Why F1 has fuel flow sensors in 2014
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Posted By: James Allen  |  17 Mar 2014   |  10:14 pm GMT  |  410 comments

We have had a lot of readers asking why F1 has introduced a fuel flow rate monitoring regulation this season as part of the new rules for the hybrid turbo power units.

This is in the light of Daniel Ricciardo’s disqualification for excessive flow rate in Sunday’s Australian GP.

JA on F1 technical expert Mark Gillan has written this advisory note on the matter:

It was decided pretty early on in the FiA Technical Working Group meetings (which I was a member of) to agree not only on a maximum fuel quantity (i.e. 100kg) but also to a maximum fuel flow rate in order to ensure that a significant emphasis was placed on both improved whole vehicle efficiency and on reduced fuel consumption. These limits, coupled with the move to the downsized 1.6L v6 engine, would ensure that suitable R+D resource was put into the new ERS which, with the addition of the MGU-H, are at the forefront of a potential technology revolution for new highly efficient down-sized road car and commercial vehicle power units.

The technical regulation for the power unit fuel mass flow is clearly stated in articles 5.1.5 and 5.1.5 which set a max fuel mass flow rate of 100kg/h at, and above, 10500rpm with this maximum reducing as the rpm decreases in line with the formula outlined in 5.1.5. These are maximum values and there is no margin for error if one exceeds these values.

The flow rate is monitored by the new ultrasonic sensor, supplied by Gill Sensors, and as discussed previously the accuracy and reliability of this sensor is key, as the ultimate performance of the car depends on it.

From the FIA Tech Regs for 2014:

– I would add only that in Melbourne I spoke to two teams running Mercedes and Ferrari engines who said that they had had various conversations with the FIA during the weekend on this matter of sensor accuracy and had reached a satisfactory conclusion.

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1

James,

If fuel in F1 is measured in KG (as the mass changes at temperature) and the fuel flow is measured in litres by the fuel flow metre, doesn’t this allow for different teams running fuel at different temps to achieve different results?

2

No, temperature is now regulated

3

A little math help on this 2014 F1 engine

220.462lbs of fuel /6.422wt per gal =34.329 gallons of gas for the whole race

Does these numbers look right?

100Kg/hr. = 220.5 lb. /hr.

220.5lb/hr. = 36.755 gals per hr. which = 2315.6 cc/min which = 441 HP

4

OK, sorry if this repeats what others have said.

As side issue of the sensor accuracy, the fact is that we have a max use of 100kg of fuel per race, and a max flow rate of 100kg.hr.

With the self toerencing nature of the metric system of units these mean that:-

1/ in term of race fuel between 99.51 and 100.49 kgs are to be read as being within the 100kg allowance. As the FIA did not specify a tighter tolerance. if 100.000 was required, a figure of 100,000 grams should have been used (99,999.51 to 100,000.49 grams)

2/ For the max fuel flow rate 100kg/hour means just that, you cannot use more than 100kg in any period of 1 hour.

As the max for a whole race is also 100kg, THIS CANNOT BE what the FIA intended.

The 100kg/hour figure should have had an equivalent max flow per set period of time included, say 0.5 seconds. (13.88 grams).

Also in terms of the measurment device, (i.e. the “Fuel Flow Sensor”)what does this measure. I believe that the sensor measures the velocity of the liquid passing through a known diameter of pipe in the unit. this in turn is computed into a volume of fluid in a set time. and then calculated into a Mass using a known specificgravity for the liquid in question at a measured temperature. mant factors here are again subject to tolerences and calculations. (The temperature itself will also be measured by a separate sensor with its own accuracy.

Taking all these into account, on a moving vehicle with many vibration issues to be factored in makes amockery of the complete system.

I can believe the manufacturers quoted accuracy of 0.25% as tested on the test bed in the factory at the max flow rate of the sensor, and in to this the factors quoted above and errors creep in.

I pesonally believe that Red Bull have realised that the FIA figure of 100kg/hour is nonsense when taken out of context of a small time perid and that they did use more than the equivalent flow rate over a small time period.

