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chrisolson

F1 Innovation

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chrisolson

Apparently all F1 cars run with about 1 degree of toe- out **   which helps the car in turns.  Its not an exact science and sometimes even more tow-out can be beneficial depending on the track.

 

But obviously there is some additional drag down the  straight where the wheels are scrubbing a bit.  Up until now you just had to live with the compromise ... run some toe-out but not too much.  Lose just enough on the straight to be better in the turns to achieve the best lap times.

 

The solution ?

 

The Mercedes F1 Team has created a system where the driver can change the toe angle via the steering wheel on the fly.... go to something like zero-toe (perfectly parallel) on the straight and then go back to 1 degree (or greater) toe-out at end of straight before entering turn.  They call it "dual axis steering".

 

Amazing the lengths the Teams go to for micro-second advantages ... but if it does mean shorter lap times, how long before other teams adapt and/or come up with more innovation within the rules ...(active rear steering is not allowed)

 

Right now the driver has to initiate the suspension changes, but one can foresee where software, having an internal map of each specific track, could be programmed with the changes and yet still be adjustable to driver preferences via programming set up.

 

Article from motorsportmagazine: (with interesting photo of the exposed guts of F1 suspension)

https://www.motorsportmagazine.com/articles/single-seaters/f1/f1-testing-lewis-hamiltons-trick-das-steering-explained

 

 

Article from BBC Sport section:

https://www.bbc.com/sport/formula1/51576106

 

 

** for those needing a bit of car suspension  help ... 

image.png.311f3f3b839e2ec5536c583ea1421d73.png

 

 

 

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Joe Frickin' Friday

As much tech as there is in F1, I'm surprised they haven't yet gone to a completely "steer-by-wire" system, similar to what many airplanes use these days: fit the car with a steering wheel angle sensor, actuators that control the angles of the front wheels, and a computer acting as a go-between.  It would allow complete adjustability of various steering parameters like toe-in and steering ratio, could make them change in response to factors like speed and driver/pit-crew tweaks, and so on.  

 

My own car already has this.  Infiniti claims that shielding drivers from road feedback is a benefit.  That wouldn't be a benefit for F1 drivers, but I don't think it's an inherent quality of steer-by-wire systems; surely the feedback can be brought through unaltered to the driver's hands.  There must be a rule against this sort of system, or we'd have seen it in F1 by now.

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Hosstage

I'm not a fan of steer by wire on passenger vehicles, not sure if I want it on my racecar going 170 mph into a 50 mph turn. And that's 50 mph in an F1 car, which is 15mph in a regular car. Big potential for disaster if it fails.

Has the adjustable toe-in been approved for competition? If so, there is still the possibility it will be banned in the future. I believe F1 developed anti-lock brakes, which are now not allowed, but are mandated on passenger vehicles, not always working as well as intended.

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Joe Frickin' Friday
9 minutes ago, Hosstage said:

I'm not a fan of steer by wire on passenger vehicles, not sure if I want it on my racecar going 170 mph into a 50 mph turn. And that's 50 mph in an F1 car, which is 15mph in a regular car. Big potential for disaster if it fails.

 

The basic technology isn't new; aircraft (including fighter planes and commercial passenger jets) have been using fly-by-wire technology for decades now.  While any given implementation may have its problems, there's no reason to distrust the general concept.

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Skywagon

I talked to a GM Engineer at the AutoShow in Houston this year.  He told me they were working on something similar but called it 4 wheel auto alignment....meaning never having to have your car aligned anymore.  They pretty well perfected the horizontal but the vertical was giving  more challenge.

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chrisolson
1 hour ago, Hosstage said:

Has the adjustable toe-in been approved for competition?

 

It not been in competition yet, but there apparently has been  ongoing discussions with FIA  and Mercedes prior to the new season, so it would appear that there is nothing preventing it.  But like anything, if it proves to provide  a competitive advantage, rival Teams will surly protest the legality ... unless they come up with something better :)

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Hosstage

I just read that it's legal, but not legal enough for the 2021 season.

Stay tuned...

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chrisolson
2 hours ago, Hosstage said:

I just read that it's legal, but not legal enough for the 2021 season.

 

Yep ... Ferrari must have finally had its two cents worth once it became apparent that Mercedes had out engineered them and didn't want to spend the money to catch up.

 

 

 

 

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chrisolson
45 minutes ago, Bill_Walker said:

Article from Road & Track

 

last line quote says it all ...

 

“And that's an expense and does it actually make the spectacle any better? Probably not. So it's exactly the kind of thing that owners and rules makers want to outlaw. But as an engineer and a fan of the sport, I think it's great. I wish there was more stuff like that we could do.”

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ltljohn

And now it is banned for 2021

 

LINKY

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