Technical Between Season Discussion Thread.


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That's it, it's over, the 2014 F1 season has come to an end. Now all we have to look forward to is gorging ourselves with Mince Pies and copious amounts of alcohol causing xmas & new year hangovers before we can talk about pre-season testing again.

The "Young" drivers test is just coming to an end as I write this, apparently the McLaren-Honda sounds great but still too early to judge performance as they are just doing installation laps between electrical problems.

It's still unknown if Marussia/Manor or Caterham will be taking part next season. They are on the provisional entry list but does anyone know when this is finalised or even if Marussia receive their finishing bonus if anything at all.

The big outstanding question in the driver market is the McLaren line up, It's between four drivers but we won't know anything until early December.

FIA have backtracked on almost all of 2014's unpopular rules changes, teams can say anything on the radio again, no more silly safety car rules and most pleasing of all no more double points. It's a good job someone finally saw sense and listened to the drivers/teams/fans and not the people with the cheque book.

What rumours do we know about 2015 performance? Well McLaren have already been given odds of 6/1 for the title, this is the third lowest and above Williams and Ferrari. If Honda have got the package right and with Red Bull-esque aero performance I feel they could have an outside chance but I can't see anyone disturbing Mercedes dominance.

The biggest question of all though is what am I going to do with myself at work when I need an F1 based distraction?
Not specifically related to any of the teams or drivers but the new rules recently introduced have already been dropped*:
  • no standing safety car restarts
  • no double points
  • no restricitons on pit <-> driver radio messages
Regarding the teams and cars, the McLaren-Honda isn't looking that promising at the moment.
If Caterham manage to make it to the grid in 2015, they may even have a chance of beating them.

Apparently Mercedes are ready to open contract talks with Hamilton.

*Edit: I see you already mentioned that and I completely missed it :facepalm:
Couple of points from the test to carry forward, firstly unless Nasr was contracted to do a specific number of hours behind the wheel, why did he do the test today and not Ms Wolff ?? Does it highlight the fact that she is at Williams more for PR and a favor for the boss?? It seems strange that the guy who is about to jump ship to Sauber would be allowed to run 80 odd laps in your car when he would a) be better placed to be doing it for his new team and b) have no interest in providing useful feedback to the team he is leaving.

Also, I noticed this monstrosity proposed by Mr Hamilton Snr being tested on the Force India.

with the following quote on in the article...

Hamilton Sr hopes the Info Wing will improve the spectator experience of F1 by using LEDs to display race information, such as a driver's name, position and the tyre compound they are using.

Oh dear god, no, no and thrice no. Drivers name: the number on the car and the helmet is a clue, position: try looking at the big screen opposite you on every track around the globe, listen to the track side radio, google it, Tyre Compound: Umm isn't that the big stripe around the tyre wall?

All of the above are much easier to see than a tiny LED display going by at 200 mph. :givemestrength:
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All you need is race position. Not sure if its actually that helpful in Formula One, but in Endurance Racing with multiple classes an LED display is very nice. United Sportscar Championship uses a similar system that really makes watching the race easier, especially since not all the tracks have giant screens. Different color LED displays signify different classes as well.
I can see a few of them falling off! there is no reason that the information cannot be displayed on existing bodywork, electronics are extremely flexible these days
You have to wonder that his crack pot idea was only looked at because he's Hamiltons father, as far as I know he's no longer managing any F1 drivers so he's obviously trying to find out a use for himself.

Whats next? Electronic signs on the rear wing? Teams could change their sponsors mid race depending on levels of funding.
Here's an interesting video on Basically it going through the regulations and determining which of these years noses will be acceptable for the new aesthetic regulations for 2015. Surprisingly it is Ferrari's nose which complies the most.
No more dodgy twin tusks or prominent appendages. I thought Mercedes design would be suitable but apparently not according to the video.
though most - including Lotus's innovative twin tusk solution, with its different length elements - will have to be revised for 2015 to comply with new regulations aimed primarily at restricting strange and ugly designs.

What the **** does that have anything to do with anything?
If a strange and ugly design turns out to be the optimum then so be it.

This pathetic obsession with "the show" and pandering to casual "fans" infuriates me.
I have to agree with the FIA to some extent, F1 cars need to be appealing, just looking at the poll I created shows that the older more aesthetic designs were far more popular than the later generation of F1 cars, the 2007 era as well as the last few years with the stepped and prominent noses were definitely the most unpopular amongst us the hardcore fans.
Exactly, although what do they do in order to keep the sport safe? The nose regulations came in to prevent cars torpedoing under another, do they need to go more down the route of Formula E and have shrouds covering the wheels although that didn't prevent cars being flipped even at relatively low speeds.
I'm not convinced that relaxing the regulations would necessarily lead to more elegant designs though. Many of the cars that we consider good-looking were designed in the days before we had such knowledge on fluid dynamics. I suspect many of them were designed to look good. The more functional designs that would arise now could well be considered hideous by many. I happen to quite like the designs of the late 2000s too.
The biggest problem stems from the way the rules are written. I think the old golden rule of, if it looks quick it is quick, went out of the window years ago. Design teams will always design down to the nearest millionth of the regs they can get. I am sure, most people would have assumed, lower noses would have produced a front end looking more like the early 90's cars with only a slight raise in the front wing. The rules were almost certainly written with something like that in mind however, the designers will look at that and say well, it only has to be so wide here and so long there so that's what we'll do. There response to the point "but that looks **** ugly" is always, so what.

Get the rules right and there should still be freedom to explore different options without the cars looking like the most stupidly designed lumps of carbon fibre on four wheels.
You have to wonder that his crack pot idea was only looked at because he's Hamiltons father, as far as I know he's no longer managing any F1 drivers so he's obviously trying to find out a use for himself.

Whats next? Electronic signs on the rear wing? Teams could change their sponsors mid race depending on levels of funding.
Now that's not so bad an idea, OK if you are in good tussle with the cameras on and a sponsor bidding war, but limping about at the rear may not be such a good idea. perhaps it may gee up a few drivers to get a bit more out of the car. Makes a sponsored drive have a new definition:D
Re Mr Hamilton, snr.:

"The Force India Formula 1 team tested a new display system developed by Lewis Hamilton's father Anthony in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday morning."

Did the writer not read what he had written? Was it not rather late for such a system to be developed, manufactured and then fitted on the car?
The rulemakers keep adding more and more pages to the rulebook to close this or that loophole but I think some truly clever people like Gary Anderson or Ross Brawn could come up with a simpler set of rules that still allowed some creativity and lowered cost. Examples:
1. instead of the current complex multi element wings that keep getting updated all season (at a huge cost), stipulate a single plane wing with maximum dimensions of 1700mm x 350mm x 100mm, constructed out of 14 gauge aluminum with a set maximum height. Do something similar with the rear wing and allow only 4 different designs for the whole season.
2. To make up for the lowered downforce, widen the tires by quite a bit to increase mechanical grip.
3. Ditch the fuel flow meters, let the teams run as many kg/hr fuel as they want-this allow the engines to rev to 15,000 rpm and they would sound better and it would change up the strategy. As a matter of fact, why not let the teams run older engines if they feel like it? They still have to complete a race distance on 100 kg of fuel like everybody else.
4. Allow teams to run any two tire compounds of their choosing at each race

These changes could be implemented cheaply and quickly and would make the show and the racing much more interesting, in my opinion.
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