A tidy gauge for a way difficult Gen3 goes to be for System E groups subsequent yr, over the course of the season, is to get a really feel for the smorgasbord of technical understanding through an skilled engineer.
Jaguar TCS Racing’s Phil Charles has expertise in pre and post-hybrid F1 with Renault and Toro Rosso, and he’s ideally positioned to quantify these asks already skilled and people stretching out ominously forward.
“The primary time we had KERS on the [F1] automobile in 2009, that was an enormous one by way of a problem,” Charles tells The Race.
“I’d put this one pretty excessive up and presumably the very best by way of an outright problem. This one with Gen3 although is actually an enormous multi-faceted step and I’m actually proud to be within the championship that’s pushing know-how arduous, as a result of it’s simply actually cool and related in a number of methods.”
Producers started their Gen3 programmes within the second half of 2020 and their sim programmes have been working extra time lengthy earlier than they knew the intimate quirks and foibles of the Gen3 automobile, which they obtained in Might.
A month later noticed the primary observe exams, and though there was interruption through some anticipated and a few not-so-expected issues with spec elements provide, it has been a information acquisition section like no different. If there was an American producer in System E they’d inform you it was ‘ingesting from the hose’ on a regular basis.
Right here, The Race seems to be in depth at a number of the key abilities groups and drivers might want to succeed within the Gen3 period from a technical and operational standpoint.
To make ‘three’ their magic quantity, System E groups need to get on high of a mess of challenges, and quick.
Driving the ‘Loop’
When you suppose in arduous, chilly logical methods, which many engineers after all do, motorsport is all about loops.
Even the vehicles come again round once more, though there are at all times some exceptions!
It’s the identical for the stream of data and the engineering cycle which runs loosely to soak up, research, apply, adapt and execute processes.
For Gen3 that’s magnified by a number of new parameters, one in all these is how the MGUs have developed. The additional 100kW of energy will check every MGU to the fullest.
“You begin off and you’re employed out that if I take advantage of it on this method, the automobile brakes fairly shortly, and that’s nice,” says Charles.
“However you then begin to try to tune it and you then realise that it won’t complement the rear axle notably effectively.
“So now you attempt to perhaps compromise on its absolute peak efficiency. However to make it mix or work in concord with the rear axle, instantly the braking begins to get higher, you study one thing new after which have to return across the course of once more and feed that again in.
“Then it shifts once more. Now you’ve bought the instruments that enable sturdy rotation of the automobile, and it would work another way to try this. So instantly, you need to loop again round once more.”
That is difficult additional by groups having to make use of some preliminary information of what it has found and even perhaps somewhat guesswork within the preliminary suspension designs which may not have anticipated the entire enhancements and developments made within the total tech package deal.
Mapping is a much-unheralded a part of System E, maybe as a result of it’s a fairly dry subject material to most individuals.
However mapping is an important a part of the large charge of growth, and on a regular basis, as Charles explains, it’s feeding again round once more in an nearly endless loop. The entire System E vehicles programs are arduous to deliver collectively and subsequently it challenges the groups significantly.
The mixing of bringing all these advanced programs collectively and getting them to work in a short while interval is a serious headache for the technical managers. However it’s one that’s as rewarding, as it’s irritating.
“I discovered it fairly attention-grabbing that often we check with different groups if you’re on this huge ramp charge,” explains Charles.
“So, if I check with a group in the present day, and so they’ve simply finished yet one more check day than us globally, you have a look at it and go ‘wow’!
“You then go off and do two check days and be part of up with them once they’ve solely finished one and so they have a look at you and go ‘wow’.
As a result of it’s simply such an enormous charge of change. It’s completely actually attention-grabbing from a technical perspective. “
That infinite loop will hold evolving by the season and it will likely be amplified within the early section of the season particularly. That’s when surprises are anticipated observe to trace and the darkish horse or underdog can actually embarrass the established stars.
There was plenty of deliberation across the affirmation of the ultimate spec of Hankook tyre which solely got here in late October.
The explanations for this have been quite a few and ranged from an unlimited distinction to the earlier Michelin product, query marks on how they carried out in sure circumstances and whether or not or not they recovered from the inevitable locking episodes which might be half and parcel of the distinctive braking traits of System E. However most of all it was the grip stage.
