The 2019 F1 pre-season is underway, and teams are working to find their strengths for the upcoming season. The first test was held in Spain, with other tests planned across Europe over the next few weeks.
The “f1 pre season testing 2022” is a comprehensive guide to the upcoming F1’s preseason testing. The article includes all of the information that you need to know about the tests, including dates and locations.
MONTMELO, SPAIN – MONTMELO, SPAIN – Although the first race of the 2018 Formula One season is still more than three weeks away, on-track action begins on February 23 during the first pre-season test in Spain. It will be the first time all ten teams are on the circuit at the same time, as well as the first time the cars have escaped from exclusive filming days.
F1 testing has sparked enormous enthusiasm among fans eager to see their favorite drivers back on track ahead of the new season in previous years, but the timesheets can be deceiving and confusing at the end of the day. Here’s a rundown of what testing entails and how much you should believe the eye-catching lap numbers from the forthcoming track action.
The Bahrain circuit will be the “official” pre-season test, according to Formula One. Bryn Lennon/Getty Images photo
When and where will the tests be held?
This year, there are two three-day preseason tests. F1 has dubbed the first test at Barcelona’s Circuit de Catalunya a “shakedown,” while the second test in Bahrain is the “real” pre-season test.
Sole the Bahrain test will be aired (depending on where you are in the globe), and it is claimed that the desert country has paid a premium to host the only “official preseason test” this year. However, disregard the marketing spin since both tests are practically the same, with all ten teams on track for three days to get a better knowledge of their new vehicles.
The first test will be held in Barcelona, Spain, on February 23-25.
The second test is scheduled for March 10-12 at Sakhir, Bahrain.
What is the purpose of F1 testing?
Although they seem to be expertly engineered, F1 vehicles are nevertheless 200 mph scientific experiments. While a lot of effort has gone into the idea of making a new vehicle move fast, there’s still a chance that the wheels may fall off (both metaphorically and practically, as Fernando Alonso discovered with his McLaren in 2018). As a consequence, before a new F1 vehicle can be driven in competition, it must be debugged, and the first morning of the preseason is often spent doing system tests to ensure everything is working properly. An F1 vehicle has nearly 300 sensors in racing spec to guarantee tolerances are not violated, but that number is substantially larger in testing to obtain additional data that can then be compared with simulations each team’s engineers have been running in the factory for the last year.
If the simulations mirror the reality on the track, a team is already a step closer to unlocking the car’s ultimate potential. If something unexpected returns, teams may need to modify or even redesign certain components to maintain reliability and performance. Sensors are often difficult to see, but they are hard to overlook when it comes to assessing a car’s aerodynamics. To monitor pressures and understand what is happening to the flow structures surrounding the automobile, large metal fences (known as rakes) are connected to the cars behind critical regions of airflow. The rakes are made up of a succession of ‘pitot tubes,’ and their readings are compared to the work the teams did in the wind tunnel and using CFD during the winter.
The driver’s feedback is also crucial. Simple things like the sitting position of 10 need to be altered, and the only way to figure out what’s comfortable and what isn’t is to spend lengthy days in the cockpit. Steering feedback and braking feel are other important early indicators, but it might take up to a half-season before a driver is completely satisfied with the finer points.
After confirming that the car’s basics are running as they should, teams focus on setup and performance extraction. Getting the appropriate vehicle setup is critical to unlocking its potential, and understanding how a car reacts to different setup modifications is critical to unlocking that performance on various circuits and under various situations.
Engineers will spend a significant amount of time trying alternative setup combinations to see what works and what doesn’t for various fuel loads and tyre compositions. Gaining as much information as possible at this time of year might pay off later in the year when the competition heats up.
Then there’s sheer showmanship. Don’t be shocked if several drivers skip qualifying-style laps during the first week of testing, or if any smaller teams show up higher in the order than anticipated. Having said that, teams will try to obtain a sense of the car’s real performance in comparison to its competitors before the first race. Trying to deduce who’s fast and who’s slow from the outside can be a fool’s errand, but piecing together the clues of who’s fast and who’s slow is all part of the fun of testing, and by the end of the second test, we should have a rough idea of who appears to be competitive and who appears to be struggling.
