Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, Baku City Circuit, 2018

Shorter DRS zones possible at some F1 tracks in 2019

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In the round-up: DRS zones could be shortened at some races in the 2019 F1 season as the overtaking aid is set to become more powerful next year.

What they say

The FIA’s head of single seater technical matters Nikolas Tombazis explained how the increased power of DRS could change how it is used next year:

On some circuits where overtaking is already considered satisfactory or easy enough the solution could be to decrease the DRS zones.

Whereas in a circuit like maybe Barcelona where overtaking is never easy I think having that extra power may just about make it a bit more possible.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Is simplifying F1’s engine formula vital to attract new manufacturers?

In an ideal world, it would make sense to have the absolute best and most expensive technology. But in an F1 world of extreme inequality, preferential treatments, potential to damage one’s brand through under-performance, and barriers of entry… it simply doesn’t make sense for a new manufacturer to come in.

Why would Porsche, Aston, or BMW come back if they have no chance of winning? Consequently, simplifying the engines is necessary.

I do think that now without Bernie Ecclestone, the sport will become much more profitable for everyone, which will attract more manufacturers.

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On this day in F1

  • McLaren junior Nick Heidfeld took the Formula 3000 championship lead from Juan Pablo Montoya by winning at Monaco today in 1998

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 26 comments on “Shorter DRS zones possible at some F1 tracks in 2019”

    1. Who is considering to boycott Monaco GP as they brought back grid girls?

      1. Gloria Stienem!

        1. Weren’t they the first race race (or one of) to experiment with grid guys a few years ago? I would say they deserve support for trying to please everyone rather than a boycott.

      2. ColdFly (@)
        23rd May 2018, 8:18

        In my country it’s not accepted to take pictures of children (except your own) as you are seen as a pervert.
        I felt really uncomfortable being caught watching the pre-race images ;)

      3. To the contrary. Massive respect to Monaco for this.

    2. COTD, sadly all wishful thinking, reality is different and the curse of Ecclestone can only be lifted by a herd of flying unicorns.

      1. Surely by 2021 it will be too late for other manufacturers to come in and challenge the existing ones, with or without MGU-H

    3. Interesting question raised around oil burning, I’m curious to see how this evolves, and whether it affects Ferrari.

      1. Just look at Barcelona, its already affecting them.

    4. Keke Rosberg in Monaco .. Might be the most excitement we see all weekend.

      Then grid girls/boys… Making a one off comeback. Good on Monaco and TAG, for sticking it to PC minority.

      Then there is Awesome Nico Rosberg last week FE now this week F1, next year Ferrari drive. How long is he on father leave? I cannot believe after that FE thing he doesnt have any racing blood running left. I would love to see him back. In a Ferrari, beating Seb 1 every few seasons. Maybe winning a title and then retire for good.

      1. Im sorry but Rosberg looked supremely OUT OF SHAPE in Berlin and made a handful of that FE car.

        He nicked a title and will never ever back it up, why cant people understand that. He simply doesnt have it in him.

        1. He still beat lewis hamilton in a 2 car championship to get that world title.

          1. With Lewis’s reliability that was quite clearly a 1 car championship and even then he scraped it. He would never beat Seb across a season unless lightening struck twice.

            1. I think he would have beaten Seb far more easily. We all saw Vettel break when he was beaten a couple of times by Daniel. And then last year he also did not manage the pressure and threw away the title fight with big mistakes.

    5. Seriously, Fleet Street is talking about grid girls again? I guarantee that, aside from the fact that the grid in Monaco is such a circus that no one can see anything anyway, no one will notice them this weekend in the same way no one notices the grid kids every other week.

    6. ColdFly (@)
      23rd May 2018, 9:58

      COTD: It’s not Porsche, Aston Martin, BMW who want the simpler/cheaper PU; it is the Cosworth’s of this world.
      Especially now that road cars start using MGU-H (e.g. Audi e-turbo) it is them who want to invest in – showcase – such advanced technologies.

      1. Aston Martin have specifically said they want to come to F1 only if the engine formula is simplified.

        Current manufacturers can go on about how they need F1 to be road relevant – show me how any models of car from Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes, or Renault, have this technology. Show me where the specific details of the MGU-H are used in any marketing or promotional materials.

        Audi’s e-Turbo system is totally different from an MGU-H – they use a separate electrically driven supercharger at low revs to give additional low-down torque while the larger conventional turbocharger gets up to pressure. It doesn’t harvest power, and it doesn’t directly spin up the compressor in the way the MGU-H does. Audi (and the rest of the LMP1-H manufacturers) had the option under the LMP1-H rules to run an MGU-H but tellingly, nobody in the WEC bothered because the technology was too complicated, too expensive to develop, and only had very minimal road car applications.

        Internal combustion engines are effectively dead. The big investment is happening in fully electric technology. Hybrid tech merely adds a few years of life, but it’s a dead end in terms of long term applications. It doesn’t transfer across to fully electric cars. It’s just another area where manufacturers in F1 are trying to out-develop each other to gain a competitive advantage.

        1. @mazdachris I think people often misinterpret what the road relevance argument actually means.

          It’s not so much that there taking components such as the MGU-H off an F1 car & putting it on a road car, It’s more about learning things like a new manufacturing process, A new way of installing something, New seals, New oil’s, Fuels etc… & then via testing them under the harshest conditions & improving them under those conditions then take what they learn & implementing it on road cars.

