Analysis: Formula 1's new aero restrictions for 2014

Windtunnel and CFD work are heavily restricted in the 2014 Formula 1 sporting regulations, which were published this week

Analysis: Formula 1's new aero restrictions for 2014

The rules go even further than the limits brought in by the resource restriction agreement, with aerodynamic testing now reduced to nearly a third of what was allowed in the RRA before.

Use of these two types of testing is now capped by a formula based on the number of hours the windtunnel is running and the amount of processing expended on CFD during an FIA-defined eight-week 'aerodynamic testing period'.

Set out in Appendix 8 of the sporting regulations, in each eight-week period the formula states a team can only do a certain amount of testing, using a combination of windtunnel times or CFD usage.

Windtunnel time is defined as the amount of hours the fans are turned on above a certain speed, also known as wind-on time. CFD usage is the amount of teraflops used in processing a model.

The wind-on time used for this formula is the average wind-on hours per week, while CFD processing is the total for the full eight week period.

Each measure (wind-on time/teraflop) is used as a single unit and the cap sits at 30 units in the testing period.

So a team could use up to 30 hours per week of wind-on time and no CFD processing, or 30 teraflop of CFD and no windtunnel or a combination of both.

Under the RRA, usage was set at 60 hours or 40 teraflop. Now it's 30 hours or 30 teraflop, so the new rules allow for far less testing.

These restrictions have been in discussion over the past 12 months, so come as no surprise to the teams.

Another regulation in Appendix 8 is the limitation in the number of runs (80) and the amount of time (60 hours) the tunnel can be in use in a week.

This is probably a more direct restriction than the limit on hours\processing. Currently a team typically complete over 250 runs while operating the tunnel 24/7 through a week.

With the regulations demanding a single windtunnel model to be used, teams will have work rapidly in between runs to set the model up in order to use all the allowable runs in a week.

With these restrictions the teams will have to demonstrate to the FIA that they have worked within the limit.

In order to remain effective, teams will have to both reduce the number of shifts and staff involved in the aero department.

They will also seek to make the windtunnel runs and CFD solving more efficient, reducing windtunnel run times and CFD processing requirements to maximise use of the limited resource.

Having just completed the design of their 2014 cars, the restrictions will start to bite as the teams start to develop the new cars.

shares
comments
Williams F1 team says Pat Symonds has already made a difference

Previous article

Williams F1 team says Pat Symonds has already made a difference

Next article

McLaren ready to protect Kevin Magnussen from 'ravages' of F1

McLaren ready to protect Kevin Magnussen from 'ravages' of F1
Load comments
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021
The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages Plus

The danger of reading too much into F1's clickbait radio messages

OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation

Formula 1
Oct 14, 2021
Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers Plus

Why F1’s approach to pole winners with grid penalties undermines drivers

OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history

Formula 1
Oct 13, 2021
Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Turkish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a day that the number two Mercedes enjoyed a rare day in the sun, the Turkish Grand Prix produced several standout drives - not least from a driver who has hit a purple patch of late

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory Plus

The hidden factors that thwarted Hamilton's bid for shock Turkish GP glory

Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead

Formula 1
Oct 11, 2021
How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form Plus

How pitstops evolved into an F1 art form

A Formula 1 pitstop is a rapid-fire blend of high technology and human performance. PAT SYMONDS describes how the science of margin gains makes stops so quick

Formula 1
Oct 10, 2021