2017 Season's Major Technical Clampdowns

A place to discuss the characteristics of the cars in Formula One, both current as well as historical. Laptimes, driver worshipping and team chatter does not belong here.
User avatar
TAG
118
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:18 pm
Location: in a good place

2017 Season's Major Technical Clampdowns

Post

Craig Scarborough on GPUpdate has written a nicely packaged piece on the technical "innovations that the FiA has clamped down on in 2017. Given all of the oil burning discussion, there's a significant amount of items less discussed. One around the blown front axle that I'd not even been aware of.

Definitely worth a read in it's entirety; here's the excerpt on the "moveable" blown front axle.

An aero trick raced since 2012 has been the blown front axle. This uses the brake ducts to purposely direct air out through the hollow front axle, though not for any cooling or braking effect. Instead, this is part of the front wing's efforts to push the turbulent front tyre wake away from the rest of the car. This outwash effect created by the blown axle and front wing endplate helps keep the rear wing and diffuser in clean air, allowing them to work more efficiently. If the tyre wake is allowed to hit the rear bodywork, then less downforce will be created.

Many teams have run these blown axles since Red Bull introduced them, and have simply become another trick in a team's aero-armoury. There has been nothing remarkable or interesting in their development in the past few years. However, another FIA technical directive released mid-season was aimed at Ferrari and its ducting system, allowing the axles only to be blown in turns.

That Ferrari could achieve this, in a potentially legal way, came as a big surprise to other teams and media alike. Additionally, there were questions as to how it was able to keep this secret, when the ducts and axles are so exposed during the car build-up process on a Wednesday and Thursday at Grands Prix. It transpires that an engineer left Ferrari for another team and the trick was revealed, with immediate queries from their new team to the FIA in a clarification request if this was legal. Clearly the FIA response was negative and Ferrari was told to remove the ducted set-up.

Of course, moveable bodywork is banned and any simple means to close the duct into the hollow axle when the car is steered would have been evident to the scrutineers and rivals, so the effect had to be more covert. A paddock source confirmed that Ferrari was using this trick and that movable flap valves were used inside the brake duct to create the on-off effect. In a straight line, the duct would be closed and no flow would be passed through the axle, but as the car starts to turn and the lateral G-force builds up, the flap valves opened under the load and the duct started blowing through the axle.

What Ferrari was trying to achieve was a mix of downforce and drag reduction. On the straights, the unblown axles would do less to prevent the tyre wake upsetting the rear aero, so the rear wing ran in dirty air, creating less downforce, but crucially less drag. Then through the corners, the flaps open and the duct blows through the axles, pushing the tyre wake away from the rear end and making it create downforce again.

Quite how Ferrari sought to justify this system will no doubt remain a secret, perhaps citing the set-up as part of the suspension, therefore responding to car loads and thus escaping the movable bodywork regulations.

Regardless, it was rightfully outlawed and has been removed from the car since mid-season, and this will have cost Ferrari some efficiency.

Just_a_fan
Just_a_fan
598
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:37 pm

Re: 2017 Season's Major Technical Clampdowns

Post

Interesting. Looks like having got the clever suspension of others banned, they've now tried to be clever themselves. But they've been found to be breaching the rules.

Hoisted by their own petards, it seems.

Interesting that they've been exposed by ex-employees in this and the oil burn issue.
Turbo says "Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools." oh, and "The Dutch fans are drunk. Maybe"

Zynerji
Zynerji
78
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:14 pm

Re: 2017 Season's Major Technical Clampdowns

Post

Very interesting, but I thought brake ducts were specifically exempted from being deemed "aero" as they move constantly by definition, and would not qualify under movable aero devices..

Should be completely open in that area by regulation, just like the trick suspension on RBR and Merc were...

User avatar
TAG
118
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:18 pm
Location: in a good place

Re: 2017 Season's Major Technical Clampdowns

Post

Zynerji wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:00 pm
Very interesting, but I thought brake ducts were specifically exempted from being deemed "aero" as they move constantly by definition, and would not qualify under movable aero devices..

Should be completely open in that area by regulation, just like the trick suspension on RBR and Merc were...
The brake ducts are fixed and move with the wheel, that's not changed and is legal, what's being questioned is the axles being blown only when the wheels are turned. Your point about the suspension is the issue in a nutshell. Something can be legal until it's pushed beyond legality or breeches the definition or the spirit of the rule as deemed by the FiA.

