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"Cool the Engines"-- Banning Certain Qualifying Modes (Mercedes)

Discussion in 'F1' started by jgonzalesm6, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. jgonzalesm6

    jgonzalesm6 F1 World Champ
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    Qualifying engine modes – What are the proposed changes and why do they matter?

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    In a letter sent to the teams, the FIA have outlined plans to place restrictions on engine modes. But what does it all mean?

    What’s going on?
    It looks increasingly certain that a new Technical Directive, applying from the Belgian Grand Prix onwards, will be introduced to eliminate the special modes of F1’s power units. Since the introduction of the current turbo-hybrid era in 2014, the power units of all the manufacturers have featured settings (modes) which change the power.

    What are qualifying modes?
    Qualifying modes make available extra engine revs and the ability to run without harvesting power and diverting it to the battery, thereby allowing maximum deployment of energy recovered via the two energy recovery systems. These modes also typically run more aggressive ignition timing and fuel mixture.

    By contrast, a standard race mode will allow adequate harvesting to keep the battery supplied with energy that can be deployed through the lap – without draining the battery and thereby compromising the following lap. It will also typically run lower maximum revs than the qualifying mode and a setting of ignition timing that keeps the valves and piston crowns at a safer temperature.
    Typically there are several – up to nine – modes in between the two extremes. This is all about trading off performance with engine life, reliability and fuel consumption.


    So what’s the proposed change?
    Previously the qualifying and overtake modes would have a time limit per event imposed upon them by the engine manufacturer, so as to keep the power unit within its usage limit. A letter sent to the teams at Barcelona suggests that the subsequent Technical Directive will require the power unit to be run in the same single mode during qualifying and race. This has yet to be confirmed by the Technical Directive itself.

    Why is this rule being implemented now - and what impact will it have?
    To assist policing. The FIA has to police a number of power unit parameters through very detailed data analysis, and it is felt that this directive will help them achieve that – and have more confidence of power unit legality as a result. Of course, a consequence of the move would be to clip the wings of the power unit which shows the biggest power boost between normal and qualifying modes. At this point that's believed to be Mercedes, with Ferrari showing the least difference between the two modes. Renault and Honda are quite similar in between those two extremes.

    The move would save expensive development programmes for Honda, Renault and Ferrari at a time when the FIA is very actively trying to close down cost drivers. As a downside, it would reduce the differences in power at any given moment between two dicing cars. Often the passing we see in hybrid F1 era comes from one driver forcing another to use up his energy store defensively, then having none left as the attacking driver deploys.

    https://www.formula1.com/en/latest/article.qualifying-engine-modes-what-are-the-proposed-changes-and-why-do-they-matter.OI3cSGqWS6mONcBHUFncL.html
     
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  3. jgonzalesm6

    jgonzalesm6 F1 World Champ
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    Gary Anderson: Banning special engine modes is good for F1


    Between the British Grand Prix and the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix that followed at Silverstone, I suggested – along with a few other points – that it would be a good idea to ban engine-mapping changes from the first time the cars leave the pitlane for qualifying.

    Basically, that means putting the engine modes under parc ferme restrictions, a bit like not being able to change the rear wing angle between qualifying and the race.

    I’m happy to see that someone from the FIA has taken a keen interest in reading articles on The Race website! Given it’s a new website I thought it might take them a bit longer, but keep reading and some other interesting ideas might just pop up…

    Judging by the reader comments on that article, the idea got a mixed reaction. But I believed – and still do – that it would change how each team would go about their race weekend. And that it might just close up the grid that little bit.


    From my point of view, Mercedes has done a fantastic job of getting performance out of its hybrid engine package and it is an engineering masterpiece.

    However, it’s basically all impossible to see for those watching. I don’t want a car to go a second faster by just simply turning a knob on the steering wheel, I want to see the driver have to work for their rewards.

    Every engine will have its duty cycle. A race weekend for each car will be around 750 kilometres, 310km in the race and the rest in practice and qualifying.

