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Why dies F1 need fuel flow limits?


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#1 Waltar

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:06

If the cars in Formula 1 are only allowed 100kg of fuel per race, why do they need fuel flow limits as well? Shouldn't the limit just be "dont run out before the race is over"?

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#2 GrumpyYoungMan

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:11

To limit power and to drive to higher efficiency ICE... as the ICE is quite energy inefficient.



#3 Risil

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 11:22

I've heard two different, nonconflicting explanations from "technical" fans.

 

A says that the fuel flow limit is required to prevent teams from putting high levels of boost into their motors for short periods. While it would be fun for a car to run at 950hp for a quarter of the race instead of 750hp for all of it, from a safety point of view at certain tracks it would be a worry. God knows how fast you'd go in a straight line with that much power too. I think it was Sam Collins of Racecar Engineering who said that while the 100 kg limit restricts you to a pint of cider, the fuel flow limit means you can only drink it so fast. By this metaphor, the safety argument is similar to the idea of pacing yourself at parties.

 

B says that it's part of the technical challenge. The FIA is not opposed to teams and engine builders finding more power, but they have to do it through increased efficiency and not just turning the turbo up.

 

Since the FIA, FOM etc have done **** all promotion for the vast investment they've required of their competitors, it's hard to know which one to give more credence to.


Edited by Risil, 18 March 2014 - 11:22.


#4 Bloggsworth

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 12:46

To pretend that it is getting greener...



#5 scolbourne

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 13:02

The flow limit is not about being "greener". The 100kg total fuel is enough to achieve that.

I think it is partly about safety, by limiting the maximum horsepower  available and additionally it will limit the cost by putting a cap to how much horsepower needs to be achieved and handled.

Without the flow limit, engines could be designed to put out over 2000hp which would make it very exciting for the fans but the drivers would be in great danger and the engines would be be costly to design and build and would often explode.

Even in 1986 the 1500cc BMW engines were said to put out  over 1400 bhp



#6 jee

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 13:36

It is A + B.

 

And additionally, engine manufacturers wanted this limit as otherwise it would be a lot more challenging for to just turn up the power in Q as there is no limit for the turbo boost.



#7 desmo

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 15:10

All the arguments for a fuel flow limit vs. simple fuel quantity limit alone seem to rely on a rather bizarre assumption that supercharging must be allowed.  Disallow supercharging, set a displacement limit (as has been the norm for F1 for years) and those arguments go away.



#8 MatsNorway

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 15:38

Why a displacement limit? Let them have fuel flow, thats it..



#9 desmo

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 15:46

Total fuel limit plus displacement limit is far simpler to implement.  Fuel flow limits are unnecessarily complicated in actual practice.



#10 kikiturbo2

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 16:03

All the arguments for a fuel flow limit vs. simple fuel quantity limit alone seem to rely on a rather bizarre assumption that supercharging must be allowed.  Disallow supercharging, set a displacement limit (as has been the norm for F1 for years) and those arguments go away.

 

there is a much simpler way of limiting turbocharged engines... just have them use a restrictor before turbo..



#11 BRG

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Posted 18 March 2014 - 21:47

To pretend that it is getting greener...

Exactly so.  The FIA realise (unlike 98% of members of this forum) that the sport needs to be seen to be getting greener.  Even if it is a complete nonsense when the amount of fuel used in the race cars is a literally a drop in the ocean of fuel used to transport the team and the fans to each race.  So just as the Toyota Prius is considered to be the green hybrid par excellence even though it is in reality no more green than many conventional cars, F1 will be able to point to their efficient power units and disarm the sort of smug ecomentalists who drive Priuses and believe that they are in some way more caring for planet Earth than the rest of us.

 

Given the fact that the green lobby are mostly fairly ill informed, the FIA's plan may well prove prescient.



#12 bigleagueslider

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:03

Regulating total fuel mass is an effective way of promoting engine efficiency.  But what F1 regulations really need are rules that improve the racing. Ultimately, F1 is entertainment. And its financial success or failure depends on how many people watch the races on TV.



#13 Greg Locock

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 04:45

Any race is entertainment. Why is that unfortunate? Records are records, races entertainment.

 

Simple example, yacht racing. if there are three one designs in a race, and two are trying to beat each other, the third will catch up or increase its lead. Racing and record setting are not directly compatible.



#14 Rinehart

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 12:28

The fuel flow limit must be designed to limit peak power but it is looking tricky to govern so maybe a return to turbo restrictor is the way to go. Even though they have been the epicenter of many a cheat over the years. My worry is that cheating fuel flow sensors is going to be even harder to police.



#15 mariner

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 13:19

There is not much new about limiting total fuel supply and  some form of max. power limit is also quite common e.g F3/LM air restrictors, USAC blow off valves.

 

There is a big engineering logic for a maximum fuel load as the most "pure" racing design challenge sbut F1 today being F1 today such a simple prescription for eficiency development has been surrounded by a vast swath of detail rules about just about everything. I gues to make sure nobody does anything too radical and disadvantage the other engne builders. For example some form of compressed air energy recovery and storage might work in F1 because the storage period is so short - or multiple capacitors but such open ended design freedom is not what F1 is about today.

 

The big problem with the fuel flow sensors is that its hard to make a perfectly precise sensor and the modern on board software lets any team "prove" the sensor was bad. In simpler times USAC had hell's own job supplying blow- off valves that were tightly controlled to the spec. level.Today's electronics should be much better BUT if a 90 minute race is won by 2 seconds thats 0.037% so any sensor more than +/- 0.02% wrong is, arguably, the cause of being second not first for a team.

