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Enforcing the aero cap

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#1 Paolo

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Posted 15 December 2013 - 23:36

FIA just lowered the limit of aero research teams are allowed.

From today's Autosport news:


"Use of these two types [Windtunnel and CFD] of testing is now capped by a formula based on the number of hours the windtunnel is running and the amount of processing expended on CFD during an FIA-defined eight-week 'aerodynamic testing period'.

Set out in Appendix 8 of the sporting regulations, in each eight-week period the formula states a team can only do a certain amount of testing, using a combination of windtunnel times or CFD usage.

Windtunnel time is defined as the amount of hours the fans are turned on above a certain speed, also known as wind-on time. CFD usage is the amount of teraflops used in processing a model.

The wind-on time used for this formula is the average wind-on hours per week, while CFD processing is the total for the full eight week period.

Each measure (wind-on time/teraflop) is used as a single unit and the cap sits at 30 units in the testing period.

So a team could use up to 30 hours per week of wind-on time and no CFD processing, or 30 teraflop of CFD and no windtunnel or a combination of both."


Does anybody know how FIA enforces these limits?


And are they actually enforceable? It seems easy to cheat.

Edited by Paolo, 16 December 2013 - 09:22.


#2 desmo

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 04:44

Pretty easy to enforce wind tunnel limits, or could/should be. You won't be hiding a 60-70% tunnel anywhere.  Flops limits surely must rely to a large degree on the honor system, it would seem to be easy to run a parallel "black" CFD program deniably.

#3 RogerGraham

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:24

Also, doesn't it seem strange that the units are defined such that one hour of wind-on time is precisely one teraflop?  (And presumably they mean one teraflop-hour?)


Surely the benefits of the two techniques don't line up so neatly, and teams will therefore lean more strongly towards one or t'other.

#4 Greg Locock

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 05:38

That's the infamous three step method for implementing new rules.



Step 1 ask people how much of a resource they use.

step 2 introduce guidelines. see how much they get abused.

Step 3 introduce revised rules which give you control


So I guess we're at about 2.5


Incidentally that's an observation based on how governments and finance depts extend their reach.

#5 RDV

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 13:22

This is going to do wonders for CFD programming...efficient algorithms are to the fore, to the detriment of brute force programming, one of my usual rants...

#6 Greg Locock

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 20:39

True, and that might even be a positive in the real world, whereas at the moment we just install another supercomputer if the old ones aren't keeping up.

#7 Ali_G

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 13:36

How expensive is CFD to run.  I would have imagined it would be quite cheap compared to wind tunnel ?


Would be interesting if they did some sort of equivalency formula and cap overall usage of CFD / wind tunnel time.

#8 mrdave

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 14:06

I'm surprised that certain teams don't pool their resources (e.g. red bull / Toro rosso), or they form some sort of alliance with other teams, either officially or behind closed doors.


P.S did Ferrari ever fix that wind tunnel? (I hope they are good with CFD) :rotfl:

#9 DogEarred

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 14:17

Ferrari are up & running in their own tunnel again.

The problem, simply put, was that the chamber where the scale model is positioned, was of a shape/size that allowed the air to 'bounce back' off the walls & cause inconsistent readings. In the real world, there is sufficient air around a car that it just dissipates. The facility is of an age that I doubt if the tunnel was built with adaptive walls & was perhaps built for a 50% model, rather than the 60% used almost universally now.

Edited by DogEarred, 23 December 2013 - 14:18.

#10 f1engineer

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 11:49

at the moment any such limits are policed on goodwill....