Technical Adjustable ride height - legal or illegal?

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
This issue is still very curious.

Horner still categorically denies any kind of adjustable ride height system exists on the RB6:
"The car that we will take to China will be exactly the same mechanically as it was in the first three races. It has absolutely no impact on the specification of our car," Horner told AUTOSPORT.
[ ... ]
"Obviously the FIA has felt the necessity to clarify, and I think they've done exactly the right and the responsible thing, as it avoids a development rush in this area that inevitably wouldn't be cheap. It's a sensible ruling. It inevitably saves teams spending a huge amount of money on R&D to create such systems and obviously if anybody does run one, it would be in clear breach of the technical regulations. We're more than happy with the FIA's verdict, which we fully support."
So just how are Red Bull managing to run in qualifying with low fuel and the plank scraping along the ground?
Without the car then being too low when they add 160kg of race fuel?

FIA ruling 'has no impact' - Horner
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Is the car refuelled under Parc Ferme conditions? I'm wondering if there is some sort of automatic (non-computer controlled) adjustment as the fuel goes in? i.e. the car self adjusts as the weight increases
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Rising rate suspension???

Martin Brundle writes:
It was generally noticed that the Red Bull occasionally skimmed the ground in qualifying yet seemed very fast and comfortable with full tanks, too.

It appears that they just have a very good set-up of rising-rate suspension which can accommodate this without making the car difficult to drive at the start of the race.

There remains debate on exactly how Red Bull do this but it does appear that the car is fully legal. Other teams were creating systems to help with ride-height adjustability after the end of qualifying but they have been banned.

In any event, teams are allowed to manually change the ride height during the race pit stops but with sub-four second stops it is difficult to do this accurately and without wasting further time. I am sure such systems will appear soon enough.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
And for those who don't what a rising rate suspension is (like me) the Automotive dictionary says:

Rising-rate suspension
A Suspension system where the spring rate increases when the wheels move further into Jounce. This action can be accomplished by configuring the geometric shape of the suspension, by using springs which change tension as they are compressed, or by using two or more springs with rubber stops. The purpose of a rising-rate suspension is to maintain consistent ride and handling characteristics under a variety of situations loaded or unloaded, straight roads or curves, and smooth roads or bumpy.

Which begs the question, what is Jounce?

Jounce
The action of bouncing. When speaking of shock-absorbers, it is the Compression stroke while Rebound is the opposite.

So now you know as much as me, or more if your more intelligent than me (which is probably most of you) :twisted:
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
Not related to ride height but it is about Red Bull's suspension.

I've read in a few places now that Red Bull had to alter their suspension after Martin Whitmarsh pointed it out to the FIA that it was illegal.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport now reveals that an element of the rear suspension was changed at Istanbul Park last weekend.

The report said the elements in question, hidden behind six burly Red Bull mechanics on recent Grand Prix grids, were aerodynamically shaped and at a 20 degree horizontal angle rather than the allowed five.

In response, Adrian Newey's design team reportedly shrouded the parts with round tubing in order to nullify the downforce-producing effect."

Does that mean that Red Bull have been racing with an illegal car at previous races?

Is this the reason why the gap to McLaren has reduced?
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I'm assuming this is 10.3.3:

"No major axis of a cross section of a suspension member, when assessed in accordance with Article 10.3.1, may subtend an angle greater than 5° to the reference plane when projected onto, and normal to, a vertical plane on the centre line of the car with the car set to the nominal design ride height."

The pullrod presumably is not covered by this restriction, since it will always be at an angle greater than 5° to the horizontal?

The upper wishbones in this drawing:
http://www.formula1.com/teams_and_drive ... 0/721.html
look to be angled, but not (I don't think) excessively so - not 20° as has been suggested. So was it something new for Istanbul? (and am I even barking up the right tree?!)
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
It's all a bit curious.

First of all, how did that rule ever come into existence?
You have to assume that at some point in the past one of the teams did something that was either complained about or deemed unsafe and the rule was subsequently introduced.

I agree though, the pull/pushrods will always be at an angle much greater than 5° so it has to be some kind of linkage or other part of the suspension.

What's also interesting is the design wasn't deemed illegal once they shrouded it?
Surely the design is still fundamentally breaching the rule?