          This article goes into some of this as well as some of the other benefits:

          I know that this is irrelevant & unimportant to a lot of fans, But for manufacturer’s & to an extent the motor industry as a whole it’s pretty clear that F1 been ‘road relevant’ to some degree is very important.

          1. @stefmeister Good article and this is generally how I have always thought of the road relevancy concept between F1 and commercial cars.

            @mazdachris I’m sure you’re right that the ICE is on a dead end street, but I think it is a long street and is going to be quite a while yet that we will still need the practicality of the ICE for many applications. It will be useful for a long time yet in being on board vehicles to keep batteries topped up in hybrid vehicles, because electric vehicles and their toxic batteries have a long way to go yet before they can replace the practicality and the infrastructure of ICE based vehicles. Right now a popular component in batteries is cobalt, and so there are starting to be supply issues in terms of mining that, as one example of how electric is not without it’s issues too and not without it’s own pollution.

            1. @stefmeister As Robbie says, god article. And I understand that side of things. But I’m talking specifically about the MGU-H as a piece of technoogy – it doesn’t have any broader applicability and won’t end up, even in a reduced capacity, on road cars. Not ‘normal’ ones at any rate. My gripe is that F1 is too prescriptive to be a good test bed for developing technologies. There’s very little to differentiate the systems from one manufacturer to the next, because the rules mandate a very specific type of system. Development in F1 has long since stopped being about creating new technology and innovating, rather it’s about chasing the minutiae of ever-decreasing incremental improvements. This is why it’s such a turnoff for manufacturers outside of the sport – They likely already have a good understanding of the technology underpinning the MGU-H but it would take an enormous amount of development to reach the level of development maturity of the existing manufacturers. And there’s ultimately no benefit to doing so when they’re unlikely to learn anything in the process which would have any application outside of F1 itself. The presence of the MGU-H creates a huge barrier to entry – no new manufacturers can realisitcally hope to be in any way competitive, and the current manufacturers are surely at this point no longer learning anything useful by continuing to develop the technology ad infinitum.

              @robbie I agree there are lots of issues facing large-scale electrification. The infrastructure, the use of rare/polluting materials, the risk of thermal runaway in the event of an accident (this one terrifies me, personally), and that’s before you even factor in autonomous vehicles and the way they are set to fundamentally change the very concept of motoring over the next century. But for all that, the writing is plainly on the wall; while ICEs will continue to be on the roads for the forseeable future, the diminishing returns in ever-optimising the technology will ultimately cease being worth the investment. There is surely a bell curve there, where you measure the cost of investment agains the amount of money which can be made from the product, and I’d suggest we’re already past ‘peak investment’ and getting to a point where ‘new technologies’ for ICEs is delivering little value against the cost of investment.

              Look at it another way. Perhaps you can spend 100 million on designing a new type of combustion chamber which increases the efficiency of your petrol engine by 5% (which would be a pretty mega gain at this point). Probably worth the investment. But how many hundreds of millions would you then need to spend chasing another 5% increase in efficiency? The cost of development rises exponentially as the technology is optimised. And keep in mind that this technology has a shelf life – at some point it’s all being binned off, and at that point nothing you learned by developing combustion chambers or turbochargers or ignition systems is going to be worth anything. At some point you just stop. But that’s the big difference between road cars and F1 – in F1, you *never stop developing* because that 0.5% improvement you find might be enough to win you a race; and if you don’t do it then someone else will. At some point you realise that there are other ways you can make your road cars better which will be applicable once the oil burning dinosaurs go extinct. New manufacturing methods which make car bodies stronger and lighter. New aerodynamic principles which reduce drag.

              I think we’re close to the point where car manufacturers say “That’s good enough now” and stop investing serious amounts into developing petrol engines. I think the MGU-H is representative of that moment – it’s a technological step too far; not worth the massive investment to continue refining. I think the lack of interest in the technology outside of F1, and the lack of manufacturers wanting to commit to entering the sport while it remains, is testament to that fact.

        2. I get what you are saying there @mazdachris, and I guess we can’t count that Mercedes One car as being a road going car using the MGU-H.

          But from what I have seen it is exactly this kind of technology that will be used more and more to increase efficiency of combustion engines – for top range private cars, but also importantly for trucks and busses (long range transport) where electric solutions just are not viable. It will be improving efficiency long before hydrogen cars are viable.

    7. @keithcollantine, @dieterrencken – is there an actual detail on what is going to be changed and what the regulations will entail for the changes to the front and rear wings.

      I don’t recall anything more informative than the rear wing will be wider and deeper to make DRS even more effective, and the front narrower to prevent outwash. Other than that there seems to be a lot of bland statements like DRS Zones might be shorter.

      I certainly appreciate the effort they are making to enable cars to race closer but without the fine detail, I’m not sure we’re actually going to reach that goal. It’s a bit like “if we outsource our call centre, we’ll save huge amounts of money” – sounds perfectly rational but the reality ends up being most companies that do, don’t save much at all.

      If the detailed regulations are yet to be finalised, what pressures is this going to place on the low budget teams?

      1. How would I know, of course, but I’d be surprised if the teams have not already been given the fine details along with the proposals. ‘We’ don’t need to know those details in order for the teams to proceed accordingly.

    8. @flatsix, “The tweak behind Ferrari’s Spanish slump?” might be a good read for you. But then you don’t believe what Vettel said so why believe Ferrari.

      To be honest the fact that Raikkonen was able to go 25 laps on those tyes vs only 17 for Vettel would indicate the problem lies mostly elsewhere, but still.

    Comments are closed.