5

Dave, someone else made the same point. But it’s just wrong I’m afraid.

The metering was done every 0.2seconds (but the sensor samples at 1kHz).

Your maths looks right though, I got 27.777778g/s, between 37 and 52.9 milligrammes per power cycle, dependent on revs

6

I fully agreed that the actual sensor would measure at a short interval. The main point is that the rate quoted by the FIA is 100kg in one hour, and not the equivalent flow rate over a shorter time, unless of course the FIA have a technical document in addition to the tech regs that have been published on the ‘FIA’ web site. we will have to wait for the appeal to see what the outcome is.

7

re-posted in the currect place!, sorry James / neilmerg

Some clarification on my part

from the FIA tech regs

the fuel flow is:-

5.1.4 Fuel mass flow must not exceed 100kg/h.

Note no additional tolerance’s quoted there the standard metric system should apply +/- 0.5 kg and a time period measured in hours to the nearest hour when rounded down/up, this Is a very course measurement and should have had a tolerance added.

note that reg 5.3.1 Cylinder bore diameter must be 80mm (+/- 0.1mm).

Has an additional tolerance added, so that the standard metric tolerance of +/- 0.5mm is overruled by the added +/- 0.1mm.

The full sensor specification document, does not state the period of measurement for summation, only that the sensor should be with set accuracy at 1hz.

(This spec does read that the FIA has this side under control), It is what the FIA does with the numbers that matter. I hope this puts this to bed!

I might add, I am not a red Bull fan, and only want fair judgement

8

sorry, maybe that was too cryptic. The flow rate must comply with the rule – 100kg/hr, without reference to an minimum interval. It could be expressed in different units, ie number of milligrammes in a number of milliseconds, but that doesn’t change the fact that a flow rate doesn’t imply an interval. I suspect the units chosen were for readability/ease of understanding.

If your interpretation was correct, it would be almost impossible to break the rule. There’s only 100kg of fuel in the car (plus a bit) and no F1 race takes less than an hour, so over the race the flow rate will always be less than 100kg/hr. Also, if you were correct, the discussions here would be completely different

9

a flow rate doesn’t imply an interval

10

Very good points Dave and could definitely highlight why Red Bull can argue the rules because if the variables of time in the measurement.

11

Congratulations on an article which has generated more heat than a 2014 spec engine running at 101kg/h.

Someone even said that F1 doesn’t need conspiracy theories :-O

I’m looking forward to the rest of the season, especially as you can now hear the arguments over the sound of the engines…

12

I fully understand and agree the principle of a fuel flow meter. The whole purpose of the new formula is to improve efficiency. If teams could dial up horsepower at will you could have safety issues along with people jumping to the front and blocking the whole race using team mates etc..then we would see a lot of “artificial racing” and other inconsistencies.

If the fuel flow meter is wider problem within the teams and we are simply not as aware about it. Then it is fine that it be challenged. However given all the teams are aware of the rules and the parameters set by the FIA- why is jt only Red Bull playing hard ball. Until the rules are changed they cannot brake them!- end of story. Horner knows RBR are in hole at the moment and he is using every means possible to gain some advantage. It is totally unacceptable the actions Red Bull took at Melb. I fully support a change of measuring equipment if all the teams and the FIA agree it but not 1.and until then they have to abide by the rules.

Further all the jokers saying its “not the drivers fault” – well too bad – he was in an an illegal car – which bit of that dont you get!!-For crying out loud there are some ridiculous comments out there..

13

Never forget that F1 racing is a show. The argument for the fuel flow meter is to force the team to work on the ERS. It’s a false argument. In F1 nobody can leave any HP on the table. Fuel management is part of the game but it should be managed so it does not smother the intensity of the show. F1 fan will not accept that. The only way to crank the intensity of the show is to let the team and the driver use all the potential power they have, according to their strategic management of DRS, ERS and Thermal power. With DSR, systematic blocking is unlikely. Safety issues? Excessive power at higher RPM is also unlikely because of reliability (5 engines/season) and fuel management. They are not going to open the boost at 5.5 bars as in the old F1.

