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darwin dali
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Postby darwin dali »

Charlie White says he doesn't want them (illegal moveable aero device), but the stewards saw no problem with the device. Last I heard. Anybody?
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Postby Selcouth_Feline »

With regards to the whole Renualt damping debacle (I hear Renault will be fitting the dampers back to the car in time for Hungary), it's all a little suspicious.

Renualt must have shown their damping system to someone (Whiting) before putting it on the race cars. It's been on the car now for about a year, so either Charlie Whiting, who called for the ban on the dampers, is not up to the job because it's taken him a year to notice the illegal technology, or there's some odd undercurrent within the FIA. This is supported by the fact the FIA's race stewards have found nothing illegal about the dampers.

Thinking back to the 2003 Hungary race, Ferrari looked to be losing ground. Max Moseley then made a sudden decision that there was a problem with the Michelin tyres. Tyre rules were subsequently changed - a change which mainly benefitted Bridgestone and therefore Ferrari, amongst others. At the time, Moseley claimed that it was all independent and related to no teams, however Ross Brawn later admitted that he had told the FIA about the Michelin tyres and Max had flown out to Maranello the next day.

And now, we have a suspiciously similar thing happening - Ferrari are gaining ground, but perhaps not quick for Michael to win the championship. Suddenly, a random announcement comes out of the blue which aids Ferrari.

Brawn and Whiting are known to be friends outside of F1 - is this perhaps why Ferrari have had this decision go their way? Personally, I feel that whoever is privy to all the teams technical specifications should be unbiased - and that means not good buddies with any of the directors of any of the F1 teams. Perhaps that is a pipe dream which can never realistically happen, given that the directors are going to have to work closely with Whoever is in Whiting's job, and invariably, friendships will be struck up. I'd like to see if another team did prompt Whiting to investigate, and I'd also like to know the reasons behing Whiting's ban.

Or maybe I'm just seeing a conspiracy when really, there's nothing there ;)
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Postby bud »

who knows with the FIA things of late have always gone Ferraris way, tyre changing this year is the biggest influence! Redbull suckers to thank for that! thanks to Holz heres some info

The Stewards received a report from the Technical Delegate which stated that the T car of the Mild Seven Renault F1 Team was found to be equipped with a mass damper inside the front impact structure which was considered without the 2006 F1 Technical Regulations.

The Stewards asked representatives of the Team to attend them and explain the reason that such a component was fitted to their car.

The Stewards have heard evidence from Pat Symonds, Technical Director of Mild Seven Renault F1 Team, from Jo Bauer, FIA Formula One Technical Delegate and Charlie Whiting of the FIA F1 Technical Department.

The Stewards have considered the following documents -

1. 13th September 2005 Memo Pat Symonds to Charlie Whiting
2. 17th July 2006 TD/020-06 Charlie Whiting to All F1 Teams
3. 21st July 2006 Memo Pat Symonds to Charlie Whiting
4. 27th July 2006 TD Report Jo Bauer to Stewards
5. 27th July 2006 Memo Pat Symonds to Charlie Whiting
6. 2006 FIA Technical Regulations

The document referred to at 5 above actually bears the date 30/03/2006 but was by agreement accepted as being of today's date i.e. 27th July 2006.

The facts as presented by Pat Symonds on behalf of Mild Seven Renault F1 Team are that -

A device known as a mass damper was fitted within the nose of their car in September 2005. This is the item referred as a "dynamic chassis damper system" referred to in document 1 above. The car was raced utilising the mass damper for the remainder of the 2005 Championship season.

A similar device was fitted to the 2006 team cars and they have raced utilising the mass damper throughout the current championship.

It is accepted by the FIA T1 Technical Delegate that some 7 teams have used a similar mass damper in their cars during the championship year to date.

On 21st July 2006 the memo referred to at 3 above was circulated to all F1 Teams advising that until that date the view was held that the widespread use of mass dampers did not contravene the F1 Technical Regulations.

Reference was made, however, to an escalation in development of mass dampers by some teams and to recent evidence that the "principle purpose of such devices was to improve the aerodynamic performance of the car".

As such, reference was made to Article 3.15 of the F1 Technical Regulations which article has the sub-heading "Aerodynamic influence" and states that any specific part of the car influencing its aerodynamic performance must, inter alia, "be rigidly secured to the entirely sprung part of the car" and "must remain immobile in relation to the sprung part of the car".

