Tag Archives: 2015/2016

Formula One: Ferrari Experimenting?

GP BRASILE F1/2015

With the 2015 drivers and constructor championship positions confirmed team’s technical departments have shifted focus to the 2016 season, seeking to understand which areas of development they can expect to see most gains.

Free Practice One in Brazil saw Mercedes trialling positioning and sizing of an S duct system similar in thinking to the F duct pioneered by Mclaren in 2012. The system is designed to stall aero around the car at certain times to increase overall speed trap performance. The trial of this system is plain for all to see with both cars sprouting additional openings along the nose cone of the car.

Less clear are the experimental developments with Ferrari, ignoring the huge rake seen on the rear right end of Kim’s car in the early phase of FP1. Since Austin both Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel appear to have had issues under braking and in deployment of power, with both drivers suffering uncharacteristic spins or race ending accidents. These incidents have been put down to driver error, but the growing frequency of these incidents, most recently seen in Free Practice with Kimi Räikkönen suggest something there could be more to these incident than meets the eye.

Ferrari throughout the 2014 season was known to struggle with consistent harvesting and deployment of ERS (Energy Recovery System) power.  On the face of it this issues appears to have been resolved in 2015, but could an evolution of this harvesting system be causing the drivers new issues? As with any new technology the scope for development of the system must be significant, perhaps Ferrari have found a new direction with harvesting of energy. Could an evolution ot the team’s ERS  be what brings Ferrari into true championship contention in 2016?

The extent of Ferrari’s experimentation led may observers to believe the team had lost their way in the build-up for today’s race, but in qualifying 3rd and 4th on the grid it seems more likely the team have a clear understanding of exactly how to maximise the performance of the SF15-T and have switched attention to the 2016 challenger in free practice sessions. Sebastian Vettel’s experiences in 2013, when Red Bull Racing continued to develop their dominant machine until the final race of the year arguably severely impacting the team’s performance in 2014 may be influencing Ferrari’s current focus.

Sebastian Vettel or Kimi Raikkonen struggling under braking into turn 4 or through acceleration out of turn 12 in today’s race would suggest continued evaluation or developments with the teams energy recovery harvesting and deployment systems.

Formula E: Technical Regulations Season 2 Preview – With Renault eDams

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The essential technical updates:

POWERTRAIN

Season two will again feature 10 teams that are essentially the same as in the first season. However, 2015/2016 sees the introduction of eight manufacturers, selected by the FIA, who are allowed to develop new powertrains, specifically the e-motor, inverter, gearbox and cooling system. Among them is Renault, with the French constructor providing exclusively Renault e.dams with is own Z.E.15 powertrain, which has been developed by Renault Sport at Viry and is the result of many years of expertise in electric systems.

BATTERY

Williams Advanced Engineering is the sole supplier of batteries for the FIA Formula E Championship. The maximum power output of the batteries will increase to 170kW during each race in season two of the Championship, which is 30% more power than they were initially designed for.

CHASSIS

Italian firm Dallara, who boast more than 40 years’ motorsport experience, have constructed the Spark Renault SRT_01E monocoque chassis. Made from carbon fibre and honeycomb aluminium, the chassis is both super lightweight and incredibly strong and fully complies with the latest FIA crash tests.

DIMENSIONS

Overall length: 5000mm (max) Overall width: 1800mm (max) Overall height: 1250mm (max) Track width: 1300mm (min) Ride Height: 75mm (max) Minimum weight (inc. driver): 888kg (each battery 360kg)

WHEELS & TYRES

Bespoke 18-inch treaded Michelin tyres for use on both wet and dry surfaces. The idea of this is to bring the racing tyre closer to road tyres and, similar to the tyres on a road car, that don’t get changed when it goes from dry to wet. With an 18-inch tyre you are able to have a larger contact area and so less deformation. For each race event, each driver is supplied with four new front tyres and four new rear tyres, plus one front and one rear tyre from the previous event.

Championship specific wheel dimensions:

O.Z. Racing Magnesium rims

Max width front:

260mm / rear 305mm

Max Diameter:

front 650mm / rear 690mm

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The Sporting Regulations

CHAMPIONSHIP

The FIA Formula E Championship will consist of both a Drivers and a Teams’ championship. Points accumulated at all races now count to the overall classification in both categories.

DRIVERS

The FIA Formula E championship has decided to implement a limit of two driver changes per race number for the second season. What’s more, no changes will be permitted for the final three races except in cases of force majeure.

Super Pole – NEW FOR SEASON 2

The five fastest drivers from qualifying will then contest a single-lap Super Pole session to determine the top five positions on the grid, while the maximum power output in qualifying trim will be to 200kW.

FanBoost

Fan Boost has been revamped ahead of Formula E’s second championship. Voting will open 12 days prior to the event while fans will also be able to cast their ballot in real-time until six minutes into the race. The voting will again be possible on the official Formula E website and app, as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the relevant hashtags. The three most popular drivers will get an extra 100kJ of energy that can only be used after swapping car mid-race.

PIT STOPS/CAR CHANGES

During races, drivers must make one mandatory pit stop in order to change cars. This must take place in their box and be observed by an FIA steward to ensure all safety equipment is correctly applied. A minimum time period (determined on the day) will also be enforced. Tyre changes, unless a puncture, are not permitted during this pit stop.

FULL COURSE YELLOW

The second Formula E season also sees the introduction of a Full Course Yellow (FCY) system – similar to those seen in other FIA championships and F1’s Virtual Safety Car. Under the FCY regulations all drivers must maintain the gap to the car in front and abide by a 50kph speed limit, including in pitlane, which remains open.

POINTS

Drivers will score points using the standard FIA system of:
1st = 25pts

2nd = 18pts

3th = 15pts

4th = 12pts

5th = 10pts

6th = 8pts

7th = 6pts

8th = 4pts

9th = 2pts

10th = 1pt.

Three points will be awarded to the driver securing pole position, whilst the driver setting the fastest lap receives two points.

LICENCE

New changes have been made to the e-Licence system for 2015/2016 and will be mandatory for any driver wanting to participate. In order to qualify for an e- Licence the following will be required:

• A specific FIA training session regarding the most important points of the electrical safety, technical and sporting regulations of the competition.
• To have accumulated in the previous three years at least 20 points of the FIA points system used to qualify to the F1 Super Licence, or to have previously been holding an F1 Super Licence, or to have participated in at least three races of the previous FIA Formula E Championship.

• A driver judged by the FIA to have consistently demonstrated outstanding ability in single-seater formula cars, but with no opportunity to qualify under any of the requirements above.

CAR CHARGING

Car charging is only forbidden during qualifying and the race, together with their respective Parc Ferme periods. Charging can take place during non-qualifying (practice) periods.