Future circuit designs to be aided by overtaking sim

Published on 11 Jan 2019 08:38

Former chief technical officer at Williams Pat Symonds has stated that in order to have races that feature more overtaking, Formula 1 bosses have commissioned the worlds first overtaking simulation to influence circuit design for the good of the sport. 

Symonds revealed that the new technology is already being put to use and will impact the layout of the Hanoi Circuit in readiness for its inaugural race in 2020. Symonds also said that the simulation is also being used to look for improvements at Yas Marina where the racing has not been as exciting as Formula 1 bosses would like.

"We've produced what I think is the world's first overtaking simulation. It's been extremely complex to do. To run a lap takes several hours. It has a proper wake model of the cars, it looks at the surface and the tyre characteristics and all these sort of things."

Symonds added that Vietnam is the first circuit that his Vehicle Performance Group have been involved with and that they have really got to grips with the track and understood what it needs to make it exciting and to have good racing.

"I think Vietnam is going to be a superb circuit. It's got some great features and it's going to have some close racing at it".

Symonds revealed the new technology to a written question from former F1 driver and Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi. Grassi argued that tracks should be designed to promote alternative ways around a corner instead of the traditional racing line.

Symonds agreed with di Grassi but also argued that the answer is not to give the cars mechanical grip, which is a recurring suggestion. He pointed out that during wet races the mechanical grip is significantly reduced yet the racing is normally much improved. 

"The evidence is actually that in a wet race, where you've got less grip, you get much better racing. So we're putting the science into it now".

Replies (9)
SE calle.itw 11 Jan 2019 09:20+1
Posts: 5898
What worries me is that they seem to rely more and more on sims. During sims and games I can overtake on the most ridiculous places, (I present to you the 5 driver overtake in a 2017 McHonda thtough the corner before the tunnel at Monte Carlo! Yeah whats your excuse, Vettel?!). Sims and algorithms should be complimentary. Instead, host some minor event at said track. Test it out, see if its actually good. Algorithms is what brought us Pixels Z to Steam Direct.
SE viktoraxel 11 Jan 2019 11:050
Posts: 8
You haven't really understood what they mean by simulation in this article. You are thinking about something like iRacing but they mean using software such as the ones designed by Autodesk and so on. They simulate reality and don't have any human input into the vehicles while driving. It's an algorithm that will test overtaking opportunities at any new circuit that is being designed.
SE calle.itw 11 Jan 2019 15:330
Posts: 5898
Nay, I was talking about such sims actually, hence why I too mentioned algorithms and the results of having insufficient human input or actual point of references. :)
Posts: 190
AND the driver input. How can you go on the probability of one lap to the next, what a rookie driver feels compared to a veteran driver's prediction?
One helluva program if you want me to invest a billion dollars into it. But I would pay CAD$25.00 for a copy of the program and run the sims.
Posts: 270
It's a bulletproof plan! Host sim races while you're at it.
Posts: 572
Why not make the cars to work on the track not the other way around ? They seem to be going about this backwards !
Posts: 318
I'm sure that's a lot cheaper than running races on existing race tracks and adjusting the rules to make the cars less horrible
SE calle.itw 11 Jan 2019 17:280
Posts: 5898
Absolutely, but cheaping out now could mean loss of profit in the long run. Of all the things ruling bodies tend to wanna skimp out on in the lab world, quality control dont tend to be one.
Posts: 339
The common denominator is majority of races are borderline boring or relatively uneventful at best. What is the link between all different types of track and processional races - oh wait a minute, it’s the cars! Why didn’t I realise that before.
Do we have to wait until all the current venues have been superseded with simulated tracks to have exciting races!
If it follows life we will eventually just watch CGI F1 races on TV

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