The Scream Of Science

I Can’t Wait Any Longer!

The 2011 F1 season starts in 2 days.   I’ve exhausted all of my old videos, highlight reels and f1 2010 the game. It’s been 3.5 agonizing months, I need new content to babble about, I need new tech, new gossip, new drama and most of all and I mean most of all THAT SOUND! The scream of science. I cant wait!

BBC., tell them.


2011 F1 Rule Changes

The following are the rule changes for 2011 thus far. I’ll add my opinion of each and what I wish I saw to the end.

Pirelli has been selected as the single tyre supplier for the FIA Formula One World Championship for a period of three years, commencing in 2011. The sole supplier will undertake to strictly respect the sporting and technical regulations implemented by the FIA.

Glad to see that its just 1 supplier.  We don’t need a repeat of the tyre battles we’ve had in the past and the respective large gap advantages battles they bring.  By large gap I mean, no amount of technical development or driver skill could make up for the differences in tyre performance as seen in the past.  When it comes to tyres, everyone should be on the same rubber. Plain and simple, end of story. 

The question I have is will the tyres be like the balloons they are this year or low profile?

Safety Car
With immediate effect, no car may overtake until it has passed the first safety car line for the first time when the safety car is returning to the pits. However, if the safety car is still deployed at the beginning of the last lap, or is deployed during the last lap, it will enter the pit lane at the end of the lap and the cars will take the chequered flag as normal without overtaking.

Schumi are you listening? 

General safety
With immediate effect, any car being driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically, or which is deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers, will be reported to the stewards. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.

Yeahhhhhhh uh we’ve seen some stunts thus far in 2010. However, this seems a bit redundant as the stewards already do this.  I guess this is a reminder to be safe.

In order to ensure cars are not driven unnecessarily slowly on in-laps during qualifying or reconnaissance laps when the pit exit is opened for the race, drivers must stay below the maximum time set by the FIA between the safety car line after the pit exit and safety car line before the pit entry. The maximum time will be determined by the race director at each event prior to the first day of practice, but may be amended during the event if necessary.


The grid
From 2011, any driver whose best qualifying lap exceeds 107% of the fastest Q1 qualifying time will not be allowed to take part in the race. Under exceptional circumstances, however, which may include setting a suitable lap time in a free practice session, the stewards may permit the car to start the race. Should there be more than one driver accepted in this manner, the grid order will be determined by the stewards.

Develop, Develop, Develop back-runners.  Thus far in to the 2010 season, I don’t think anyone would have been eliminated by this rule.  However, with all of the bigger teams continuing to push this rule increases the demand for the newer outfits to strive for better results.   For lack of better words, keep up!

Driver adjustable bodywork
From 2011, adjustable bodywork may be activated by the driver at any time prior to the start of the race and, for the sole purpose of improving overtaking opportunities during the race, after the driver has completed two laps. The driver may only activate the adjustable bodywork in the race when he has been notified via the control electronics that it is enabled. It will only be enabled if the driver is less than one second behind another at any of the predetermined positions around each circuit. The system will be disabled the first time the driver uses the brakes after the system has been activated. The FIA may, after consulting all the competitors, adjust the time proximity in order to ensure the purpose of the adjustable bodywork is met.

Messy but I’m 50/50 on this.  I like it because it will increase overtaking, something that is hard to do with all of the aero work allowed in racing today.  I like it because its relatively simple in mechanical nature.  Though teams will blow millions of dollars to develop it and bend this rule.  Not sure how the timing of this rule will work out. 1 second I guess is a good balance for the activation of the system, but its not deactivated until the driver breaks? Interesting.  Also with such a strong push for KERS to make its way back in to the sport next year, why add this? This is drastically more appealing for me to spend my time on as it is much more simplistic in nature than say a Kinetic Energy Recovery System that includes, programming, a new gearbox, another interface, a flywheel, and batteries, weight….get the picture? Also if im a smaller team, I really dont think I can be bothered with developing KERS. I hate you Bernie Eccelstone.

Im just rubbed the wrong way by this.  Here’s an idea. To quote Jeremey Clarkson “POWahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!”  Remove the rev limit. Give the drivers more power than they have down force.  Bring in more driver skill, make its so that they are not flat out for the entire race.  In my opinion, the “push-to-pass-button” should be the gas pedal.  I don’t know how we deviated so much from that simple device but overtaking and overall race excitement has dropped since the v12, 22k rpm days.  Sigh.  I can easily see this backfiring.

Aerodynamic influence
With the exception of the parts necessary for the driver adjustable bodywork, any car system, device or procedure which uses driver movement as a means of altering the aerodynamic characteristics of the car is prohibited from 2011.

No F-duct.  Shame.  McLaren spent 2 years developing that device and built their MP4-25 (this years car)  around it.  Someone will find a loop hole. Gimmicks like this will always be in F1.

From 2011, the minimum weight of the car must not be less than 640 kg at all times during the event.

Bernie is that you? Trying to encourage KERS again in 2011? This is is a 3% increase in weight for the cars and with that,  a weight respective loss in power.

Fuel draining
With immediate effect, if a sample of fuel is required after a practice session the car concerned must have first been driven back to the pits under its own power.

Sorry Lewis, looks like you can’t “ghostride da whip” back to the pits.  Or pull a Schumacher in Monaco incident.  99.9% of the time this means nothing.

Based on his career resume and comparative F1 testing times, the World Council has approved the granting of a four-race probationary super license to Chinese driver Ho-Pin Tung.”

All for it. Diversity all around.

Overall I’m pretty happy with whats being proposed. Predominantly because the changes are subtle this year as opposed to a year of new ideas and blank slate next year.  Sometimes I wish there were more specifics written in to the rules  sometimes I don’t.  Every time I read the rule changes though I just wonder why the authors must take the most complex route.  It is my opinion that there could be more “racing” in F1.  I don’t like the refuelling ban, I don’t like conserving 8 engines across an entire race season, I hate that F1 douses a lot of simple ideas. Especially not with 2011 rumored to have 23-24 stops on it next year.  Up 4 from this year.   Conserving is not racing.  I want to see more power and more flexibility allowed for changes.  Every race should be a blank slate.  I should be able to do whatever I want to do to my car inside that particular race weekend without penalty.  Whether it be a gearbox swap or an engine tune. I shouldn’t be penalized for increasing the performance of my car.  Let me develop! 


Photo courtesy of the lovely Stephanie Moran.