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2013's fuel flow regulations


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#1 Wuzak

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 05:23

In the article (subscription) The future of Formula 1's engine regulations Dieter Rencken says:

However, two engine directors disclosed last year the technology required for the fuel flow meter does not (yet) exist, with one even doubting that a sufficiently accurate (0.2%) unit could be developed within the time frame.

Teams currently have fuel flow meters delivering such accuracy – half a kilogram of fuel per 160kg tank load – but, says one ED, these are 'the size of a small wardrobe, cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of Euros and weigh hundreds of kilograms'.


So, how could a mass flow rate be measured to the required accuracy?

Would one option be to measure the volumetric fuel rate and calibrate the device for use with each of the different fuels in use by the teams (each fuel has to be submitted for testing, and compared with the lodged "fingerprint" at each GP)? The extension to that would be to have a standard fuel over all teams, thus simplifying the calibration process.

Another option is to test the engine on a dyno, accurately measuring the mass flow rate used by the engine over all load and rpm points. The engine would then be marked as one of the units the team can use during the season. But that would require the testing of 60+ engine during 2013, and 48+ from 2014. The FIA could then use the data to equalise the engines.

What other options are there?

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#2 gruntguru

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 07:15

Are they talking about a logged flow meter with the onus on the team to ensure they do not exceed the prescribed flow rate during the race or (as I have assumed) do they intend to supply the teams with a flow-limiting device?

The simplest form of the latter would be a precision orifice with a differential pressure regulator limiting the maximum pressure drop across the orifice. it should be possible to design and calibrate (using the team's fuel) such a device to operate with the 0.2% tolerance. Temperature compensation would be required or more simply - calibrate at a particular temperature say 30*C and log the fuel temp at the orifice to ensure it does not drop below 30 during the race. The onus would be on the team to control fuel temp to 30 or higher.

#3 Wuzak

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 08:06

Are they talking about a logged flow meter with the onus on the team to ensure they do not exceed the prescribed flow rate during the race or (as I have assumed) do they intend to supply the teams with a flow-limiting device?


I sense that they are talking about a flow measuring/restricting device. At this stage it seems as though it could be designed and built by each team (which would then have to get it calibrated by the FIA) or as a standard device supplied to each team. The latter option would be preferred by the FIA and the teams, I think.



The simplest form of the latter would be a precision orifice with a differential pressure regulator limiting the maximum pressure drop across the orifice. it should be possible to design and calibrate (using the team's fuel) such a device to operate with the 0.2% tolerance. Temperature compensation would be required or more simply - calibrate at a particular temperature say 30*C and log the fuel temp at the orifice to ensure it does not drop below 30 during the race. The onus would be on the team to control fuel temp to 30 or higher.


I think that sounds too easy and simple. Do you think the teams and the FIA ould miss such a solution because it is easy and simple, or maybe the confidence in the accuracy is not that high?

Could a venturi be used instead?

#4 primer

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 09:28

They'll undoubtedly use the standard Mclaren supplied ECU to log the flow rate. How do road cars calculate and display current (real time) fuel consumption? They do a reasonably accurate job. Perhaps the upstream hardware (pumps, fuel lines, injectors etc) too will become standardized and all teams will be forced to buy off from a particular supplier.

Unnecessary over-regulation, IMO. One more avenue to cheat, manipulate....is it not enough to limit the total amount of fuel a car can have at the start of a race.

Edited by primer, 03 March 2011 - 09:35.


#5 Wuzak

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 10:59

They'll undoubtedly use the standard Mclaren supplied ECU to log the flow rate. How do road cars calculate and display current (real time) fuel consumption? They do a reasonably accurate job. Perhaps the upstream hardware (pumps, fuel lines, injectors etc) too will become standardized and all teams will be forced to buy off from a particular supplier.

Unnecessary over-regulation, IMO. One more avenue to cheat, manipulate....is it not enough to limit the total amount of fuel a car can have at the start of a race.


It would seem that injection systems is one are where development will be allowed.

