Teams assisting F1 overtaking tweaks research

Teams assisting F1 overtaking tweaks research
By AutoSport

17/04/2018 at 12:16

Formula 1 teams are actively helping FOM and the FIA with research into improving overtaking by contributing CFD resources to the project as the deadline for 2019 regulation changes approaches.

It is the first time since teams participated in the FIA's Overtaking Working Group a decade ago that they have been involved in such research.

F1's R&D team, working under chief technical officer Pat Symonds and in conjunction with FIA technical chief Nikolas Tombazis, has proposed changes to 'outwashing' front wing endplates that will help the following car to stay closer.

After an inconclusive meeting in Bahrain on the subject, teams agreed to conduct their own research and their results will be fed back into the project. The official deadline for technical regulation changes for 2019 is April 30.

Williams technical chief Paddy Lowe, then at McLaren, was one of the key players in the original Overtaking Working Group.

Created by the FIA and led by Lowe, Ferrari's Rory Byrne and Renault's Pat Symonds, it steered the aerodnynamic rule changes that were adopted for the 2009 season.

"The proposals that have been made jointly by the FIA and FOM are based on FOM research, which is additive to the work done by the OWG," Lowe told Autosport.

"And some of these recent discoveries of this further work are quite fascinating in terms of how they follow on from the OWG.

"The OWG was created in a context where there was no central R&D for the sport, and the teams funded that work, $50,000 each for that programme, which didn't buy an awful lot of work.

"It ran a programme and it stopped at that, and I think it is fantastic the new owners of F1 are invested in central research to properly study and develop regulations based on science.

"If that had existed back then, having created the OWG cars in 2009, what would have been perfect in retrospect would have been to have a follow-up programme a year later looking at cars that had been produced."

Lowe highlighted that the outwashing endplates being focused on in the FOM research are a more recent development.

"Immediately those cars came out teams created outwashing front endplates, which were never studied in the OWG programme," he said.

"The hypothesis now is that those outwashing effects are highly detrimental to the process and the structures that were identified by the OWG, which is really fascinating."

He said FOM had passed its information onto teams to do their own overtaking studies using CFD, work that "is being done in the remainder of this month".

Lowe is confident changes can be made for 2019 despite the end-of-April deadline.

"It is a live topic and something that will be developed, researched and discussed over the next few weeks," he said.

"I think it can be done.

"The regulation cut-off is set at that date for a reason, it is a date when people can properly react for the following year so there is plenty of time."