Lando Norris, McLaren, Circuit de Catalunya, 2020

Norris became less “shy” about car feedback during first season

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In the round-up: Lando Norris says he became more confident about giving feedback to his McLaren engineers during his first season of F1.

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What they say

[smr2020test]Norris was asked about the difficulty of adjusting to Formula 1 after racing in single-specification championships like Formula 2 and Formula 3.

It is a very big change. On a day-to-day weekend in F2 and F3 you’re just changing a few things. You’re very limited in what you can change: roll bars and wing angles and so on.

When you get to F1 it’s a very different story. Every weekend there’s normally a reiteration of some part or another which will affect certain things.

So we always need to keep in mind how things are going to develop into the future and that affects quite often how one weekend will go. You’ll have one focus set on a certain thing at one race track, you get to the next one and it’ll be the complete opposite because you’ve got a new part or a new rear wing or something like that. And it is quite different because a lot of the stuff I say and Carlos says leads everyone in a direction and if we say we’re complaining or some things and therefore it leads the aerodynamicists and engineers down a certain path and they start looking at things to improve that area and then you get to the next track and maybe it’ll change and it’ll be the opposite.

So you have to be quite Norris: careful we’re not saying ‘right,all I need on the car for next year is X’ but look at the bigger picture and think ‘if we have this or that, the whole package will improve’ rather than one specific thing.

I got much better at that last year. Especially at the beginning I was shy, let’s say, to say anything too much because I didn’t want to lead anyone in the wrong direction and say things which maybe weren’t necessarily true. But as I went through the season, especially towards the end I was more confident in saying ‘this is what I need and this is what I want, and next year if I have this or that I can do a better job’.

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Comment of the day

Manchester City’s ban for overspending shows the difficulty of implementing spending limits like F1’s budget cap in sports, says Dave:

Manchester City claim to have done nothing wrong, and to have been unfairly discriminated against.

Not only is their case in that respect not easily dismissed, but they have promised to take it much further than Court of Arbitration for Sport, who are by no means the ultimate arbiter.

Unless UEFA negotiate a deal, City will get the punishment suspended until the case is complete, and then spin out the case for a decade or more.

It’s a bit soon to say what this demonstrates, if anything, about the ability of organisers to regulate. But it isn’t encouraging.

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On this day in F1

  • Born on this day in 1952: Stephen South, who failed to qualify in his only appearance in F1 as a substitute for Alain Prost at the 1980 United States Grand Prix West at Long Beach

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  • 22 comments on “Norris became less “shy” about car feedback during first season”

    1. Regarding hybrid bans and swing towards electric. The bans are based on solid science and the issues will persist regardless of technology advancements. Electric batteries aren’t the only way forward and hydrogen powered vehicles have a real chance of becoming the norm. Instead of jumping on one of the future technology trains (hydrogen powered F1 makes so much sense), F1 management is once again showing they are out of touch with the direction the motor industry is heading. Instead of adjusting they seem to be doubling down on dated technology, much like they did before the hybrid era. The management might have changed but it’s becoming more and more obvious that F1 is once again well off the pace when it comes to breaking edge energy storage and propulsion technology.

      1. F1 management is once again showing they are out of touch with the direction the motor industry is heading. Instead of adjusting they seem to be doubling down on dated technology, much like they did before the hybrid era.

        I’d like to make a comparison between raod car engines and air
        travel. When Jet engines revolutionized air travel turboprops did not completely die out. This is because in some circumstances they are more efficient and cheaper to run than jets.

        Now I’m in no way saying the future is hybrid only, but as a stepping stone to an ultimately electric/hydrogen future, petrol/diesel hybrids are the only sensible option in the near term. Moving the majority of us to hybrids while the technology improves and the necessary infrastructure is built to replace filling stations would be a massive step in the right direction on this issue.

        1. @geemac the reason for the ban is that the carbon foot print of hybrids is up to 3x that of a petrol/diesel only car. Having two engines means each engine has to carry the weight of the other, they are heavier and more complex than pure electric or pure ice. Improved technology won’t solve any of these issues. There’s really no point in further developing an engine concept that is and airways will be far more carbon intensive, heavier and more complex than pure ice or electric. Hybrids had their place as bridging technology and they did well, but they were never going to be relevant for long and as such, their time is very quickly coming to an end. Its time for F1 to move with the times.