Though logging through the ECU would be a logical and simple method, it woudl seem that a flow limiting device is the aim.

#6 WhiteBlue

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 11:00

Would one option be to measure the volumetric fuel rate and calibrate the device for use with each of the different fuels in use by the teams (each fuel has to be submitted for testing, and compared with the lodged "fingerprint" at each GP)?

I reckon the technical regulations will keep the physical properties of the fuel in such tight tolerances that a spec device is sufficient to keep all teams to the same fuel flow limits within the required tolerance. If not a viscosity profile over temperature can be established for each fuel.

The simplest form of the latter would be a precision orifice with a differential pressure regulator limiting the maximum pressure drop across the orifice.

I agree that the solution would be sufficient if the viscosity effect of temperature change or the fuel composition is dealt with. They could also be using simple turbines.

They'll undoubtedly use the standard Mclaren supplied ECU to log the flow rate.

Yes, and the other parameters like the temperatures and individual fuel viscosity relevant for computing the actual flow rate.

#7 gruntguru

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 11:20

How do road cars calculate and display current (real time) fuel consumption? They do a reasonably accurate job.

The engine management system knows the fuel delivery corresponding to every electrical instruction sent to the injectors. Summing these over time gives a very accurate fuel flow - possibly not sufficiently accurate, stable or tamper-proof for the purposes of F1 fuel flow reg's however.

#8 primer

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 12:45

If F1 has spec injectors, spec fuel temperature etc...it would be straightforward to calculate. The more you spec everything upstream the easier and cheaper it becomes to calculate. You could put a limit on the maximum duration an injector could fire, and then from number of firings per unit time calculate the fuel flow rate. Whether this can be done with sufficient precision and resolution to please FIA and the teams -and also with the existing Mclaren ECU unit- I don't know. Perhaps Mclaren will be called to develop a ver 2.0 ECU.



#9 Tony Matthews

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 14:01

Why is it not sufficient to start with a fixed fuel load, and complete a fixed distance, before anyone else if you want to win? I understand that this is another interesting technical problem, and as such will engage a great number of very good engineers, but I'm not sure why it is being done.

#10 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 15:51

Why is it not sufficient to start with a fixed fuel load, and complete a fixed distance,

Yeah this is what I don't get.

Standardize the fuel, standardize the capacity.



#11 WhiteBlue

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 23:26

Why is it not sufficient to start with a fixed fuel load, and complete a fixed distance, before anyone else if you want to win?

A fuel cap only leads to frustrating events like cars running dry in the race. A flow limit only would encourage engineers to drive up fuel consumption under part load to exploit effects like the ongoing exhaust flow for exhaust blown diffusers. The combination is the right thing to do as long as the total cap sets an average within a sensible ratio to the max fuel flow. For 2013 they want to run 100 kg/h max and 67 kg/h average. So the average is 2/3 of the max. Considering that you have breaking times and consume less than the average flow in part throttle mode it looks like a balanced proposal. If it doesn't work so well they can always tweak it with very little problems.


#12 Tony Matthews

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 00:22

I can't wait.

#13 Wuzak

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 00:26

A fuel cap only leads to frustrating events like cars running dry in the race. A flow limit only would encourage engineers to drive up fuel consumption under part load to exploit effects like the ongoing exhaust flow for exhaust blown diffusers. The combination is the right thing to do as long as the total cap sets an average within a sensible ratio to the max fuel flow. For 2013 they want to run 100 kg/h max and 67 kg/h average. So the average is 2/3 of the max. Considering that you have breaking times and consume less than the average flow in part throttle mode it looks like a balanced proposal. If it doesn't work so well they can always tweak it with very little problems.


They're having the fuel cap as well.

I agree that running out of fuel during the race is not a good thing for racing. I would like to think a fuel flow limit does not neeed a fuel cap. After all, having to carry extra fuel is a disadvantage.