Teams are all interested in their opponents’ performances, even if they don’t acknowledge it, but the major emphasis is on being as well prepared as possible for the first race. By the end of preseason, the goal is to have a dependable vehicle that reacts well to set-up modifications, as well as reams of data to assist shape the next stages in the car’s development.
What’s new in the year 2022?
It’s probably simpler to keep track of the things that haven’t changed this season. The vehicles are actually new designs rather than evolutions of the previous year’s car, thanks to a comprehensive reworking of the technical requirements. The steering wheel was the sole component brought over from last year’s constructors’ championship-winning vehicle, Mercedes acknowledged during its introduction last week.
The new regulations’ principal goal is to improve overtaking opportunities, but they’ve also resulted in cleaner-looking automobiles with more curved surfaces and less aerodynamic clutter.
The new automobiles have been under development since at least 2019 and were scheduled to debut in 2021 until the pandemic forced the postponement of the new laws. The reinstatement of ground-effect aerodynamics and the introduction of low-profile tyres on 18-inch wheels are among the major modifications from the last set of rules.
The tyres, although still produced by Pirelli, are a substantial shift, and throughout the two tests, a considerable amount of track time will be spent to learning them. The new compounds are supposed to be less prone to overheating, which has been identified as a barrier to overtaking by drivers in previous years, and the stronger, low-profile structures should make CFD modeling simpler for teams.
There has also been a modification under the skin, with V6 turbo engines now operating on E10 gasoline, which contains 10% ethanol to minimize carbon emissions. The changeover was once estimated to cost engine makers up to 50 horsepower, but engineers have been working hard behind the scenes to recoup the loss. Work on the engines has been crucial throughout the winter, since performance development is likely to be halted later this year.
How to tell who’s fast and who isn’t…
Runs of the show
These are the laps when teams drain some gasoline from the vehicle and experiment with set-up tweaks in order to find one-lap performance. The drivers will alternate between ‘hot laps’ and ‘cool-down laps,’ generating a tell-tale pattern on the timing displays of fast, slow, fast, slow.
To enable the tyres to recuperate after being driven hard and to replenish the battery in the car’s hybrid system, which would consume up all of the power in a qualifying-style lap, drivers must alternate their fast laps with slower ones.
Pirelli provides all five of its compounds to the teams during testing, which is crucial for one-lap performance. C1, C2, C3, C4, and C5 are the toughest and softest of the compounds, with C1 being the hardest and C5 being the softest.
Softer rubber gives greater performance, but it degrades more quickly, thus the softest compound may only be good for a single lap before losing its peak performance. The quickest times in testing are likely to be recorded on the softest tyres, but if a vehicle on C2s is just 0.1s slower than a car on C5, it’s reasonable to infer the car on the tougher compound has a big speed advantage.
Tyres are punished on the Circuit of Catalunya, particularly the front left through the high-speed right-hand bends. Temperatures may also vary dramatically during the day, from around zero degrees in the morning to over 20 degrees by noon. As a consequence, a time set on C5s in the middle of the day is not comparable to a time set on the same compound first thing in the morning, when generating tyre temperature is considerably more difficult.
When looking at the quickest laps each day, these are all things to consider. Even if you know the tyre compound and the time of day when the lap was recorded, you’re just half way there. The weight of a car’s fuel load is another important element in performance; only 10kg may add 0.4 seconds to a lap around the Circuit de Catalunya. There is no way to see how much gasoline a vehicle has on board from the outside, unlike tyre compounds, and teams are not required to provide numbers.
As a consequence, the fastest lap times in testing are concealed by teams running with up to 40kg of gasoline in the tank, while a slower vehicle might seem unexpectedly competitive by driving on fumes. Running excessive fuel loads is referred regarded as “sandbagging” in F1 parlance, although the fact is that engineers employ greater fuel loads to provide a more feasible baseline to work from rather than to disguise a car’s actual speed.