The first race was lacking of intensity big time. It’s clear that from a spectator point of view FIA need to react and adjust. The big thing about the noise will also benefit of the drop of the 100kg/h rule. I’m convinced that it will be good to ear the engine revving up to 15000rpm in qualifications and for passing when an opportunity occur. At 12000rpm as we saw in Melbourne we are 6000rpm away from last year. Boring!

PS Fuel flow meter should be used be FIA only to include a graphic display of each team use of fuel during the race. That will raise the television broadcast quality. Think of all aspects of F1 for the benefit of the audience.

14

Too many rules is worst than not enough rules.

RPM and boost should be unlimeted. Anyway with 5 engines only and 100kg for the race nobody will get creasy and everybody will work on ERS to get more out of it.

Scrap the 100kg/h rule as soon as possible. Maybe we will get a better sound as well…..

15

Much worst.

16

I disagree with the fuel flow sensor rule. I believe the FIA should fuel the cars to the correct race distance. If the car then runs out of fuel… Game over. However if as on Sunday there are a number of safety car runs then the teams obviously have a margin to run the engines with more fuel.

Keep it simple FIA this fuel flow monitor thing is a recipe for argument……Wait until Ferrari have a problem then suddenly they will all be removed!

17

I received this email after posting this comment yesterday accusing me of hating Ferrai.

“Oh what a surprise, was waiting for this, you know, the avg brit hating on the one team on based in their precious UK~ How amusing”

I would just like to say I do not hate Ferrari and the comment was made tongue in cheek. On the contrary I like Ferrai and do not think F1 would be the same without them.

18

When most of members in this forum accept that a 100 kg fuel limit per race is acceptable, why do they have difficulty in accepting a flow limit as well? Red Bull just broke the rule laid down by F1 administration and they need to lose the points.

19

I agree with you Mohan.

Last time with turbos we got 1250bhp quali engines with too much power and speed to be safely contained on an F1 track, with the consequent danger to drivers, marshalls and spectators.

A quick glance at the rules and their complexity shows that you just can’t drop the odd one on a whim just because RBR want to choose which ones they will follow.

RBR should be fined for the reputational damage they have caused to an FIA supplier (by the words used to justify their rule breaking), and that supplier should be compensated

20

“A quick glance at the rules and their complexity shows that you just can’t drop the odd one on a whim just because RBR want to choose which ones they will follow.”

Applying a correctional offset to the sensor is in the rules is it?

21

yes, but that wasn’t what I said

22
kenneth chapman

@ mohan haven’t you read the posts? they are self explanatory in most cases.

23

If RBR have ignored the correction factor that everyone else agreed to, that is not technically a breach of the rules as published on the F1 website.

I assume their (strict letter of the law) argument will be that they have used the sensor supplied (rule 5.10.3), they have used one sensor (rule 5.10.4) and the data from that sensor shows that the flow was less than the limit (rule 5.1.4). There is no mention of a correction factor in the regulations.

24

From what I understand, the sensor indicated that the flow limit was breached and thusly notified the FIA/Stewards in the race, and RB decided to ignore the then delivered advice to make an offset/correction adjustment because their data showed no breach and the offset is, as you mention, an adhoc situational application made by the FIA/Stewards and is not specifcally in the rules. One would imagine that this non-existent component in the rules will be sorted fairly quickly. How that affects RB’s case here is unknown, as they did defy the umpires call regardless of how correct it was or wasn’t. I’m sure RB’s act was damaging to the authory of the FIA/Stewards/Charlie Whiting/etc, and can not be ignored for being so regardless if they can then irrefutably prove they did not breach the flow reg.

25

I didn´t understand this case yet. How many flow sensors is there on the engine to check the rate? If it is two sensor for example. One was setup by Red Bull and the other by FIA rules? If there was only one, why RB would have installed with parameters against them?