#14 desmo

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 02:29

I'd disagree on the danger of cars running dry of fuel late in a race being a racing liability. F1 races tend to become processional and the possibility of cars rolling up short would add drama and interest I'd reckon. I'd expect their telemetry/measuring would be good enough though that it would be unlikely in practice.

#15 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 02:37

I'd disagree on the danger of cars running dry of fuel late in a race being a racing liability. F1 races tend to become processional and the possibility of cars rolling up short would add drama and interest I'd reckon. I'd expect their telemetry/measuring would be good enough though that it would be unlikely in practice.

I agree.

I've seen some great NASCAR races where drivers who were in the lead dropped off the pace, the lead changing several times in the last two laps. Exciting! Suspenseful!

#16 gruntguru

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 03:47

If F1 has spec injectors, spec fuel temperature etc...it would be straightforward to calculate. The more you spec everything upstream the easier and cheaper it becomes to calculate. You could put a limit on the maximum duration an injector could fire, and then from number of firings per unit time calculate the fuel flow rate. Whether this can be done with sufficient precision and resolution to please FIA and the teams -

Too many inputs to the calculation. There's pulsewidth, applied voltage, injector opening and closing characteristics, fuel temp, fuel pressure, intake manifold pressure (or cylinder pressure if DI), injector flow characteristics etc. Result is too many ways to cheat the system and measurement error that accumulates with each input to the calculation.

#17 TDIMeister

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 16:07

All you need is a coriolis-type flow meter. Widely used, can send data to an acquisition system (telemetry), and super accurate. Micro Motion and AVL among others have such measurement systems.

#18 Pingguest

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 16:28

With grip being reduced sufficiently, driver aids banned and the minimum weight abolished, it wouldn't be necessary to have a fuel load and/or fuel-flow limit. Although engine manufactures could use engine capable of producing a huge amount of power, very little power could be transmitted to the road. An indirect power cap and manufactures focusing on other parameters would the result.

#19 Tony Matthews

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 17:12

This whole business strikes me as pathetic. If the idea of controlling the fuel flow, on top of the fuel amount, is to prevent the cars running out of fuel before reaching the finishing line, why not control the speed at all points on the circuit? Apart from putting up with some g-forces and avoiding other cars, what are the drivers going to do for two hours? What will become of the tactics of driving flat out to gain a lead, then conserving fuel until the end, or economy-racing until near the end then racing hard with the last of the fuel? I realise that WhiteBlue has no interest in the competition between drivers, only the engineers, but that is a minority interest - I think F1 is going to lose millions of World-wide viewers, and that, surprisingly, is important. No TV viewers, no F1.

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#20 desmo

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 00:19

If the way F1 is broadcast in the US is any indication, the FIA aren't much concerned with how many people watch F1 on TV. They put it on a tiny shoestring network most people don't have nor want, then not only don't stream online it but crack down on anyone streaming it just to make sure even those eyes cannot see the sponsor logos. It seems expressly designed to minimize the number of viewers and sponsor exposure.

#21 John Brundage

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 00:51

I agree.

I've seen some great NASCAR races where drivers who were in the lead dropped off the pace, the lead changing several times in the last two laps. Exciting! Suspenseful!


Even more exciting when the leader runs out of fuel on the last lap :cool:

#22 WhiteBlue

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Posted 05 March 2011 - 21:01

I realise that WhiteBlue has no interest in the competition between drivers, only the engineers, but that is a minority interest...

You are writing bullshit my friend. The promotion of fuel efficiency technologies is not adverse to competitive racing and I care greatly about good racing. I care so much about it that I would gladly watch cars with less performance if they take away some excess aerodynamic forces and turbulence which inhibits the on track racing we saw in the 70's and early 80's.

Contrary to your believe the engine working group knows very well what they do. Fuel flow regulations have been investigated by motor sport expert panels for more than six years. At least that is the time I first read about it in a paper written by a government sponsored conference on the issue. Since then a lot of work has been carried out in other racing series to understand how fuel control can be implemented without affecting the sport in a negative way.