    It’s very complicated to go into it, but basically if you have a five-position knob on the steering wheel and you have say a 5000km engine life, in level 5 (max power) you can probably do 50km, level 4 equals 100km, level 3 equals 200km, level 2 equals 400km and level 1 equals the rest – using this sliding scale that would be 4250km or what could be called the normal practice and race mode.

    Combine engine power and the electrical power for the percentage of the lap that a driver requests full power and in level 5 you might just be able to squeeze 1000bhp out of these beasts. Level 4 equals 980bhp, level 3 equals 950bhp, level 2 equals 890bhp and level 1 equals 800bhp.

    An increase in 10bhp over the rpm range on an average circuit is roughly one tenth of a second, so with a potential 200bhp drop or benefit you could be looking at a two second per lap time difference – just by turning a knob on the steering wheel.

    I don’t think that is what we want to see. Yes, it’s a fantastic feat of engineering but it’s invisible to the naked eye.
    I would prefer to see these engines run at, say, level two or on some circuits depending on its engine duty cycle level three for the complete weekend mileage. It will still be an unbelievable engineering challenge but from the outside it will remove one of these unseen steps in performance that even the professional commentators can’t get their heads around.

    It should be very easy to police in the electronics. From the moment the car leaves the pits at the start of Q1 until the chequered flag only one mode can be used.

    I would even go a step further and say that must include ERS deployment and harvesting, so basically the same torque will be applied to the rear wheels that the driver requests from his throttle position both in all the qualifying sessions and the race.


    There will always be other differences like fuel load etc and what tyres on a car at any point in time, but these are not things that the driver can just dial in to suit the situation as they are things that are committed to before each run.

    The numbers above are just a simple representation and they are probably a little exaggerated to show the potential step changes. Wouldn’t Ferrari be happy right now if it could achieve those?

    Stopping teams using special qualifying modes would be good for F1. It will be better for those of us watching, and as I always say what’s really important is the fans watching at home and giving them the best spectacle.

    https://the-race.com/formula-1/gary-anderson-banning-special-engine-modes-is-good-for-f1/
     
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  4. jgonzalesm6

    jgonzalesm6 F1 World Champ
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    Hamilton: 'Quali mode' ban aimed at slowing down Mercedes


    Lewis Hamilton believes a proposal to stop teams using qualifying-specific engine modes is aimed at slowing Mercedes down, but says it will not have the desired effect.


    The FIA wrote to teams this week to notify them it is planning to outlaw high-power engine modes that are reserved for qualifying and very short bursts in the race. The change could be enacted by the next race at Spa-Francorchamps and would likely see teams required to use their qualifying engine settings for a certain percentage of the race.

    Last year, Ferrari had a significant engine advantage in qualifying, but the team has since said that its superior power unit performance has been stripped away by amendments to the regulations over the winter. Meanwhile, Mercedes has made a significant step with its engine performance, suggesting any change to the rules would handicap Mercedes and level the playing field among all engine manufacturers.

    "It's not a surprise, they're always trying to slow us down," Hamilton said ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix. "But it doesn't really change a huge amount for us so it's not a problem."

    Mercedes has held a significant performance advantage in qualifying this year, which rivals suspect is linked to its use of high-power engine modes. But Hamilton does not think a change in regulations will peg Mercedes back.

    "The guys at our team have just done such a good job with the engine," he added. "It's obviously to slow us down but I don't think it's going to get the result that they want. But that's totally fine if they do it."

    The mid-season change would likely be tied to parc-ferme regulations, which require teams to run the same specification of parts in qualifying as they do in the race. The rule has been in place since 2003 and was aimed at stopping teams developing specific parts for qualifying alone.

    Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who drives a Honda-powered car and is Hamilton's closest rival in the championship, said it was a logical step in the regulations.

    "I think in a way maybe it's good as we are not really allowed to touch the car after qualifying, except those kind of things, engine modes," he said. "So probably if you want to go down that route anyway by not touching the car I think it's good you maybe get rid of that as well."

    Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc his car does not have a specific engine mode for qualifying.

    "To be honest, on our side I don't think it will affect us so much," he said. "I think it can only be positive for us.

    "How much will it be beneficial? It's still to be seen but for us, I can say we don't have anything different from quali to the race so for us it won't change anything."


    https://www.espn.com/f1/story/_/id/29653942/hamilton-quali-mode-ban-aimed-slowing-mercedes
     
  5. jgonzalesm6

    jgonzalesm6 F1 World Champ
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    Qualifying engine modes set for post-Spanish GP ban


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    Formula 1 teams have been informed by the FIA of plans for new restrictions on engine modes for qualifying which will be put in place by the Belgian Grand Prix.


    The changes are set to rein in the Mercedes-powered teams that traditionally make the biggest performance gains in qualifying, and are likely to further ramp up tensions in a paddock where there is already conflict on the Racing Point copying case, and the final stages of Concorde Agreement negotiations.

    FIA secretary secretary general for motorsport Peter Bayer made the reference to modes in a letter to teams that covered various technical matters, under the heading "power unit ICE modes – reduction of the scope of adjustability between qualifying and the race".


    The letter clearly indicated that the FIA wants teams to run the same ICE modes in both qualifying and the race.

    While the letter itself carries no regulatory value, it said that a technical directive clarifying the new restrictions will follow, and will be applicable by the Belgian GP.

    The letter referenced two FIA rules. The first is Article 2.7 of the 2020 technical regulations, headed "Duty of Competitor," and which reads as follows: "It is the duty of each competitor to satisfy the FIA technical delegate and the stewards that his automobile complies with these regulations in their entirety at all times during an Event.

    "The design of the car, its components and systems shall, with the exception of safety features, demonstrate their compliance with these regulations by means of physical inspection of hardware or materials. No mechanical design may rely upon software inspection as a means of ensuring its compliance.

    "Due to their nature, the compliance of electronic systems may be assessed by means of inspection of hardware, software and data."


    The letter noted that the "multitude and complexity of modes being used make it extremely difficult for the FIA to monitor compliance with all the PU-related regulations and provisions in selected critical moments of the event".

    The other rule cited is Article 27.1 of the sporting regulations, the often-used reference to drivers being required to drive the car "alone and unaided."

    The letter noted that "the changes to ICE modes that are currently in force could potentially mean that the driver does not drive the car alone and unaided."

    The letter then makes it clear that "in order to address the above concerns in the future, we will be requiring that during the qualifying session and the race, the PU should operate in a single mode," before confirming that a technical directive will follow before Spa.

    Teams are still not sure exactly what the changes will mean in practical terms as they have yet to receive any details.

    A single mode will not only restrict performance in qualifying, but will also limit adjustments drivers make during races, including those when they "turn down" the engine for reliability purposes.

    https://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/fia-rein-qualifying-engine-modes-belgian-gp/4855266/
     
  6. Bas Jaski

    Bas Jaski Three Time F1 World Champ
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    I do wonder how it'll be policed...drivers swap between different modes all race long. There isn't a simple ''practice'', ''quali'' and ''race'' mode. They all have different sub-modes. Are they going forbid drivers touching the map button? Analyze the ECU so that a different map isn't used during the race that's secretly assigned to a different button (very easy to do)?

    If it works, great.
     
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  8. william

    william F1 World Champ
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    I think it"s wrong to penalise a team (Mercedes in this case) because it does a better job on the track.

    The FIA thinks that lowering the standard to the lowest "common denominator" is the solution.

    It will be counter-productive as the other engine builders won't have any incentive to try catching up.

    Very short-sighted in my view.
     
  9. furoni

    furoni F1 Veteran

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    This will only help mercedes as we know FIA doesn't police them, so in the end it's just another excuse to clamp the oposition and let the cheaters go on with it..it's pretty clear to me.
    Crapilton is already whining about it, saying they are always trying to slow them down, what a clown, he really is the a pathetic w.c.
     
