Thursday, January 29, 2015


We've read so many predictions and wish lists for 2015. usually those are from armchair pundits who have an outside knowldge of F1, maybe years of viewing experience. But it could never compare to actual F1 people in the industry who work on cars and teams day and night. James Allen has exclusive access to these people and I'm just so thankful that he shares these insider insights with us. So for those who missed it, here is a reproduction of one such insight.

Original article can be found HERE.

Over the last few days we have previewed the new F1 season, highlighting what could be the big talking points of the year.

Today it’s the turn of JA on F1 technical adviser Dominic Harlow (below), formerly chief operations engineer at Force India, to run his eye over the areas for fans to focus on in 2015.

We are always trying to bring the fans closer to the sport and here Dom goes behind the scenes to look at the key areas the engineers will be working on and therefore the things that will decide the outcomes of races and the championship.

Engine battle becomes increasingly intense

Things are likely to continue where they left off last season with engines as probably the most high profile differentiator. Honda have joined F1 after a break of 6 years which is a huge challenge in itself let alone with the leap in technology since that time. Renault and Ferrari are looking to catch up but Mercedes won’t stand still. One fewer Power Units per driver and one more Race mean even more pressure. Lotus and Mclaren are two very interesting barometers of PU performance.

Control systems move into the mainstream as a performance differentiator

The work going on behind the scenes in 2014 to optimise the control systems and the way they interact with the new Power Unit was quite well hidden and poorly understood. Yet it contributed a lot to race outcomes last year. The regulations allow a good deal more freedom than in the past and the torque management of the PU and the way this is done both by the team and the driver is an increasingly active battlefield. This contributes significantly to overtaking, among other things.

The points on the track where the driver changes his torque map in qualifying, or the areas where the MGU-K de-rates or charges the battery on power in the Race whilst not exposing him to the risk of an overtake all need to be carefully chosen and programmed.

Aero development rate just as fast as 2014 if not faster

There were a huge number of unknowns when the teams developed their 2014 cars, and inevitably some incorrect assumptions or less than optimal simulations. With a year’s worth of data the aero development rate will probably accelerate in the short term.

All the usual areas like front wing, brake ducts, diffuser especially around the rear tyres and in the center and cooling should evolve rapidly and we might expect top speeds to increase slightly further as teams seek to save more fuel to feed the more powerful engines.

What Pirelli do next – a golden opportunity existing based on 2014

Pirelli need to improve the super-soft tyre from 2014 but with that done could then use tyre choice based on last year’s experience, a step softer or a step harder, but with the same 4 tyres, to generate some great tactical races.

Innovation – The next Mass Damper, Front Wheel Disc, Double Diffuser, F-Duct, EBD, FRIC

Almost every year there is a disruptive technology of some kind which comes along and is (although perhaps occasionally overrated) an important performance differentiator. It would be great if 2015 could generate another such innovation and to see what that might be.

Virtual Safety Car in action and it’s effect on strategy

There are a number of changes to the Sporting Regulations aimed at improving safety, but the Virtual Safety Car which is similar to a ‘Full Course Yellow’ concept will inevitably have some strategic consequences in Races and with it being new for all involved it will be fascinating to see the winners and losers and how teams adapt.

Original article can be found HERE.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my t-shirt design for Lewis Hamilton fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.

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