2021 Belgian GP Problem. Is it a red flag to current formula ? What could be changed ?

Discussion in 'Real Racing Discussion' started by mantasisg, Sep 1, 2021.

  1. mantasisg

    mantasisg Registered

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    https://asnmp.com/2021/08/31/gasly-f1-needs-to-improve-visibility-under-rain/

    Many of you might be aware what happened this Sunday in Belgium. That is absolute failure in my opinion and shouldn't be that way. The very top of race cars formula shouldn't be compromised just for perfect conditions, it should work well in rain too, races shouldn't be redflagged due to normal amount of rain.

    One thing is obvious, racing can't happen if it is impossible to see what is ahead.

    Gasly says something has to be done to improve visibility in wet tracks, to reduce spray. He is absolutely right, and I bet F1 engineers and architects of the industry are sweating now, because it could mean some significant changes, probably on top of 2022 changes for 2023 or 2024, perhaps even for 2022 already, in case 2022 itself won't do better already by current design.

    What do you think could possibly be done to improve formula to make it actually usable in wet track ? Compromising aero for less spray ? Compromising wet tires grip for less spray ? Some other original creative solution ?
     
  2. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    Blame God?

    Why are you talking like F1 cars can't run in the rain? There have been wet races recently. If conditions are bad enough then it's not possible to run safely - and this isn't the 80s, so 'safely' is a bit different now.

    On car design/performance, F1 cars need to be the fastest. These days this has to include aero. It'll be interesting to see how the new regs will affect spray, but I don't think people are collectively running around with their hands in the air panicking about the impossibility of running races with rain. That was an anomaly.
     
  3. lagg

    lagg Registered

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    I think that the problem of the visibility was due to the fog, more than the rain.
    There has always been races in rain without this problem.
     
  4. mantasisg

    mantasisg Registered

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    Gasly (in the article) said it all.

    Wet is not equal wet, it can be damp, can be few mm of standing water, could be centimeters of standing water, could be Sebring 1965. Of course there is a limit somewhere, but it is best to have cars raceable with as worse conditions as possible, this in my personal opinion would mean better formula. Surely, there is other route to blame God and accept that conditions are too terrible, but it has a potential to keep on getting more and more sensitive to lesser and lesser amount of rain.

    Attitude towards safety is indeed a lot more humane now, but also safety of the cars and tracks is so much better as well which should allow more risk than it was sensible to take in the past.

    There is lots of talking about problems of 2021 Belgian GP. It seems that biggest problems were too low rideheights and especially visibility. I haven't heard or seen fog being so bad, it was spray as much as I know. As bad as the weather was, supposedly surface/tires wasn't that bad. Another point is that drivers could adapt and adjust their speed (if they could see ahead).

    I am too very interested in how following years regulations would affect that, I guess it should bring some positive change with its aim to reduce turbulence and dirty air, but we must wait and see. Otherwise sport is heading at acceptance that racing will only be done in good conditions, slightly wet at best, I think it is simply running away from a problem instead of facing it.
     
  5. Tommy Shelby

    Tommy Shelby Registered

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    My take:

    1. Spa is too dangerous in the dry, nevermind the wet. Needs gravel around eau rouge pit lane exit and extra run-off room.

    2. Cars raced fine in torrential rain, especially when F1 had traction control and the cars and set-ups were designed for the wet. Massa and Kubica 2007 Japan good example.

    3. The anomaly is the majority of drivers sensing and deciding visibility is not enough. In the past I think the likes of Schumi didn't complain and ran into the back of Couthard. Or one driver such as Lauda abstained.

    Overall, in general I don't think it is a good idea to have things such as no traction control, parc ferme rules, deep enclosed halos, for times such as torrential rain.

    Things could be done to car design with regards to tires losing temperature too much in rain and spraying up and back too much and aquaplaning and spinning on wet curbs or losing rear.

    But also drivers need to realise that they are not doing a good job racing under yellow flag conditions or when safety is compromised. Maybe they do not trust themselves, e.g. Bottas has crashed twice in the wet this year already.

    All of that said, I feel drivers earn their money to race in torrential rain around Spa so it is annoying as a fan as it is the only race I wanted to watch all season
     
  6. Lazza

    Lazza Registered

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    1. Gravel around eau rouge won't help safety. They've gone to tarmac for safety reasons - it slows cars better than gravel and doesn't tip them over. I personally don't like the trend to put tarmac everywhere (cars retiring because of making a mistake and getting stuck in gravel is rarely a thing these days - takes a proper into-fence crash or a technical issue, and for me that takes away an element of jeopardy and potential gain for brave drivers) but sometimes it does make sense for safety.

    2. Car control wasn't an issue last weekend. The track wasn't actually that wet, aquaplaning wasn't more extreme than has been the case at other races. The qual crash had nothing to do with excessive water.

    3. Schumi ran into Coulthard when Coulthard slowed for blue flags on the racing line. Referencing that in regards to visibility or driver choice makes zero sense IMO.
     
  7. Tommy Shelby

    Tommy Shelby Registered

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    Erm, well, actually, if there is gravel, cars don't try to over take eachother on the pit lane run off area during yellow flag conditions with other cars bouncing back off barriers.

    Car control was an issue as Perez missed the start due to a wet curb pre formation lap and Lando lost it in quali at least in part because no two laps are the same in torrential rain, it was unsafe and drivers wanted it called off, the setups weren't for a wet race, and all you have for reference is your last lap.

    Schumi sees a car braking early on the outside line in normal conditions and goes down the inside line.
     
  8. Filip

    Filip Registered

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    If race was allowed after almost all drivers complaining about visibility and imagine if some heavy crash with injury occurred
     

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