26

It was a merely different interpretation of the rule. The rule is saying 100 kg/h which doesn’t read ,if you like, 100/3600 sec. In ohter words it should say that your flow may not exceed f.flow rate at any given time. As it is written I am assuming that I may not exceed flow rate of 100kg/h which is leaving a vide open dore for interpretation. It means that at some sections at the trac I could run even 130 kg/h because I am going to run other sections at 60kg/h or 75kg/h which would leave me still within the 100 kg/h. I belive that having a norm of 100 kg over an hour is wrong. That is why RBR is saying that they are within that rule but FIA is measuring the current flow rate employing ultra sonic sensor that is at some point showing that fuel rate was higher then regulated not taking into the account that over an hour they are within the limits.

27

This is the crux of the matter, the flow rate can either be 100 kg in any 1hour period (60mins)

Or it could be interpollated as being the equivalent flow for any other time period, the FIA rule is ambiguous, in that the time period is not directly stated. I would read that a total flow over a one hour period was meant to be the case, And Red Bull have assumed that, clarification is needed ion this matter. I can believe that the other teams have based usage on the above. Please note that with a total for the whole race being 100kg, the race average would be rather short of the 100kg/hr figure. If the FIA did mean an ‘intanteoneous’ rate equivalent to 100kg/hr then the rule makers should hold there hands up and say we goofed.

28

In the world and era where we easily measure 100/sec. what is the point in expressing fuel flow over an hour. That by no means that those engines may consume 100 L/hour. The catch is that by increasing fuel flow through the fuel lines the pressure would increase as well providing finer fuel atomization under engine thus yielding better acceleration and top speeds.

29

wrong, 100kg/h, measured every 0.2seconds

31

Here (below), the sensor actually samples at up to 1kHz. Look in FIA Documentation, document 24. Don’t you read all this stuff + the technical regs before commenting??

http://www.fia.com/championship/fia-formula-1-world-championship/2014/australian-grand-prix-event-documents

Sensor spec:

http://www.gillsensors.com/content/datasheets/gill-sensors-fuel-flow-meter-2014.pdf

And the rules about the engine:

http://www.formula1.com/inside_f1/rules_and_regulations/technical_regulations/8699/fia.html

There’s lots of fun stuff, like not using Rhenium and using spark plugs not lasers, plenty of rules to complain about (not you)

32

Really ? so wasn’t much more easier to say so much furl flow over o.2 sec. Where did you read this 0.2 sec ?

33

Me again.

It’s really very simple.

1. Max quantity of fuel permitted 100kg.

2. Max fuel flow permitted 100kg/hr.

3. Red Bull/Renault told they were consistently exceeding max fuel flow rate. Everyone was given prior fair warning.

4. Red Bull/Renault decided to take on FIA.

5. Red Bull/Renault were disqualified.

Finish !

34
Malcolm Norwood

Running an engine at a ‘richer’ fuel setting, hence more flow, will make it runs cooler, the incoming charged air actually cools the engine. Red Bull know what they were doing, they have got their hands caught in the till.

Expecting the FIA to trust the data the teams give them is living in cloud cuckoo land, all competitors want an advantage, they always have, and always will, bend the rules as far as they can.

I have sympathy for Ricciardo, but he is a team member, in F1 you win with the team, and you lose with the team

35

“Expecting the FIA to trust the data the teams give them is living in cloud cuckoo land”

I would say it’s round the other way.

36
kenneth chapman

so malcolm, what you are saying is, in essence, that horner was lying and that they cannot provide evidence to prove conclusively that they never exceeded the mandated maximum flow, also that the evidence that they will supposedly provide at the appeal court will by logical extrapolation, be false/misleading.

strong call, given that the details of any evidence being lead by red bull has not, to the best of my knowledge, been published in the public arena?

37
kenneth chapman

there are some points that need clarification if we are to fully understand this farce. i can only presume that the car was fitted with the FIA sensor otherwise how could the FIA monitor the fuel flow. it appears that red bull were monitoring the fuel flow at the injector level which is synchronous with the pump.

if the RB monitoring indicates no breach of the msx fuel flow and the FIA sensor indicates that the level is excessive then what does red bull do? do they reduce the flow and lose any competetive ability?

in another thread it was stated that mercedes and ferrari discussed the issue with charlie whiting and they then proceeded to use the FIA sensor. if this is so what was the FIA accomodation? were the only faulty sensors given to red bull or did the recalibrated sensors work accurately and red bull’s injector measuremnet was wrong? who would you believe?

i would love to understand more about this as this issue is destined to dog each and every race until sorted.