 

-BTW  I do realise that lap speed and power are not linearly related so the example is mathmatically not correct but the point is that your sensors have to be more accurate than a winning margin before you can defend them as " accurate" from  racing perspective.



#16 MatsNorway

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 15:00

Stop suggesting no fuel flow limit!!!!! 

 

I will not enjoy seeing them driving like sissies because they have failed at calculating the fuel usage for the race. Less math and strategy in race and more driver vs driver racing action on track please.. They should be forced to run more fuel than needed. So they can give it all they got for the full race duration. And that is what we got for the other races exept one i believe someone said.

 

Fuel flow is a brilliant idea. And its far from impossible to adjust and get sufficiently accurate.



#17 gruntguru

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Posted 20 March 2014 - 22:24

Every racing category has rules to limit power output. The fuel flow limit is exactly that and has many advantages over other types.

- It can provide a rock solid ceiling on power output, even with no other rules. (Think Carnot efficiency)

- The only way to increase power is to increase fuel efficiency. Under conventional rules, the majority of power enhancing modifications actually reduce fuel efficiency.

- Intake restrictors reduce fuel efficiency

- Adding a turbocharger to the formula permits higher efficiency and makes compounding (even higher efficiency) more straightforward. Unfortunately the turbocharger also makes it more difficult to limit power (only fuel or airflow limts work effectively)

 

For me the only downside is the difficulties around implementation and accuracy.

 

BRG nailed it in post #11. "the sport needs to be seen  to be getting greener". When I explained the fuel flow limit to my better half she was very enthusiastic about F1 taking that direction and used words like "dirty" and "selfish" to describe her view of motorsport prior to the new rules.



#18 bigleagueslider

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 02:50

There are two aspects to fuel efficiency. One is how efficient the drivetrain is at converting the chemical energy of the fuel mass to usable work propelling the car around the track. The other is how efficient the rest of the chassis is at making use of the drivetrain work output. Allowing fully active aerodynamics on F1 cars would provide a larger increase in efficiency than any engine tweak.



#19 Wuzak

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 05:28

This year's race took 3 minutes longer to finish than last year's, but with one less lap. There were 4 safety car laps, however, compared to none last year. Compensating for the loss of one lap and the loss of time in safety car laps the gain in overall race time was around 2%, thiis was done with 2/3 of the the fuel. This, I think, counts as an efficiency gain!

 

Much of the gain is due to the engine rules - some is due to the lowering of drag (around 15% less according to some).



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#20 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 09:42

there is a much simpler way of limiting turbocharged engines... just have them use a restrictor before turbo..

Or use a blow off valve. Not ideal but a damn sight simpler than this current rubbish.



#21 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 09:48

there is a much simpler way of limiting turbocharged engines... just have them use a restrictor before turbo..

That too would be too simple for the FIA. 

The viewing figures by mid season will illustrate I am sure how popular this hi speed economy run is. Or more probably not.

Bernie ofcourse hates it all, the lack of noise and the fuel flow garbage. He may have more pull than the teams as his pocket will be affected.



#22 Wuzak

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 10:21

Or use a blow off valve. Not ideal but a damn sight simpler than this current rubbish.

 

 

How is a fuel flow regulation any more "rubbish" than a blow off valve or air flow restrictor?



#23 Wuzak

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 10:29

That too would be too simple for the FIA. 

The viewing figures by mid season will illustrate I am sure how popular this hi speed economy run is. Or more probably not.

Bernie ofcourse hates it all, the lack of noise and the fuel flow garbage. He may have more pull than the teams as his pocket will be affected.

 

The fuel flow restricter is not about economy - it is power restriction. The 100kg fuel for the race is the economy factor, and for most races it will probably not that much of a factor. And those where it is, like Australia, will be no more than in the past few years.



#24 alexbiker

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Posted 21 March 2014 - 21:42

I think people on here need to realise the essential truth: F1 is simply not for us.

 

We people who go to races, read and understand the technology in detail, understand the physics and talk to each other - how many posters on all the F1 technical forums? A few thousands.  F1 is a commerical enterprise, a multi-billion dollar one at that.  It exists to sell things - Red Bull drinks, Santander banking products, Martini alcohol - and it exists to sell them to hundreds of millions of international viewers the overwhelming majority of which have no idea what they're watching.  They know that Ferraris are the bestest cars in the world and Ferrari race in F1 so F1 is the bestest races in the world, so they are using the bestest, sexiest products - and they drape some of those products off some pretty girls, and some drivers who are sleeping with other pretty girls. 

 

These same people are taught to be worried about global warming and cars and smog and stuff, so some will turn off if it isn't greenwashed.  But it's ok, F1 doesn't make that much pollution - they're hybrids! And the Prius is a hybrid, and the government doesn't make me pay tax on them, so they're green?  Never mind they don't have a clue what 100kg of fuel looks like, or that we've gone from four to six MPG - it's green!  Never mind that's facing into a stiff breeze and commencing micturition compared to the kerosene burned getting them to the races - it's green!  Whizzo, whirr, electric, batteries.

 

And then the cars they can buy "use F1 hybrid technology" and the companies paying the tab greenwash their own products simply by handing over a cheque.  Everyone is happy that pays the bills.  You and I pay very little of the bills, so we don't really matter.


Edited by alexbiker, 21 March 2014 - 22:03.