Jump to content


Photo

Divergent Governance: How to Increase Overtaking and Mechanical Diversity


  • Please log in to reply
39 replies to this topic

#1 RichardJames

RichardJames
  • New Member

  • 5 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 30 October 2010 - 05:18

Hello everybody,

My name is Richard James, I am a professional aerospace engineer and I have been a motorsport fan since childhood. Like almost all motorsport enthusiasts I have become disheartened by the mechanical sameness of most series and the lack of action and overtaking, especially in Formula 1. So I decided to put my aerospace root cause analysis skills to use and have a go at trying to solve the problems. The results of my efforts are here http://www.divergentgovernance.co.uk and I would like you to please let me know what you think.

As a heads up to what this idea has achieved so far; it is being debated by Indycar as a possible method to ensure mechanical diversity within the open aero rules for their 2012 car. I am also working very closely with an ex FIA technical consultant who has suggested it is vital to gain as much publicity for my idea as possible, hence the website and this post. The concept will be featured shortly in Racecar Engineering Magazine and it is to be validated by Cambridge University. So, in summary, it is slowly gathering momentum but it requires far more critical mass. This is a powerful voice for the fans to shout loud and clear about what they want to see. This is the reason I am asking you read it, get enthused, and to go forth and spread the word.

Really hope you like it,

Rich

Advertisement

#2 ClubmanGT

ClubmanGT
  • Member

  • 3,599 posts
  • Joined: May 06

Posted 30 October 2010 - 05:55

Hi Richard,

Well done on putting together such a comprehensive document. I've had a skim (and probably completely misunderstood it :p ) but I do agree that the philosophy of rule development should not be developing technical written rules to address engineering development, but developing rules rooted in engineering itself.

I would love to see this attempted on one of the ever-expanding numbers of feeder series to see if it's practical. I've put this in my reading pile for once my exams are finished.

#3 WhiteBlue

WhiteBlue
  • Member

  • 2,188 posts
  • Joined: July 10

Posted 30 October 2010 - 08:10

A very intelligently written paper. The section on downforce is hugely enjoyable and clearly puts the finger on the wound of the biggest problem in F1. The concept of divergent government is very complex and it faces huge hurdles. The biggest hurdle is setting proper relationships between the relevant parameters. I'm convinced that this concept cannot be put into reality by the committee of teams that currently determine the rules. There are million ways to tweak the relationships and only an independent, dictatorial governing body with dedication to scientific methods and a huge simulation department could hope to implement such monumental change.

#4 Crafty

Crafty
  • Member

  • 4,151 posts
  • Joined: May 05

Posted 30 October 2010 - 09:53

I've downloaded the document to read, but meanwhile all credit to you for putting in a massive amount of effort to get this far. Keep us updated on progress!

#5 RichardJames

RichardJames
  • New Member

  • 5 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 30 October 2010 - 09:53

Thankyou for your comments so far.
I agree with you, WhiteBlue, that the current governors and rule writers are probably too close to the status quo and would not be capable of initiating the complete cultural change towards Divergent Governance DG. Regarding the issue of maintaining diversity, please revisit the website and take a look at the news item regarding Cambridge University. The current stance (until we have managed to proove it) is that mechanical diversity is likely to be quite stable, and not eventually converge onto a single best solution. (fingers crossed)

Thanks again and I'm looking forward to hearing more views.

Rich

#6 Gilles12

Gilles12
  • Member

  • 863 posts
  • Joined: June 08

Posted 30 October 2010 - 12:02

Given that this is the most competitive and exciting season in years I'd suggest you keep your powder dry for a season like '88 0r '04

That way you might get a shot at being heard

#7 Dunder

Dunder
  • Member

  • 6,784 posts
  • Joined: April 01

Posted 30 October 2010 - 13:06

It was an interesting read, thanks.

I agree with a lot of what you have written and would love to see more diversity of design but am not convinced that a rule book driven by parametric limits would be successful or even that divergence of performance is necessary to produce better racing in F1.

We see great close racing in many spec series. These series do not have the same issues of aerodynamic wake as F1 and have relatively longer braking distances. To my mind it is these two factors which are the main cause of processional racing in F1.

#8 WhiteBlue

WhiteBlue
  • Member

  • 2,188 posts
  • Joined: July 10

Posted 30 October 2010 - 16:42

We see great close racing in many spec series. These series do not have the same issues of aerodynamic wake as F1 and have relatively longer braking distances. To my mind it is these two factors which are the main cause of processional racing in F1.

The relatively simple part of the proposal is to absolutely limit the parameter downforce. Modern F1 onboard computers can easily measure all necessary data to real time compute the aerodynamic part of downforce. With a given weight of the car and the driver you only have to keep track of the weight of petrol and measure the vertical acceleration to integrate the inertial forces. The total balance of all vertical forces can be measured at the four wheels. The FiA has proposed a limit of 1.25 metric tons for downforce in 2006 which was basically agreed as a target at that time. That level of downforce seems to be appropriate and not excessive. At the moment it is probably exceeded at least by 100% with all the negative consequences we read in Richard James's paper. The problem seems to be the addiction of the technical directors to the game of ever new aero boxes. It ensures that ultimately a chassis based parameter determines the competitiveness and that the few engine manufacturers cannot be totally dominant. I see problems to introduce the needed change due to the vested interest of the legislators. The rules today are made by the team majority.


#9 PayasYouRace

PayasYouRace
  • RC Forum Host

  • 36,528 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 30 October 2010 - 16:49

Can someone give a summary that won't take 3 hours to read?

Edit: That's not to say I'm not reading it, but your bosses must hate you if you're an aerospace engineer who can't boil an idea down to a one page summary.

Edited by PayasYouRace, 30 October 2010 - 16:57.


#10 PayasYouRace

PayasYouRace
  • RC Forum Host

  • 36,528 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 30 October 2010 - 18:38

I've given it a read. So the idea is to provide a set of performance relationships that teams must adhere to, but their design work is free as long as they meet those performance values. These will be decided according the the circuits raced on.