38

The approved flow rate sensor is manufactured by Gill, this has a max flow of 8000mL/min

Which I calculate as 8 litres / min, or 480 L / Hour.

With petrol at 0.71 or so kg / Litre, this gives a mass flow figure of 340 kg / hour.

The acuracies quoted by gill are probably at the maximum flow, it would be good to see the actual accuracies across the whole flow range of the approved sensor, I guess that at a flow of under 30 % of the max figure the accuracies start to show greater discrepencies. Over to you Gill and FIA to show that this is not happening.

39

Here’s the off-the-shelf sensor specs.

http://www.gillsensors.com/content/datasheets/massflow.pdf

600kg/hr at 1% at 20deg c. 1% is 6kg/hr… I’m assuming they have a special sensor that has better specs. Otherwise, RBR will have no problems with their appeal.

Mitch

40

I believe this is the actual Fuel Flow sensor spec sheet.

http://www.gillsensors.com/content/datasheets/gill-sensors-fuel-flow-meter-2014.pdf

The one quoted by Old Dry Joint is an Air mass flow sensor not a fuel sensor. Note that the fuel sensor is quoted as being approved by the FIA.

41

OK, sorry if this repeats what others have said.

As a by issue the the sensor accuracy, the fact is that we have a max use of 100kg of fuel per race, and a max flow rate of 100kg.hr. With the self toerencing nature of the metric system of units these mean that:-

1/ in term of race fuel between 99.51 and 100.49 kgs are to be read as being within the 100kg allowance. As the FIA did not specify a tighter tolerance.

2/ for the max fuel flow rate 100kg/hour means just that, you cannot use more than 100kg in any period of 1 hour.

As the max for a whole race is also 100kg, THIS CANNOT BE what the FIA intended.

The 100kg/hour figure should have had an equivalent max flow per set period of time included, say 0.5 seconds. (13.88 grams).

Also in terms of the measurment device, (i.e. the “Fuel Flow Sensor”)what does this measure. I believe that the sensor measures the velocity of the liquid passing through a known diameter of pipe in the unit. this in turn is computed into a volume of fluid in a set time. and then calculated into a Mass using a known specificgravity for the liquid in question at a measured temperature. mant factors here are again subject to tolerences and calculations. (The temperature itself will also be measured by a separate sensor with its own accuracy.

Taking all these into account, on a moving vehicle with many vibration issues to be factored in makes amockery of the complete system.

I can believe the manufacturers quoted accuracy of 0.25% as tested on the test bed in the factory at the max flow rate of the sensor, and in to this the factors quoted above and errors creep in.

I pesonally believe that Red Bull have realised that the FIA figure of 100kg/hour is nonsense when taken out of context of a small time perid and that they did use more than the equivalent flow rate over a small time period.

42

Yep.. you’re correct.. I’ll redo calcs..

sensor capacity 8000ml/min = 480L/hr

spec gravity of fuel is around 730grams/L

makes capacity 350kg/hr

0.25% accuracy gives 0.876kg/hr

Pretty good.. designed for auto use because of the CAN bus..

Mitch

43

What I find troubling in this is that the scrutineers seem to have admitted that the flow meters are not giving accurate readings, This is the gist of other articles posted about this since Daniel’s disqualification on Sunday. This was why they had RBR switch to another unit, and then switch back when the substitute was found to be even more inaccurate.

A good analogy to this situation would be getting stopped for speeding by the highway police based on a reading given by their radar unit that subesquently was found to be defective. There would be no case against you. Any court in the land would throw out the police evidence.