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  10. 05011994

    05011994 Formula 3
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    Did you feel as strongly when the FIA kept changing rules to punish Ferrari in the early 2000s?
     
  11. lorenzobandini

    lorenzobandini F1 Rookie
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    Where so many want to go william.

    Damn excellence......bring on the show......IndyCar II, here we come. :(
     
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  13. Bas Jaski

    Bas Jaski Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Or when FIA kept changing the rules several times in a season in order to punish red bull?
     
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  14. william

    william F1 World Champ
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    Well, if you think it was wrong then, why do you think it's right now?
     
  15. lorenzobandini

    lorenzobandini F1 Rookie
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    'Don't know about william, but I did. :)
     
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  16. lorenzobandini

    lorenzobandini F1 Rookie
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    Again, yes. :)
     
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  17. 05011994

    05011994 Formula 3
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    I do not think it is right in any case, but you never answered the question.
     
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  18. william

    william F1 World Champ
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    I never noticed at that time that technical changes were directed specifically against Ferrari, but maybe they were.

    I think it's wrong in general to legislate against the leader in any field.

    Success is supposed to be rewarded and emulated, not stifled and punished.
     
  19. Nuvolari

    Nuvolari F1 Veteran
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    The reality is that F1 is in the entertainment business and if one team wins too much then the entertainment value goes down. The powers that be will always look extra close to those that dominate to increase the quality of the show. In addition they will also be under pressure by all the other teams to reign in runaway success veiled under any sort of BS self-serving excuse they could come up with.

    I remember in the late 90's McLaren started using an insanely toxic blend of aluminum/beryllium in their engines and Ferrari protested it on the grounds of it being environmentally irresponsible. What a laugh that was. Truth was that Ferrari could not make the material work for them and they would have put orphan puppies in their engine should it have given them a performance advantage.
     
  20. JL350

    JL350 Karting

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    I think making the racing closer and more exciting is a good thing. There are enough drivers with talent that having more than one team vying for a win can only be good for the sport. It is not good when a car is a second a lap faster than everyone else, the race is nearly a forgone conclusion after qualifying, who is going to watch it then.
     
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  21. A348W

    A348W Formula 3

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    Should even out the irrational whining and complaining on here!!!!

    Eg people complaining about the tyre selection in Mercs favour, now one against them! Evens.

    (just because Ferrari got caught cheating last year and did a secret deal with the fia!!!!)
     
  22. DeSoto

    DeSoto F1 Veteran

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    Do you think this is going to make any difference? Mercedes is 1 second ahead in qualifying mode, it's not going to change the order if they're at only 8 tenths. If they make it because they think they could be doing something fishy with the party mode and at least it brings some peace of mind for that moron of Tombazis, then I'm OK with it.
     
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  23. william

    william F1 World Champ
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    Maybe F1 isn't the right series to follow for some then.
    There are specs series that provide more equal playing field and also series that create artificial conditions to bunch the field, use handicaping, balance of power, etc ...

    Compared to other sports, F1 must be the sport that is already the most "manipulated" by the organisers.
     
  24. furoni

    furoni F1 Veteran

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    Nope, they didn't, someone misinformed you...
     
  25. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

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    I expect Mercedes to be able to run the whole race in quali mode--all they have to do is to have the drivers back down a hair when the motor gets too hot.
    The only reason they don't run quali mode all the time is that they don't HAVE TO.

    FIA is reaching (and retching at the same time).
     
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  26. kylec

    kylec F1 Rookie
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    I’m no Mercedes fan, but I don’t agree with this rule.
     
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  27. lorenzobandini

    lorenzobandini F1 Rookie
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    Nein.

    All the backing off in the world ain't gonna help when your nigh on detonation with the timing. (You can actually have detonation and the engine still be at normal operating temp.)
    It ain't the "hot engine"; it's more specifically the burning valves and melting pistons from the advanced timing in quali mode. ;)
     
  28. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

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    I guess we get to see this weekend.

    If Merc is still 1 second in front of the 3rd qualifier, we have our answer.
     

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