Race start monitoring system

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Richard Casto
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Re: Race start monitoring system

Post by Richard Casto » Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:04 pm

Apologies for bring back an old thread, but I think this is the home for this question. Especially given the content in this thread.

To summarize, it sounds like jump starts are detected by a combination of things including high speed cameras and "something" in the car (maybe an accelerometer, maybe other sensors). While early speculation in this thread was around grid position timing loops, per car transponders, that was said to not be the case and not part of the system that is actually used. As stated multiple times, the transponder used for T&S is NOT part of the jump start detection.

This begs the question as to why the sporting regulations say a jump start is determined by the transponder in the car? It also says the judgement is made by the transponder (i.e. automated) and not by examination via the stewards?

Per 2019 Sporting Regulations: (bold by me)
36.13 Either of the penalties under Articles 38.3c) or d) will be imposed on any driver who is judged
to have :
a) Moved before the start signal is given, such judgement being made by an FIA approved
and supplied transponder fitted to each car
, or ;
b) Positioned his car on the starting grid in such a way that the transponder is unable to
detect the moment at which the car first moved from its grid position
after the start
signal is given.
If the info in this thread is correct, why is the process and the sporting regulations so far out of sync from reality? If the current process is "just how it is" and it supported by the teams, then why not just update the sporting regulations?

Richard

ESPImperium
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Re: Race start monitoring system

Post by ESPImperium » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:51 pm

Id personally like the start system to be active, and any movement from when the first red light comes on to be adjudged a false start, until the lights go out. With one punishment, a 10 second stop-go. And the final thing, the reaction time is .100 of a second.

deltaecho5
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Re: Race start monitoring system

Post by deltaecho5 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:55 pm

Richard Casto wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 9:04 pm
While early speculation in this thread was around grid position timing loops, per car transponders, that was said to not be the case and not part of the system that is actually used. As stated multiple times, the transponder used for T&S is NOT part of the jump start detection.
Hello Richard, I think some clarification is in order so I will offer my words here.

Of the many posts here I've had the opportunity to read, I think it would be fair to sort them into different perspectives. Some would be the audience perspective, some would be the technical experience perspective, and some would be the legal/political perspective. I've tried to limit my offerings here to my technical experience rather than any opinion other than an opinion on whether a technical aspect of something is or isn't. Some things just can't be answered in a public forum relating to the proprietary nature and restrictions of Formula One. I have offered answers here to help readers draw their own conclusions, and tried to relate data on of how and of what the equipment is capable.

There are many radio specific transponders on the car, some team, some FIA required, and they emit and receive a variety of information, including the new spec biometric gloves for driver heartbeat, pulse, etc, received both via the timing loops (can bus) and also via RF to central track beacons. As technology improves we can offer solutions that were not possible before, eg, the leader lights system was an RF proposition and is now part of the transponder tx/rx in many applications.

Without being specific, there are beacon positioning systems that can triangulate approximate position of a signal within it's range, but the accuracy of such approximation is relative to other factors and therefore cannot be relied upon to be accurate in the case of millimeter movement at all times.

There is a discussion in another thread about this very topic. The "timing" transponder has no reception loop in each box to determine vehicle movement. However, race officials have access to a myriad of data that may or may not be car specific, and can relate information typically proprietary to the car's activity.

That said, the rules are written to allow for a result of a judgment that can come from the cars movement being detected by the FIA transponder fitted to the vehicle. For instance, the lead car, pole car, last car can all be assumed to be able to emit a signal to detect movement on either the S/F or back up S/F, and rules are written accordingly, while cars on the interior of the grid have no impact on the decoders connected to those loops.

It has been my experience that even though a rule is written to include the use of a specific sensor/piece of equipment, without another correlating signal/data/evidence, the officials rely heavily on the eyeball.

We still use a photocell at the start finish...in addition to the transponder, in addition to the back up transponder, in addition to the RF units, in addition to the high speed camera...

For some good reading, I would suggest Article 8 of the Formula One Technical Regulations...
⏱ Timekeeper by day, F1 Driver by night (whilst sleeping of course...)

Zynerji
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Re: Race start monitoring system

Post by Zynerji » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:32 am

Wouldn't the front wheel speed sensor be good enough? >0 = jump start?

RZS10
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Re: Race start monitoring system

Post by RZS10 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:40 am

The answer is in this post, roughly in the middle

viewtopic.php?p=867990#p867990
I am not aware of (but would be open to the information) any requirement for a rotational sensor on any of the vehicles to determine movement on the grid. If these sensors do exist (and I would be restricted from disclosing that), then the existence of their data at the time of the infraction would be available. However, as those data would in all likelihood be deemed proprietary to the team, I would find it unlikely they would a) turn it over, and b) be required to turn it over, both reasoned that not all teams would necessarily have those sensors readily recording as to the movement of the car at the start.

Richard Casto
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Re: Race start monitoring system

Post by Richard Casto » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:09 pm

deltaecho5 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:55 pm
I've tried to limit my offerings here to my technical experience rather than any opinion other than an opinion on whether a technical aspect of something is or isn't. Some things just can't be answered in a public forum relating to the proprietary nature and restrictions of Formula One. I have offered answers here to help readers draw their own conclusions, and tried to relate data on of how and of what the equipment is capable.
First, let me say thanks for the quick reply. I have found your posts on the topic very helpful in understanding the technical side. I also fully understand your points about (1) some details are to be kept secret and (2) you don't feel its appropriate for you to comment on some topics. I take the second part meaning you don't want to comment on how the rule are written or specific application of the rules (such as specific judgement by the stewards). I understand that.

deltaecho5 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:55 pm
It has been my experience that even though a rule is written to include the use of a specific sensor/piece of equipment, without another correlating signal/data/evidence, the officials rely heavily on the eyeball.
I would say this is maybe the closest you may come to directly answering my question (which is about the disconnect between the practical solution and how the rules are written). ;)

deltaecho5 wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 10:55 pm
For some good reading, I would suggest Article 8 of the Formula One Technical Regulations...
I have looked over that and my take away is that there is a myriad things (both generated within and outside the car) that are made available to the stewards. Plus potentially even some data that can be voluntarily provided by teams. And the stewards may use any or all of those to arrive at a decision.

