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How wide does a F1 track need to be nowadays for good overtaking?


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#1 GenJackRipper

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 11:42

As always complaints about Monaco are being hurled at them; chief among them that cars are too wide for overtaking nowadays.
Question is then; how wide is enough?
If Monaco were to widen the track; what would be the required width?

(I know there are other factors that limits the possibility of overtakes in Monaco, but lets stick to track width for now)



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#2 Risil

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 11:55

More questions: How much narrower is Monaco than other circuits? Does the whole track need to be widened for overtaking to be possible, or only specific areas?



#3 SenorSjon

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 12:18

This has been a Monaco feature for decades. Current brakes are too good, so if you brake later, you get about 20-30cm more leeway than the guy in front. But with 5+ meters of car to pass, that isn't enough. It is more about the length and how they just take up room in the corners.

 

Also, the corners around the swimming pool have been 'blunted' with the removal of barriers, making it even more a 'one-line-track'. 



#4 Izzyeviel

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 13:15

FE cars have no problem overtaking. It ain't car size of track width thats the problem.



#5 GenJackRipper

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 13:16

So the track is wide enough?



#6 midgrid

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 13:21

(I know there are other factors that limits the possibility of overtakes in Monaco, but lets stick to track width for now)

 

Apologies to immediately zero in on your caveat, but I think that one of the issues with the Monaco circuit that make overtaking difficult is not just the general narrowness, but the fact that the three most likely overtaking places (Sainte Devote, Mirabeau and the Nouvelle Chicane) all have bumps and or/slight changes of direction in or just before the braking area.  These all make committing to an overtaking manoeuvre significantly harder than if the track layout was transposed to a flat area of land.  The bump before Mirabeau and the racing line occasioned by the curve and kink leading into Sainte Devote also make it extremely easy for a defending driver to fend off such a move.



#7 SenorSjon

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 13:23

FE cars have no problem overtaking. It ain't car size of track width thats the problem.

 

FE cars are dead slow in comparison. And they have FanBoost, mushrooms and drivers power saving.



#8 BerniesDad

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 13:27

This is all backwards. The track is fine. The cars are too big.

When the car is the size of a barge, you have to go much farther off the idea line to get alongside (and then pull further across to get back onto the racing line, ie you have to drive further as well as well as compromising your line through a corner), and as Sjon says above the difference in braking distance required is greater.



#9 Sterzo

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 16:30

This is all backwards. The track is fine. The cars are too big.

Agree with your first two sentences. But size is, I think, less significant than other factors. The main ones are that cornering speeds are too high, and brakes too effective; both contribute to shorter braking distances.

 

There's another factor too, but I'm not sure how significant it is. For decades tyres have laid a ribbon of rubber that gives far better grip than going off-line. It's not as bad now as it was ten years ago, but it must still be a factor. And "marbles" off line exacerbate it.



#10 cpbell

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 17:41

This is all backwards. The track is fine. The cars are too big.

When the car is the size of a barge, you have to go much farther off the idea line to get alongside (and then pull further across to get back onto the racing line, ie you have to drive further as well as well as compromising your line through a corner), and as Sjon says above the difference in braking distance required is greater.

I tried to explain this a few months ago, and people said I was wrong and it made no difference. :lol:



#11 Myrvold

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 17:46

This has been a Monaco feature for decades. Current brakes are too good, so if you brake later, you get about 20-30cm more leeway than the guy in front. But with 5+ meters of car to pass, that isn't enough. It is more about the length and how they just take up room in the corners.

 

Also, the corners around the swimming pool have been 'blunted' with the removal of barriers, making it even more a 'one-line-track'. 

 

Shorter cars, and worse brakes then? :D



#12 cpbell

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 18:37

Shorter cars, and worse brakes then? :D

Shorter cars and less downforce.



#13 Ali_G

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 18:40

This is all backwards. The track is fine. The cars are too big.
When the car is the size of a barge, you have to go much farther off the idea line to get alongside (and then pull further across to get back onto the racing line, ie you have to drive further as well as well as compromising your line through a corner), and as Sjon says above the difference in braking distance required is greater.


The cars are narrower than those from 1992 and before. The biggest difference is that they are much faster than cars from 1992.

Width has little or nothing to do with it. Some fans are obsessed with the concept though.

#14 William Hunt

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 19:10

the cars are much much bigger as cars from the '70s, '80s & '90s. The difference is huge but not in the width but in the length



#15 Frood

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 19:15

Let's try the diametric opposite of Monaco and see how it goes.

 

Yes, I'm calling for F1 to go to Cleveland.

 

CVgHMyBWIAA60uB.jpg



#16 Claymore25

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 19:50

People are too obsessive with overtaking.



#17 William Hunt

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 20:10

People are too obsessive with overtaking.

 

Overtaking used to be a skill and about timing, it was an art. With DRS today it's just as easy as giving cookies to your dog. Only at Monaco it's still difficult, which makes Monaco even more unique.

 

People don't appreciate the art of driving quick on a tight track, rights next to houses, where one mistake means you are in the guardrails.


Edited by William Hunt, 30 May 2022 - 20:11.


#18 Claymore25

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 21:33

Overtaking used to be a skill and about timing, it was an art. With DRS today it's just as easy as giving cookies to your dog. Only at Monaco it's still difficult, which makes Monaco even more unique.

 

People don't appreciate the art of driving quick on a tight track, rights next to houses, where one mistake means you are in the guardrails.

My thoughts exactly.



#19 William Hunt

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Posted 30 May 2022 - 21:47

My thoughts exactly.

 

depending on the dog and how the dog was raised off course  :D



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#20 CoolBreeze

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 02:08

Monaco is just not the place for modern F1 cars. Its what...5 metres long each car?