There's great promise to the idea, but there are certain things that let it down. It seems more like a manifesto to get rid of your own pet peeves from the sport (ugly cars? I think the current F1 cars look more like F1 cars than the 2008 monstrosities) than a scientific paper so solve problems in the sport.

I think the use of the term manifesto is equally apt because what you have written is essentially a motorsport communism. The idea that basically all cars will have an equal chance for the championship. Then there's the complicated restrictions you'd have to apply to in-season development. The only development worth doing becomes trying to adapt your car to the demands of each circuit's ideal parameters.

It also seems to be a nightmare for scrutineering.

I share Dunder's opnion below.

It was an interesting read, thanks.

I agree with a lot of what you have written and would love to see more diversity of design but am not convinced that a rule book driven by parametric limits would be successful or even that divergence of performance is necessary to produce better racing in F1.

We see great close racing in many spec series. These series do not have the same issues of aerodynamic wake as F1 and have relatively longer braking distances. To my mind it is these two factors which are the main cause of processional racing in F1.


Overall, I don't think it's the revolution you think it will be.

#11 FonzCam

FonzCam
  • Member

  • 762 posts
  • Joined: February 05

Posted 30 October 2010 - 20:51

Had a read through, i read it quite quickly so I might have missed something but it seems to boil down to.

Some rules change so they are based on effect not cause. (Engine power output not capacity, downforce created not size/shape etc) This makes the cause of the 700bhp for each car diverge rather then a specific engine spec where performance converges.

Can trade min/max values for those effects. (Power/Weight, Downforce/Mechanical grip of tyres)


It's a simple solution to the problem of diminishing returns on R&D under the current type of regulations. I've been ranting about similar things on this forum for years (limiting total downforce and fuel usage etc). Hopefully your proposal can get things moving in the right direction.





#12 simplyfast

simplyfast
  • Member

  • 867 posts
  • Joined: July 10

Posted 30 October 2010 - 21:19

Hello everybody,

My name is Richard James, I am a professional aerospace engineer and I have been a motorsport fan since childhood. Like almost all motorsport enthusiasts I have become disheartened by the mechanical sameness of most series and the lack of action and overtaking, especially in Formula 1. So I decided to put my aerospace root cause analysis skills to use and have a go at trying to solve the problems. The results of my efforts are here http://www.divergentgovernance.co.uk and I would like you to please let me know what you think.

As a heads up to what this idea has achieved so far; it is being debated by Indycar as a possible method to ensure mechanical diversity within the open aero rules for their 2012 car. I am also working very closely with an ex FIA technical consultant who has suggested it is vital to gain as much publicity for my idea as possible, hence the website and this post. The concept will be featured shortly in Racecar Engineering Magazine and it is to be validated by Cambridge University. So, in summary, it is slowly gathering momentum but it requires far more critical mass. This is a powerful voice for the fans to shout loud and clear about what they want to see. This is the reason I am asking you read it, get enthused, and to go forth and spread the word.

Really hope you like it,

Rich


A dictatorial governance would never be accepted by the teams.
They are not interested in better racing or entertaining the fans its all I, me, my not us, we, ours with them.
The only way they would even remotely interested would be if it gave them more power (clearly a dictatorships fails that point) and more money.

#13 noikeee

noikeee
  • Member

  • 21,812 posts
  • Joined: February 06

Posted 30 October 2010 - 22:15

I think it is an excellent paper, some very good observations in there but I still struggle to understand some things:

What exactly would be a viable set of parametric rules for a series like formula 1. From what I understood, the idea of "parametric" is to equalize two or more parameters to a function, for example choose either for more power and more weight, or less power and less weight. Surely then there is still going to be a point of the function that is ideal, and every team would converge to it? Even considering a wild parametric model with various factors all dependent on each other (which would be an incredibly confusing set of rules to explain to fans), I still doubt it'd be possible to truly equalize the spectrum. I'm saying this on memories of many attempts to come up with two-tier series, ex. KERS vs no-KERS in last year F1, diesel vs no-diesel in Le Mans, it never quite turns out equal or with the intended balance of power. I do realise that a choice between two options is different from a choice between infinite points in an equation, possibly even a very complex equation, but my limited empirical observation made me suspicious...

What I'm afraid of is that on the 2nd year of the rules, everyone would copy the chosen design of the winning team, by choosing the same point of the function. And therefore, converge. Only for the FIA to come up with new rules again, a new parametric function, to reset everything. And again. And again. Which is essentially similar to the situation we have now!

I also think that while you are correct that the infinite pursuing of extra downforce is a big factor in increasing costs, I'm not sure how exactly things would get cheaper. Teams will always spend the **** out of their abilities in order to fine tune to the rules. Or in this case, to their chosen point in the function. From what I understood, your argument is that this won't happen because everyone will be equalized through the performance function. Okay then, but if all cars will be equal in performance will this still be a sport? Isn't the point of F1 to build better cars than others and win on merit mostly based on that? So which one is it then? Will the cars be equal, therefore the incentive to cost more is lower, but this isn't really a sport; or will the cars still be differenced in overall absolute performance, therefore the incentive to cost more is still there?

Fix these problems and you've got a great solution here, explained to a brilliant level of detail. Might be worth sending this to not only rule makers, but also journalists ex. James Allen, get the buzz around these ideas started.

#14 RichardJames

RichardJames
  • New Member

  • 5 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 31 October 2010 - 06:05

Hi folks,

Thanks for your input so far. Maybe the paper is not clear on a few points raised;

Dunder; True, series' without downforce have close racing, Formula Ford is excellent, but do we really want the premier Formulas to be so similar in design they may as well be spec? Even without downforce the root of overtaking is a performance differential, which provides us with an excellent building block for diversity within a series.

