April 29, 2009

McLaren 'Liargate' Resolution

A suspended three-race ban.  If, in the course of the next 12 months, McLaren is caught lying to the stewards again, or more details come to light regarding the events surrounding the Australian Grand Prix, the ban will be applied.

That's it, that's all.  Nothing to see here, move along.

*phew*

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:28 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
Post contains 54 words, total size 1 kb.

1

Hey, check this out:

It was confirmed that from 2010, refuelling during a race will be forbidden in order to save the costs of transporting refuelling equipment and increase the incentive for engine builders to improve fuel economy (to save weight).

That should be amusing...

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 01, 2009 07:35 PM (+rSRq)

2 It's been done before... 1986 is one season I remember for sure as being no refuelling.  They'll still have to be able to change tires, though.

Amusing indeed, however...

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 01, 2009 08:49 PM (/nYBT)

3

What I wonder is what they'll have to do to the cars in order to carry a full race's worth of fuel in them. It'll make them heavier, especially at the start, and bigger too. That much fuel requires a lot of space.

The cars are going to look pregnant.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 01, 2009 08:58 PM (+rSRq)

4 Make the engines more fuel-efficient, for one.  For another, do away with KERS.  Most teams currently have the generator for KERS under the fuel tank, cutting it's capacity by about a quarter.

(note: the fuel tank in a F1 car is not like the hard tank like we have in our road cars.  It's more like a bag, similar to the rubberized tanks they had in airplanes in WWII.)

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 01, 2009 10:18 PM (/nYBT)

5 Hm... it'd be tempting to take advantage of the aerodynamics and reduce downforce from the wings, but the car's going to lighten as the race goes on, right? So they'll get more difficult to maneuver as the race goes on... meaning that a team can go "light" on downforce and hope that they can win enough advantage in the early laps to allow the driver to back off, or go with a more-conservative "heavy" downforce and hope that the guys who leapt out ahead early blow their turns when their front ends go squirrely?

I'm also interested in the "greater technical freedoms" you get for agreeing to the cost cap. Moveable wings, as in mid-race dynamic? Or just "we can adjust them in the pit"? And how much of an advantage would a non-rev-limited engine give you?

Posted by: Avatar at May 02, 2009 03:12 AM (vGfoR)

6 Well, they can already adjust the wing settings in the pits, and drivers can sort-of adjust the front wing this season (a maximum of 6o twice a lap, +6 up, then back to +0 down... and if you adjust it up, you MUST adjust it back down before the end of the lap). 

As far as non-rev-limited engines goes, it's nearly impossible to get accurate horsepower numbers out of the teams.  I went looking for something to compare, though, and using the fastest lap in Bahrain Quals over the past few years is... well, look:

2008 - 1:31.188 (19000 rpm limited)
2007 - 1:31.359 (20000 rpm limited)
2006 - 1:31.215 (20000 rpm, unlimited, known to produce 740hp)

2005 was the last year of the V10 engine in F1, so I can't go back farther than that for adequate comparisons.  Of course this year they've got all the aero changes, so the 2009 numbers don't really apply either.

At least if you look at the numbers above, the loss of 1000rpm means nothing, and in truth that's probably the case.  You're taking the very top end of the engine's performance off... maybe now you can only go 195mph instead of 200mph.  Your usual F1 track has a car spend about 60% of the lap at max throttle.  So, maybe you've lost a little top speed, but you don't lose that much on the average, since you're going at the same speed around the curves, etc.

*shrug* Rev-limiting in F1 isn't really to lower the top speeds anyway, but to increase engine life.

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 02, 2009 07:37 AM (/nYBT)

7 So if the "standard" wings are already somewhat-adjustable, what will the teams under the cap get? Fully dynamic wings? That could make up for no refueling, big-time.

Posted by: Avatar at May 02, 2009 12:59 PM (vGfoR)

8 Yes, it sure would... in fact, it'd break the sport.  That'd give the teams under the cap such a huge advantage that those under would have no chance of winning whatsoever.

Last I saw, the cap'll be 40million Euros, and that's for everything.  Not just the car, but everything. Tools.  Transportation.  Catering.  Staff salaries.  Computers.  Sponsorship logos for the car.  Fuel.  Cool graphics in the pit boxes.  Safety gear.  Depending on who you believe, it may or may not include driver salaries.  Not for tires, though, because I'm pretty sure Bridgestone donates those.

For 18 races, or whatever number they'll run next year.

The top NASCAR teams run budgets around $30million/season per car.  The top IndyCar teams used to have budgets around $50mil/multi-car team per season.  Considering that right now, Ferrari, Toyota, and McLaren have budgets around $500 million/year or more, and even Farce India is around $150 million, I can't see any of them approving the cap.

Maybe they'll get V10s for being under, though... yeah, in my dreams.

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 02, 2009 06:41 PM (/nYBT)

9

I can't see such a stringent budget cap getting approved.

The NFL and NBA have salary caps, because it's in the interest of owners. Otherwise the player salary negotiations would be headed for the sky. (Even with the caps, they're ridiculous.)

But MLB doesn't have, and the reason is that Steinbrenner won't agree. Because of his situation with the Yankees, he can afford to spend a lot more each year than anyone else and still make a profit, because by spending more he keeps creating winning teams, which bring in the audiences, and keep his revenues high. If he agreed to a stringent salary cap, the Yankees would stop being the team that's in the playoffs nearly every year and become just the same as everyone else.

And by the same token, I can't see the teams who have huge financial resources, who have been winning because of it (except this year), giving away that advantage.

So unless some mechanism exists whereby the governors can cram a budget cap down the throats of unwilling teams, I can't see it happening.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at May 02, 2009 09:31 PM (+rSRq)

10 It appears that I read the news release wrong: the 40million Euros does NOT include transportation, engines, etc etc etc.  See HERE for what it does include, and what benefits teams under the cost cap would get (movable wings, non-rev-limited engine being the main bonuses).

Posted by: Wonderduck at May 02, 2009 10:29 PM (/nYBT)

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