44

Sorry Mark (and James) but the article doesn’t shed any further light on what we already knew. The sensorgate has put a lot of words in a wide variety of media. For a normal journo this is really technical so I understand why special collaborations, like Mr. Gillan, is needed every now and then. An illustration or cut-off would explain way better.

Somewhere up the bloggers posts, someone says the restriction is to avoid the turbos going wild, specially during practice or quali where there is no fuel limit. Even mentioning to avoid the 80’s turbo madness and thus the poor reliability.

What is beyond understanding is why they rely on a poorly tested (manufactured maybe) sensor. That sensor rules the core of racing. There were 3 pre-season tests and clearly no one got to terms with the new technology. For sure many must have done the testing on their dynos, but real rolling, real racing is a world apart from dyno testing. So, why there wasn’t an adaptation process, like when the KERS was first introduced back in 2009? 09 was optional to develop and from 2010 was used by all, except 2 teams, and the handicap for not running with it was for everyone to see.

I don’t like being overly critical but these FIA heads along with the Technical Working Group (some teams) are really shooting themselves on the foot. 2013 was about tires. 2014 was supposedly about power units and fuel efficiency and for the info coming from teams it looks like it will be the year of the fuel issues: Disqualifications, appeals and mistrust between teams.

F1 is a laugh now. Being a fan since the end of the 70’s this Formula is way off from what it should be. Yes, some tech from these cars will surely appear some time into the future on our road cars. But for that there are the GT cars, the Supercup, Rallying. F1, WEC, are the pinnacle of motorsport. I don’ t give a penny (or a loonie) if they try to make racing go “green”. Rubbish! The airfreight for moving the circus one flyaway race burns more fuel than the entire field for a season.

BRING BACK the V-12’s, the V-10’s. With less displacement but a true racing F1 engine.

Sad times for us true racing fans…

45

This fuel flow nonsense looks like it will be the Pirelli tyre fiasco of the 2014 season.

There was no (official) fuel flow limit in F1 prior to this season. There is always a de facto fuel flow limit set by the size of the engine and its maximum RPM. On a conceptual level, this new fuel flow limit is pointless. That’s problem 1.

Problem 2 is that the FIA cannot accurately measure fuel flow. They lack the technical expertize to do so.

We eventually learned last season that certain teams were engaging in all sorts of dodgy behavior to get around the (deliberately created) tyre limitations. Some of them were running the tyres the wrong way around. I suspect something similar will be found to be this case this year.

Internal combustion engines are very mature technology and very well understood. It’s most unlikely that Mercedes have discovered some new technical means of getting more power out of one. Their power superiority over the other units is most likely attributable to discovering a means of tricking the FIA’s fuel flow sensor into believing it is “seeing” less fuel flow than is actually occurring.

46

To be honest SteveS I think it highly unlikely that Mercedes are tricking the FIA sensor.

Engines are a mature technology but there is no definitive way of doing it, there are plenty of things that can be different from engine to engine.

Ferrari’s engines are far better with cooling than everyone else’s, but are also heavier.

Do bear in mind that Mercedes started working on this engine almost 2 years before most of the other manafacturers, so they have had more time to perfect and tweak. They had the engine that was widely recognised as the best and most powerful of the old V8’s as well, it’s just something they do very well, they have never been accused of cheating the regs on their engines before, so why now?

Next year Honda are back, and their engines will have different characteristics again

47

To James, and anyone who has an answer to this:

Charlie Whiting said, RedBull were warned as early as lap 5 that their fuel flow was in violation of regulations. If that’s the case, why was RIC’s car not flagged/disqualified immediately after let’s say, 2-3 more warnings? Why wait until the end of the race and make do a 4 hour deliberation on it?

I am no RedBull fan, but somehow this whole delayed verdict of a race does not look good. I can understand when there has been contact and the stewards want to hear both sides, but this is an infringement, right?