PayasYouRace; Yes it can be summarised in 2 pages, just as the Origin of Species could be (you look like your parents because...) but this would not explain what the concept is for and why it is needed. A 2 page summary of this concept could explain the mechanism in elementry terms but it never switches people onto it's power and consequences. Even in aerospece, if the root cause of an issue has not been identified (i.e. you are at ground level with a problem) then the reports can become quite complex and lengthy. Otherwise you cannot attain the majority concensus if people are not carried through the logic of the solution.
As for my own pet peeves, I don't like a lack of mechanical diversity, a lack of overtaking and high barriers to entry for new teams. The paragraph regarding the mis-shapen F1 car, was used to illustrate the effects of initiating change without first identifying true root cause.
Motorsport communism; I think you have misunderstood me here, possibly the result of trying to skim the document (very common). The concept is to produce a flat design environment rather than a single point (as todays absolute geometric rules do) and within that design environment there are no 'hot spots'. Under todays geometric rules based system all teams have an equal chance of winning, whether they do, or not, is due to thier own efforts. This has to remain the case under a Divergent framework or convergence would result.
The lack of in-season development would be a consequence of the absolute control of costs that the system could enable should this be desirable. I personally prefer the solution proposed in the Formula 1 Incorporation chapter, where the development race is directed to specific areas such as consumption of resource.
Revolution; if this concept works as imagined (a big 'if' at this stage, I know) then it would be pretty significant! Whether anybody would call that a revolution is up to them.

I hope that I have answered your concerns, when there is a lack of comprehension it is usually caused by skimming the document (many people have read this now and definate patterns of comprehension emerge, and when challenged, it transpires that those who struggled did not give it due time). It takes about 3 hours to digest (2 casual evenings) I'm sure that for many folk this is not too much to ask.

Simplyfast; Not sure what you mean by dictatorial system. All motorsport teams are dictated to (the rule book) buth this is a more open framework than most.

Paranoik0; Convergence. It is difficult to imagine a technical framework for motorsport that offers a greater reward for diversity than convergence. This is the core concern of the work to be performed at Cambridge Uni (see news item on the website)

Your second point regarding equalised performance sounds like a mis-comprehension of the concept. The proposal is to remove the single point of the current absolute geometric rule with a flat design environment. Within both, the success of a team is thier own doing and not due to the rules favouring one team (or solution) over another. And yes, the first few years for the new governing body will be very steep learning years, and the relationships may need adjustment. The empirical feedback, of a concpt in operation, is the return loop of the design engineers refinement toolkit.

I hope I have satisfactorily answered your questions, if not please let me know.

Yours

Rich

#15 Murphster

Murphster
  • Member

  • 225 posts
  • Joined: July 10

Posted 31 October 2010 - 07:32

Given that this is the most competitive and exciting season in years I'd suggest you keep your powder dry for a season like '88 0r '04

That way you might get a shot at being heard


It's not really though is it?

It may be tight at the top of the WDC, and we may have seen many different leaders of the WDC over the course of the season but it is not neccesarily an indication of competitiveness on the track. This season will be remembered mostly for the RBR being miles ahead of the other cars on the grid but suffering badly from driver error and mechanical failures. The fact that Lewis Hamilton is still in contention in that dog of a McLaren is not so much a sign of this being a competitive season but more that the leaders are making too many mistakes.

I don't remember too many exciting races, not too many images of side by side racing, leaders overtaking each other, nothing really to get me excited about while watching the races. As an audience we are very lucky that the RBR's have thrown it away this season, otherwise it would all be over now. I don't think we can rely on mistakes and errors continuing to create false competitiveness in the future. Something fundemental needs to happen to fix F1 soon before it disapears up it's own arse.

F1 know this, hence why they keep changing the rules every bloody year, trying to create false excitement via a new points systems or different tyre rules. As this document points out, all this tinkering is just moving us further away from what the end goal should be - more competitive racing, more overtaking and more driver skill on display.

Good work and good luck with it.

#16 PayasYouRace

PayasYouRace
  • RC Forum Host

  • 36,528 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 31 October 2010 - 17:39

First of all, I will read it again with a clear head in a couple of days because I do like some of the ideas there.

PayasYouRace; Yes it can be summarised in 2 pages, just as the Origin of Species could be (you look like your parents because...) but this would not explain what the concept is for and why it is needed. A 2 page summary of this concept could explain the mechanism in elementry terms but it never switches people onto it's power and consequences. Even in aerospece, if the root cause of an issue has not been identified (i.e. you are at ground level with a problem) then the reports can become quite complex and lengthy. Otherwise you cannot attain the majority concensus if people are not carried through the logic of the solution.

All I was thinking is that any idea can be summarised nicely and concisely. I'm sure id you asked a biologist to summarise Origin of Species in a page he could do so effectively, but that's neither here nor there.

I'm also in aerospace, and I've had my fair share of reports to write and condense.

As for my own pet peeves, I don't like a lack of mechanical diversity, a lack of overtaking and high barriers to entry for new teams. The paragraph regarding the mis-shapen F1 car, was used to illustrate the effects of initiating change without first identifying true root cause.

It's the personal tone of the document that brings this up. Statements such as where you say many enthusiasts you know don't actually watch the races. Instead of that some data would have been preferable. After all, everyone I know who is interested in F1 watches the races, so it's not a cut and dry thing. Lack of overtaking is a problem, but lack of mechanical diversity isn't necessarily what turns fans off, and the high entry barrier doesn't mean much if there is a full field of cars (at least 20) year in, year out. Though I agree that more teams is better.

Motorsport communism; I think you have misunderstood me here, possibly the result of trying to skim the document (very common). The concept is to produce a flat design environment rather than a single point (as todays absolute geometric rules do) and within that design environment there are no 'hot spots'. Under todays geometric rules based system all teams have an equal chance of winning, whether they do, or not, is due to thier own efforts. This has to remain the case under a Divergent framework or convergence would result.

While I knew that comment was going to get a response, it was used in the sense of a theory which sounds good and is pretty unworkable in practise, though I'm worried by what you've just sais here. Surely you want all teams to have an equal chance of winning, for that would be fair. In fact, after thinking about your ideas, it seems more and more contrived. Teams only have a chance of winning the events they've chosen to optimise for, and domination (which isn't exciting, but it is important to be possible in a sport) becomes impossible.

