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    2020 Winter Testing One

    Formula One has started in earnest today. And every team has demonstrated incredibly excellent preparation for the season. The most impressive observation was the incredibly high level of reliability of the cars. It was particularly great to see the Williams doing over 100 laps on day one bearing in mind how difficult it was for them in 2019.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 20th February 2020 at 14:46.
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    I'm getting over the flu and they're calling for snow tonight. But in my world, right now, the sun is shining bright. The F1 season is upon us, friends!!!
    "Every generation's memory is exactly as long as its own experience." --John Kenneth Galbraith

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    First controversy (sort of), the Mercedes Trombone steering wheel. It appears to be legit too. Thankfully, innovation in F1 is not dead yet.

    Mercedes calls this thing; DAS, which stands for Dual Axis Steering. Nicknamed the Trombone Steering by Sky's Ted Kravitz. How it seems to work is this; in normal driving position, it keeps the toe of the wheels pointing outwards, which is supposed to give better corning dynamics. If the driver pulls the steering wheel towards themselves, the DAS turns the toe of the wheels inwards. Which gives the car better straightline dynamics.

    It looks like one of those things that coulds be an edge over the rest of the field. And the moaning shall begin in earnest shortly as the news of this device sinks into the heads along the paddock properly over the next day or so.

    That said, there has not been any indication of how effective it is at enhancing performance or driveability.


    Racing Point is looking very promising. Renault seems like they might surprise everyone this year. The fight for fourth is going to be fierce this season. Williams is looking like they have made a step forward. How far forward we shall see in Melborne. Ferrari is looking pensive. Redbull are looking fiesty.

    Haas and Alfa Tauri, still cautious. Alfa Romeo looking solid.

    By the look of things so far, it is looking like the midfield is going to be even tighter this season.

    Fastest lap of Testing one so far; Mercedes W11 (Lewis Hamilton) - 1:16:976s (Hard Tyres)
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 21st February 2020 at 05:31.
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    I guess only time will tell if the DAS system is allowed. Personally I'm on the fence and think that it likely won't be legal. But they might have found enough loophole in the rules to get away with it. Being that the Renault mass damper and the drivers hand operating the F duct were deemed moving aerodynamic devices, I really can't see how a driver powering a steering change can't be considered powering a steering device.

    Regardless of legality, I'd have to wonder if the stability of the car changes much. Since the intent seems to be simply to remove some toe out on the straights, I wonder if the steering input would change much for the drivers. This would likely take some getting used to in regards to high speed overtakes when jumping out of the slipstream behind another car. For that matter any high speed correction when the car is in reduces toe mode.

    But I suspect that the other teams will be all over it if in fact they think it brings anything to the table.




    As for testing overall, not a lot to be seen yet IMO. Just as with many years figuring out who is sandbagging and who is not is tough. Reliability seems to be up all through the field, which is promising enough.



    The changes to the cars alone are interesting enough for me. The new RB has a load of aero work, as does the Merc. Ferrari have stayed with the fatter nose, but under the nose the car is really busy.

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    It appears Redbull have an innovation that is raising eyebrows. It is loosely called the double bulkhead. Apparently it is in the section after the nose of the chassis. Not sure what the point of it is. I don't imagine it is performance enhancing, but l might be wrong.
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    I'm unsure how efective Mercs DAS system will be but ..IF... it did prove to be a major 'must have' feature for Ferrari and Red Bull to have in order to be competitive. If they threw their maximum resources at it just how long would it likely take them to design and have their own version of it on their cars for evaluation?
    The emergence of the new 'Rainmaster' - Mad Max at Interlagos 2016!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zico View Post
    I'm unsure how efective Mercs DAS system will be but ..IF... it did prove to be a major 'must have' feature for Ferrari and Red Bull to have in order to be competitive. If they threw their maximum resources at it just how long would it likely take them to design and have their own version of it on their cars for evaluation?
    I think they have to redesign the entire front suspension and steering infrastructure. It would be hard to copy in a short time. If they start now, chances are about half way through the season. But probably unlikely before. That sort of change may also have some impact on the aerodynamic characteristics of the middle to backend of the car also. Hence, there is some risk associated with adopting it.

    I think there would be enough moaning to force it to be banned. But l hope that is not the case. Teams should not be punished for clever innovation that is within the rules. Not unless the F1 establishment bend the rules in order to ban it.

    Ted Kravitz of Sky was saying that the DAS must pass the scrutiny of two hurdles, namely; the Steering regulations and the suspension regulations which apparently are quite separate and different. If the trombone steering can be shown to comply with both, then chances are that it is here to stay.

    There is talk also that it may not comply with the 2021 regulations, hence cannot be used next season. which is unfortunate also.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 21st February 2020 at 19:18.
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    Bottas hammers in the fastest lap of Winter Test One with a lap of 1:15:732 [Supersoft]. I think Ferrari are reeling as they found they are not quite where Mercedes is on the readiness front. They also seem slower and not quite as planted through the corners like the Mercedes. Mercedes seem like they could start racing right away. Redbull are looking content but there is enough to suggest that they might be well behind Mercedes. How much behind, we would find out in Testing Two next week.

    If the Trombone steering does not have an impact on the aerodynamic characteristics of the Merc, if they were to be asked to remove it, then we are probably set for another Mercedes dominated season. But to be honest, it is still too early to tell. We have not seen the Redbull or Ferrari driven in anger yet. It would be very clear at the end of testing two who is the top dog this season.
    Last edited by Nitrodaze; 22nd February 2020 at 07:50.
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    If my understanding of how the DAS system is correct then the aerodynamics benefit it brings is also brought by the steering by the front wheels being movable aero devices, the geometry changing the ride height and the effects that has on aero... so maybe they need to ban steering also?

    I suppose they could ban it for it not being in 'the spirit of the regulations'. :/
    The emergence of the new 'Rainmaster' - Mad Max at Interlagos 2016!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zico View Post
    If my understanding of how the DAS system is correct then the aerodynamics benefit it brings is also brought by the steering by the front wheels being movable aero devices, the geometry changing the ride height and the effects that has on aero... so maybe they need to ban steering also?

    I suppose they could ban it for it not being in 'the spirit of the regulations'. :/
    I suspect they may not ban it for this season as they were forewarned about it. But they were quick to update the regulation for next season to specifically ban it in 2021. There are multiple benefits from this Toe adjusting technology as we would find as the season progresses. It is definitely an edge over the competition.
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