#21 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 06:42

F1 cars at Monaco?? Maybe they should use Nascar as a support. These days about the same footprint and weight. 

Lets make F1 cars 1/4 of a ton less and 3 feet shorter and a foot narrower. And they would still be too big for Monaco. 

Get rid of all the hybrid crap and all the batteries. And give them flat bottoms and 100m ride height. Then just maybe they could actually race,,,, and even pass!



#22 SenorSjon

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 08:51

I sometimes wonder if a F1 car is able to wedge the track? Baku Castle section can. 



#23 Brian60

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 09:02

Think Paul Ricard without the track limit enforcement.



#24 azza200

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 09:23

lets have a GT3 race at Monaco  :drunk:



#25 Beri

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 09:27

Overtaking used to be a skill and about timing, it was an art. With DRS today it's just as easy as giving cookies to your dog. Only at Monaco it's still difficult, which makes Monaco even more unique.

 

People don't appreciate the art of driving quick on a tight track, rights next to houses, where one mistake means you are in the guardrails.

 

Nothing more to add.



#26 TheJag

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 09:31

Overtaking used to be a skill and about timing, it was an art. With DRS today it's just as easy as giving cookies to your dog. Only at Monaco it's still difficult, which makes Monaco even more unique.

 

People don't appreciate the art of driving quick on a tight track, rights next to houses, where one mistake means you are in the guardrails.

Agreed. Even with the current cars I'd take Monaco over any lame Tilkedome any day. 

it would be better with smaller cars though. 



#27 cpbell

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 12:17

Overtaking used to be a skill and about timing, it was an art. With DRS today it's just as easy as giving cookies to your dog. Only at Monaco it's still difficult, which makes Monaco even more unique.

 

People don't appreciate the art of driving quick on a tight track, rights next to houses, where one mistake means you are in the guardrails.

Agreed,  mostly - I contend that Monaco now requires more than skill and timing - the guy in front has to crash or make a mess of exiting a corner.



#28 PayasYouRace

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 12:28

I tried to explain this a few months ago, and people said I was wrong and it made no difference. :lol:


When this topic came up a while back I demonstrated with some maths that an extra metre of car made hardly any difference to the overtaking situation, as the deltas involved were so small as to be well within human reaction time.

I just got ignored because people don’t like long cars.

#29 pdac

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 13:22

When this topic came up a while back I demonstrated with some maths that an extra metre of car made hardly any difference to the overtaking situation, as the deltas involved were so small as to be well within human reaction time.

I just got ignored because people don’t like long cars.

 

But "hardly any difference" could be the straw that breaks the camel's back.



#30 Ali_G

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 13:34

When this topic came up a while back I demonstrated with some maths that an extra metre of car made hardly any difference to the overtaking situation, as the deltas involved were so small as to be well within human reaction time.

I just got ignored because people don’t like long cars.


It’s how fast the cars are that is part of the issue. The slower the formula, the easier it is to overtake.

Making the cars lighter would make passing even worse.

#31 cpbell

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 14:35

When this topic came up a while back I demonstrated with some maths that an extra metre of car made hardly any difference to the overtaking situation, as the deltas involved were so small as to be well within human reaction time.

I just got ignored because people don’t like long cars.

With respect, your maths were applicable to a fast, open circuit where a few extra hundredths of a second in a DRS flyby needed to overtake a long car doesn't matter, but, on a narrow, twisty street circuit, the lack of space changes things.



#32 chrcol

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 14:39

Would removing that weird chicane that drivers keep crossing by accident help? as it would probably be the longest straight on the track then?



#33 MasterOfCoin

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 14:40

Shorter cars and less downforce.

And FE wheels and tires....



#34 MasterOfCoin

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 14:43

Would removing that weird chicane that drivers keep crossing by accident help? as it would probably be the longest straight on the track then?

I mentioned in the Monaco thread that a joker lap would spice up the racing at Monaco.......



#35 cpbell

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 14:55

I mentioned in the Monaco thread that a joker lap would spice up the racing at Monaco.......

If you're both referring to the chicane after the tunnel, that has to be there as the straight route takes the cars onto the street that the early FE circuit used after Ste. Devote, albeit in the other direction - the chicane was always needed to take the cars off that street and onto the quayside (the section that ran from Tabac to the Gasworks Hairpin, where La Rascasse restaurant now sits).



#36 MasterOfCoin

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 15:09

If you're both referring to the chicane after the tunnel, that has to be there as the straight route takes the cars onto the street that the early FE circuit used after Ste. Devote, albeit in the other direction - the chicane was always needed to take the cars off that street and onto the quayside (the section that ran from Tabac to the Gasworks Hairpin, where La Rascasse restaurant now sits).

I would actually leave the chicane as is, but have a mandatory rule that all cars at some point during the race, do a drive thru the pits ,the teams pick which lap to do the drive thru on....This would get rid of all the delta driving....


Edited by MasterOfCoin, 31 May 2022 - 15:10.


#37 Risil

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 15:18

It’s how fast the cars are that is part of the issue. The slower the formula, the easier it is to overtake.

Making the cars lighter would make passing even worse.

High performance is good for punching out of the corners quickly and pulling up alongside the car in front. It's not so good if you're still accelerating when you get to the braking zones as it means the slipstream effect won't really get going. Engines with good torque at low revs but poor performance at the upper ranges might be a good balance.



#38 Boing Ball

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 15:22

Monaco is just not the place for modern F1 cars. Its what...5 metres long each car?

You wish they were 5 meters long, but it is actually more like 5.5 meters. Wheelbase was limited to 3.6 meters for this year, down from 3.7 of 2021. 


Edited by Boing Ball, 31 May 2022 - 15:23.


#39 Ruusperi

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Posted 31 May 2022 - 16:00

Just make smaller cars. Use 1965 as a standard length for starters.