Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017

Pirelli looking into Spa tyre vibration phenomenon

F1 Fanatic Round-up

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In the round-up: Pirelli are investigating the reasons for the tyre vibrations experienced by multiple drivers this weekend.

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With Lewis Hamilton rightfully receiving the plaudits after qualifying, @thegianthogweed spares a thought for the unfortunate Jolyon Palmer after his Q3 gearbox troubles.

This is such a shame.

He was 7th in Q2 and about 0.25 quicker than Hulkenberg. Ahead of both Force Indias too. Even when Ocon, Perez and Hulkenberg did their Q3 laps, they still were several tenths slower than Palmers Q2 time. Palmer looked the best of the rest today behind the top 3 teams and I didn’t see this coming. His luck is unbelievably bad this season though and that is certainly making him look a bit worse than he is.

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  • 37 comments on “Pirelli looking into Spa tyre vibration phenomenon”

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      27th August 2017, 0:13

      Pirelli tires vibrating at Spa? Nothing unusual here.

      1. Yes, I don’t know what’s the fuss about, that corner tends to produce those pictures. We generally see tyres vibrating on the kerbs but that traction zone is one place where it just happens, it looks almost as dramatic as drag racing tyres. Great job by Palmer, he’s not unlucky it’s just that his side of the garage is as inconsistent and slow learning as Jolyon. Clearly his initial failure in q2 is the cause for the latter one, hydraulics failures are a thing of the 90’s.

        1. @mbr-9 @peartree Because it’s appeared on the tread, not the sidewall apparently. Here’s an update on the story:

      2. anyone’s got images of the deformation? I missed it during the TV telecast

    2. So, let me get this straight, Alonso literally out – drove his car to the point of failure. Alonso is (in my opinion) without a doubt the best driver on the grid today – it is heartbreaking for a fan of him and his team to watch this.

      1. *When you go so fast your race car thinks you should slow down*

      2. No, the engineers failed to set the proper trigger parameter/event for the corner.

      3. No, other drivers took Pouhon flat too. He literally just drove one lap at the full limit. It’s a problem of his own creaytion.creation

      4. This isn’t about Alonso. It is about Honda’s incompetence. They could have governed the energy output by way of GPS position input instead of relying on driver throttle input alone. I am sure the other engines have a dual input system of deciding where the energy should be deployed.

        It’s a very small logic change in the software of the engine that can be done in half a day by your average engineer.

        1. You cant use gps, thats outside assistence to running the car, prohibited.

        2. Despite being on the third year of these engines, I still don’t understand how they work. I thought the driver activated the harvested power manually.

          1. @emu55, my understanding is that, under normal circumstances, the electrical motors and the ICE would be working in conjunction with each other when the driver presses the throttle.

            However, the driver does have the option to override that and to choose to deploy all of the electrical energy in one hit, usually when they are either trying to defend their position – i.e. by using it all on the straights to give them the maximum acceleration possible – or, by that same token, if they are attacking another driver.

            What Honda are supposed to have done does sound rather strange because, as @tifoso1989 notes, the other teams have set their power units up so they work based on the throttle input of the driver. That then gives the drivers the flexibility to adjust the recovery and deployment modes during the race if they want to attack or need to defend against another driver (say, by not deploying as much electrical energy in slower corners so they can then increase the deployment on the straights) – what Honda are supposed to have done sound unnecessarily complicated.

        3. As a software engineer working in a software provider for the financial industry (securities trading), I still could not believe what I’ve just read about the honda systems control algorithm which in my opinion was only written to support what we call a “Happy Case”.

          Algorithms in general are written to solve complex problems that depends on multiple variables, when testing the software in the UAT and especially in the pre-production environments, software testers used to challenge us (software engineers) not only on the software compliance with the already established specifications and requirements but also on the software capacity to handle unexpected events.

          What I want to know is that no one at Honda including software engineers, software testers,QA,IT leads…. figured out that energy deployment shouldn’t rely on driver throttle input alone or they already knew and they just didn’t care….

          1. You are assuming alot from 4 lines in a sloppy article. If you are a software engineer you should know its not nearly as clearcut.

          2. Duncan Snowden
            27th August 2017, 15:21

            It’s the rules.

            Systems that react to distance travelled round the circuit or triangulated position were banned back in the days when Williams and Lotus were developing their active suspensions. Strictly speaking, the car’s systems aren’t allowed to know where it is on the track at all; I’d say even this is pushing the spirit of the regs.

            Which is absolutely crazy, IMO, when we now have a mandatory system – ERS – that kind of needs to know that kind of thing. But it does make me wonder how many deployment issues on other cars have been due to something similar, and we just didn’t hear about it.

    3. Javier javier
      27th August 2017, 1:43

      i wonder how many tires going to explode during the race o_o

      1. Javier javier, Pirelli have investigated it, and all the evidence is that it is only occurring on the exit of the final chicane and out of La Source, suggesting it may be related to the way that the drivers are riding the kerbs in those corners. At the moment, it sounds as if some teams might be more worried about a repeat of the suspension failures we saw in the 2016 Austrian GP due to excessive vibrations.

