Episode 3 - Monza Review, Dramatic F1 Car Downforce Loss, Who will find success in Singapore? and Hot Takes Galore

Podcast: Braking Bias

Published Date:

Wed, 13 Sep 2023 06:00:00 -0400







Please note that the summary is generated based on the transcript and may not capture all the nuances or details discussed in the podcast episode.


The third time’s the charm! Welcome back for the 3rd installment of Braking Bias! Join Dr. Obbs and Molly as they tackle a ton of tech topics in this jam-packed episode. 
 Things get started with a review of the Italian Grand Prix as the team discusses how  Ferrari nabbed the shock pole but was unable to convert it to a win on Sunday, including the characteristics that could be contributing to their driver's struggles (or lack thereof) vs the on the nose RB19.  Then they dive into the shocking reported downforce loss across trailing F1 cars from 2021 to the present and what could be contributing to it. Are we right back to square one? Should the FIA step in?  And is F1 the only series with this trailing car struggle?  After that deep dive, it's time to explore who could find success in Singapore for the upcoming race weekend, how the track changes in Sector 3 could shake up the field, and what the hosts expect from an upgrades standpoint. 
 You don't want to miss either Tech Bias segment of this episode! Molly leads a discussion on the mysterious case of F1 car's electrical issues in Singapore and how teams have to prepare specifically for this race weekend. Dr. Obbs takes us on a deep dive into the AMR22 vs AMR23 and what contributed to the success of one car and the shortcomings of the other that's allowed Aston Martin to find so much success this season.  
 There is no shortage of tech talk in this episode, so settle in, set your bias aside, and let's get Braking Bias! 



Welcome to the third episode of the Breaking Bias Motorsport Tech podcast, where we immerse ourselves in the technical intricacies of Formula One racing. In this episode, we dissect the recent Italian Grand Prix and explore the complexities of car design, aerodynamics, and powertrain management.

Ferrari's Monza Pole Position:
Ferrari's dominant qualifying performance at Monza was influenced by a low downforce setup and a one-off power unit strategy. New components and aggressive mapping contributed to their impressive pace. However, the inherent weakness of the car in high downforce configurations limited its competitiveness in the race.

The Importance of Front-End Balance:
Ferrari's struggles in high downforce conditions stem from a weak front end, more pronounced in this year's car. This characteristic makes it challenging to maintain stability and grip, especially with a high downforce setup. Carlos Sainz's ability to manage the car's front end better than Charles Leclerc may have contributed to his stronger performance in Monza.

The Physics of Car Balance:
The aerodynamic center of pressure, influenced by wing configurations and floor design, plays a critical role in car balance. A more forward-biased aerodynamic balance, achieved through adjustments to the front and rear wings, can generate more downforce on the front tires. This setup allows drivers to push harder and carry more speed but requires careful management of the rear end to prevent oversteer.

The Challenge of Following Cars:
Data from the FIA reveals an increase in downforce loss for trailing cars in 2023 compared to 2021. Teams are finding ways to generate more downforce, but they are also creating more outwash, disrupting the wake behind the car. The FIA aims to address this issue by 2025, potentially through regulation changes or mandatory design elements.

The Future of Car Design:
Considering smaller and lighter cars for 2026 to improve following and reduce drag is under discussion. Advancements in materials and manufacturing techniques, such as additive manufacturing, could contribute to weight reduction and structural improvements.

Teams are exploring innovative methods to generate downforce while adhering to regulation volume restrictions. The FIA's specifications for Venturi tunnels and floor design may contribute to the wake problem experienced by cars.

Singapore Grand Prix Track Changes:
The Singapore Grand Prix circuit has undergone modifications, impacting overtaking opportunities and team strategies. The raised ride height requirement for Singapore's bumpy track surface could benefit Ferrari, given their positive results at Spa with a higher ride height.

McLaren's Wind Tunnel and Upgrades:
McLaren's new on-site wind tunnel is expected to provide significant advantages in aerodynamic development. The team is expected to bring upgrades to the Singapore Grand Prix, offering insights into their development direction for the 2024 car.

Tech Bias Segments:
Electromagnetic Interference in Singapore poses challenges for F1 cars' sensors, requiring special shielding and wrapping. The comparison between AMR-22 and AMR-23 highlights key differences, with the AMR-23's forward undercut design contributing to better overall performance. Dr. Obbs analyzes the AMR23 car, highlighting the team's successful development in improving its performance. He praises the efficiency of the car's undercuts and notes the potential impact of Aston Martin's upcoming wind tunnel on their future development.

Monza and Singapore Grand Prix Discussions:
The hosts reflect on the Italian Grand Prix, acknowledging that Monza's unique characteristics make it a challenging data point for technical analysis. They discuss the upcoming Singapore Grand Prix and express their hopes for a dry race to showcase the track's potential for closer racing.

Closing Thoughts:
Dr. Obbs and Molly Marissa express their excitement for the Singapore Grand Prix, anticipating a captivating weekend of racing with upgrades, track changes, and the challenges of a street circuit. They encourage listeners to subscribe to the Breaking Bias Pod on YouTube, Spotify, and iTunes and share the podcast with others. They also invite suggestions for additional platforms to access the podcast.

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