How do F1 teams prepare for a new race?

How do F1 teams prepare for a new race?

How do F1 teams prepare for a new race? With so many new races on the 2020 Formula 1 calendar, there is a lot of work to be done at the factories, collecting data for the drivers to use in the simulator before a race weekend.

Most F1 teams last visited the Mugello circuit for a three-day test in May 2012. Since then, there were substantial changes to cars, engines and tyres as well as smaller changes to the track. That’s why teams will treat Mugello as a completely new circuit. They will have a similar approach to the third race in Italy this year at Imola, as well as the races in Portugal, Turkey and Germany and the second Bahrain race.

How do F1 teams prepare for a new race?

The first step in the preparation process for a new race is purchasing highly accurate Lidar maps. Those 3D maps don’t just reflect general layout features like track width or cornering gradients, but also important details like the configuration of the kerbs and details of the track surface. The maps are accurate enough to be used in the driver-in-loop (DiL) simulator where drivers find the optimal racing line around a lap.
The racing line obtained from the DiL then forms the basis of further simulation work in the automated simulator that the team uses to gain an understanding of the set-up direction of the car. Thanks to these highly accurate simulation tools, the engineers can do a lot of preparation work for a new circuit at the factory, allowing the track-side part of the operation to focus on tyre and strategy work rather than having to concentrate on set-up alone.

Data Expiration Date

In preparation of a race weekend at a track that F1 visits regularly, teams will look at data from previous years to learn from past experiences. However, this data has a certain expiration date. For example, one of the aspects that the teams try to understand before heading to a race is the specific energy management and the deployment maps which the track layout requires. That renders data from before the hybrid era obsolete in preparation of a new race.
From a driver’s perspective, coming to a new track is a bit different though. While drivers can use the simulator to learn the layout of a track, they tend to find more lap time on a new track than they usually find over the course of a race weekend, as they experiment with brake points, racing lines and cornering speeds.

Mugello Track Layout

The Mugello circuit features an unusual track layout with a number of very fast corners as well as a complete absence of slow ones – even the “slowest” corner (Turn 1) is expected to be taken at an apex speed of around 140 kph. Mugello’s many fast turns and its fairly old, abrasive tarmac bear some resemblance to Suzuka and engineers use the venue of the Japanese Grand Prix as a reference point for their predictions about tyre life and degradation: both tracks generate a very high sliding energy and put a lot of stress on the tyres.
The section from Turn 6 to Turn 9 will be particularly demanding on the tyres. The four corners (the right-left combination of Casanova and Savelli followed by the two Arrabiata right-handers) are expected to be taken flat which will put very high loads on the tyres. This also presents a challenge for the set-up of the car as teams will try and find a solution that deals with the high sliding energy.
The high-speed, twisty character of the track, as well as its fairly narrow width, will make overtaking tricky in Mugello, placing particular importance on qualifying. The best point for overtaking is predicted to be at the end of the long straight going into the “slow” Turn 1.

Leave a Comment

Recommended For You

How Are F1 Cars Shipped Between Countries?

Formula One (F1) is one of the worlds most popular ...

Formula 1 vs IndyCar – Which Is Faster?

Formula 1 vs IndyCar - Which is faster? Both racing ...
How Does A Formula 1 Car Work?

How Does A Formula 1 Car Work?

With so much speed and power, how does a Formula ...
How Do Teams Develop An F1 Car?

How Do Teams Develop An F1 Car?

How do teams develop an F1 car? As with most ...
What Are F1 Sprint Qualifying Races?

What Are F1 Sprint Qualifying Races?

Just what are F1 sprint qualifying races? The British Grand ...

More in News

AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 23: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of USA at Circuit of The Americas on October 23, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202110240073 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen Snatches Dramatic USA GP Pole

In the dying moments, Max Verstappen snatched pole position for ...
2021 United States Grand Prix, Saturday - Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton Pipped To Pole In Texas

Lewis Hamilton will start the United States Grand Prix from ...
Pole Man Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, With His Pirelli Pole Position Award

2021 United States Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis

2021 United States Grand Prix: Qualifying Tyre Analysis - With ...
AUSTIN, TEXAS - OCTOBER 22: Sergio Perez of Mexico driving the (11) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda of The Americas on October 22, 2021 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202110221235 // Usage for editorial use only //

Sergio Perez Fastest On Day 1 At COTA

Red Bull's Sergio Perez has topped the timesheets on the ...
Lando Norris, Mclaren, With A Special Helmet Design

Lando Norris Off To Fast Start In Austin

McLaren driver Lando Norris is off to a fast start ...

Trending on F1 Chronicle