The lack of in-season development would be a consequence of the absolute control of costs that the system could enable should this be desirable. I personally prefer the solution proposed in the Formula 1 Incorporation chapter, where the development race is directed to specific areas such as consumption of resource.
Revolution; if this concept works as imagined (a big 'if' at this stage, I know) then it would be pretty significant! Whether anybody would call that a revolution is up to them.

Again, it all seems a bit contrived. If you have some areas with development allowed and others not, then you're no different from the current situation. Except with your system teams do not win because they have done a better job, but because they gambled on the other teams choosing a different solution. That is not sport.

I hope that I have answered your concerns, when there is a lack of comprehension it is usually caused by skimming the document (many people have read this now and definate patterns of comprehension emerge, and when challenged, it transpires that those who struggled did not give it due time). It takes about 3 hours to digest (2 casual evenings) I'm sure that for many folk this is not too much to ask.


Yes you have helped answer my questions, but you need to be open to criticism of your document. If people are reading it and coming to a different interpretation, then maybe you need to clarify your ideas, and not accuse them of not reading it properly. I'm going to read it again to have it sink in properly, but you need to realise people not agreeing with it is not because they haven't understood it. That's usually reserved for guardians of "holy books". When I have read it again I will return to this thread. Please remember that I'm giving first impressions and I may change my views, because, as I said at the beginning, it is a promising idea with sound theory behind it. I just worry that it would create more problems than it solves.

#17 RichardJames

RichardJames
  • New Member

  • 5 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 02 November 2010 - 07:12

All I was thinking is that any idea can be summarised nicely and concisely. I'm sure id you asked a biologist to summarise Origin of Species in a page he could do so effectively, but that's neither here nor there.

I'm also in aerospace, and I've had my fair share of reports to write and condense.


I do have a couple of different, 2 page, versions of this concept that I use when appropriate (contacting companies etc.) but the primary reasons for presenting the concept online is to let everybody see the whole idea and to gather feedback. There would be no point in posting a summary as any discussion and debate would either be incomplete or be requests for clarity that the full document would answer.

It's the personal tone of the document that brings this up. Statements such as where you say many enthusiasts you know don't actually watch the races. Instead of that some data would have been preferable. After all, everyone I know who is interested in F1 watches the races, so it's not a cut and dry thing. Lack of overtaking is a problem, but lack of mechanical diversity isn't necessarily what turns fans off, and the high entry barrier doesn't mean much if there is a full field of cars (at least 20) year in, year out. Though I agree that more teams is better.


It was very difficult to know where to pitch the tone of the document, on the one hand it is a tech. document but also I want it to be read by anyone interested in motorsport. As it is fairly lengthy I figured a more casual, personal (and on occasion perky) style would help keep folk going to the end.
I think that an enhanced degree of mechanical diversity could only be a good thing (all things being equal).
The high barrier to entry is what is causing the difficulty being experienced now within Formula 1. Without the 6 cars trailing around at the back of the grid there wouldn’t be a full field. How long those teams can last is anybody’s guess.

While I knew that comment was going to get a response, it was used in the sense of a theory which sounds good and is pretty unworkable in practise, though I'm worried by what you've just sais here. Surely you want all teams to have an equal chance of winning, for that would be fair. In fact, after thinking about your ideas, it seems more and more contrived. Teams only have a chance of winning the events they've chosen to optimise for, and domination (which isn't exciting, but it is important to be possible in a sport) becomes impossible.


I don’t think we will know how workable this is until we actually get going with it. We can see where we want to be, there appears to be nothing terminal in our way, but we are not sure of the way. I know that the learning has not even started and a few years into a divergent formula, we could possibly be looking back on this document with a sympathetic smile. We will have moved on.
I do want all teams to have exactly the same theoretical chance of winning. I still feel that I am being misunderstood here but I am not sure I know how to make myself clearer.
The teams will not only be winning the events they have chosen. The examples are kept simple (and 2 dimensional) to illustrate the concept. The cars will be a real, Liquorice Allsorts, mix of characteristics of all parameters and dimensions and the tracks will not align themselves in the same order neatly on the axis of every characteristic (curvaciousness, altitude [oxygen], grip, undulation [macro & micro], width and many other parameters. They too will be a mixed bag of Allsorts. So (just as today) the individual events will confer favour to different teams but more so, and nothing will be cut and dried. It is virtually impossible to imagine anything in more than 3D’s (and many people find this difficult) but the concept operates in a landscape and design environment that has many more dimensions. Also, it must be remembered that even under today’s convergent frameworks absolute parity of design has not yet been reached. The mixed bag of car and track traits I have described above is what we have today, just not very much any more. The problem is we are heading in the wrong direction, we are heading towards convergence and this is the root cause of the erosion of diversity and action. I want to reverse the direction and head back towards diversity and action. With the analytical power of computers that we enjoy this is no longer possible under a traditional framework, we have to do something else. Even if that something else we are not sure exactly how to do, yet.
As for being contrived, I too have struggled with this. Could it feel contrived because we are used to absolute geometric rule and that any alternatives (that attempt to address the problems) feel contrived, whatever they may be. We must admit that everybody is looking to introduce differentials now; with sticky tyres, KERS and Bernie’s shortcuts. These are what I would call contrived, and by comparison, Divergent Governance feels almost organic. In fact it is probably a more natural (and realistic) a design environment that the original, absolute geometric rule ever was.

Again, it all seems a bit contrived. If you have some areas with development allowed and others not, then you're no different from the current situation. Except with your system teams do not win because they have done a better job, but because they gambled on the other teams choosing a different solution. That is not sport.


I think all motorsports fans would agree that the ideal situation would be a completely open technical framework, were it feasible. We have rules because it is not feasible; unfortunately any series without rule would, more or less, head down the route of the Can Am championship and not actually produce good racing. Once we have decided that we need rules because we need control (to ensure that we have a spectacle) then we need to understand what would be best for the spectacle. I have attempted to illustrate why I believe downforce takes much away and brings little to the sports show. It is for this reason that, even in a series with development spend, I would be happy to keep downforce on a strong leash.
The current situation does not encourage development in any particular sphere, it is just that the proliferation of high downforce has nullified the benefits of development in certain, other areas.
Teams gamble on what other teams do today, and if they get it wrong they are in a big hurry to copy (let’s not forget spy-gate). Again, what I hope Divergent Governance will achieve is the same levels of intrigue, espionage (yes, I did say that) and second guessing the competition, but in the opposite direction; towards, not away from, diversity.