I don't see the point why fuel efficiency should interfere with the sport at all. Every formula we had in the last 100 years needed power limits. It makes no fundamental difference if you switch the primary restriction from displacement to fuel mass if you do it in an intelligent way. All the talk we are having here is about understanding the implications and making sure the sport and the stake holder profit from improved technology.

Edited by WhiteBlue, 05 March 2011 - 21:01.


#23 gruntguru

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 03:00

All you need is a coriolis-type flow meter. Widely used, can send data to an acquisition system (telemetry), and super accurate. Micro Motion and AVL among others have such measurement systems.

I imagine a meter operating on the Coriolis effect would be sensitive to rotations (roll, yaw, pitch) of the system? No doubt they make a version with mirror-image sensing elements to compensate for that?

#24 gruntguru

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 03:32

If the idea of controlling the fuel flow, on top of the fuel amount, is to prevent the cars running out of fuel before reaching the finishing line, why not control the speed at all points on the circuit?

The motive for controlling the fuel flow is to limit the power. Power has always been limited, traditionally by limiting capacity, in more recent times by limiting boost pressure, then RPM, number of cylinders, bore, then finally by freezing the design completely. Other categories have also limited air supply to the engine to limit power.

There is a certain elegance to air and fuel flow limits. Once the engine reaches the flow limit, there is no power to be gained through further increases in rpm, boost or even displacement. Exotic materials, valvetrains etc don't offer anything except perhaps a wider useable rev range. The only way to increase power is to improve the ability of the engine to utilise the limited input.

Although more difficult to implement, the fuel flow limit has one huge advantage. It creates a huge incentive to improve the engine's fuel efficiency at peak power. In contrast, the limited airflow formula encourages teams to use whatever AFR makes best power - regardless of fuel wastage.

The race fuel limit, is actually the secondary control of the two. It is there to discourage wastage of fuel when the engine is operating at something less than peak power. For example, teams could tune the engine for an unsustainably high peak output, and run much richer immediately after using full power to cool the combustion chamber again.

Edited by gruntguru, 06 March 2011 - 03:32.


#25 TDIMeister

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 03:46

Didn't think about that, good point. I need to learn more about how those flow meters work.

#26 TDIMeister

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 05:23

I agree with WB and Grunt on the merits of a fuel limit in racing. It has been discussed several times in the years I've been a member here and people are going to have their unwavering opinions on the matter. Nobody's mind is going to be changed, so instead of arguing how it might destroy/save the sport, why don't we explore what technology will come out of this? I'm of the belief that advancements in turbocharging technology for road vehicles took off during the F1 turbo era. I look forward to other breakthroughs as well with the 2013 formula. If some of the aero engineers in F1 went to "civilian" development programs, I don't know why we can't see practical passenger cars with Cd <0.20 without looking ridiculous like a fish or something.

#27 J. Edlund

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 18:52

I'd disagree on the danger of cars running dry of fuel late in a race being a racing liability. F1 races tend to become processional and the possibility of cars rolling up short would add drama and interest I'd reckon. I'd expect their telemetry/measuring would be good enough though that it would be unlikely in practice.


The problem isn't cars running out of fuel towards the end of the race, but the long fuel saving stints with poor racing.

#28 desmo

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:52

As opposed to the edge of the seat cut and thrust dueling we've become so accustomed to?

#29 WhiteBlue

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 12:07

The problem isn't cars running out of fuel towards the end of the race, but the long fuel saving stints with poor racing.

That problem can only occur if the flow limit and the fuel cap are selected with a bad ratio. ATM there is no experience with power control by fuel in F1. So one should give those people a bit of credit that they will get it right. After all they can easily fine tune things if they turn out to be less than optimal. If there are fuel saving stints which interfere with the show the fuel cap can be increased. I'm sure that all cars will have a bigger fuel tank than the total fuel cap initially selected.


#30 cheapracer

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 12:35

ATM there is no experience with power control by fuel in F1.

The promotion of fuel efficiency technologies is not adverse to competitive racing

Contrary to your believe the engine working group knows very well what they do. .

