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Performance Analysis

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#1 Lukin

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 17:46

Sam Michael comment:

Asked to assess McLaren's dry pace, he replied: "Very competitive for us, we were very strong in P1 and in P3 on all the tyres and on race fuel loads in particular."

Michael declined to compare McLaren's likely race speed with top qualifiers Ferrari and Red Bull, but said: "All I know is what we did and what we normally do compared to them and all our data shows that we should have a very strong race car tomorrow."

What do you guys think forms the basis of this analysis?

I would think a few bits of information would be possible:

- From qualifying you (should) get basically a no fuel load top speed. From there you could use your own simulation data to estimate the fuel loads during practice based on the top speeds. So if Vmax in Qual was 325 km/h and you know 40 kg hurts the speed by 5 km, a top speed of 315 km/h would imply a 80 kg fuel load. DRS does mess this about though.

- That said, you also know the rough fuel consumption so you can plot the top speeds against the lap numbers in a run to weed out anomilies. Or if you have lots of people handy you sit one where the speed traps are recording DRS open or shut.

- With that same info (DRS being on or off) you can correct the laptime data (based on your own simulation of DRS effect) to get a degradation for the tyre and fuel load during a race run.

- If someone has the same engine as you, you can get an idea on their drag level (ie Renault seem quicker in a straight line than RBR) and estimate their downforce or L/D ratio.

- I am sure they have spotters checking which tyres are on the car based on the sidewall markings to keep track of laps.

- Are the speed values on the screen during the TV feed true or is there a bit of scrambling going on to protect the innocent? I noticed some cars have speed on their dash so if the teams can access that can provide some good data.

- Are there mini-sectors on the track? The three sectors are common, but there are usually lots of timing loops in a racetrack to give position information etc, do the teams have access to that?

What else? I am sure I am missing some obvious ones!


#2 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 18:36

I helped out on a photo shoot for F1 Racing where they were doing an article about telemetry. They were going to have about 5 minutes to take a picture of Barrichello looking at a stack of Williams printouts but to get the setup and lighting correct first they had me sit down and pretend to look at them while they played around with camera angles.

This was early 2010 so we had Silverstone 2009 print outs. The one that really jumped out at me was a lap comparison to (I'm pretty sure)Kimi Raikkonen. He qualified 9th vs the Williams in 5th and 7th so I'm not sure why he was being used as the reference.

But they had a time distance comparison to him based on audio recordings and they even seemed to know when KERS was being engaged throughout the lap, on the non-Williams car. The data trace wasn't perfectly smooth because it was an estimate, but they seemed to have a pretty good idea of the other car's speed at various points around the lap.

Would they all get access to the FOM onboards after a session? I think most of the cars carry them so you could map another driver's qualifying lap from in-car, otherwise I don't know how you'd reliably get data. Unless there's 12 sets of microphones every few feet for the entire length of the track.

#3 munks

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 19:56

My understanding is that all teams get some signal from FOM that gives them the approximate location of every car at about 10Hz. That should be enough to learn quite a bit.

#4 eta

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Posted 21 July 2012 - 20:16

as far as I know every track (at least the permanent race tracks) has induction loops integrated, far more than we see as “sector times”. All teams can use the data, as you see f.e at the command stands where they see all the rivals´ positions at the track. I don´t know if they only get a set of evaluated data or the raw data. With some input data you can simulate everything in vehicle dynamics programmes, which helps you until the other team shows up with a new front wing and a new mirror design :-)