Assuming the report is correct of course.
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Having just had a shower to clear the old brain box, I can't see this being about the suspension rods/wishbones because any shroud over those would be pretty big and would have been easy to spot.

Lets assume that the wishbone is 50cm long. Given an angle of 20' off horizontal and using a bit of trig gives an aprox height of a shroud to cover one end to the other of around 16.3cm which would have been like sticking two carbon fibre blocks between both real wheels. Also that would start to contravene the regulations about shrouding suspension and body work between the wheels. It doesn't make any sense.

:thinking:

I'm going to have to do some more looking into this one. It's a strange one.
 

slickskid

Points Scorer
Supporter
Seen as i'm doing quite a good job of making myself look stupid today i'll have another go at it and sugest that maybe it's not the angle in which it sits but more the angle of the cross section of the material itself as such that it is designed in such a way that it doesn't act like a wing.

Could explain why the round tubing would make a difference in this case.
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
You could be right slick.

So in essence, the cross section of the suspension parts were oval instead of round?

It still doesn't address whether it was like this at previous races though.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Ah! I think you've got it slick.

In 10.3.1 the major axis is defined as the largest dimension of a cross-section of the suspension member (i.e. assuming that the member is oval, it is the longest axis from side-to-side). The regulation also stipulates that it be nominally symmetrical about that major axis - so preventing an aero profile.

So what we're looking at with the 5° is that the suspension arm(s) was/were angled either forwards or backwards in cross section, not relative to the chassis. I can't imagine this made a huge difference, to be honest?
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Sounds good to me.

It could mean that the wishbones were acting as turning veins due to the angle of attack and may have had an effect on the air flow over the suspension. Perhaps creating a little down force directly on to the wishbones themselves. This is also in direct contravention of the fixed aero rules.

As to weather this has been like that for a while :dunno:

You would have thought that it would have been picked up before now given that all the cars have been checked by the stewards 7 times and the chassis would have been inspected for homogolation by the FIA at the start of the season.

The article makes it sound like they have been this way for a while so it's any ones guess.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
I'm not sure there is a ban on aero shaped suspension parts... There are plenty of very dramatic wing shaped struts on all the cars, not an oval in sight! :thinking:

 

snowy

Champion Elect
I find it very disconcerting that McLaren are having to spot and contest parts that are illegal on the Red Bull when there is an army of stewards at each event with scales, rulers and instruments for determining whether a car is legal or not.

Surely they should be responsible for regulating the sport and catching cheats?!!

Ferrari started the 2007 season with an illegal floor, Charley Whiting and the FIA were informed that it was illegal by a Ferrari engineer, he was ignored and look where that led! :givemestrength:
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
snowy - you're right, oval was the wrong word. Re-reading the regs, a teardrop-shape is perfectly legal, providing the ratio of width (front-to-back) to height is no more than 3.5:1. A teardrop is aerodynamically neutral, though, depending on the angle of attack of the airflow.

What would not be possible, from my understanding of the reg, is a concave section on the upper side of the strut - it has to be symmetrical in cross-section.

And yes, absolutely it should have been picked up in scrutineering. There aren't actually that many regulations relating to the suspension, I feel it should definitely have been spotted.
 

Brogan

Legend
Staff Member
By all accounts, Red Bull's suspension had been like that for 3 races before the FIA made them change it for Turkey.

As the FIA made them change it due to the suspension contravening the technical regulations and therefore being illegal, how have Red Bull not been sanctioned in any way?

It's not that I wish for them to be sanctioned, I'm just trying to understand how a car which was illegal when it raced can escape any form of punishment.
After all, Toyota were sent to the back of the grid in Australia last year due to illegally flexing rear wings.
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I suppose the problem here is that the scrutineers accepted the car at the previous races and therfore to apply a retrospective sanction would be a little draconian. Were Renault punished retrospectively for the mass damper thing or Ferrari for their flexible floor, don't think they were. I think Toyota were punished at the race the problem was found at.

It would appear the rule in F1 is you can break the rules until you get caught then you must stop breaking them but remember there will be no punishment (unless you're Ken Tyrell). If only life were like that...
 
Top Bottom