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Back in 1994, the FIA banned the use of traction control systems on Formula One cars in an effort to put more emphasis on driver skill rather than technological prowess. By 2001, there was considerable hue and cry from some of the participants that certain teams were using advanced engine management software to work around the regulations, so the ban was lifted.

Next year, however, a standard ECU will be employed on all new F1 cars, allowing the FIA to keep a watchful eye on how each team uses their engine controls. Because of this standardization, a decision was reached yesterday that will totally eliminate the use of traction controls systems beginning during next year's season.

The exact text of the new rule can be viewed by following the "Read" link below, but the short and sweet is simple: the driver cannot be informed if a drive wheel is spinning. Period.

According to Autosport.com, the ban was not only supported by the FIA, but also by the majority of the participating teams. We're looking forward to seeing how this new regulation will affect the 2008 season, but considering the talent of most F1 drivers, we doubt they'll be any substantial shuffling at the top of the board.

[Source: Autosport.com via Axis of Oversteer]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      No.1 (Dan), do us all a favor and quit talking out of your ass.
      • 8 Years Ago
      @Dr. Greenthumb

      I think you are exaggerating. F1 cars have changed and improved in every possible area from engines and transmission, chassis and aerodynamics to suspension, brakes and tires. Yes, todays F1 cars look superficially similar with those from late '70, but they changed just as much as road cars.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't get these guys. They work really hard a keeping this "sport" uncompetitive. The constant changing of the regs helps to keep the lower budget teams at the back of the grid.

      Another thing, F1 being at the leading edge of the automotive world, I've been waiting on a more 21st. century design in the cars. Instead of gluing aerodynamic bits onto a vintage design from the early 1970s. Think of how much ground the automobile has covered since the 70s.

      • 8 Years Ago
      Dan, seriously, stop insisting on your stupid point, read #18. The cars are at the limit of adhesion in EVERY curve, which means that if you are driving alongside you could reach out and push one into a spin with your hand. Any extra acceleration, or braking for that matter, will also push the tire beyond its limit, and it will spin - power/torque is irrelevant.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Dan, that comment is incorrect. Torque at the wheels is what accelerates a car, and since an F1 accelerates very quickly, it must be putting a lot of torque down at the wheels.

      You're making the same mistake a lot of people do, the same one that makes them thing Diesels put a lot of torque down.

      An F1 car may only have 250ft/lbs of torque, but since it is at 18,000rpm, it is employing a gearing 4x lower than that of this family sedan, and thus it is putting 4x as much torque down at the wheels than that family sedan.

      Remember, when it comes to accelerating (and thus putting torque down at the wheels), for a motor, HP ratings are what matter, because they encompass both the torque present at the shaft and the speed of rotation, which determines your gearing.

      Anyway, back to F1. This is a very welcome change. You can hear that traction control is employed in every acceleration zone in F1. They're powering out of corners that they would have to be careful of without TC. TC turned Eau Rouge from a very challenging corner, difficult to go flat in, to one where you just flatten the pedal and only have to concern yourself with the steering.

      I welcome this change, and would love to see gearboxes replaced with manual select levers next. And then down to metal brakes, ones that you have to be a bit careful to conserve, and will lengthen the braking zones 2-3x so you can use them as passing zones again. Right now the window to outbrake someone is so small it almost never happens.

      That would good to see all those winglets gone. Ground effects would be a great idea too, because as Dan says, ground effects are not effected nearly as much by running directly behind another car as wings are, and that will make it easier to get a pass going.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I'm with thesawzall. F1 has always been about all types of car tech. Most comments here seem to be: get rid of all electronics, aero, automatic anything: we wan't to watch racing with 1930's tech because it requires more skill (except the engines, we still want 21st century horsepower levels).

      To all those people: go watch Nascar and forget F1... then you won't have to worry about the cars having any non-safety/non-power tech at all.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Sooo... Now I understand why the Mazda 6 and the F1 are almost identical! :) The only differences are that the Mazda seats 5, is less interested in speed and what was the other? It was heavier?

      hehehe I'm joking :)
      You can make the F1 wheels spin at any speed.

      You can't rely on the torque figure all the time. Maybe the Mazda and the F1 show similar values for the torque (even if the F1 shows it at 17000 rpm, and the Mazda at 4200).

      So, if you put the F1 engine on the Mazda, keeping Mazda's transmission, they would accelerate more or less at the same rate... But the Mazda would be dead at 4200 and the F1 would continue to accelerate untill 600 km/h :p theoretically and in vacuum.

      If you put a different transmission (with a shorter gear ratio) on you new Mazda with an F1 engine :) so that it reaches a more natural 200km/h, then the car would accelerate 3 times faster than the normal Mazda... putting 3 times more torque to the wheels.

      See were you made the mistake?

