 750 kg all the paint and filler had to be removed
causing the emergence of bare aluminium and the currently glamorous concept of the 'silver arrows')
the few twin-cylinder 1100 cc Coopers that raced in the first F1 had (empty) weights of less than 550 lb/250 kg
the 1958/9 Lotus front engined F1 car weighed only about 730 lb/330 kg

only when min weight was raised did 'underweight' cars became feasible
late in the Cosworth DFV era
these cars dumped water 'ballast' early in the race and replaced it after
Last edited by Tommy Cookers on Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Tommy Cookers
 
Joined: 17 Feb 2012

Post Fri Jul 25, 2014 9:22 am

Tommy Cookers wrote:AFAIK (I haven't checked) Wolfram is (in English) the name of an ore containing Tungsten
Wolfram is a name known to geology, not to engineering

Wolfram was an early, alternative name for Tungsten - that's why Tungsten's chemical symbol is W. There are two ores - wolframite and scheelite
Just_a_fan
 
Joined: 31 Jan 2010

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