Cliff's Notes for F1's 2008 Rules Package - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-13-2007, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Cliff's Notes for F1's 2008 Rules Package

Winding Road » Archive » WINDING ROAD’s Guide to the 2008 Formula 1 Rule Changes

All engine functions will be controlled by a FIA spec’d electronic control box. The design and manufacture of the wiring, the sensors and the actuators will all be specified by the FIA. Clever electronics which enhance traction, power or mileage are effectively prohibited. Standardizing electronic components is intended to control an area in which it is possible to expend huge amounts of money in search of performance.

As in the current rules, teams can opt for a 3.0-liter V-10 engine with performance restrictors rather than the specified 2.4-liter V-8s.

The FIA and the teams will agree on specs for gear ratios, final drive ratios, and differentials which will then be built by an FIA designated supplier. Gear boxes and clutch release mechanisms must be operated by mechanical means. The clutch must be foot actuated. None of that technology-assisted gear selection stuff allowed.

The downforce generated by the body and all attached components will be reduced by about 90 percent from current levels. However, aerodynamic drag will remain at current specified levels. There is concern over the potential increase in straight line speed when wings and such are removed. The overall width of the car will be increased slightly (to help compensate for lost downforce) and minimum and maximum body dimensions will “clean up” the profile by eliminating various aero devices. With less dependence upon aerodynamics cars running in close proximity will have less unsettling effect on each other. That could make for closer racing. The available advertising space will not change. Is that good or bad?

Here again the FIA is proposing to take on the role of ultimate specifier in the name of cost savings. Tires are to be supplied by a single manufacturer after the FIA collects the responses from a slew of RFPs (request for proposal) and makes a choice. This assumes 1) they can find a suitable supplier, 2) the testing and compatibility issues can be effectively addressed, 3) lawyers don’t mess up the selection process.
Additional criteria are:
* Slicks will be available for dry conditions.
* Lower profile tires will be used.
* Wheels will be bigger, with overall dimensions specified for fronts and rears.
* No tire heating devices allowed.
* All the details to be included in the Technical Regulations

In a clever attempt to reduce the use of ballast, the vertical location of the center of gravity of the chassis, as well as a minimum weight, will be specified. Impact and static load test criteria will be increased. It is hoped more material (weight) will go into functional components rather than ballast. Testing for resistance to intrusions from the side will also be more stringent.

The FIA will stipulate the specifications and manufacturer of brake discs, pads and calipers. Material engineering in braking systems has been rampant in recent years, with carbon-carbon and other exotics pushing costs to astounding levels.

The data acquiring systems must be completely separate and isolated from the engine management systems. Transmissions from the pits to the car are not allowed. This is another attempt to reduce high-tech performance enhancements during a race.

Limitations on material selection will be extended to the entire vehicle. Apparently the use of “unobtanium” remains pervasive.

The driver must be able to start the car without assistance. This supposedly cuts down on the need for certain crew members (cost) as well as increases safety (if a driver can restart a stalled car and get out of the way during a race).

The notice periods for changing the rules will be simplified and notices of changes to the engine, transmission or chassis will not be treated differently.

No team may have more than two complete cars at any event at the same time. Spare chassis will be permitted. The precise definition of what constitutes a “car” is to be “clearly defined.” Expect some creative responses to this constraint.

Subject to the FIA’s success (or lack thereof) in specifying a single tire supplier, teams will be limited to 30000km on the track between January 1st and December 31st.

Now, here is a hugely controversial issue! The proposal reads “teams will be free to buy a complete car or any part of a car from another constructor.” These are known as “customer cars” and offer folks in that cash strapped world of those having less than $300 million to go Formula 1 racing a chance to compete. This rule could positively affect the sport by allowing manufacturers to spread their costs over a larger “production run” and by bringing new participants into the sort. But it does seriously upset the status quo. A small, but important, issue to resolve would be how to allocate Constructor award points.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-13-2007, 05:17 PM
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Part of it makes sense. The rest is more like the castration of motor sports pinnacle.
The FIA is venturing into unknown territory.
For example, the absence of tire blankets / warmers might increase accidents, a number of drivers have argued.
Could we see the constructors form their own F-1 series?
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 07:06 PM
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a lot of these rules sound ridiculously absurd!

the 90% reduction of down force generated by bodywork and attached components sound like the most idiotic thing i have ever heard! to 'compensate' for this, a slightly wider body and slicks are now allowed? but without tire warmers? this sounds even dumber than the recent introduction of one set of tires must last an entire race...which was then promptly removed the following season.

dont we already have a race genre where the body doesnt seem to contribute a whole lot of down force? i call it nascar.

i like the idea of a starter on board. i think that what i means. FINALLY!

the possible reduction of 'high tech' electronics like telemetry, traction control and data acquisition. is this for cost reduction for lesser teams to be able to be more competitive? personally, i would rather not see the 'lesser' teams compete...i cant recall the last time i cheered on menardi (when they were around), spyker or takuma sato (i know, he's a driver...but my gosh, put him in gp3 or something...not formula 1).

you need a foot clutch again? WTF??? even my suv has paddle shifters.

overall, the new rules sounds like the ruling body are trying to throw the sport back to the 1950's. sad...very very very sad...
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-18-2007, 09:25 PM
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Some of the old timers must have been real characters. Check out 'Tazio Nuvolari;' the name itself sounded fast. The guy won a Grand Prix by steering his racer with a wrench, after losing the steering wheel. Grand Prix Hall of Fame - Tazio Nuvolari - Biography
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2007, 05:39 PM
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It would really be nice if they would look at a rules package from an evolutionary standpoint instead of just pulling cards out of a drum each and every year and putting them together.

This current system has costs teams so much more money as they keep changing direction annually. I think Mercedes, Renault, Toyota, Honda, BMW and Co. could, with this, in addition to the mess caused this year easily make a case that Mosley, Bernie and the current kids with the keys are no longer capable of making decisions in the best interest of the teams [manufacturers]. All they have to do is pull out, set their own series which leaves Ferrari to suck up to Bernie/Max by themselves.

Once the value of the product has lessened the manufacturers can buy the F1 rights from FIA as bernie fades into the sunset with his over/under the table billions.


Being smart is knowing the difference, in a sticky situation between a well delivered anecdote and a well delivered antidote - bear.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 01-01-2008, 04:28 PM
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I too am going with is sad. I like some of the rules, like less driver aid but F1 cars should be the most advanced. The German touring cars will be the most advanced race cars now. Audi, Acura, Porsche......will make the ALMS the series to race in. Come on MB.
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