‘Quali mode’ ban “won’t be too difficult” to adapt to – Renault

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In the round-up: Renault’s engine technical director Remi Taffin says adjusting to the ban on ‘quali modes’ won’t be too great a challenge for them.

What they say

The ban on ‘quali modes’, which was originally due to come in force this weekend, has been postponed to the following round at Monza.

On paper it won’t be too difficult. We will adjust the ratio between qualifying and the race.

The rules, so far, said we could run modes differently between qualifying and the race and, as always, we try to optimise the rules. Now the FIA has given us a new directive to be applied from Monza onwards, so we’ll try to adapt, re-optimising and validating the area where we need.

It’s the same work, just a different output. We’ll have less power in qualifying, and more power in the race, so it’s a new trade-off. We understand the concern of the FIA and we will work alongside them to achieve their request.

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  • 33 comments on “‘Quali mode’ ban “won’t be too difficult” to adapt to – Renault”

    1. MB (@muralibhats)
      26th August 2020, 0:44

      Quali mode never worked for us anyways..

      1. It’ll be interesting to see how much impact this has on laptime. We might not see quicker times versus 2019.

        1. @tomcat173 I don’t think it’s going to have an impact on the ultimate lap time as there are many things, more than just one, that affects them versus previous seasons. Out of the remaining venues post-Spa, only Monza, Sochi, Bahrain, and Abu Dhabi have recent references for lap time-comparison. Mugello and Algarve, of course, only have the past testing times as references, but those times will definitely get beaten under dry-weather conditions as will the past outright track records in Nurburgring, Imola, and Istanbul thanks to how much faster overall the modern cars are compared to the cars of distant past. At this point, I wouldn’t call it a given that Monza’s (2018), Sochi’s (2018), Bahrain’s (2019), and Abu Dhabi’s (2019) outright records aren’t going to get beaten ‘only’ because of this.

    2. I am not entirely sure about the exact effect of the qually ban, does it mean

      that there is only one mode allowed for all races and qualifying, or;

      The team must choose 1 of multiple modes for both the race and qualifying,

      or; certain modes such as “wet”, “fuel saving”, “overheating reduction” will be allowed after x laps or as directed by race director.

      For most teams the 2 main problems for using what was qually mode for the race would be 1; fuel economy. and 2; heat buildup. I’m sure the drivers could manage these problems especially if they have some form of “dashboard” information to assist. Ferrari of course may not need to change anything since they claim the FIA nobbled their high-power mode, and this I suspect is the whole point of the exercise.

      1. The same engine mode must be used, by all teams running that engine, from the start of qualifying to the end of the race.
        Different modes can be used for in and out laps, and any lap 20% slower than race speed, i.e. under safety car.
        ICE parameters can change with a lap, but the pattern has to be the same for every lap.
        Allowances will be made for the age of an engine, and teams will be allowed to change modes for reliability reasons if they detect a problem. The FIA must be informed without delay.

        Info from Autosport article – F1 engine mode clampdown targets reliability fix claims

        1. Thanks @w-k, I suspect there will be a lot of problems defining legality of modes run and a lot of finger pointing from some teams.

          1. Note that the reliability mode cannot be changed back to a more high performance mode afterwards either, it is thus really a ‘safe the PU’ only. (info from last week, AMuS)

            1. Teams will be allowed to change modes for reliability reasons if they detect a problem. The FIA must be informed without delay.

              And this is the bit that will cause problems. As it was when there were team radio restrictions a few years ago, this is open to interpretation.

              If the FIA are going to do this, they need to do it properly and say no exceptions for reliability. If you’ve got it wrong and the car snuffs it, too bad. Otherwise, there’s nothing to stop engines from being run in a high mode, team ‘spots’ a problem, and changing modes to a slower one. Even if they’re not allowed to change back afterwards, what happens if the advantage is already gained?

        2. The same engine mode must be used, by all teams running that engine, from the start of qualifying to the end of the race.

          I don’t see how this will work. For example, three teams use Mercedes engines – who gets to decide which mode will be run? Surely the teams should be able to choose whichever mode they want (even between different drivers in the same team)?

        3. @w-k Helmut Marko said it would affect in and out laps too, so either he or Autosport got this wrong.

          1. I’ve seen multiple reports that in/out, parade laps, etc and running under SC or VSC are exempt, so teams can “turn the engine down” for those.

            1. You do not turn the engine down for in and out laps.
              That’s where you need the most power.

            2. In/out lap in this instance probably mean during qualifying, not during race when, yes, you don’t want to turn anything down.

    3. I can see this is going to end up an anti-climax. Most likely Merc will just even out the power delivery which will still leave them with the most powerful PU and as well proven the most reliable. With all of the PU manufacturers being able to work around the ban probably in a similar way but not being able to match the current Merc, overall change…zero.

