F1 EXCLUSIVE: "Moving" Ferrari Floor Under Scrutiny From Rivals - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-20-2007, 06:34 AM Thread Starter
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F1 EXCLUSIVE: "Moving" Ferrari Floor Under Scrutiny From Rivals

SPEEDtv.com | Formula 1 | F1 EXCLUSIVE: "Moving" Ferrari Floor Under Scrutiny From Rivals | by Adam Cooper, <a href=http://www.racer.com>RACER Magazine</a> | The latest Formula One headlines powered by RACER Magazine | Alonso, Schumacher, R&#228;ikk&#246;nen,

Ferrari’s floor has come under scrutiny from rival teams, who suspect there may be a mechanism that allows it to move illegally.

Although he did not name Ferrari or specify floors, McLaren boss Ron Dennis says he is confident that are cars whose performance will be affected in the near future if certain technical rule interpretations are clarified.

If the front of the floor drops at speed it could create an aerodynamic stall, which improves straightline performance.

That won’t necessarily show up with stunning speed trap figures, as it could also allow cars to run a bit more wing and have better performance – with less taken out of the tires – in the corners.

The rules allow for a certain amount of “absorption” in that area of the car because the floor takes a lot of punishment from the curbs, and if it is too rigid, the chassis would suffer. However, if the floor is actually capable of lowering, it would be an illegal movable aerodynamic device.

All cars have a form of stay holding the front of the floor in place, but rivals noticed an unusually complex arrangement on the Ferrari when the bodywork was off the car in the Melbourne pit garage.
Dennis admits teams usually push the rules' boundaries in the first couple of races of the year -- was that Ferrari's case in Melbourne? (LAT Photo)

The FIA placed a particular emphasis on examining floors at Melbourne, and took a close look at the Ferrari. Sources close to the FIA suggest that at this stage the team has been given the benefit of the doubt. The current FIA test on that part of the car apparently involves only checking with an upward force.

As with last year’s flexing wing affair, in the early races teams are often told privately by the FIA to change suspect elements of their cars for future events. Often that process is kick-started by informal complaints or evidence from other teams.

Dennis has made it clear to us that he suspects that there are some illegal cars in the pitlane.

“We will see how things are in two or three races,” he told speedtv.com. “There is a whole range of things that come to light in the first race and you go and you say what is legal, and what is not legal. Most teams are given that current race to enjoy the benefit of the doubt. I think there will be a rationalization of some aspects of some cars that would close the gap if no one did anything.

“You look at people’s cars, you are not always of the opinion that rule interpretation has been strictly adhered to, and you get in to, ‘Hold on a second, what are we allowed to do and what are we not allowed to do?’ and that always takes place at the first event. So it takes a race or two to know what is or isn’t permitted.”

Questioned by SPEEDtv.com, a dismissive Ferrari spokesman said: “It’s part of the game any time Ferrari is quickest. It’s not the first time that there have been questions about legality. If someone has a complaint, there is always the FIA


Last edited by Kirill; 03-20-2007 at 07:24 AM.
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 03-20-2007, 10:54 AM
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funny how as soon as a team gets quickest, they are immidiatly accused of cheating. happens time and time again, to Ferrari, Mclaren and renault and others i guess its just part of the "game".

as for it being illegal, it did pass inspection and pre season tecnical analysis, therefore i predict if there is a grey area on this it will be minimal or quite possibly nothing will happen at all and ferrari will keep exactly what they have, remember the rear black bbs hub caps. teams argued all season last year it was an unfair arodynamic advantage, ferrari claimed it was for better brake cooling , and the end result they used it all season long.

the best tems in f1 are the ones who can look for loop holes in the rules and find a way to use them to their own advantage. this is why ferrari are always on top and are always the team to beat year after year. they must have a team of lawyers on staff to read the FIA rule book 24/7.

no one said they were stupid
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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-02-2007, 10:19 PM
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Bell - floor clarification could be key at Sepang

02 April 2007

Renault technical director Bob Bell has predicted that revised bodywork tests at this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix could have a major impact on the relative performance of the top teams.

Formula One racing’s governing body, the FIA, issued a rule clarification last week relating to deflection of the car’s floor. It followed speculation that some teams could be running sprung supporting devices, allowing the floor to pass the standard deflection test in scrutineering, but then move under higher loads at speed on the circuit.