      2. Hydrogen bombs on Grosjeans hands? Do you know a 5kg hydrogen tank weighs 90kg? Hybrids are dumb, f1 is dumb to be hybrid but electrics aren’t feasible for the road, the infrastructure for electric cars is incompatible with EU cities.

    2. Hydrogen is not really a fuel. It is an energy storage concept, and a difficult one to deal with at best.
      You use energy (and lots of it) to make/separate the H2 from where-ever it starts, clean, dry and compress it.
      Then you burn it to return it to …. energy. Whether it is fuel cells or IC engines, the cycle is the same.
      Better to take the initial electrical energy, store it in batteries and use it directly. That will return around 80+% while an H2 cycle will be 40% (overall) at best and you get burdened with the handling challenges.
      Shell, Mercedes, Ford, Ballard and others have all tried to go this way. After 20+ years of development, we are no closer to an H2 economy. A (nice) pipe dream, let it go.

      1. You right to say that H2 is an energy storage concept. However, the concept of H2 is not to burn it, it is used in a fuel cell to generate electricity via chemical reaction.

        H2 is hard to handle, but it is very similar to LNG in that respect. Over the last 20 odd years, LNG consumption has increased significantly (in 2000, 5 countries were LNG buyers, now it stands approx 25 major buyers). Due to the LNG boom, the technology of storing, transporting and distributing the stuff has become more “mainstream” (relatively of course).

        The big oil players are betting on Hydrogen. For now, hydrogen is largely derived from CH4 (methane), but there are plans in place to generate Hydrogen from water (this is another story), powered by solar farms. H2 didnt work in the past due to cost of distribution, it is still high, but it is becoming more viable.

        Battery electric is being shoved down our throats, its because certain people (see Non Profit Industrial Complex) are heavily invested in it. Everybody completely glosses over the manufacturing process of these batteries, which is once again, driven by a biased media. Am I saying we should continue burning diesel forever? No, far from it, the point is that we have competing technologies out there, and it should allowed to take its natural course, let the public decide what the best technology is. The automobile didnt replace horse because we ran out of horses, its because the automobile was better.

        The ICE is getting better and more efficient, it may still have a future, in the sense that people (vast majorities who aren’t technical, or care) may just want a vehicle that is hassle free, cheap and cheerful. Cars like a Toyota Yaris may still live on for generations, because it sips fuel and never breaks. I dont live in the UK, but if they want to ban petrol cars by 2035 (15 years away), Boris and co should be rolling out plans to progressively implementing a charging infrastructure, planning upgrades to the power grid etc. Is that happening?

        1. @jaymenon10 – insightful comment, thank you.

          The automobile didnt replace horse because we ran out of horses, its because the automobile was better.


        2. GtisBetter (@)
          19th February 2020, 6:19

          Battery electric is being shoved down our throats, its because certain people (see Non Profit Industrial Complex) are heavily invested in it. Everybody completely glosses over the manufacturing process of these batteries, which is once again, driven by a biased media.

          Just stop and stick with the facts and don’t copy some fringe conspiracy narrative. There are good reasons for electric power, plenty of people are aware of the potential battery disposal problem and are working on a solution and there is plenty of non-biased media who report it like it is.

          1. Please define fringe.

            The observation is correct about media, and the push toward electric power is fiscally oriented, whilst the eco friendly narrative is convenient but not accurate.

            1. You Sir/Madam (@Mog)….deserve a beverage of your fancy! Well put!

          2. Well I’m copying some fringe conspiracy narrative. Im not a conspiracy theorist, its based on what I’ve read on various platforms, based on what I see being presented to me by the mainstream media (the stuff you usually see). I am a reader of the Economist, a publication I dont consider as mainstream, they present very balanced arguments for all topics, how many of your usual media outlets do that?

        3. @jaymenon10, in noting that “The big oil players are betting on Hydrogen”, there is the irony that you criticise the battery industry for those being invested in it, but avoid the criticism of how much those same oil industry companies have invested in wanting to maintain something akin to the current status quo – and that sector has far, far more invested than the battery industry by a long way.

          For them, large scale adoption of hydrogen means they are likely to end up with far fewer stranded or unusable assets than they will if there is a large scale switch to battery operated vehicles. Even the humble petrol station is an example of that – with a battery electric vehicle, the oil sector can’t compete with the national electricity grid as most people can, and probably will, recharge their batteries at home or on street side charging points, leaving you with a useless asset that is probably more of a liability (given the problems of then trying to remediate a site heavily contaminated with hydrocarbons) and losing an avenue for the sale of their products.