      1. quite likely.

      2. Mostly agree, except for Ferrari who stand to gain from others not having a quali mode @hohum and@johnrkh, which would be an, eh, interesting, consequence of the investigation of their PU during the winter.

        1. But they would only win a bit during quali, but lose a bit during the race as per Renault’s claim of averaging out the modes.

          1. Yep, true, and given how far back they are with PU and car, I doubt it will be a bigger worry for McLaren, RP, and Renault @coldfly

      3. @johnrkh – I don’t think it’ll make any difference to the running order but it’ll separate out the drivers a bit. Instead of just driving 100% but turning the engine down, they’ll have to protect the engine themselves. It adds a bit of skill back into it which was taken away previously.

        1. @petebaldwin I imagine drivers will be coached just like the tires not to “strain the engine” by the pit wall looking at all the sensors.

          The positive I can see is that they have excess power available than maybe the intended fuel or engine use allows. It would be a good if this is more left to driver skills and brains and less to pit wall coaching.

    4. So do you think a boost button will be legal? It would be part of the standard mode in both quali and race and it would be under driver control.

      1. Sounds reasonable, alternatively they could increase resistance on the accelerator pedal at 95% power, the driver could push beyond for 5% extra power as required.

        1. @hohum Yeah just like they made camber change ‘steering’ by connecting it to the same control, Mercedes might just connect the boost buttong to the gas pedal in the same way and get it Ok’ed.

    5. Further thought; Could we end up with modes installed for every F1 track + hot-cold-wet sub modes, they have the data to do it.
      @tvr350, @bosyber,@coldfly,@johnrkh,@w-k .

      1. I think they have that already. @hohum
        The modes are so ‘smart’ that it knows where the car is on track and gives the right amount, and mix, of power.
        They cannot use GPS, thus the mode determines from the accelerator input where the car is on track.
        It wasn’t in jest when I compared current F1 programmers to those at VW (and all the others).

      2. I’m not entirely sure whether the mode is chosen by the team or the engine manufacturer – if it’s the latter then that will surely compromise customer teams

        1. The engine manufacturer has to make the same modes available to customer teams (thus identical hard- and software related to the PU).
          But customer teams can opt for different modes (software); e.g. when they use different fuels.

          The bit which is a bit less clear (to me) is that teams have to ask the PU manufacturer if they can run certain modes, and for how long. Not sure how FIA guarantees a level playing field there.

    6. McLaren’s decision for its road cars to go all-electric from 2030 shows the way we are headed.

      I know the subject has reared its head many times on RaceFans but we are likely to see F1 and Formula E converge, officially or otherwise, at some point in the next 10 years.

      1. @sonnycrockett I disagree.

        Mike Flewitt, McLaren CEO says “We will be developing engines for the next ten years, selling for the next 15 years, but we expect a lot of the world to be aligning around the 2035 date [for a full shift to electric cars]. “

        So first of all he is not talking full electric from 2030. And secondly he is speaking of their business model, not F1’s. And what he expects does not make it so.

        I’m not against electric but I belief it has it’s downsides and is not near ready for a ‘full shift,’ and I’m speaking of domestic cars. Exotic cars are a different world and they don’t go all that far on a tank of gas anyway, but the impracticality for most people of the low range of electric vehicles as just one of the negatives means that imho we have many more years of hybrid technology ahead of us yet, and I believe the same for F1.

        We know that F1 will be looking at a different pu for 2025 onwards, and it will likely be another hybrid although perhaps less complicated than this current one. The thought of F1 bringing on this new pu in 2025 and then scrapping it and merging with FE in only 5 more years after that seems highly unlikely to me. I can see F1 getting off of burning fossil fuels and rather burning synthetic fuels in their hybrid cars well before they merge with FE.

        1. @sonnycrockett @robbie

          McLaren indeed has more to do with F1 than any road cars. Road car sales are expected to be in the 1m per year full electric in 2025. That is the boat / market share you see big Oems targeting for. That is 1m out of >35m per year world sales though. Only after this 1m grows (and hopefully doubles year over year) you will see drivetrain cost of full electric become realistic for normal consumers. It currently is still way to high but it is partly a chicken-egg problem.

          So indeed before all this we will see a lot more hybrid and engine. So F1 with its hybrid + engine is way more in check with what the real majority of cars on the road will look like for the next 10 years.

      2. @sonnycrockett Theoretically, but the way FE is tarnishing motor racing’s reputation I think this will create a divide that will almost be impossible to bridge. As in F1 would be forced to keep petrol even if they would want to switch to all electric, just not to be associated with FE.

        1. FE has the F1 rejects, so it’s just not going to be the same “level” of racing.

    7. Or more power in QLF and less in the race. Less power more, or less and more power in race-trim?

    Comments are closed.