48

Ahh…. that’s because Charlie W and the tech people have [mod] in their heads. As simple as that. I have read yesterday that some media had trouble re-editing their sport news sections to offer their readers the really fresh stuff. Due to time difference between AUS and Europe and even America, that was challenging.
Stewards, Tech people from FIA must do a more expedite ruling. I agree with Harsha, why wait 4 hours after the race to disquallify someone? I guess what RB are appealing is they over-used that engine for around 40 laps. LOL on that though.
Excessive ruling delays bring the sport into disrepute and starts conspiracy theories, something we don’t need in F1.

49

“Charlie Whiting said, RedBull were warned as early as lap 5 that their fuel flow was in violation of regulations. If that’s the case, why was RIC’s car not flagged/disqualified immediately after let’s say, 2-3 more warnings?”

There were no further warnings after the one on lap 5.

50

but when they found out that they did not heed, they did not immediately, maybe black flag the car? Seems odd, no?

51
Craig in Manila

Agreed.

I find it very interesting that stewards did not blackflag the car.

I mean, if they thought that they had enough ammunition in place to be able to issue a warning then, surely, when the warning is not actioned the next logical step is a further warning or a blackflag as illegal cars should not be on-track !

It almost appears that the stewards were not sure if their warning was valid/reasonable and were waiting for the reply from RBR to get some feedback ?

To do nothing for almost two hours and THEN disqualify the car is very odd indeed.

52

Seeing all these comments about “get rid of the fuel flow rate” controls

I’m puzzled by a few things.

You have a total of 100KG of fuel. Last year the Italian GP (I think the shortest by time) ran for 1hr18Mins (1.3 hours) so to use 100KG the cars must average 77% of the maximum allowed flow rate. I don’t think that’s going to happen, so for some races the maximum flow rate will mean the cars run the race with less than 100KG.

So flow rate becomes a secondary economy factor.

I think there was a desire to avoid an arms race, because the sensible thing would be to say “any number of cylinders, any size, level of boost, revs etc” but only 100KG of fuel : but that would have made the engine makers worry that a 500cc engine running at 30K RPM and 5BAR boost might prove better. Ditto an engine which was designed to be able to burn a lot of fuel for short periods and almost no fuel at other times.

53

Monza is not a high consumption circuit.

54

I see a lot of comments regarding “faulty” fuel flow sensors. It is known that for ultrasonic time-of-flight sensors everything is like in real state – “location, location, location”. Do we know for a fact that RB fuel flow sensor was having an erratic behavior because of a faulty sensor, or is it possible that they were hit by bad sensor location? Ultrasonic fuel flow sensors are not necessarily inherently unstable/unreliable when all installation and calibration instructions are met. Crying foul about a sensor with 0.1% to 0.25% tolerance speaks volumes about people understanding that all our technology should be virtually trouble-free and have 0% tolerance.

Having said that, I do not really like F1 becoming a surgical environment. Without any uncertainty in the process, this will eventually become a very dull entertainment, it will come down to just having a nice start and then cruising along for a very predictable result, à la Monaco. F1 must closely monitor where the entertainment value is going and make the proper adjustments.

55

“F1 must closely monitor where the entertainment value is going and make the proper adjustments.”

I’d argue that almost all of F1’s problems are due to their doing exactly that. It should not be their job to make “adjustments” to cars in order to get the correct “entertainment value”. That’s the mindset of fake sports like professional wrestling.

There have to be some rules, but the rules should be straightforward and sensible and should simply establish a framework within which the different teams compete as best they can. When the FIA is applying an arbitrary “offset” to the allowable fuel flow rates on different cars it certainly suggests that that are making “adjustments” to get what they see as the “entertainment value” they prefer, and F1 looks less and less like a genuine sporting competition.

56

“There have to be some rules, but the rules should be straightforward and sensible and should simply establish a framework within which the different teams compete as best they can.”

Otherwise we’re heading towards a spec series.

57
kenneth chapman

i agree in principle.

what absolutely amazes me is that we have three teams who all have differing examples of the ‘FIA approved flow meter’. of the two teams who spoke with james one of them informed him that after varied attempts to get an accurate reading they settled on an offset. the other oner appeared to have no problems at all and the third team, in this example, was red bull who had two duff flow meters.

so there are three teams who had problems and they appear to all be different. how many other teams had problems but have decided to keep schtum for fear of upsetting the FIA as well as opportunistically sticking it to red bull.

i do fear that we have only heard the minimum on this and i look forward to more information coming to light over the next few days/weeks.

