WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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Eddie_Temple
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WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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Early 2017 technical discussion has been dominated by suspension design. The technical knowledge on this thread and detailed explanations have lead me to wonder if there is a correlation between teams that have the best suspension design and the WCC winning team.

It would seem that year in and year out the chassis with the best suspension ends up winning WCC. Given the classic argument of power vs aero, is suspension the pink elephant in the room we've all been ignoring?

Look at the non-aero/non-pu gains Red Bull made in 2016. Merc's dominance, etc.

I'd like to learn a lot more about suspension this year and hoping this thread could shed some light on the history.
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godlameroso
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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Suspension is a lot of parts, any one of which has numerous books written on it. Some books are dedicated to a specific function of a suspension item.

It doesn't help that a lot of the parts in F1 cars are unique not just configuration, but cost, and by consequence, secrecy.

Scarbs has a few very well written articles about F1 dampers
http://scarbsf1.com/dampers.html
https://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2011/11/ ... y-dampers/
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Eddie_Temple
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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godlameroso wrote:Suspension is a lot of parts, any one of which has numerous books written on it. Some books are dedicated to a specific function of a suspension item.

It doesn't help that a lot of the parts in F1 cars are unique not just configuration, but cost, and by consequence, secrecy.

Scarbs has a few very well written articles about F1 dampers
http://scarbsf1.com/dampers.html
https://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2011/11/ ... y-dampers/

Thanks, getting into the specifics of suspension design is something I plan on taking on myself.


My intention for this thread is to discuss WCC's with having the best suspension. Has any team won a WCC without the best suspension design of that season for instance? History and statistics seem interesting.

I've been under the suspicion that Merc's 3 WCC are mostly due to impressive suspension (which equates to superior tire management) instead of power unit and/or aero that many would lead us to believe.

EDIT: perhaps though as you point out, the secrecy around these systems means we can NEVER truly state that superior suspension lead to the championship.

Paddy is a suspension guy correct? Perhaps if he ends up at Williams we can see if a step is taken forward that seems unbelievable from power/aero.
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godlameroso
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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Well Williams was very fast in 1993 with active suspension, unbelievably fast. Obviously the Renault in 2005 and 2006, and now in 2016, and possibly sooner Mercedes. Their car just ran over bumps without any bouncing or disturbance, and just rolled right through turns.

If everyone were to use the same type of suspension then the differences would be a tenth or two, but with the RB Merc system it's easily .5 seconds, that kind of advantage is huge. The 2016 Ferrari was a very good car, in places it was actually faster than the Red Bull over a race distance, but it's suspension was more 'normal' than their competitors.

The Ferrari engine was almost as good as the Mercedes engine, it just didn't have the chassis. Chassis meaning Ferrari had neither the mechanical grip nor the aero to really challenge Mercedes.

The closest they came was Canada, a relatively flat track without many bumps, and a dependence on pure engine power, same as Italy. Anywhere that had bumps and mid speed corners, Red Bull was usually ahead despite being down on power.
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Greg Locock
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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How on earth do you measure the 'goodness' of a suspension, given that the lap time is confounded by engine power, fuel load, wind, aero, driver ability, fuel strategy, tire condition etc etc?

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SR71
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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Is 2017 the first year since active aero that suspension is the biggest performance differentiator between top teams?

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godlameroso
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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Greg Locock wrote:How on earth do you measure the 'goodness' of a suspension, given that the lap time is confounded by engine power, fuel load, wind, aero, driver ability, fuel strategy, tire condition etc etc?
If I had to take a stab at it I'd look at the bumpiest tracks, the ones that have the most low speed traction zones. Singapore for example, or Monaco, tracks where the average speed isn't high enough to really use aero.
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Pierce89
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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SR71 wrote:Is 2017 the first year since active aero that suspension is the biggest performance differentiator between top teams?
We don't know if that's even the case, but surely '92-3 springs to mind.
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Muulka
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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The advantage to be gained from clever suspension systems these days is almost purely down to better using the aero platform. They hydraulic stuff being reported on has literally nothing to do with managing tyres better...

DaveW
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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Muulka wrote:The advantage to be gained from clever suspension systems these days is almost purely down to better using the aero platform.
The requirement (to control aero platforms) has existed for the last forty years.
Muulka wrote:They hydraulic stuff being reported on has literally nothing to do with managing tyres better...
There speaks an aerodynamicist... The problem is, you are correct. F1 vehicles are now designed to make mechanical changes virtually impossible.

Eddie_Temple
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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Muulka wrote:The advantage to be gained from clever suspension systems these days is almost purely down to better using the aero platform. They hydraulic stuff being reported on has literally nothing to do with managing tyres better...
Even if the primary role of these systems is changing, doesn't my original OP beg the same question?

Seems Merc's proving that a hyper-complex suspension tasked with maximizing the aero platform is still the way to go in F1 (at least when you start seeing diminishing returns at pointy end of the grid).

Red Bull's championship years had some clever stuff too if I remember correctly.
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SectorOne
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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godlameroso wrote:Well Williams was very fast in 1993 with active suspension, unbelievably fast. Obviously the Renault in 2005 and 2006, and now in 2016, and possibly sooner Mercedes. Their car just ran over bumps without any bouncing or disturbance, and just rolled right through turns.
Don´t forget Red Bull with their rake.
Sure it is there to improve aero but that thing still needs to be driveable in the slower bits.
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roon
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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Is it possible that a higher center of gravity can help with driveability? Regardless, the rake is designed into the RBs from the start. Suspension geometry & action isn't necessarily compromised to achieve their rake.

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godlameroso
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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SectorOne wrote:
godlameroso wrote:Well Williams was very fast in 1993 with active suspension, unbelievably fast. Obviously the Renault in 2005 and 2006, and now in 2016, and possibly sooner Mercedes. Their car just ran over bumps without any bouncing or disturbance, and just rolled right through turns.
Don´t forget Red Bull with their rake.
Sure it is there to improve aero but that thing still needs to be driveable in the slower bits.
Red Bull was amazing over bumps as well, watch Riccardo's pole lap in Monaco, the bumps do nothing to the car.
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roon
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Re: WCC & Suspension Design Correlation

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That makes me wonder if, in an open formula, we would see downforce generating devices which would allow for relatively high ground clearance and long wheel travel.