Unfortunately, fans and the media do not have access to the most essential instrument for cutting through the secrecy and making sense of lap timings. Teams regularly monitor competitor vehicles’ GPS trails to collect data on both corner and straight-line speeds, helping them to develop a more accurate picture of car performance.
The pace at which a vehicle accelerates and stops may be used to estimate its engine mode and fuel load, and data can be cross-referenced with past years’ test sessions or races to find patterns and anomalies with the click of a mouse. Furthermore, F1 teams are creatures of habit, and will, nine times out of ten, adhere to the same fuel load for testing from year to year. It doesn’t take long for an experienced engineer to build up a library of data and expertise to help filter through the times appearing on the timing displays and identify the genuine top performers when personnel moves from team to team during the season.
Look for teams trying ‘race simulations’ as one approach to remove the ambiguity around fuel loading. Typically, each driver will try to complete at least one race simulation before the first race so that he can get a feel for how the vehicle runs across a grand prix distance and so that his engineers can collect data that might help them score more points in the first race.
To complete a race distance without returning to the garage to refuel, vehicles will need to leave the pits with close to the maximum fuel load of 110kg at the start of the run. It’s much simpler to compare performance if we know that all vehicles start with the same fuel load and finish the same amount of laps.
It’s not an exact science since the time of day, track circumstances, engine modes, and tyre strategy may all affect the findings, but it’s the greatest method to get a genuine image of performance from testing in general. Race simulators are clearly identifiable by a sequence of modest but consistent lap times interspersed with race-style pit stops over extended laps. If you see a driver’s pit board ticking down from 66 laps (the duration of a race at the Circuit de Catalunya), it’s likely they’re doing a race simulation.
It’s feasible to obtain the greatest sense of how swift a vehicle is relative to its competitors by calculating an average lap time and subtracting anomalies caused by traffic or red flag stoppages from the race distance. Race simulations, on the other hand, are among the final jobs on a team’s testing work list, so it’s probable that few drivers will complete one before the second test in Bahrain.
Season with a pinch of salt.
While testing normally yields a definite order, it is not necessarily reflective of the first race. This year, the second test and the first race are conducted in the same location, in Bahrain, which increases the possibilities of a precise forecast, but a lot can happen in two weeks.
Most teams will be eager to progress quickly at the start of the season as they get a better knowledge of their all-new cars on the track and compare it to simulation data collected over the winter. When we look back at the vehicles that ran in testing this week at the end of the year, they may seem fairly rudimentary or undeveloped, and all teams anticipate a range of growth options to open up as they fully explore the potential of their cars under the new rules.
It’s not uncommon for teams to introduce big aero enhancements between testing and the first race, and with this year’s broad rule revisions, every vehicle will be on a high development curve. Fortunately, the time between the last day of testing in Bahrain and the first race a week later will be short, allowing us to gain a better idea of who will be the leading runners in 2022.
What are the testing rules?
There are no actual standards controlling testing, save than passing crash tests before running and respecting marshal flags. Between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., you may run as much as you like, however tyre allocations restrict how many laps you can accomplish across the three days.
There is no scrutineering, thus teams might theoretically test items that are outside the rules (although there would be little long-term advantage by doing so). In 2013, Caterham and Williams used minor pieces of bodywork to channel exhaust fumes towards the diffuser, which would have been illegal under the regulations but enabled them to learn how other teams were profiting from doing it within the rules. If one or two competitor teams come up with concepts that take the others off guard, it’s feasible that some teams may experiment with such gadgets this year.
Mercedes created a sensation in 2020 by demonstrating its revolutionary, but divisive, Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system during preseason. The FIA was aware of the method and had already moved to prohibit it for 2021, although it was still theoretically permissible under the 2020 standards. After examining its usage throughout testing, Red Bull protested DAS before the season’s first race in the hopes of showing it was unlawful (or at the very least learning more about how it functioned), leading to an official judgement from the FIA that it was allowed. Testing is the first opportunity for teams to examine what their opponents have constructed for the next season.
The “mercedes f1 decision” is a comprehensive guide to Formula One’s preseason testing. Mercedes team has made the decision to split with their engine supplier, Ferrari.
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