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Old 29th April 2005, 23:04   #1
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Default technology and f1

in the recent years formula 1 has become synonmous with latest and the most advanced technology that have found way into the road cars and have redefined saftey in present scenario.

while all this is good i want to know your opinions on where formla one is exactly going. imean saftey features are fine but tecnology like launch control etc are leading to a scenario where the driver skill is becoming less important.

once upon a time the starts would be fantastic where a true abilities of drivers were tested, but today its almost mechanical, keep you feet on the throttle and press a button to launch the car... imean this is not good for sport.

even about abs and traction control, they can be seen as a saftey features but also as a driver aid.

lets get your honest opinion whether you'll are for this kind of technology or do you think formula 1 would be more exciting without it.
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Old 29th April 2005, 23:31   #2
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well if u consider technology affecting driving abilities....it does over shadow...the abilities of the driver! But remember that formula 1 is not for the drivers....its a proving ground for all the big car manufactures to test their technology against its major competitors..!! So, all said and true....that launch control, traction control...etc..etc... over shadows driving abilities etc....etc... Again F1 has always been known for having most technologically advanced cars!!

yeah it would have surely been more fun and exciting had all the technology not come in...! But then thats F1....!!
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Old 29th April 2005, 23:44   #3
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I guess they are gonna be banned soon. It seems they are going to enforce strict rules from next year, ie 2006. I read in Overdrive last year about these rules enforced by the FIA and how the teams are trying to find a settlement.
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Old 30th April 2005, 00:20   #4
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No Gordon. Nothings gonna change in F1 atleast before 2007
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Old 30th April 2005, 00:31   #5
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features like abs , traction control , launch control will always be there. no one will remove safety features for thrills.i mean what im trying to say is formula 1 cars are one of the most advanced technological cars in this world and the safety features will never be removed.but it definitly removes the thrill and the luck of the driver comes into play and not his skill !!

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Old 30th April 2005, 01:39   #6
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I think there is still a lot of skill involved in driving today's F1 cars. If not, then Schumi and Barichello would always qualify next to each other and same with Alonso and Fisi because they have similar cars and the computers are doing all the driving.
But it dosent happen that way and what is showing there is the driver's skill. (only sometimes its fuel load)
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Old 30th April 2005, 03:19   #7
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Quote:
but technology like launch control etc
iin the past couple of years..the FIA has made a conscious decision to limit driver aids and give more responsibility to the driver
launch control, abs, fully automatic gearboxes are banned from F1, its all manual now
traction control still exists, but it comes into contention only while exiting a corner ( it limits wheel-spin)

technology is what keeps F1 going.. and it makes sure it still remains the pinnacle of motorsport, no doubt the use of electronic aids is growing, but it also means the drivers need to adapt to them and use them in the most efficient way possible
this was one of the reasons why villeneuve could not adapt to F1 after his break
.. he needed to adjust his driving style around the electronic aids/instruments.
lets not forget that technology & development make cars go quicker & quicker each year, in spite of restrictions by the FIA, it also plays a big role in safety, we havent had a single driver death in F1 since senna's in 1994 and there have been countless high speed accidents that drivers have simply walked away from.

the birth of F1 happended as an aid to selling motorcars.. and creating awareness for the car manufacturer, that fact is of even greater importance now
How many ferrari ads do u see ? none !
thats because ferrari's brand image is created from its success in F1, more so than any other manufacturer in F1

we then come to the 'trickle down' effect of technology from F1 to road cars..
used in engines, gearboxes, suspensions etc contribute a great deal to how they are used in passenger cars
F1 discovered the use of carbon fibre for the construction of cars.. now it is used the world over, it is much ligher than steel and much stronger'

so basically drivers of today have to use a different kind of skill..
the debate of whether it is easier or tougher will always continue

Last edited by Hatari : 30th April 2005 at 03:21.
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Old 30th April 2005, 22:48   #8
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i agree saftey of the driver is the utmost concern today and as long as saftey of the car is being enhanced its completely all right, and it should be so...
however for a technology like launch control, tell me is it doing anything apart from making the starts mechanical, almost all controlled by the computer.

we all agree that technology is necessary but what is to be seen is that the driver is not reduced to a mere observer like in our modern day commercial aircrafts.

so where exactly should we draw a line.......
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Old 2nd May 2005, 13:05   #9
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Nice topic this....of course Formula 1 has always been proving grounds for auto makers and has been called the pinnacle of motorsport for some reason.
But sometimes its mroe of a pinnacle of technology ..which is what it was meant to be, to be fair...to make fast and high tech cars that do things no other cars do on race tracks. Buuuuttttt in all this the excitement for the spectators has definitely gone down with the dumbing down of the cars with all these driver aids and less and less emphasis on actual car control skills.. (of course it still takes huge skills to just drive a modern F1 car ..as even a ex champ like Niki Lauda found out much to his embarassment) ..the days of watching slides/lunges into corners, fighting the car to stay on track are mostly over.

