Zandvoort, 2018

Zandvoort architects not withholding Dutch GP track data from F1 teams

2020 Dutch Grand Prix

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The specifications of the revised Zandvoort circuit will not be withheld from teams in an effort to create more unpredictability when the championship returns to the track this year.

[smr2020test]Reports last month claimed the architects behind the redevelopment of the circuit, which will hold the 2020 Dutch Grand Prix, intended to keep detailed information about the changes away from teams in the hope it would ‘spice up the show’. Doing so could create an opportunity for a team to gain an advantage if it acquired extra data before its rivals.

But Jarno Zaffelli, owner of architects Dromo who are carrying out the work, told RaceFans there was no plan to hold any data back. Teams already have preliminary information on the intended changes to the track, he explained, and will receive highly detailed measurements once the building work is finished.

“We would like to provide them data that, as we provide every time, are reliable,” said Zaffelli. “If we don’t provide reliable data, there’s no point.

“At this moment they have the geometries already agreed with the FIA. But there is always a tolerance in these geometries. That’s why the homologation is coming once the track is built.

“So once [it is] built, because the Formula 1 teams nowadays are using simulators that are really sophisticated, we will deliver data that are millimetres precise with a grade that is one centimetre of grade or less. So the information accuracy and density will be massive. But this is not possible to deliver before [the track is] built.”

Once construction is complete, the track should re-open at the end of this month or early in March, said Zaffelli. But this will have a knock-on effect for the teams when it comes to building their simulations of the track.

“The simulation packages will be ready more near to the event because you need the time to just finish the building, do the recordings, compare all the data. And then they will not have much time to do these kind of simulations as they have normally in other race tracks.”

Among the most drastic changes to the track is the construction of two banked corners at the Hugenholzbocht and Arie Luyendijk Bocht. The Dutch Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on May 3rd.

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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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19 comments on “Zandvoort architects not withholding Dutch GP track data from F1 teams”

  1. Strange I heard Jan Lammers saying that teams wouldn’t get the details of the track untill the weekend during a interview. So drivers should come in april during otherraces to experience the updated tracks (OR that drivers would be Incognito during those races)
    So this news is 180 degrees on what i heard. the interview is still on youtube but i am on my worklocation so no youtube for me to post it.

    1. Probably not exactly what Lammers said, I think. Two weeks ago: (in Dutch). Jan comments that the teams will already have their simulations, but “only on the Friday after the first practice session do you know if you can throw away all the data of your simulation”.

      1. He suggest that friday pratice the teams are right OR can throw their data away. So the normal data they got like everyone but i think he is talking about the last data when the final layer is done. Subtitles are aviable so everyone can check themselfs.

        So it’s how we interpreted what he says.

  2. antony obrien
    6th February 2020, 11:26

    Yeh excellent, lets reduce any chance from the spectacle. We wouldn’t want the main protagonists, that is the data engineers, to be stressed now do we.

    1. @ anthony obrien, probably more to do with insurance and other such boring stuff. If someone got hurt and the teams argued they weren’t responsible because they didn’t know what the track would be like, then yeah, I think F1 and promoter are just playing responsible/safe

    2. Would the bigger teams really be hurt all that much, or might it actually work to their advantage in that situation? Those major teams are the teams who also have the most advanced data collection and processing capabilities – which might actually increase the gap to the midfield, rather than reducing it.

  3. While I’m all for unpredictability (ban simulators and let’s see who can actually tune their car the best during the practice sessions), withholding track information would be stupid. Imagine if we get another Indy 2005 where the Pirellis fail at the banked corner(s) simply because the teams did not know how to prepare correctly?

    1. antony obrien
      6th February 2020, 13:16

      Yeh tricky one to solve that. Hmm could Pirelli Maybe they could do an independent test. Oh yeh that’s it.

    2. Well technically indy 2005 was a tire issue. Not a car issue. So not giving data to teams but giving data to pirelli could still prevent such tire issues at least. Car issues could still be there. For example if a team gets their setup wrong their car could bottom out in the new fast banked curve which could create a big wreck.

      1. @socksolid Indy 2005 was a tire issue, However there was a LOT of suggestion at the time that the characteristics of the Toyota & setups they were running were a factor which was why Toyota were the only team to suffer failure’s (Ralf had the crash in T13 & Zonta had a tire fail on the infield). Hence why Toyota opted to put about 4 laps of fuel in Trulli’s car for qualifying, Go for pole knowing they could never run the full race & were unlikely to start.

        In this case they could just give the data to Pirelli but there isn’t any real benefit in giving the data just to Pirelli given how Pirelli already have the compounds locked & don’t have any real room in the regulations to make changes just for one circuit. Teams on the other hand can adapt there cars & setups for the characteristics of a circuit & that will be a bigger benefit to Pirelli then them simply been given the data themselves.

        In the past when Bridgsetone, Michelin, Good Year etc.. were designing compounds specific to each circuit then yes giving the data only to the tire supplier would have been all that was really needed. But now where the tire supplier is only able to design 5 dry compounds for the entire season where they can’t design a tire specific to one circuit or expected temperature, Giving the data only to them is meaningless.

        1. @gt-racer, I suspect that with the information Pirelli could enforce a minimum tyre pressure that would prevent failure.
          On the topic of banked corners I am hoping that they have been designed so as to create multiple racing lines and creating passing opportunities.

          1. @hohum

            On the topic of banked corners I am hoping that they have been designed so as to create multiple racing lines and creating passing opportunities.

            My understanding is that the only corner that has had banking added to it is the final one & the purpose of adding banking was purely to allow them to run through it with DRS open as it was felt that with the corner as it was they couldn’t have activated DRS until after it which they felt would mean the zone would be too short.

            I don’t think the addition of banking will allow for multiple lines or side by side running because it’s still going to be very narrow & likely a single line corner, Especially given how offline is likely going to be super dusty due to the sand which is something that’s always been an issue at Zandvoort. I also don’t think the corner before it is going to allow cars to be close enough going into the banking to really do anything anyway.

            Others corners that have a bit of banking were corners that were already banked (Tarzan for instance) & while some have now been made a bit wider I doubt even that will make these corners any better from a racing perspective.

            They have released a simulated lap here.

          2. @gt-racer, thanks, disappointing though.

          3. Pirelli was asked before the decided to bank those turns and Pirelli said maybe a slight increase of tyre pressure they don’t expect trouble. Also the banked tunr is really short compard with Indy 2005 so tyres wouldn’t get pressed very hard.

  4. Doesn’t really matter if Coronavirus spreads like wildfire all over Europe and racing is called off.
    Possible, although deemed an unlikely scenario at this stage. Let’s see what next week brings.

  5. once they say this, once they say that – pretty pathetic support as for the highest formula series in the world…

  6. The headline and first sentence are confusing me no end. Is the story that they wanted to withhold track but they are now not going to?

    1. I thought the same at first! I read it that they were actually giving the data out to make the race more unpredictable, which made no sense at all.

  7. To be honest I don’t think withholding any data would have done anything in terms of making things less predictable (For the race) anyway. Yes they would be going into FP1 blind but by the end of FP1 they will have all the data they need & would be running things in the simulator overnight & therefore be well prepared going into Saturday.

    Additionally withholding data may also actually just benefit the top teams who tend to be able to gather data faster & have better sim tools which would see them able to get on top of things far sooner than the smaller teams who don’t have the same tools available.

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