Team have always and will continue to always push those boundaries.

Jolle
Jolle
185
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2014 9:58 pm
Location: Dordrecht

Re: 2017 Season's Major Technical Clampdowns

Post

TAG wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:08 pm
Zynerji wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:00 pm
Very interesting, but I thought brake ducts were specifically exempted from being deemed "aero" as they move constantly by definition, and would not qualify under movable aero devices..

Should be completely open in that area by regulation, just like the trick suspension on RBR and Merc were...
The brake ducts are fixed and move with the wheel, that's not changed and is legal, what's being questioned is the axles being blown only when the wheels are turned. Your point about the suspension is the issue in a nutshell. Something can be legal until it's pushed beyond legality or breeches the definition or the spirit of the rule as deemed by the FiA.

Team have always and will continue to always push those boundaries.
It's one of the attractions of F1!

Zynerji
Zynerji
78
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:14 pm

Re: 2017 Season's Major Technical Clampdowns

Post

The rear wheels move in 2 axes, but have downforce generating winglets, but a spherical joint in a tube with an eccentric bore that is normally closed is an issue?

This is almost as bad as inconsistent driver penalties...

User avatar
TAG
118
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:18 pm
Location: in a good place

Re: 2017 Season's Major Technical Clampdowns

Post

Zynerji wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:04 am
The rear wheels move in 2 axes, but have downforce generating winglets, but a spherical joint in a tube with an eccentric bore that is normally closed is an issue?

This is almost as bad as inconsistent driver penalties...
That generate that downforce at all times not only at times when it's more advantageous to do so. It's not only about the movement, the McLaren F duct of years ago had no moving parts, only the driver's knee plugging a hole in the cockpit during long straights. That was banned.

Zynerji
Zynerji
78
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:14 pm

Re: 2017 Season's Major Technical Clampdowns

Post

TAG wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:41 pm
Zynerji wrote:
Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:04 am
The rear wheels move in 2 axes, but have downforce generating winglets, but a spherical joint in a tube with an eccentric bore that is normally closed is an issue?

This is almost as bad as inconsistent driver penalties...
That generate that downforce at all times not only at times when it's more advantageous to do so. It's not only about the movement, the McLaren F duct of years ago had no moving parts, only the driver's knee plugging a hole in the cockpit during long straights. That was banned.
Actually, they are winglets that move, no matter how you gymnasticize the excuses.

And the Fduct was a mostly hand operated devices, with video of drivers taking Eau Rouge one handed, getting it banned. Lotus tried for years with the ear activated system, as removing the driver made it legal.

These break ducts operate in a similar fashion. The drivers primary purpose is to steer the car, not activate downforce characteristics. Any beneficial byproduct of design becomes moot.

RBR/Merc suspension, now this.

I am losing my interest quickly, as these airbending, tyrebending, feats of radical thought are my true reason for watching.

What else is left besides drama?

User avatar
TAG
118
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2014 3:18 pm
Location: in a good place

Re: 2017 Season's Major Technical Clampdowns

Post

Zynerji wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:07 am
Actually, they are winglets that move, no matter how you gymnasticize the excuses.
We're talking F1 or gymnastics? :mrgreen:

You're simplifying your viewpoint in order to justify them being the same. They're not, if they were they'd not be banned.

Emphasis on air bending magic tricks is the reason drivers point to as the demise of them being able to go "racing" in the current formula.

Zynerji
Zynerji
78
Joined: Wed Jan 27, 2016 3:14 pm

Re: 2017 Season's Major Technical Clampdowns

Post

TAG wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:46 am
Zynerji wrote:
Thu Sep 14, 2017 12:07 am
Actually, they are winglets that move, no matter how you gymnasticize the excuses.
We're talking F1 or gymnastics? :mrgreen:

You're simplifying your viewpoint in order to justify them being the same. They're not, if they were they'd not be banned.

Emphasis on air bending magic tricks is the reason drivers point to as the demise of them being able to go "racing" in the current formula.
Why do you watch formula 1?

Man vs Man?
Man vs Nature?
Man vs Himself?

I watch for the Man vs Nature, or the brilliant engineering around physical restrictions.

Anything else is artificial, and below my "worth following" threshold.