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Current series with least restrictive rules/regulations


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#1 Graham Clayton

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 06:32

It seems that at the top level of motorsports, the rules/regulations are very restrictive and detailed, making it very difficult to think 'outside of the box' and come up with a radical new idea or experiment. Are there any current series at international or national level where the rules are less restrictive and open to interpretation, thus giving a greater chance of variety and experimentation?



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#2 TennisUK

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 06:41

Pikes Peak has basically no technical regs aside from safety ones.

#3 r4mses

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 06:50

...which makes it literally the pinnacle of motorsports?   ;)



#4 BRG

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 10:24

...which makes it literally the pinnacle of motorsports?   ;)

No, not the pinnacle, but certainly the peak (does any other event go to higher altitude?)



#5 TennisUK

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 10:27

No, not the pinnacle, but certainly the peak (does any other event go to higher altitude?)

Good question - I suspect not - Mexico city is about 10% lower, and that is pretty darned high.



#6 pacificquay

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 10:29

The answer to the topic is probably Formula 1



#7 Risil

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 10:31

MotoGP has somewhat freer regulations than F1, although they're much more restrictive around electronics and cylinder dimensions than they used to be. It's certainly not the haven of experimentation and eccentricity that it was in the first decade of the four-stroke ruleset.

#8 Ivanhoe

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 10:39

Good question - I suspect not - Mexico city is about 10% lower, and that is pretty darned high.

10%? Pikes Peak finish is almost double the altitude of Mexico City.



#9 cbo

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 12:55

How do you get innovation when you need a cost-cap to attract enough competitors?

What benefits would investors get from putting their money into a technological free-for-all championship?

It would be interesting if someone went for a six-wheeled F1 car driven by a counterpiston diesel engine, another a W16 run on jetfuel etc. But I think investors would just ask "Why?"

Another thing is that F1 is standing on top of 100+ years of development and competitors have huge amounts of data and an insane number crunching capability. I doubt there is much room for really spectacular new ideas. Rather, development is about optimization and how much money you can throw at it. A new, crazy idea does not stand much of a chance against this.

Edited by cbo, 23 November 2021 - 12:56.


#10 Risil

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 13:05

Maybe the most useful point of comparison for F1 is the hybrid formula used at Le Mans in the middle of the 2010s. It was carefully managed by equivalence of technology but you had (iirc) a big straight-six diesel with a flywheel accumulator providing four-wheel drive, a 2-litre V4 turbo with F1-style KERS organized around battery storage, and a normally aspirated 3.4-litre V8 that stored braking energy via supercapacitors. That's leaving aside whatever the Nissan was supposed to be. But, that's technical diversity possibly beyond anything in the history of Formula One.

 

It was very expensive and technology converged to the optimum solution, which was Porsche-style (and for that matter, F1-style) petrol turbos and batteries. But that's what happens with every formula and why every racing series should refresh the technical challenge every 5-10 years. Of course Le Mans hybrid competition didn't last that long and we were left with some Toyota demo runs.

 

What seems to hold F1 back is that nobody wants to be a victim of the dialectic where inferior solutions are weeded out and everyone has to go back to the drawing board and copy the team who developed the best tools for the job.



#11 Cornholio

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 13:26

How do you get innovation when you need a cost-cap to attract enough competitors?

What benefits would investors get from putting their money into a technological free-for-all championship?

It would be interesting if someone went for a six-wheeled F1 car driven by a counterpiston diesel engine, another a W16 run on jetfuel etc. But I think investors would just ask "Why?"

Another thing is that F1 is standing on top of 100+ years of development and competitors have huge amounts of data and an insane number crunching capability. I doubt there is much room for really spectacular new ideas. Rather, development is about optimization and how much money you can throw at it. A new, crazy idea does not stand much of a chance against this.

 

On the first part, I've always thought that in some scenarios (admittedly, F1 2022 is not that scenario), the successful implementation of a cost cap can improve innovation. Both because it also should enable the loosening of any technical regulations brought in for cost-saving reasons, and because when competitors have less ability to just iteratively throw money at a problem, they are more likely to have to, well, innovate.

 

But yeah, over time people converge on the optimal solution anyway, F1/grand prix racing has had a lot of time. Recent F1 innovations have tended to be of the (mostly) invisible kind, DAS, F-duct, EBDs, etc.



#12 BerniesDad

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 13:48

It would be brilliant to see a formula where the only restrictions are :

1 team budget cap, and

2 starting energy level, i.e. a fixed number of kJ to start the race, but no limit on whether that is stored in fuel, battery, hydrogen or elastic bands.

 

That way, the most efficient energy-transfer into kinetic energy, and the best energy-recovery, (and the best harvesting of solar/wind etc along the way) will win out.

 

EDIT - I think that investors would see returns on this hypothetical series - in the form of research into energy efficient transport solutions


Edited by BerniesDad, 23 November 2021 - 13:51.


#13 Risil

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 13:54

It would be brilliant to see a formula where the only restrictions are :

1 team budget cap, and

2 starting energy level, i.e. a fixed number of kJ to start the race, but no limit on whether that is stored in fuel, battery, hydrogen or elastic bands.

 

That way, the most efficient energy-transfer into kinetic energy, and the best energy-recovery, (and the best harvesting of solar/wind etc along the way) will win out.

 

EDIT - I think that investors would see returns on this hypothetical series - in the form of research into energy efficient transport solutions

 

The three elephants in the room (big room) are whether you would regulate aerodynamics, driver aids and safety. Unless you want to hold events in secret you probably wouldn't have a choice on the third one.



#14 YamahaV10

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 13:57

Good question. But all the technical low hanging fruit was picked long ago. And now we just spend big bucks on tiny advantages.

#15 cbo

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 16:04

On the first part, I've always thought that in some scenarios (admittedly, F1 2022 is not that scenario), the successful implementation of a cost cap can improve innovation. Both because it also should enable the loosening of any technical regulations brought in for cost-saving reasons, and because when competitors have less ability to just iteratively throw money at a problem, they are more likely to have to, well, innovate.

That is a fair point. But with a cost-cap in place, there will be limitations on how crazy you can get, developmentwise. Current engines are extremely efficient, and to get a truly new and different configuration to the same level of efficiency will just take a lot of time and money.

So we will see innovation, but it will be tinkering with present solutions rather than tech revolutions.

Probably the best driver for innovation would be to change the rules and regulation once in while. That would stop the tinkering with existing tech and eliminate the advantages and dominance gained but the most succesfuld innovators under the current regulations.

Edited by cbo, 23 November 2021 - 16:05.


#16 jee

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 16:50

For major series it must be LMH. Even though the cars will be balanced to some performance window, the technical freedom is there.



#17 TennisUK

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Posted 23 November 2021 - 17:03

10%? Pikes Peak finish is almost double the altitude of Mexico City.

Apologies, you are correct!