Yes you have helped answer my questions, but you need to be open to criticism of your document. If people are reading it and coming to a different interpretation, then maybe you need to clarify your ideas, and not accuse them of not reading it properly. I'm going to read it again to have it sink in properly, but you need to realise people not agreeing with it is not because they haven't understood it. That's usually reserved for guardians of "holy books". When I have read it again I will return to this thread. Please remember that I'm giving first impressions and I may change my views, because, as I said at the beginning, it is a promising idea with sound theory behind it. I just worry that it would create more problems than it solves.


It is difficult to respond to questions without sounding as though you are not open to criticism, but the purpose of the forum posts was to judge peoples understanding and opinion of the concept, so everything you say is very welcome. There is definitely a pattern emerging within the readership and that is, if it is read too quickly the same misconceptions arise. This is either, as you say, a lack of clarity in the document, or the fact that the core kernel of the concept is simple to understand but difficult to imagine and requires quite a delicate state of reasoning. A worthy analogy may be those pictures that, at first, appear to be random patterns but if stared at long enough (until focus is lost) a definite object appears. As you have said that you are going to read it again it probably confirms the latter. This is no criticism, the greatest technical minds in Formula 1 and Indycar have all confessed to needing to read it 2 or 3 times to ‘get it’, and I wrestled with it for a long time before I felt ready to put anything down on paper.
There is a long road ahead of Divergent Governance, and I doubt it is straight. Conversely, there could be a very short road ahead of motorsport if something doesn’t change, and that is not just my opinion.

The work may be hard, but it could present the ultimate prize.

Thanks again for your thoughts and I promise you I look forward to any responses.

Rich

Edited by RichardJames, 02 November 2010 - 07:16.


#18 Number62

Number62
  • Member

  • 522 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 02 November 2010 - 07:54

Nice read. I need to re-read a couple of times to crystalise the arguments in my mind.

I agree with PAYR that it desperately needs an executive summary.

Couple of questions:

Why do all commercial aircraft converge to a more or less similar design? Does DG only work for a performance environment not an efficiency one?

Won't the budget cap provide divergance? You can do whatever you want as long as it costs £60m and fits inside the FIA 'box'.



#19 WhiteBlue

WhiteBlue
  • Member

  • 2,188 posts
  • Joined: July 10

Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:42

The biggest problem still seems to be formulating the relationships between parameters. You have to have a certain understanding what parameters do and you need huge computer capacities and human resources to design that parametric network.

Just one example on the linking of the numbers of dry tyres and the tyre compound. It sounds feasible in the first place. But an important lesson of the last two seasons has been the insight that one set of tyres just hard enough to last a whole race is the best possible solution to avoid excessive marbles and enable multiple racing lines. So having softer compounds may be useless anyway if we resolve the turbulence problem to some degree.

I don't even want to go into the issue of having different tyre compound and geometries. The teams will robustly oppose going for such things. The testing which is necessary for a full blown tyre development war is not affordable and isn't desired at all. As long as you have no serious restrictions on tyres it will kill all other parameters in terms of source of competitiveness. The last tyre war until 2005 was ample proof of that. Teams have no interest to make F1 the stage of tyre manufacturers. They would tolerate engine manufacturers to a degree but the main thing they want to showcase is their chassis.

It is hard enough to get power train diversity for an entertaining show. Fans can relate to power train technologies because they are relatively close to road car technology and easily explainable. When the competitiveness is based on some rubber chemistry people will very quickly switch off and the teams will not be prepared to pay for the testing costs. You cannot really simulate different compounds and tyre geometries in terms of degradation or of perfeormance. It is much too complex. Teams are still using FP1/2/3 to generate test data each week end because the tyres cannot be simulated.

Advertisement

#20 rolf123

rolf123
  • Member

  • 2,417 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 02 November 2010 - 11:45

Here are my honest thoughts, and I have an engineering degree too.

- 3 hours to read? WAY too long. You could get a tenth of the publicity but make more impact if you had a summary document. 3 hours is simply too long. I say this from my current marketing experience. Engineering bods will love it but everyone else will get on with better things to do in their life than read a 3 hour technical document. Casual fan won't be interested at all.

I read the F1 part. Specifically the performance differential part.

You have one approach to the problem but I think you are over-analysing the problem. F1 has changed in many ways in the last 15 years but the key problem is the dirty air scenario. This can be legislated against without the need for this over-analysis.

I prefer a different approach. Rather than trying to start at the beginning (and in the end have no significant changes, as we've seen so often) we should instead legislate for the final effects. OK sure, Red Bull's wing still somehow drops low to the ground but this is an exception.

In F1, cars should be mandated to produce specific static pressures out the back of the car under some common wind tunnel test. This would get rid of the "dirty air" zone if engineers were forced to comply with a specified range of permissible pressures. It's a bit like load-deflection tests, except in the wind tunnel.

Much more simple solution and all that is needed to spice F1 up. Yes, there are no missed gear changes, yes the braking distances are short, yes to many things and this confuses people BUT the dirty air problem is the BIGGEST one of them all and F1 will be fixed if this is done.



Mechanical homogeneity I personally do not have a problem with. Tons of racing series the world over are homogeneous and the talent still shines through and there are tons of on-track battles. F1 is one of the only formulas that does not have this, thanks to dirty air.

btw you might want to contact Imperial College aero department. They did some work with the FiA back in the late 90s (yes, THAT long ago!) to try and solve the dirty air problem.

Edited by rolf123, 02 November 2010 - 11:50.


#21 noikeee

noikeee
  • Member

  • 21,812 posts
  • Joined: February 06

Posted 02 November 2010 - 12:26

The biggest problem still seems to be formulating the relationships between parameters. You have to have a certain understanding what parameters do and you need huge computer capacities and human resources to design that parametric network.


