KeiKo403 wrote: ↑
Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:58 pm
When asked about splitting race strategies between their cars, I remember hearing a TP say once (I think it was Horner) that it only guarantees you're wrong 50% of the time.
Now with that same logic, designing and building 2 cars to win a race can only mean you're also guaranteed to be wrong at least 50% of the time. Therefore, is it possible within the regulations to build a car which is capable of racing and running competitively in dirty air?
Yes, no, maybe, I don't know
TBH it depends on a number of factors. It should be possible, but there are a lot of conflicting opinions/desires/motivations. The main issues are drag and how downforce is generated, both from the point of view of how that affects another car and how the following car is affected.
There are issues which could be simply solved, I think covering the wheels would reduce the loss causing parts of the wake, but there would be complaints that goes against the 'DNA' of F1, whatever that is.
Team principals want the cars to have a lot of body surface area with not much 'clutter' so their sponsors logos show up - it's the reason McLaren vetoed talk of keeping the shark fin - because it half covers the rear wing from some angles. They want rid of the VGs at the front of the sidepods and 'clean' front wings with only 1 or 2 elements so they can put nice big stickers on. But if you wanted to get rid of the front/rear wings to make following easier, they'd object because that's tens of thousands of dollars per race gone.
Fans want the sport to be the 'pinnacle', again whatever that means, I don't recall F1 ever being the zenith of what is possible in engineering. But this unspecifiable desire is why the 2017 cars are so much harder to pass. They increased drag and downforce from the last few years to make the cars 'faster' (still slower over a race distance than 15 years ago) without consideration to the implications. The massive wheels are contributing to the difficulty in following and were only brought in for nostalgia, i.e. to make the cars look like they did in 1993, not looking forward or being 'the pinnacle'.
IMHO the FE car is close to being the ultimate solution for a car which can follow, as it has about 1/2 the drag of an F1 car (0.8CxS vs 1.5CxS) as it only has 1/4 of the power (200kW vs 745kW), BUT it only has 1/3 the downforce (1.7CzS vs 5.0CzS). You could increase the downforce, for a small increase of drag and power and have a very good race car.
I was thinking about this the other day and my new idea would look something like a cross between the Brabham BT52, a Formula E and the deltawing. Low drag, low weight, high power-to-weight, F1 doesn't need the most power or the biggest wheels or the most complex solutions to be the fastest/best/most competitive race series. Because arguably at the moment it fails on at least two of those.