I don't see the point why fuel efficiency should interfere with the sport at all.

aerodynamic forces and turbulence which inhibits the on track racing we saw in the 70's and early 80's.


Your contradictions are literally countless besides you simply didn't watch F1 in the 70's and early 80's or were an incredibly bad observer. Do yourself a favour, hell do us all a favour and search Google for passing highlights/the greatest passes and see what years they come from and stop posting your utter nonsense.


As opposed to the edge of the seat cut and thrust dueling we've become so accustomed to?


Well theres lots of other ways to spice it up and you and I have agreed more than once in principle on a lot of items, just cause it's wrong now doesn't instantly make any another road the right direction.


The problem isn't cars running out of fuel towards the end of the race, but the long fuel saving stints with poor racing.


This :up:


I agree with WB and Grunt on the merits of a fuel limit in racing.


Well theres a points scorer for WB and Grunt - oh wait, you're diesel'er :lol:

#31 WhiteBlue

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 18:24

Your contradictions are literally countless besides you simply didn't watch F1 in the 70's and early 80's or were an incredibly bad observer. Do yourself a favour, hell do us all a favour and search Google for passing highlights/the greatest passes and see what years they come from and stop posting your utter nonsense.

Lol, you must be a desperate and angry man to cut and past my words out of context just to make them seem to support a useless personal attack. For an example of the passing that I mean have a look at René Arnoux vs Gilles Vileneuve in Dijon 1979


#32 TDIMeister

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 18:36

LOL
Posted Image

#33 Tony Matthews

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 21:24

The motive for controlling the fuel flow is to limit the power.

Thanks gg. Look, obviously I am playing Devil's Advocate here, but that doesn't alter the fact that I have deep misgivings about the new engine formula. There have been other times when proposed formulea have sounded less than exciting, but rarely can there have been one that sounds so lame as 1600cc IL4s (which would probably sound better un-turbo'd, ala Cosworth FVA etc,) with small fuel loads and restricted flow. It might turn out that the cars sound great, look great and the racing is close and exciting. I don't have a problem with being wrong, I just have serious doubts that we will get what we - the vast mass of F1 fans - want. Fans watch F1 because it is exciting, if not in competition, then in spectacle, noise and colour. Here's hoping.

#34 cheapracer

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 21:48

I care so much about it that I would gladly watch cars with less performance if they take away some excess aerodynamic forces and turbulence which inhibits the on track racing we saw in the 70's and early 80's.


For an example of the passing that I mean have a look at René Arnoux vs Gilles Vileneuve in Dijon 1979


Just out of interest, is that the same 1979 that was somewhere in the 70's near the early 80's?

Keep burying yourself Mate, you don't need my help..

Edited by cheapracer, 07 March 2011 - 22:09.


#35 gruntguru

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 22:39

Cheapy, I think you are mis-reading his quote. He is saying the on-track racing in the 70s, early 80s was great and the current aero is inhibiting such racing.

#36 WhiteBlue

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 03:03

Cheapy, I think you are mis-reading his quote. He is saying the on-track racing in the 70s, early 80s was great and the current aero is inhibiting such racing.

That is indeed what I meant. I thought my statement was clear. But I must confess that I don't understand cheapracer's objections. 1979 belongs in the period which I quoted, 70's and early 80's. The Dijon final laps for second position are often quoted as THE classical F1 on track battle. I can also dig out some overtaking statistics spanning three decades if that is necessary. I know Ciro Pabon has posted them several times.

Posted Image

Ok, found the track statistic at Ciro's posts. It shows btw that Tilke tracks are not generally the worst for passing.

Posted Image

And the actual passing statistics based on data by Mirco Dalla. If you still think the early 80's did not have more on track passing I will give up. If you need a graph that allows you to correlate the passing statistic with downforce and lateral acceleration that can be supplied as well.



#37 Pingguest

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 10:52

If you need a graph that allows you to correlate the passing statistic with downforce and lateral acceleration that can be supplied as well.


I'm certainly interested in that graph. Could you post it here?