Yep, that's what I'm struggling to imagine, what kind of parameters would be viable for real-life series, and how can the function be made relatively equal through the spectrum without forcing teams to converge to a point of the function anyway.

For example, there's a suggestion through the document that a relationship could be done between downforce and number of tyre sets in a weekend. That might only be an hypothetical but for a starter it sounds mega-weird (try explaining it to the fans). And then I don't think that would work at all, everyone would then say "well **** tyre sets, lets save running as much as we can and use max downforce cause we'll be faster". Then okay, you could then tweak the function so that the gain in downforce is much smaller and the difference in tyre sets is much larger. But then eventually everyone will realize that they'll gain much more from the extra running and go for as many tyres as they can. And the rules are tweaked again, and again, and only after 300 rule changes (which have sky-rocketed the costs), the function is about equal and it does start diverging...

It's basically like a "two-tier" series, except that instead of two tiers you have infinite tiers. The concept in theory is really nice, but I'm really suspicious it'd suffer from the same flaws as two-tier series and it'd become impracticable to be made to work properly...

In F1, cars should be mandated to produce specific static pressures out the back of the car under some common wind tunnel test. This would get rid of the "dirty air" zone if engineers were forced to comply with a specified range of permissible pressures. It's a bit like load-deflection tests, except in the wind tunnel.


I suggested the same a while ago in some thread, and people told me it was impossible/impracticable to measure...

Edited by paranoik0, 02 November 2010 - 12:26.


#22 TURU

TURU
  • Member

  • 2,786 posts
  • Joined: December 09

Posted 02 November 2010 - 12:35

Nice read Richard. Thank you for your contribution to the discussion, I'm sure you put much thought into this paper. However there are many areas in which I disagree with You. Lets start from the beginning:

The Four Problems:
  • A lack of overtaking and on track action. - agreed
  • The cars all looking the same. - It would be nice to see some diversity here, but I doubt this is much of a problem for 90% of fans.
  • That costs always seem to increase year on year disproportionately. - agreed, but I don't see how your solution adresses this issue. You think it does, but I'm not quite sure. They will always find a way to throw away more money.
  • Design Compliance - F1 has always been a race between the rulesetters and designers. It's within human nature to try and bend the law, it happens everyday, everywhere and it would also happen if your idea was implemented.
  • Reduced importance of a driver - This is the point you missed and for me and (I believe) most fans this is the most serious problem we have nowadays in F1. Let the driver make a difference. Your idea not only doesn't address the issue, it reduces importance of a driver even further.
The Solution:

Firstly, while explaining your solution, you got a bit poetic I must confess. Perhaps a bit too poetic to be taken seriously by F1 authorites. Anyway, while I agree that there's no single best solution to life, there definetely is a single best solution to 'F1-evolution' (or whatever You want to call it). There is no definite measure of being successful in real life (in fact the only one I can think of is population). You can't compare some bacteria from the ocean and a horse, and say which one is the better solution to life. They live in two totally different environments(niches) and don't interact with each other. In F1 though, you can do it, because there is a definite measure for this - points. There are many different tracks (lets call them niches): slow-speed, twisty ones (like Monaco), and high-speed ones (like Monza). We have three cars: X (fantastic on Monaco-like tracks, rubbish on high-speed ones), car Y (the other way round) and car Z (not quite the best in any of mentioned places, but solid everywhere). Over the course of a season cars X and Y may be able to win quite a few races. Car Z may not be able to win as many races, but it will win you a championship. You made an assumption that wherever within the flexible framework a design is positioned it must mathematically have an equal chance of winning the championship, but this is rather an 'utopian' assumption ;) . And because this is an 'utopian' assumption (i.e. impossible to realize), there must be a single-best solution. Therefore after some time everything would inevitably start to converge again.

Secondly, I would like to point out that all this system does not solve the most basic problem of lack of overtaking. Think about this - We have 24 cars, and we are in Monaco. Five of them are perfectly suited to this track, 4 are completely rubbish here, and 15 are somewhere in the middle performance-wise. It's not hard to predict how the grid will look after qualifying. So we have a field simply splitted into 3 different leagues/groups. Yes, cars from group 1 are quick enough to overtake cars from group 2 and 3, but they will never be in position to do so. What's more performance differentials between cars belonging to the same group will not be big enough to overtake unless someone commits a mistake or is forced to do so. Wait... I think, I've seen this before... We're running in circles, aren't we? :wave:

As some other poster said, I think you over-analised the whole topic. As a result, what you came up with is too complicated to be implemented in reality and in fact, doesn't solve any problems, apart from lack of mechanical diversity (but even this, would not last for long). In reality simple solutions are often the best. And there is a simple solution for lack of overtaking and on-track, close action. Cars need to be able to follow each other closely in the corners. Then, the drivers will shine again - be sure of it. Ban on the DDD is a step in the right direction (but it should have been made almost 2 years ago). If I was in charge of this circus, I would return to ground effect or just increased amount of downforce generated by the floor, so that the cars are not so much wings-dependant and sensitive to dirty air.

Edited by TURU, 02 November 2010 - 12:40.


#23 cheapracer

cheapracer
  • Member

  • 10,388 posts
  • Joined: May 07

Posted 02 November 2010 - 12:44

Given that this is the most competitive and exciting season in years I'd suggest you keep your powder dry for a season like '88 0r '04

That way you might get a shot at being heard


People failing to want to win the WDC does not maketh a good exciting season for the right reasons in my book.

Go and watch the 1986 F1 season over for example.

I have downloaded the document but may have to wait till tomorrow when at work when I have free time :p


- 3 hours to read? WAY too long.

btw you might want to contact Imperial College aero department. They did some work with the FiA back in the late 90s (yes, THAT long ago!) to try and solve the dirty air problem.


I have some experience with these types of committees the document is aimed at and short versions are usually frowned upon.

Gee how about start by remove the vortex creating multiple strakes inside the diffuser...... wouldn't want to throw something so simple and logical at them though (something like a true flat floor...), there must be a more complicated way to do things .....

Edited by cheapracer, 02 November 2010 - 12:51.


