Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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ajprice
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Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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Do the modern cars really need to be as long as they are? I know there are aero reasons, but are there any mechanical or crash structure packaging reasons? The cars have been getting longer, especially since 2009, and this year's rules will make them longer again.

A 1991 Ferrari 643 was 4400mm long, with a 2881mm wheelbase.
A 2000 Williams FW22 was 4540mm long, with a 3140mm wheelbase.
A 2009 Toyota TF109 was 4636mm long.
A 2016 Mercedes W07 was 5067mm long with a 3411mm wheelbase.

4400mm is a little longer than a current Vauxhall/Opel Astra or Ford Focus. 5067mm is around the length of a BMW 7 series or Mercedes S-Class.

Dear FIA, Mr Brawn, Mr Chase. Let's have a limit on car length as well as width and height. As long as the mechanicals and crash structures fit, get the cars down to around 4500mm long again. Give Mr Newey & co a problem to solve, rather than stretching the car to 5 metres to get around it. They'll look better for it IMO.

bhall II
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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Maybe they're just excited.

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Holm86
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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I must say that I agree, the cars are becoming way too long.
There should be a maximum wheelbase, around 3100-3200mm.
The cars would look better, and be more difficult to drive, win-win

roon
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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Articulated F1 cars when?

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Holm86
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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roon wrote:Articulated F1 cars when?

http://icdn-7.motor1.com/images/mgl/Jjg ... ic-300.jpg
It's inevitable :lol:

McMrocks
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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Yes its quite funny how everybody was talking about size zero last year. Looking at the length of the cars it wasnt even close to size zero. And this year they've got even longer.

However, i dislike the idea of stating a maximum length in the regulations. The regulations are much too tight anyway so we need to think of other ways. One way would be removing the 8th gear even though that will only bring 50-150mm.

Allowing refueling might be more effective in reducing the wheelbase.

The most dificult way would be writing rules that make short cars faster. Very claerly FiA wont go this way as we had to see in the past. FiA should have written rules that make cars with low noses faster instead of forcing the nosecone into a specific space. So we will rather see a maximum length instead of rules designed to keep the wheelbase short

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henry
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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I wonder if the suggested increase in the wheelbase this year is a consequence of the fixed weight distribution in conjunction with aero rules that move the aerodynamic centre rearwards.

In my simple picture of the aerodynamics there are 4 key locations of downforce.

The rear wing is 25% larger, more downforce further behind the rear axle ( being lower will reduce its effectiveness slightly, both from quality of feed air and less leverage about the cog)

The front wing is about 15% larger in effective area and isn't really any further forward.

The diffuser kick line is 175 mm forward and might be as much as 35% more effective

The leading edge of the floor which similarly might generate 35% more downforce.

The only one of these that can move in relationship to the CofG is the leading edge. If the front wing is a bit weak increasing the wheelbase and leaving the cockpit in the same relation to the front axle would move the leading edge of the floor forward.

For full disclosure I have also heard that Red Bull have increased the wheelbase moving the cockpit rearward and in doing so gained more space for barge boardy stuff. We will see.
Fortune favours the prepared; she has no favourites and takes no sides.
Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty : Tacitus

roon
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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henry wrote:For full disclosure I have also heard that Red Bull have increased the wheelbase moving the cockpit rearward and in doing so gained more space for barge boardy stuff. We will see.
Source? I'm under the impression that the dimensions between cockpit entry & front wheel centerline are regulated hence the common proportions in those areas. Hope I'm wrong, it would be great to see something out of left field from RB. Long nose car? Or maybe they pulled a Bowlby and made a front-mid-engine beast. Exhaust pipe routed between the driver's legs. 8)

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henry
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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roon wrote:
henry wrote:For full disclosure I have also heard that Red Bull have increased the wheelbase moving the cockpit rearward and in doing so gained more space for barge boardy stuff. We will see.
Source? I'm under the impression that the dimensions between cockpit entry & front wheel centerline are regulated hence the common proportions in those areas. Hope I'm wrong, it would be great to see something out of left field from RB. Long nose car? Or maybe they pulled a Bowlby and made a front-mid-engine beast. Exhaust pipe routed between the driver's legs. 8)

I don't recall where I saw it. Perhaps in the rb13 thread.

