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How important/useful are simulators to F1 teams?


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#1 PlatenGlass

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 13:07

Teams test their designs and set-ups using computer simulators and have done for years, but I've often wondered how accurate these are and how much they gain from them. A lot of the effects that they need to test for would come from multiple precise physical interactions and even a tiny initial error or approximation could lead to completely inadequate results. Apparently none of the teams predicted the porpoising from their simulations (I read that anyway), and also it even seems that quite often the teams have absolutely no idea whether the hard tyres are going to be any good in a given race until they actually try them out on race day, and it seems surprising that their simulations can't give them some idea. And I'd say that was one of the more basic things, so if they can't do that, what are they useful for?

 

And also, it seems a bit wasteful getting drivers to test out things on the simulator. Wouldn't it be better to get an AI to do laps at e.g. 1000x speed so that what would be a day's work for a driver could be done in moments?



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#2 F1matt

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 13:15

It would be a brave team who ditched their simulator and spent their development budget in another way. 



#3 Clatter

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 14:12

Teams test their designs and set-ups using computer simulators and have done for years, but I've often wondered how accurate these are and how much they gain from them. A lot of the effects that they need to test for would come from multiple precise physical interactions and even a tiny initial error or approximation could lead to completely inadequate results. Apparently none of the teams predicted the porpoising from their simulations (I read that anyway), and also it even seems that quite often the teams have absolutely no idea whether the hard tyres are going to be any good in a given race until they actually try them out on race day, and it seems surprising that their simulations can't give them some idea. And I'd say that was one of the more basic things, so if they can't do that, what are they useful for?

And also, it seems a bit wasteful getting drivers to test out things on the simulator. Wouldn't it be better to get an AI to do laps at e.g. 1000x speed so that what would be a day's work for a driver could be done in moments?

Can AI accurately simulate the driver? Roborace couldn't make it work.

#4 PlatenGlass

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 14:23

Can AI accurately simulate the driver? Roborace couldn't make it work.


That was real cars on a real track though which is probably harder than an AI driving round a simulated track. Apparently an AI beat some top players at Gran Turismo. https://www.newscien...t-gran-turismo/ And even if it might still have some weaknesses, it should be able to tell whether a certain thing makes the car faster quite well.

Edited by PlatenGlass, 16 August 2022 - 20:44.


#5 RedRabbit

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 14:36

That was real cars on a real track though which is probably harder than an AI driving round a simulated track. Apparently an AI beat some to players at Gran Turismo. https://www.newscien...t-gran-turismo/ And even if it might still have some weaknesses, it should be able to tell whether a certain thing makes the car faster quite well.


I'm sure they have been using AI simulations for a number of years already, and the drivers in the simulator is more about the human factor actually needed for the race, and to gather data to be used by the race engineers for set up.

#6 Myrvold

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 15:16

It would be a brave team who ditched their simulator and spent their development budget in another way. 

 

Is that the next new team Nick Wirth will be a part of? Both the Acura LMP's he worked on, and the Virgin F1 car was designed with just CFD, no wind tunnell. Would be his style to jump into a no-sim effort as well! 



#7 Rumblestrip

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 15:25

I always thought that simulators were configured using at least 3 sources of information...aero maps (based off wind tunnel and CFD data), mechanical (suspension design/...), real life (all the data fed back over the weekend, including tyres which, although notoriously difficult to simulate, teams could at least get the raw data of tyre/road interaction on the weekend itself), and others.

 

So when the drivers/TP/.. say "we'll have to look at the data" after they've had a tricky practice session, what they're actually saying is "we're going to feed everything into the simulator and have our driver/s back at base pound round the virtual circuit all night" 



#8 pdac

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 16:40

Can AI accurately simulate the driver? Roborace couldn't make it work.

 

Will an AI system understand that bouncing up and down is affecting its brain?



#9 prty

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 18:35

Can AI accurately simulate the driver? Roborace couldn't make it work.

 

Computers excel at controlling and balancing tasks, better than humans. To be honest I don't know why Roborace is having such troubles.

 

BMW had a self drifting car already almost 10 years ago:

 

 

Rimac is working on autonomous driving for track use:

 

 

And even University students seem to do better than Roborace:

 

 

Compare it to Roborace:

 


Edited by prty, 16 August 2022 - 18:36.


#10 loki

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Posted 16 August 2022 - 18:47

Very important.