So I cannot say for sure if I am still for keeping F1 at the top of the technology stack but I think I would prefer to see the D in the "WDC" do the real job.
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Old 2nd May 2005, 18:47   #10
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One thing i would like to stress here is that we are talking about 900+bhp cars here and with such power coming at a tap of the right foot, u do need some driver aids like traction control etc. One may disagree saying that the cars in the past were ferociously powerful, but, the aerodynamics wasn't that great those days... so the cars weren't as quick around the track as they are these days.
And besides, F1 is the proving ground for many manufacturers, like many have already said and FIA has done a fair amount of job by reducing the number of driver aids in an F1 car, even limiting the car areodynamically. I once heard an F1 engineer say in a TV documentary about F1, that an F1 car can be almost 10-15 seconds quicker than what they are at present, if the FIA removes all the bans on the car's aerodynamic technology. They can make a car super super fast.... but, then the tracks will not be safe enough for the cars.
And regarding the driver talents, well, for starters driving a 900+bhp car isn't a piece of cake by any means, it takes a lot out of the drivers. Their fitness and their reaction time should be at its peak always through out the season. The driver aides might have helped them to some extent, but, still there is a lot to do inside the cockpit as a driver.
If one really needs to see some serious wheel to wheel action, with aerodynamics not playing a part, well, i guess F1 isn't a sport where he/she should look at. Now, its all about technology and stratergy. Unless, they seriously reduce the aerodynamic grip of an F1 car, i dont see any wheel to wheel action happening.
MotoGP isa place where one can experience some serious wheel to wheel racing!
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Old 3rd May 2005, 10:17   #11
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shravan there is some truth to what you say but what about the early 80s turbo era?

1000+ bhp cars with ground effect aero dynamics...the fastest race speed record was set in 1984/5 in Monza (by Rosberg) which was broken just recently in 2002/3
No traction control then and I think they had manual stick shifts too!

And for serious wheel to wheel racing Touring Cars/GT cars are great to watch too :-)
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Old 3rd May 2005, 17:59   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhay
shravan there is some truth to what you say but what about the early 80s turbo era?

1000+ bhp cars with ground effect aero dynamics...the fastest race speed record was set in 1984/5 in Monza (by Rosberg) which was broken just recently in 2002/3
No traction control then and I think they had manual stick shifts too!
Yes, i do agree that the cars were ferociously powerful and had some stunning lap times, but, the thing is those few experimental cars were soon banned from the race tracks. ground effect too was banned in its early days right?
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Old 3rd May 2005, 19:20   #13
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A drastic change sure is coming up from 2006 in the form of 2.4 litre V8 engines, which is supposed to replace the existing 3.0 litre V10 design. We might also see the return to a single tyre manufacturer, reduced testing times, various cost-cutting measures etc.

Like Shravan said, the cars are hugely powerful nowadays. You need some kind of driver aids and of course cutting down of power to saner levels. The glamorous image of F1 today arose from the fact that in the early era, it was a game of life and death, literally. With enough power and little safety going into it, one could never be too sure of making it in one piece across the chequered flag. The huge number of casualties would attest to this. Safety took a major step forward after the Senna and Ratzenberger events, which is pretty good and much needed.

Sure the skill-sets demanded of the driver might be different today, but they sure are needed. It's not 'get-into-the-car-and-simply-drive-away' logic here. F1 drivers are all exceptionally talented, but even here there are the great and the truly great. And ultimately, the sport has to be exciting to watch and thus, earn money for its promoters.

Last edited by manticore : 3rd May 2005 at 19:21.
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Old 3rd May 2005, 22:41   #14
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hey guys do you think there should also be some higher and lower limit on the testing carried out by all the teams, just to give the minardis and jordans a better chance of actually comming close to the front runners(a lil out of context though)

i think abs is necessary today, am still not convinced that we need traction control... but things like launch control, computers allowing technicians to control your engine and car from the pits(2 way telemetry) is a big dampner. a driver is not only who can drive but should also be able to feel the car, preserve it and be able to get it back. i wouldn't mind seeing slightly slower f1 without shuch things.

car manufactureres need to bring in new technology, and f1 is the proving ground, but for god sake i don't wanna see technnology that will trickle down and make my future road car to drive itself.
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Old 4th May 2005, 11:50   #15
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I dont see why ABS is needed...sicne wheel locking under brakes does provide some fun and mistakes like that cost a driver..instead ABS will remove that human factor as well!

@mustang, absolutely..no one would care or even know if a car took a corner at 150kph instead of 160kph but if that means an increase in the spectacle and passing/slip streaming it should be done.
LC and 2 way telemetry is gone but TC stays , reason is its difficult to police.
We have had numerous illegal TC accusations in the past when TC was banned (notably MS/Benetton in 94 where they even found the software on his car..as well as in late 90s Ferraris, thats off topic though)

What is needed to improve racing is less reliance on aero grip and a shift to mechanical grip (via using slick tyres) and putting more control on the driver than the car.
To reduce costs, less testing is definitely an option but the red team doesnt agree and creating a new engine formula next year adds to R&D costs :\
I would also be for a ban on refuelling, heck its quite unsafe if you ask me....chances of fire as well as the rigs get screwed up from time to time.
People wouldnt believe now that there was a time when F1 had no pit-stops.
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