      The F1 is incredibly lighter than the Mazda, so the difference is even more important!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Wooo!!! Powersliding F1 cars return once again!!! This will also help seperate the greats from the not so greats! and to anyone who thinks F1 cars cannot break the tires loose in mid-race doesn't know how a bucket load of horses will do to any tire.
      • 8 Years Ago
      You said that removing TC wouldn't matter except at the start of the race. You said F1 cars put very little torque to the wheels.

      This, despite what you or anyone can hear watching a race, that TC kicks in all the time during a lap.

      F1 cars put a lot of torque to the wheels, this is why they accelerate so damn fast.

      As to the 4X thing, let me explain how you are wrong.

      The total gearing on a car running at (say) 60mph, must be such that at the redline (or lower), the wheels are turning the same speed as the road is passing by. So, to determine the final (total) gearing, you don't need to look at gearboxes, final end ratios or even tire sizes. You just look at the redline.

      At 60mph, a Mazda would have to be geared (final gearing, including wheels) such that the engine is turning 6500rpm. An F1 car would have to be geared such that the engine is turning 19,000rpm. 19,000rpm/6500rpm is 2.92. The F1 car is geared 2.92 times lower, thus increasing its torque at the wheels, 2.92 times.

      I incorrectly rounded 2.92 to 4x (basically by assuming a 5,000rpm redline for street cars, which is at least 20% off a typical car). I'm sorry for that.

      Beyond that, all the misunderstandings are your own.

      I did not post tire diameters for F1 cars. I assumed 23" for both cars, which is just a simplifying assumption. I assumed it was incorrect for both cars, but it doesn't matter anyway, because differential ratio is matched to tire size anyway. If a car designer increases tire diameter 10%, they lower the rear end 9% to match.

      My car has 25" diameter wheels when stationary, while F1 cars have 660mm wheels (when spinning, 25.98"). My figures were not far off and not misleading enough for me to warrant posting any kind of retraction.

      All my figures for top speeds in 1st gear are indeed 2x too high, as I started with diameters and then doubled them again (whoops!). A figure for your Mazda using the numbers would be 34mph, and for an F1 car, 95mph. The 2x error I made does not affect the fact that the F1 car is geared far lower (3x) due to its higher redline even one bit, as my calculations were off the same amount in both, and thus the ratio didn't change.

      Your comments about rotational mass are again off. The masses in rotation may not be as large in absolute magnitude as the car in general. But the higher speeds they spin at make them much more critical than the rest of the weight of the car. The when the body of your car is moving forward at 34mph, the edge of the flywheel is moving at 350mph (18" diameter flywheel, 6500rpm). Since the energy is dependent on the velocity squared, the energy going into the flywheel is very significant. The energy in other parts varies with their diameters and masses.

      Race cars use carbon fiber driveshafts and lightweight flywheels not just because they reduce the overall weight of the car, but because the decrease in rotational mass increases acceleration (esp. under light loads) significantly.

      Your comments about Ferraris versus Corvettes is a mistaken attempt to stretch my comment about acceleration characteristics at 0mph to include acceleration characteristics at other speeds. Yes, F1 cars accelerate more than 2x faster than family cars at other speeds than 0mph too, but we already covered why that is. It is an error on your part to assume because I explained why it is more than 2x more rapid at 0mph I that meant it was the same reasons at all speeds.

      Engine acceleration is highest in 1st gear, and thus the importance of decreasing the rotational mass (and thus energy required to accelerate it) of the drivetrain is most important in 1st gear. F1 cars have done this, and this is why an F1 car outperforms your street car at 0mph by a larger margin than the simple disparity in weights would imply.

      As the mass of the cars themselves go down, the mass of the drivetrain becomes more and more important, and thus you could say that in a very light car, under equal circumstances, a Ferrari motor will do much better at very low speeds than a Vette motor.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Yago Bal:
      You are nice to cut Dan a break. I won't.

      Dan, #1 is where you say this will only matter at the start (a standing stop). But then later you try to say that F1 cars make less torque at launch and more at other speeds, thus directly contradicting yourself.

      In reality, it is the opposite of what you say, F1 cars make more torque at the wheels (and thus more wheelspin) than a street car in every situation EXCEPT at launch.

      Be a man, admit you were wrong. There's nothing wrong with learning new info.

      Champ Car prohibits traction control and all that stuff, and Champ Cars have about 2/3rds the power of an F1 car. And still every driver except Paul Tracy seems to be able to drive them. It is not at all true that an F1 car would be undrivable without traction aids.
      • 8 Years Ago
      That will be fun to watch though.
      • 8 Years Ago
      F1 cars, as they are now, would be undriveable if the traction integration was eliminated. A front to back overhaul of the car would be needed. Everything from suspension toe settings to brake bias would need reconfiguring. F1 cars are set up to be dynamic (watch them when they are heating up the tires on the formation lap) but are unstable, so the biggest test of driver skill now is under braking.

      In the future it will be powering out of corners.
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