#24 noikeee

noikeee
  • Member

  • 21,812 posts
  • Joined: February 06

Posted 02 November 2010 - 12:55

TURU, you're misunderstanding some things there.. first I don't understand at all how would it decrease the driver importance. I do think they make too little of a difference nowadays, but that's purely because it doesn't matter if you're quicker through the race if you're stuck in traffic! Fix overtaking and they'll make more of a difference (which is why I want the so unpopular moveable wings banned for defending and allowed for attacking, but that's getting way off-topic...)

Second, you make a decent point about the tracks, but I'm not sure you understood well the part of the document about them. Forget Monaco and Monza, they're the exceptions in a calendar where 16 out of 20 tracks are medium-downforce. Nowadays all it matters is designing for those tracks. He covers this issue in the document, by saying that this would actually make it more desirable for new, different tracks to come up on the long-term.

I do agree on the costs though. I'm struggling to understand how could it get rid of the escalating costs issue, unless EVERYTHING would be handled through a parametric function. Otherwise there's always an area where you can out-develop the opposition, hence you'll throw money at it!

#25 rolf123

rolf123
  • Member

  • 2,417 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 02 November 2010 - 13:36

I suggested the same a while ago in some thread, and people told me it was impossible/impracticable to measure...


These people are fools. Basic dimensional requirements that can only be tested by direct measurement or load deflection tests are not enough for modern F1. The tests need to get closer to the end result, hence the use of pressures in the rules.

Simple static pressure ranges in an FiA approved wind tunnel (they can just submit a small scale model if they want) - I can't see the problem with it.

Do it as a one-off. Teams can still develop during the year but subject to the usual dimensional/deflection boundaries. The pressures may go beyond what is desired but they start from a base of "no dirty air". This can be reset each year with a start-of-year wind tunnel test as described.

Simple and effective.

Edited by rolf123, 02 November 2010 - 13:39.


#26 TURU

TURU
  • Member

  • 2,786 posts
  • Joined: December 09

Posted 02 November 2010 - 13:37

TURU, you're misunderstanding some things there.. first I don't understand at all how would it decrease the driver importance. I do think they make too little of a difference nowadays, but that's purely because it doesn't matter if you're quicker through the race if you're stuck in traffic! Fix overtaking and they'll make more of a difference (which is why I want the so unpopular moveable wings banned for defending and allowed for attacking, but that's getting way off-topic...)

If his idea is implemented (and there really is no ideal solution, so everyone sticks to their niches), cars' perfomances will fluctuate from track to track much more than this is the case now. So basically one weekend you are driving the RB and the next you are driving the HRT (assuming that these two tracks have different characteristics). But, since I'm quite sure the designs would converge anyway, the drivers importance would probably more or less stayed the same.

Second, you make a decent point about the tracks, but I'm not sure you understood well the part of the document about them. Forget Monaco and Monza, they're the exceptions in a calendar where 16 out of 20 tracks are medium-downforce. Nowadays all it matters is designing for those tracks. He covers this issue in the document, by saying that this would actually make it more desirable for new, different tracks to come up on the long-term.


Yes, I understood the point he made about tracks. I just took extreme examples. Anyway, replacing present tracks with new ones so that they suit technical rules better and make the competition more even, sounds a bit over the top to me. Especially when we consider how many of them are actually quite new venues.

Edited by TURU, 02 November 2010 - 13:45.


#27 rolf123

rolf123
  • Member

  • 2,417 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 02 November 2010 - 13:38

I have some experience with these types of committees the document is aimed at and short versions are usually frowned upon.

Gee how about start by remove the vortex creating multiple strakes inside the diffuser...... wouldn't want to throw something so simple and logical at them though (something like a true flat floor...), there must be a more complicated way to do things .....


Yes, but he should at least produce an "Abstract". This is very common in scientific circles for a paper or similar.

#28 noikeee

noikeee
  • Member

  • 21,812 posts
  • Joined: February 06

Posted 02 November 2010 - 13:43

Do it as a one-off. Teams can still develop during the year but subject to the usual dimensional/deflection boundaries. The pressures may go beyond what is desired but they start from a base of "no dirty air". This can be reset each year with a start-of-year wind tunnel test as described.


Not sure I like the sound of that, teams would have their special parts for the test then magically suddenly "develop" parts that come up with all the dirty air.

#29 rolf123

rolf123
  • Member

  • 2,417 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 02 November 2010 - 13:57

Not sure I like the sound of that, teams would have their special parts for the test then magically suddenly "develop" parts that come up with all the dirty air.


Have stringent bodywork requirements that allow only limited changes. A few winglets or modifications here and there are not going to produce a whopping great dirty air zone.

My solution will work and I am waiting for the FiA to call me. But seeing as they did NOTHING about this problem for 15 years, I personally don't think they will EVER solve this problem. Especially when they get the teams to try and come up with a solution themselves (OWG) - what a joke, they will never want to stray from the status quo and go against their own personal interests.

#30 Villes Gilleneuve

Villes Gilleneuve
  • Member

  • 2,248 posts
  • Joined: April 08

Posted 02 November 2010 - 17:56

Yep, that's what I'm struggling to imagine, what kind of parameters would be viable for real-life series, and how can the function be made relatively equal through the spectrum without forcing teams to converge to a point of the function anyway.

For example, there's a suggestion through the document that a relationship could be done between downforce and number of tyre sets in a weekend. That might only be an hypothetical but for a starter it sounds mega-weird (try explaining it to the fans). And then I don't think that would work at all, everyone would then say "well **** tyre sets, lets save running as much as we can and use max downforce cause we'll be faster". Then okay, you could then tweak the function so that the gain in downforce is much smaller and the difference in tyre sets is much larger. But then eventually everyone will realize that they'll gain much more from the extra running and go for as many tyres as they can. And the rules are tweaked again, and again, and only after 300 rule changes (which have sky-rocketed the costs), the function is about equal and it does start diverging...

It's basically like a "two-tier" series, except that instead of two tiers you have infinite tiers. The concept in theory is really nice, but I'm really suspicious it'd suffer from the same flaws as two-tier series and it'd become impracticable to be made to work properly...