My reading of the regs is:

The relationship between cockpit entry and front wheel centreline has a minimum requirement, the driver's feet may not be in front of the centreline and the distance from there to the rear face of the entry template is 1500mm. ( the survival cell is 1800 mm long , front bulkhead to rear of entry template, and the driver's feet must be a minimum of 300 behind the front bulkhead) I think it is allowable to move the survival cell backward from this position as far as you want.
Fortune favours the prepared; she has no favourites and takes no sides.
Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty : Tacitus

roon
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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If that's the case I would maximize that distance and stuff all the heat exchangers under the survival cell & near the engine. Presto: no sidepods. Bigly exposed floor and mmmega downforce.

wuzak
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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McMrocks wrote:One way would be removing the 8th gear even though that will only bring 50-150mm.
Removing 8th gear will have no effect on the length of the car, as the gearbox is quite remote from the engine now.

McMrocks wrote:Allowing refueling might be more effective in reducing the wheelbase.
Doubtful.

The tank is not much larger than they used in the refuelling era.

McMrocks wrote:The most dificult way would be writing rules that make short cars faster. Very claerly FiA wont go this way as we had to see in the past. FiA should have written rules that make cars with low noses faster instead of forcing the nosecone into a specific space. So we will rather see a maximum length instead of rules designed to keep the wheelbase short
The problem is aerodynamics rule the roost, so it would be next to impossible to make shorter cars faster. The same with low noses.

McMrocks wrote:However, i dislike the idea of stating a maximum length in the regulations. The regulations are much too tight anyway so we need to think of other ways.
I am of the opposite opinion - define maximum length, width and height and relax some of the other regulations.

For example, instead of defining the size, front to back, top to bottom, of the rear wing elements, why not define the forward edge of where the wing can be, a minimum and maximum height it can be and then the area of a bounding rectangle. So a team may decide to move the rear wheel forward to allow a wide chord rear wing, while another will want a short chord rear wing which is deeper.

Similarly for the front wing. Don't define it depth (ie front to rear), just the rear edge, the overall width and maybe the maximum height it can be. Big complicated wings like we have now will force a shorter wheelbase.

wuzak
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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henry wrote:The relationship between cockpit entry and front wheel centreline has a minimum requirement, the driver's feet may not be in front of the centreline and the distance from there to the rear face of the entry template is 1500mm. ( the survival cell is 1800 mm long , front bulkhead to rear of entry template, and the driver's feet must be a minimum of 300 behind the front bulkhead) I think it is allowable to move the survival cell backward from this position as far as you want.
The rear of the cockpit template may be no less than 1800mm from the front of the survival cell. So, yes, it is a minimum distance.

wuzak
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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roon wrote:If that's the case I would maximize that distance and stuff all the heat exchangers under the survival cell & near the engine. Presto: no sidepods. Bigly exposed floor and mmmega downforce.
How long would that be?

Also, they have the mandatory side impact structures now, so that would stuff up your air flow without any other body work.

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henry
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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To extend what I was saying about the wheelbase growth.

There are three choices:

Add wheelbase behind the cockpit template, in which case the CofG moves back about half the increase and aero balance shifts forward. There is more floor area and space to package stuff.

Add wheelbase in front of the cockpit template, in which case CofG moves the same but aero balance moves rearward. Floor area stays the same, there's no more space for packaging, but there is more space for bargeboards etc.

Do something in between. Not doing much to aero balance but affecting the other things.
Fortune favours the prepared; she has no favourites and takes no sides.
Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty : Tacitus

wuzak
wuzak
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Re: Ever increasing length of F1 cars

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henry wrote:Add wheelbase behind the cockpit template, in which case the CofG moves back about half the increase and aero balance shifts forward. There is more floor area and space to package stuff.
It depends if you move the engine back or not.

If you move the gearbox back but keep the engine at the back of the saefty cell you would probably be moving the weight balance forwards, since the PU is the heaviest single "component" in the chassis.