It was considered that the mass suspended within the mass damper, being designed to move freely, was not therefore secured to the entirely sprung part of the car nor that it remained immobile in relation to it. The view that the use of such mass dampers should no longer be considered permissible was accordingly expressed.

Pat Symonds maintains that the principle purpose of the mass damper is not to improve the aerodynamic performance of the car but rather to reduce contact patch load variation which in turn is said to improve longitudinal and lateral grip, by which is meant purely mechanical grip.

Data was produced by Renault contained within document 3 above (and repeated within document 5) which purports to show that the use of a mass damper produces a significant improvement in front ride behaviour through controlling front tyre contact patch load variation, thus improving grip but showing also that improvements in mean aero load or aero load variation are negligible.

Comparison is made between conventional hydraulic dampers and mass dampers. It is maintained by Renault that both are part of the car's suspension system and are so regardless of whether or not the moving parts within each device are physically attached to or controlled by wheel movement.

They contend that both devices are capable of "influencing (the car's) aerodynamic performance" and that it is inconsistent to permit the moving parts within the outer structure of a conventional hydraulic damper yet disallow the moving parts within the outer structure of a mass damper (Article 3.15).

It is accepted by Technical Representatives of the FIA that the only way in which the use of a mass damper is capable of "influencing (the car's) aerodynamic performance" is by facilitating the use of stiffer suspension to achieve a lower ride height than would otherwise be the case.

It is accepted by all parties that there is no minimum ride height requirement as such within the F1 Technical Regulations such that whether or not attributable to the use of a mass damper the lowering of the car itself is permissible.

Renault however contend that they do not in fact run the car at a lower ride height than had maintained prior to their use of a mass damper and, further, that the data referred to above shows that any change in ride and aero behaviour attributable to stiffening of suspension and referable to the use of a mass damper is of a magnitude which is increased ten-fold by merely stiffening conventional hydraulic suspension dampers.

There is no aerodynamic benefit therefore attainable from the use of mass dampers which is not attainable to a much greater degree by the use of conventional hydraulic dampers each of which contain moving parts within their outer casings i.e. the inner components are not rigidly secured or immobile.

There is no suggestion that the use of conventional hydraulic dampers containing as they do, moving parts, and also capable of influencing the car's aerodynamic performance should be considered without the Technical Regulations.

Save for the provisions of Article 3.15 (which as previously stated deals with "aerodynamic influence") it is accepted by all parties that there is no regulation specifically prohibiting the use of mass dampers.

Reference is made by the FIA to "recent evidence" but by virtue of the confidential nature of such evidence it cannot be disclosed to Renault in its present form and as such the Stewards consider it inappropriate to give regard to such evidence in reaching a decision in circumstances where it cannot be disclosed to or challenged by Renault.

The Stewards must therefore disregard this recent evidence and look only at that which is available to them in hearing this matter.

The Stewards consider therefore that regard being given to: -

The absence of any regulation specifically prohibiting its use.
The existence of unchallenged data showing there is negligible effect on aerodynamic performance (in circumstances where a variation of conventional dampers produce a much greater effect).
The use of such devices having been overt and commonplace by many Competitors throughout the current championship season.
The fact that the view (but only a view and not a decision) was held by the FIA until 21/07/06 that the use of such devices did not contravene the F1 Technical Regulations.
The fact that save for the document referred to at 2 above there have been no change in the Technical Regulations referable to mass dampers throughout the current championship season.
The use of such mass dampers must be considered as permission.

Two further matters need to be mentioned: -

First, consideration was given in the course of this enquiry to the provisions of Article 10.3.3 of the F1 Technical Regulations. It was accepted by all parties that mass dampers are structural.

Secondly, on the basis of evidence available to the FIA F1 Technical Department but not available to the Stewards there is seemingly good reason for the FIA's genuine concern as to the future use and escalation in development of mass dampers.

On the basis of this therefore - and Renault's own specific agreement expressed within the course of this Stewards' enquiry to assist in the framing of regulations for 2007 restricting use of mass dampers - this decision, whilst finding that on the basis of existing Technical Regulations the use of mass dampers is permissible, should not be regarded as an endorsement by the Stewards for any use or further development of such devices beyond the current 2006 Championship (subject, of course, to any change there may be in Technical Regulations on the grounds of safety).


Tony Scott Andrews
Rafael Sierra
Waltraud Wuensch

FIA Stewards of the Meeting

Date: 28 July 2006
Time: 09:00