          By comparison, if there is a large scale switch to hydrogen, you don’t have that competition on energy supply – people have to keep coming back to that same filling station, which can be retooled to hydrogen, ensuring that asset still has value and maintaining that avenue for selling your own product (since people are unlikely to refuel using hydrogen when back at time).

          As an aside, I am not sure that the LNG boom, as you put it, actually helps that much in terms of storing and transporting hydrogen. With LNG, you are either dealing with a low temperature liquid product or a low pressure gas product – generally, though, with hydrogen the preference seems to be to store it in its gaseous form under high pressure, so it is debatable whether there really is as much transfer of knowledge from one sector to the other as you suggest there might be.

      2. I understand that H2 is (currently) inefficient to produce. But that shouldn’t stop us using it (and finding more efficient ways to produce it).
        The alternatives aren’t that stellar either. Petrol takes millions of years to form plus some elaborated refining. Nor is electricity free, and we need to covert sunlight or kinetic energy into it. And then how do we get it to a car? We can either use an inefficient battery as energy storage, or we have to settle for a bumper car or scalextric solution.
        And peddling a bicycle isn’t stellar either. The human body is quiet efficient in absorbing energy, but not so much in transforming it into motion.
        Maybe sail cars is the ideal option; use the wind as a ‘propellant’. And who knows we can find a way to use solar sails in the future. Although, that means no races on cloudy days.

        1. *quite efficient

    3. Honestly, did the proof reader for this site get the sack?
      I mean, some mistakes due to the sheer speed of the turn around is to be expected, but the last couple of days articles have barely made sense.

      Take a few people’s subscriptions, and pay for Grammarly pro.

    4. Cotd is laughable. ‘Nothing wrong’, ‘unfairly discriminated against’! They manifestly breached rules that THEY SIGNED UP TO AND THAT EVERYONE ELSE IS SUBJECT TO. (I don’t support a football team).

      1. Paul Duggan, you seem to have misread what they were saying – when they make reference to phrases such as “nothing wrong” and “unfairly discriminated against”, they are quoting from the statement that Man City released when they confirmed they intended to appeal against the charges.

        Why are you criticising that poster for correctly stating that Man City has disputed the charges, before they then quoted from the statement made by that club that it believes that it has done nothing wrong and intends to launch an appeal?

        1. It’s the ‘not easily dismissed’ bit (that perhaps I should have quoted too). It’s very easy to dismiss the claim that they have ‘done nothing wrong’. The evidence is all there in their own internal comms, whose veracity they have not disputed. Instead they just point out that they were obtained illegally! MC’s defence is going nowhere.

          1. yes, I think COTD glossed over that a bit. it seems possible that City’s defence will be easily dismissed, though given the history of corruption in football, I imagine their vast reserves of money will do the talking and @dave will be correct.

            we should compare this case to what’s happening to Saracens in the rugby premiership – they breached the rules and have taken a severe penalty. there seems to have been little argument about whether or not they broke the rules (their defence was quickly shouted down and abandoned, as far as I can work out), so it’s a little different to Manchester City. still, it shows what could happen if a team broke such a rule in F1 – but again the history of corruption and underhand deals suggests that if, for example, ferrari breached the spending rules, it would all get swept under a very large rug and there’d be no satisfactory ending to the story. perhaps i should be less pessimistic!

    5. Whilst I appreciate that fully electric technology is making rapid advances, I still feel that there are a huge number of challenges that will need to be solved before ICE and Hybrid in particular can be phased out or ignored completely.

      Certainly for city/urban dwellers its a no brainer – I’d use electric myself if they weren’t so darn expensive and hard to get.

      However for those in rural areas of places like Australia, US etc range (and charging infrastructure) is a huge factor that will need to be addressed before EV can become “mandatory”. That and cost.

      Unfortunately throughout human history, we have shown time and time again that the downside of new technology and innovation is not considered/planned for anywhere near as thoroughly as it should be and to be honest, I really don’t see that changing for this particular exercise. As much a people say “yes we know disposal of batteries will be an issue and we’re planning a solution for that” there is no “value” in terms of profit in that so it will fall by the wayside – it always does.

      Fortunately I’ll be long gone before these problems become massively unsustainable which is exactly the same argument that the corporations pushing EV Vehicles will be using.

    6. Of course f1 is going to be heavily biased towards hybrids. That is their marketing scheme and that is what they want to sell. It is like asking someone who sells horses whether cars will take over.

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