Such bodywork movement could provide significant aerodynamic gains - and would hence be illegal under the regulations. As a result, from Sepang onwards the floor deflection test will be carried out with any such sprung devices removed - something Bell believes will hit some teams harder than others.

“It is quite possible that the hierarchy of relative performance will actually be dominated by how well teams have responded to the FIA's clarification of the bodywork regulations last week,” he commented.

“The new testing methods for the floor will, I am sure, have caused some difficulty for all the teams - and how well they respond to that change may well have a larger effect than any other performance developments.”

World champions Renault will be hoping to improve their form in this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix after finishing a distant fifth at round one in Australia.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-02-2007, 11:41 PM
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historically when one team is so far ahead of others the other teams cry foul...look at 1998 mclarens were dominating because of that special brake system they had remember? also mid 80s the willaims were using traction control...
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 04-04-2007, 08:59 PM
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Technical analysis - the 'movable' floor debate

Technical analysis - the 'movable' floor debate

The theory behind it - and why it should be over this weekend

04 April 2007

Since the 2007 season-opener in Australia, there has been much talk of ‘movable’ floors on Formula One cars - have teams developed a way to mount the floor in such a way that it will pass the standard deflection test in scrutineering, but then lift under greater loads at speed on the circuit, providing significant aerodynamic gains?

Ride heights are crucial in terms of improving the aero performance of a Formula One car. For this reason, several years ago teams developed flexible floors that would bend under load, thus allowing the car to run much closer to the ground. The FIA decided to police the situation by introducing a floor deflection test. This test uses the normal scrutineering platform. A hydraulic ram pushes the floor upwards from beneath the car and the amount of movement under a specified load is measured.

As with wings, if the part passes this deflection test it is deemed legal, even if the part may flex further under a greater load. This apparent anomoly is present because the FIA decided to provide a certain degree of freedom in the regulation to avoid damage to this section of the floor when the car rides over kerbs - especially as in recent years most of the ballast placed on the car is located in this area.

Article 3.17.4 of Formula One racing's current technical regulations states that no bodywork part, floor included, can deflect more than 5mm vertically when exposed to a 500 Newton upward load.

The potential benefits

If you introduce a way to allow the car’s floor to lift at high speed, it will lead the diffuser to stall. But what does this mean? Well, in technical terms it means that the airflow passing through the diffuser no longer closely follows the diffuser’s profile. Instead, at a certain point - determined by air pressure levels close to the diffuser wall - the airflow detaches and proceeds on its own horizontal trajectory. In practical terms, it means that this airflow is no longer generating additional downforce via the diffuser. This could be seen as a malfunction of the diffuser - which indeed it is - but it also an effect that can be generated intentionally. Among the potential benefits are an increase in straight-line speed thanks to the loss of drag, or an improvement in the car’s overall balance thanks to the reduced rear downforce.

Teams employ a variety of methods to mount their cars’ floors, usually using thin cables. These alone cannot be guaranteed to prevent the floor deflecting, so some teams - media attention has focussed on Ferrari and BMW Sauber - utilise sprung supporting devices, which allow limited - but legal - movement of the front of the floor, to prevent damage over kerbs etc. The question being asked in Melbourne was could a similar device be designed so as to allow much greater - and hence illegal - movement under the greater loads generated at high speeds?

Of course, the simple answer is, in theory, yes. By correctly engineering the ‘set-up’ of the spring - related specifically to its fixed rate and preload - it would be possible to control the flexibility of the bib (the section of the floor under the splitter) so as to pass the FIA deflection test but still allow greater movement under higher loads. In reality, however, there is no evidence of any team employing this theory and all cars passed scrutineering in Melbourne.

The FIA clarification

The speculation over movable floors is unlikely to continue much longer thanks to a small clarification to the rules introduced by the FIA ahead of this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix. From now on, the floor deflection test will be carried out with any such supporting devices removed.

It remains to be seen what effect this will have. Some say minimal. Others, such as Renault’s Bob Bell, believe it could have a significant impact on the teams’ relative performance at Sepang. The main thing is that it should remove any shadow of controversy and avoid the risk of a repeat of last season’s mass damper saga.
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