RZS10 wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:40 am
The answer is in this post, roughly in the middle

viewtopic.php?p=867990#p867990
I don't think your responding to me directly, but thanks for pointing me to that discussion.

In the end, I think my question still stands, but can only be answered by those who maintain the rules. My personal conclusion is that the rules were drafted as they are today with good intent, but that in the end the jump start detection process uses any number of data points available to the stewards and not necessarily what is called out in the regulations. And that the discrepancy I call out is one in which nobody else is complaining about, so there is no push to resolve it. That until someone inside the sport (not a fan like me) pushes for change/clarification in the regulations, it is unlikely to actually change.

If I was to change it, I probably would make it less technology specific (as it is today) and more general so as to allow those managing the race to use any an all tools at their disposal (as it seems to work today).

Richard

deltaecho5
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Re: Race start monitoring system

Post by deltaecho5 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:30 pm

Richard Casto wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:09 pm
In the end, I think my question still stands, but can only be answered by those who maintain the rules. My personal conclusion is that the rules were drafted as they are today with good intent, but that in the end the jump start detection process uses any number of data points available to the stewards and not necessarily what is called out in the regulations. And that the discrepancy I call out is one in which nobody else is complaining about, so there is no push to resolve it. That until someone inside the sport (not a fan like me) pushes for change/clarification in the regulations, it is unlikely to actually change.

If I was to change it, I probably would make it less technology specific (as it is today) and more general so as to allow those managing the race to use any an all tools at their disposal (as it seems to work today).

Richard
Thanks for your comments-I am glad that some of what I posted helped shed some light. This response is not specifically to you, but to other readers that may stumble upon this post at a later date.

I think you are correct in thinking that there is a discrepancy from the fan perspective. However, your last sentence is really on point. Regardless of the technical data at their disposal, the ultimate decision is the Race Director.

What I suppose is the real issue: The elusive "False Start Detection System" is not an on screen feature of the broadcast for the fans to see.

This has been the root of the discussions here, because fans want concrete proof data, whether it is from the on board telemetry or from a T&S feed, so they can be the arbiters of any infractions they see in the data.

I think you see the crux of the situation, the officials have control and like it or not (the hard part for "fans"), their decisions are the result of analyzing all the data at their disposal.

I recently had the opportunity to be part of a Race Control moment, where an on track interaction appeared on the TV broadcast...and to everyone, the broadcast image revealed a serious infraction of one particular driver. Once various camera views were replayed, on board images were replayed, on board telemetry was reviewed, the infraction was nothing of the sort, and no call was made...to the extremely vicious rhetoric of many acquaintances in the post race discussion! How do I explain the process to them that there was a very meticulous analysis made, and all possible data were used and the decision made was fully supported by the 8 people that reviewed the infraction, but that portion of the decision was not revealed.

So in a way, to answer you question as one who has the perspective of an "insider", I realize that often there are decisions that are revealed to the incredulity of the audience. It is what it is, and so it is.

To my estimation, the only way to combat the rebuke of these decisions is to wire up the officials, put a live camera in Race Control, and display for the audience all the information used, the analysis of, and the result of the analysis and then the call. Sometimes this takes 10's of minutes, and honestly, I don't feel the audience is really interested in the Race Control action as much as they are the action on the track.

Your conclusion is exactly how things are orchestrated today. In my experience, Officials must have the leeway to interpret data as they see fit, and if their decisions are ultimately habitually incorrect, they are usually quickly removed from their position of authority.

All I can say is that I have complete trust in my coworkers and in 36+ years have rarely seen decisions based on bias. Often times the data used is not for public consumption, and that leaves the fans in the dark. There is no PR department for Race Control.

Another odd point coming: The newest data collection for Formula One includes biometric gloves for the drivers. The bio-sensors generate driver specific health information, including pulse/heart rate data. So, when that data becomes an on-screen feature to enhance the fan experience, and is readily available as part of the feed, will the typical fan be incensed when that part of the feed is removed after an accident so the audience is not allowed to partake in the exact moment a driver's heart stopped?

As fans we have to trust the officials. I've written posts here about timing anomalies and the possibility of scoring bias or hacking the timing system to the benefit of a specific team. What I know about the officials I work and have worked with, the possibility of having a bias or favoritism within an officiating capacity would be called out immediately by fellow officials. Those people don't last long in racing.

If I may say a few words here about the people at the level of professional racing:
Most know, similar to the extremely difficult road for a driver to obtain a drive, and considering the very very few jobs available at this level in professional racing, anyone in an officiating capacity seeks to preserve longevity and the highest standard of integrity to continue to be allowed to work in this very coveted field.

I look back on my involvement to date and am awe struck to have had the privilege and opportunity to be part such a thing. I feel extremely honored to work with and know these people, and in addition to being a wonderful mix of the best of the best in their specialties, always striving to operate at the highest level of their capacity, the racing circus is a true family.
⏱ Timekeeper by day, F1 Driver by night (whilst sleeping of course...)