58
kenneth chapman

sorry for the mistake, should read ‘two teams out of three’

59

A rumour I had heard (James / Mark perhaps you can sniff round and confirm )

The Sensor was faulty so it was replaced, sensor 2 failed so FIA calibrated the original sensor and told Red Bull to fit it, and use an offset they gained through the calibration so that they would have correct readings. Red bull decided that the offset was not correct and applied a different offset they had arrived at by their own means.

If this is the case then I don’t think they have a leg to stand on.

Also bear in mind that the FIA sensor is fitted in a very specific place in the system for a reason (whatever that may be) and that is they point they with the flow to be measured, there could be multiple reasons why (leaks or inefficiencies being the chief ones I’d guess) the fuel passing the sensor and the fuel actually being injected into the cylinders could be different.

60

Sadly, still nothing about the performance of the Mercedes engine vs. Ferrari and Renault and the alleged 70-plus bhp advantage. James and Mark, I’m wondering what the FIA do with the engines once they receive them? What exactly does the homologation process involve? Are FIA engineers testing the engines to make sure they comply with the regulations? Can computer programs show this? And what could they possibly do if they find that an engine manufacturer was not in compliance?

61

During the race I was continuously surprised that Ricciardo was able to pull a gap on Magnussen knowing that the Mercedes powered cars were significantly faster in a straight line. The circuit characteristics favoured the more powerful McLaren yet every time they closed on the Red Bull it seemed to be able to not only defend in the DRS zones but to pull a gap. At the time I thought this must be because Magnussen had been told to save fuel, however, the radio feeds seem to suggest that the McLaren drivers were free to race.

The information provided by the FIA after the race suggests that if Red Bull had followed the instructions from the FIA regarding fuel flow they would not have been able to defend Ricciardo’s position as easily and they may well have lost their podium position.

Of course, all of this is speculation, albeit based on what we saw and the information provided by the FIA. Also, it is easy to understand why Red Bull took the action they took, when you consider the issues they had had with the FIA issued flow meters over the weekend. However, other teams have reported that they had similar issues, but decided to follow the FIA instructions regarding fuel flow.

We will never know what the results would have been if Red Bull had complied with the FIA instructions, however it is fair to say that Ricciardo would have been slower.

62

i think there is a point being missed here

the FIA took away the original sensor and tested it ; they found it was in error , calculated the correction required , told RBR to reinstall it and apply this correction to the readings ; RBR reinstalled the sensor but refused to accept the results as determined by the FIA , despite being told by the FIA during the race that they were exceeeding the permitted flow ; hence the penalty

personally I am all for the maximum flow regulation …what else will stop a rich team developing a map allowing an excessive power output for qually , starting the race like that , then blocking for the rest of the race , a sort of super trulli train

63

So you would apply an offset correction to something that was supplied to you as faulty?

64

100% accuracy is a nice theory ,but rarely achieved in the real world

the FIA determined the degree of accuracy and informed RBR so that they could apply it ; they didn’t , full stop

do you think all 5 engines they will use this season will be identical ? close , like this sensor , but 100% the same ? you cannot be serious ; have you heard the word tolerances ?

65

“do you think all 5 engines they will use this season will be identical ? close , like this sensor , but 100% the same ? you cannot be serious ; have you heard the word tolerances ?”

Plus, if they want the engines to have the same power and consumption then supply them all with the same engine and make it a spec series.

66

Tolerances, goddamnit I’m forever putting ± in where for some reason people want to type plus or minus.

67

James

Has the BBC done a

FORMULA ONE SEASON PREVIEW 2014 MAGAZINE

Like the one they did last year.

I’ve been to all the Main stores & I can only see F1 Racing & Autosport are in stock & none from BBC ?

Did the Beeb not schedule one for this season?

Any info ?

I know this is abit off subject but thought you might know the answer?

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