How do engineers decide which spec of the same element is more efficient with only track running?

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kediown
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2022 2:37 pm

How do engineers decide which spec of the same element is more efficient with only track running?

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I want to start the topic with specifying it more.
For example the engineers have decided to come with two different rear wing configurations to a track.

In continuation of my example, the team has brought a wing with low downforce and medium-low downforce.
They implement the wings on two different cars with two different drivers and one of the drivers have edge over the other one in lap times. Anyway, they start to lap around the circuit meanwhile the engineers are gathering data. After putting nice lap times and warm data to the engineer team and finish the session with similar lap times and similar tire degradation.

So, at the end, neither of the drivers managed to put an ideal lap over one run.

How do the engineers compare the efficiency of those wings for the track?

My pretty basic opinion is that they can take the ideal mini-sectors from those drivers to compare the efficiency of the wing, but I asked to this forum for a reason: I want a more detailed explanation.

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chrisc90
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Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2022 8:22 pm

Re: How do engineers decide which spec of the same element is more efficient with only track running?

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Driver feedback
Pitot rakes
Tyre wear and degradation
Tyre temperature

Probably not the answer your really looking for, but there are/will be tonnes of data engineers can use to see how the car is acting on track with the different performance bits bolted to the car. They might have a low downforce wing, so they can measure tyre temp/deg, and id assume the cars have yaw sensors in so they can probably see the amount of movement the rear end has during cornering compared to steering/throttle inputs.
No Mikey Noo! No! Nooo Mikey! That was sooo not riiight!!

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kediown
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Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2022 2:37 pm

Re: How do engineers decide which spec of the same element is more efficient with only track running?

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chrisc90 wrote:
Fri Sep 09, 2022 10:45 pm
Driver feedback
Pitot rakes
Tyre wear and degradation
Tyre temperature

Probably not the answer your really looking for, but there are/will be tonnes of data engineers can use to see how the car is acting on track with the different performance bits bolted to the car. They might have a low downforce wing, so they can measure tyre temp/deg, and id assume the cars have yaw sensors in so they can probably see the amount of movement the rear end has during cornering compared to steering/throttle inputs.
Yeah, that doesn't satisfy me much because of I wanted to avoid driver feedbacks&levels and the tyre wear&degradation, so that I can have different answers other than my mind can think of. I'm aware it complicates the things and makes it more tricky, but that's why I asked. Thank you for your explanation though.

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Seb5
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Joined: Sat Sep 10, 2022 10:49 am

Re: How do engineers decide which spec of the same element is more efficient with only track running?

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kediown wrote:
Fri Sep 09, 2022 10:08 pm
I want to start the topic with specifying it more.
For example the engineers have decided to come with two different rear wing configurations to a track.

In continuation of my example, the team has brought a wing with low downforce and medium-low downforce.
They implement the wings on two different cars with two different drivers and one of the drivers have edge over the other one in lap times. Anyway, they start to lap around the circuit meanwhile the engineers are gathering data. After putting nice lap times and warm data to the engineer team and finish the session with similar lap times and similar tire degradation.

So, at the end, neither of the drivers managed to put an ideal lap over one run.

How do the engineers compare the efficiency of those wings for the track?

My pretty basic opinion is that they can take the ideal mini-sectors from those drivers to compare the efficiency of the wing, but I asked to this forum for a reason: I want a more detailed explanation.
Normally, simulation tests of new configurations prior to track running are required, to preliminary check if the new elements (rear wing in this case) can potentially be better for that specific track. Once approved and developed the new element, you will try your new configuration on track and check if the track data, collected by sensors, match with the simulations. If so, given for example that on simulations you have config B faster than config A, you would probably have this condition achieved also on track.

However, as chrisc90 mentioned, drivers' feedback is very important: not necessarily the theoretically fastest configuration is also the real fastest one, because of driver's feeling (e.g. more difficult to reach the limit). Tyre deg and warm-up will have a role on the configuration choice as well.

Finally, as you said, also performance comparison by ideal mini-sectors is very useful to compare different configurations, regardless of the sim data. Still, you have to consider that mini-sectors performance is affected by numerous factors (track evolution, wind, slipstream, driver ability, etc.), so you would have to compensate these data, not always obtaining a clear picture of the overall performance (taking also into consideration the limited practice time).