There was quite a lot of aid in maintaining the exact spec that had been examined with. This was as a result of the deliberations of fixing the compound, and others have been actually being examined in September and early October, would have triggered an enormous quantity of disruption to producers.
“We’d finished plenty of work down that route (the unique spec), so if we’d have interjected with a brand new tyre, at that time limit, it could have been an enormous change in plenty of methods,” mentioned Phil Charles.
“I used to be fairly relieved. In fact, you need the perfect of every part within the championship the place you’ll be able to, so we have been actually open to attempting it.
“However there’s a little bit of aid when at that time limit the learnings that you simply’ve taken already proceed, fairly than having to reset and go once more.
“I truly suppose the tyres have been fairly good, I’m actually happy with them,” added Charles.
“It’s completely different from the Michelins clearly. It’s bought a really completely different working vary. However actually we’re all nonetheless studying about them.”
Usually, stories of Hankook’s merchandise have been, and nonetheless are, fairly blended. A bunch of drivers took an prompt dislike to them, whereas some technical administrators and engineers thought it had finished a good job in tough circumstances.
There’s little doubt that, like plenty of facets of Gen3, the event was compromised by the battery cell change disruption and different reliability fact-finding exams.
The drivers are getting used to the rubber now however the way it will carry out on the wide range of asphalt, concrete and metropolis roads at a big number of circuits continues to be one thing of an unknown.
DS Penske’s Jean-Eric Vergne instructed The Race that the change from Michelin to Hankook has “modified so much the philosophy of what the tyre is ready to deal with.”
“With the additional energy, which is tough to deal with in a method that you’ve got much more wheel-spin with this automobile, whereas final yr going out of the nook you go simply flat out, on this case, you need to actually watch it.
“That is one thing fairly completely different from final yr’s automobile.
Mastering the brakes through mastering each axles
The addition of a second (frontal) spec MGU to System E vehicles will change the braking recreation in System E in 2023 and past.
This truth will throw curveballs to groups and drivers making certain that completely different abilities are wanted from each by way of how they use the brakes and regenerated vitality to develop race administration strategies and cornering strategies.
The way in which the drivers are braking now, to optimise across the two axles, is sort of completely different.
The automobile dynamics have additionally modified significantly, as a result of instantly now having each axles obtainable implies that drivers will be capable of experiment with every.
This may see a component of dexterity and understanding, which could be nurtured relying on how shortly the driving force and their group get on high of it.
Successfully it can give the groups far more management to vary facets of the automobile’s behaviour and permit a higher ‘hall of certainty’ (to reverse swing an previous cricketing expression) and allow far more scope for exploring the automobile in relation to the circuit throughout and between apply periods.
Simply as Gen1 to Gen2 noticed the modifications be the downfall of some driver’s fashion and suitability to the texture of the automobile through the tyres and different automobile dynamic influences, Gen3 ought to be far more welcoming.
For some the early indications are promising.
“I’ve truly actually loved it, it’s type of catered extra in the direction of my driving fashion,” Jaguar driver Sam Chook instructed The Race.
“I really feel like you’ll be able to hit the brake pedal more durable, depend on the programs somewhat bit extra. I really feel like I’ve bought a bit extra suggestions by the pedal.
“So, I’m fairly proud of the best way the braking on my automobile’s going to be trustworthy.”
In response to Chook’s technical boss, Phil Charles “the extra energy there comes the extra skill to play with fairly than simply being set on braking set-ups.”
“As a result of the brake strain is with a linear ratio linked to the entrance brakes, we’ve bought the flexibility now to form that braking and that helps to rotate the automobile and it helps with the dynamics.”
This may actually change the method drivers can have in carrying entry velocity into corners and may improve entry stability.
That’s as a result of it will likely be straight linked to what the driving force is taking part in with ‘software’ smart within the cockpit as they method and undergo the braking section.
We’ll hear a number of drivers speaking of optimising their method to attacking a nook from brake to apex. Shaping the entrance brakes and utilizing the brake-by-wire in concord with the 2 axles would be the key space the place time is present in Gen3 System E racing.