        1. The explosions are gonna be because of “damage from foreign object” as always so it doesnt matter what Pirelli has investigated about the vibrations.

    4. I never knew the software controls where and when the extra energy is allocated. I thought it was controlled by the driver. What’s next, will it control the steering as well? I don’t think I like that…

      1. @flyinglapct It is controlled by the driver, the driver controls the throttleinput. You have to bend the rules in this sport.

      2. @flyinglapct It is controlled by the drivers in as far as there the one using the throttle, However the software does control aspects of its use.

        For example because the hybrid boost produces instant torque its programmed not to come in until the throttle position is above a certain percentage. And because there limited to 33 seconds of boost per-lap the systems are programmed to stop giving power & to start harvesting at points so that they have enough energy to use on the next lap/s.

        Drivers can override the software but they then risk been down on power later on round the lap or on the next lap.

    5. To 60 per cent of them I said no already and the other 40 is still on the table.

      So let’s see. Mercedes don’t want him, Ferrari don’t want him and Red Bull don’t want him. That leaves 7 teams. My guess is he’s said no to Sauber, Toro Rosso, Haas and Williams based on their current performances. So he’s in talks with Renault, Force India and McLaren.

      1. 40% is a pretty specific number. I’d guess it would have to be 2 (or 4) teams still in contention for his services.

        Torro Rosso is for Red Bulls young talents. Alonso wouldn’t fit there and I think Helmut Marko wouldn’t even consider him. It doesn’t fit the philisophy.

        Recently Alonso also hinted at other categories outside F1 if he couldn’t secure a proper car. Maybe these offers are still open as well.

      2. This doesn’t really add up for me.

        60-40 means he has received 5 offers, he has turned down 3 and remains open for the other 2.

        McLaren has 9 rivals. It looks clear that none of the top 3 (Ferrari, Merc, RB) made an offer. First because they didn’t seem interested at any point and second because if they had made an offer Alonso would have signed already.

        That leaves just 6 teams: FI, Renault, Williams, TR, Haas and Sauber. It wouldn’t make any sense for TR to hire Alonso, and Sauber are not in a position to make an offer (they don’t have the money nor the performance). Assuming what Alonso says is true, I’d say the title of the article is wrong and Alonso is counting McLaren’s offer (he didn’t actually say anything about “rivals”). If that’s the case, my guess is that he has turned down offers from Williams, FI and Haas and is considering offers from Renault and McLaren.

    6. “I did have offers in June, in July, in August. (To) 60 per cent of them I said no already and the other 40 is still on the table.”

      In the least, using simple mathematics, it means 5 teams approaching Alonso & him denying 3 of them.
      Could be all 10 teams on the grid trying & Alonso saying ‘no’ to 6 of them…

      1. Or it’s the usual random percentage/numbers (like pushing 110% or Alonso making up 6 tenths per lap).

        Then again, I suppose pretty much every team would like to have a driver like Alonso.

        1. Yeah, only “would”, not “will”. after hearing the salary immediately ‘ won’t ‘.

    7. BRUTAL Ricciardo! Made Max look minuscule there. That’s some psychological smack.

      1. Max’ reply was: “How do you say half a second in Italian?”

    8. Ricciardo is savage AF, LOL!

    9. Fernando Alonso has 2018 offers from rival Formula 1 teams

      I don’t believe this for a second. With only 10 teams, how can he get 2018 offers? :P

      1. Multiple offers per team? What do you know ;)

        1. probably 6 teams with 365 offers for a 1-day contract.
          Just a creative way to stay below their corporate spending limit ;)

      2. Monisha has to be involved.

    10. Despite Pirelli’s assurances the teams are deeply concerned about the vibrations/standing waves that have been seen over this weekend not only because its something that nobody has seen before but also partly because there is still some distrust of Pirelli.
      It was initially thought it was been caused by the kerbs but it’s since been proved that its happening even when drivers aren’t on the kerbs & Pirelli have said they don’t know whats causing it.

      Seeing these standing waves in the sidewall isn’t too uncommon in certain circumstances, However nobody has ever seen them on the tread nor seen them as bad as has been seen this weekend.

      It may have caused Lance Stroll’s rear wing to break & there was also some things that fell off the Sauber’s, Other teams have found signs of damage to bodywork & there is concern about the suspension & rear drive train which isn’t really designed to cope with this type of stress. They beefed everything up after the Austra kerb problems last year but these vibrations are worse than that & putting a lot more stress through those components.

    11. This is not new, Firestone had the same problem on low profile race tires back in the 70’s
      High speed film showed the standing waves and in one shot the oil filler cap slowly unscrewed.
      A Goodyear mathematician called Purdy worked out the math and published a book in the 60’s.

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