I suggested the same a while ago in some thread, and people told me it was impossible/impracticable to measure...


Any new formula in racing can be tested thoroughly in computer simulations for close racing.
The problem with this approach is that it assumes that F1 teams want better racing. They don't.

If you have a$500M , 250 person effort in F1, the LAST thing you want is the driver to matter, have all that money and effort come down to one guy, who will bail to the highest bidder.
Look at MotoGP -great racing for fans, but for teams, it's down to however has Rossi that year.




#31 OO7

OO7
  • Member

  • 22,583 posts
  • Joined: November 04

Posted 02 November 2010 - 18:11

Any new formula in racing can be tested thoroughly in computer simulations for close racing.
The problem with this approach is that it assumes that F1 teams want better racing. They don't.

If you have a$500M , 250 person effort in F1, the LAST thing you want is the driver to matter, have all that money and effort come down to one guy, who will bail to the highest bidder.
Look at MotoGP -great racing for fans, but for teams, it's down to however has Rossi that year.

But despite the efforts of a team, they can't always expect to develope the best car. In this situation particularly if they qualify behind, being able to race (follow closely) would be of great help. If they develope the fastest car, the ability of a rival to race in the wake of another car will be a moot issue as the fastest car will be leading. If the fastest car is beaten off the line at the start of the race, it may have the opportunity to pass with better aero regs.

#32 inaki

inaki
  • Member

  • 2,422 posts
  • Joined: September 03

Posted 03 November 2010 - 04:41

This has been discussed with every new set of rules.

Anyway, these are my 2 cents:

  • SPECIFIC CC PER ENGINE (2.4 liters as it is can be OK) LET FREE CONFIGURATION AND NUMBER OF CYLINDERS (Inline 4, inline 6, V6, V8, V10, Boxers, etc) FOR MECHANICAL DIVERSITY.
  • ASPIRATED ENGINES.
  • NO KERS, PLEASE, not at all. It adds only more weight in the cars and 7-10 million euros in Research and Development costs. Just forget it.
  • ONE SINGLE TYRE FOR EVERY RACE.
  • NO GROUND EFFECT.
  • TRY TO AVOID PITSTOPS OF ANY KIND. No refuelling, no tyre changes, every single position has to be earned by driving in the track. You´ll see if the drivers try to pass or not.
  • LET THE CARS FOLLOW CLOSELY ONE TO ANOTHER AND LET THEM OVERTAKE:
  • REDUCE AERO GRIP. Narrow & small wings front and rear, no double diffusor, simple regulated one.Not a single additional winglet in any part of the car.
  • INCREASE MECH GRIP. Big fat slicks, same compound for everybody,durable for a full race distance.
  • INCREASE BRAKING ZONES AND DISTANCES. Steel brakes for everybody and not carbon fibre or ceramic ones.

Best regards

#33 guitarhero

guitarhero
  • Member

  • 33 posts
  • Joined: May 10

Posted 03 November 2010 - 05:08

Why no ground effect? Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't ground effect allow cars to be followed closely even on curves?

#34 Graybearded

Graybearded
  • Member

  • 156 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 03 November 2010 - 06:32

Wow. What a complete waste of time.

Besides the fact that your proposal spits on the legacy of motorsport, is full of open opining about the state of Formula One that is not shared by the general public (that frankly has nothing to do with engineering and is simply your personal opinion) - it would never work because it would be impossible to govern...or it not impossible certainly completely impractical.

#35 RichardJames

RichardJames
  • New Member

  • 5 posts
  • Joined: October 10

Posted 13 November 2010 - 07:59

Wow, turn my back for a few days and there is a gazzilion posts :) I'll try to answer some of the questions raised.

Number 62: Commercial aircraft, that are targetting the same market, all look similar because they are trying to answer the same single question. That is, how to fly 'n' people 'n' miles in the most efficient way. Plus aircraft design evolves slowly. Racing car design is currently answering one question (per series) and that is what Divergent Governance tries to remove. A budget cap would still only provide one question, albeit with a limit to how you get there.

WhiteBlue: The technology and techniques for the modelling are already out there, it is only what the individual teams are using today to design there cars. I am proposing that the organising body employs the same level of modelling when devising the regulations. Yes, there will be a battle to get everyone on board. Tyre simulation is difficult, but performed iteratively, the same as aerodynamics are.

rolf123: Thanks for your input. I do have a summary that I use commercially. I wanted the forum post to be about generating discussion and debate, and a summary would not have enabled this.

Paranoik0: The 300 (+) iterations will be simulated before hand. The assumption that the simulation will make is that all of the teams will perform an excellent job, and the curves will be set thus. It will be up to the teams to perform well.

TURU: I'll let you guys hammer that one out, you seem to be doing a fair job between you all.

Guitar Hero: Ground effects gets rid of the (majority of the) wake problem, but DG addresses so much more.


Thanks guys, I havn't given my response the time that you all deserve, but I hope that you all continue to submit posts.

Yours

Rich

#36 PayasYouRace

PayasYouRace
  • RC Forum Host

  • 36,528 posts
  • Joined: January 10

Posted 13 November 2010 - 11:37

Hi Rich.

I must say I'm warming to the idea, but I still haven't had the chance to re-read the document entirely. I'll try to do it soon and give a full review.

#37 akshay380

akshay380
  • Member

  • 595 posts
  • Joined: June 12

Posted 05 December 2012 - 03:46

The website does not exist anymore. Can anyone mail me the document?

#38 SpaMaster

SpaMaster
  • Member

  • 5,856 posts
  • Joined: October 08

Posted 06 December 2012 - 14:31

I am not able to access the website. But good initiative, and I am keen to go through it.

#39 Baddoer

Baddoer
  • Member

  • 3,192 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 06 December 2012 - 16:33

Problem is in tracks, not in cars. End of story.

Advertisement

#40 Seanspeed

Seanspeed
  • Member

  • 21,425 posts
  • Joined: October 08

Posted 06 December 2012 - 16:34

Problem is in tracks, not in cars. End of story.

:rolleyes: