F1 2023 Rule Changes Improve Lap Times by Half a Second
According to Jan Monchaux, the technical chief of Alfa Romeo, alterations to the aerodynamic regulations in the upcoming 2023 F1 season are enabling teams to make up to half a second per lap.
To minimize the risk of cars porpoising, the FIA has raised the floor edges and the throat of the diffuser beneath the car in the current year.
The implementation of new regulations for 2022 marked a resurgence of ground effect after a hiatus of 40 years, resulting in an aerodynamic phenomenon commonly known as ‘porpoising’.
When the cars accelerate and gain speed, the suction created underneath them intensifies, causing the suspension to compress.
The airflow under the car could stall, although this would depend on various factors such as the circuit’s configuration, the car’s setup, and the prevailing conditions.
In such a case, the suction effect would cease, causing the car to lift on its suspension.
Subsequently, the airflow would reattach, and the cycle would repeat itself.
The impact on drivers caused by this phenomenon raised concerns, leading to mid-year alterations where a restriction was placed on the degree of vertical oscillations the cars were allowed to undergo.
Although the restriction was intended as a temporary measure during the season, the modifications made to the floor and diffuser represent a more permanent solution to this problem.
The rule changes in F1 can have various impacts on the sport, including altering the technical specifications of the cars, affecting the competitiveness of the teams, and potentially changing the dynamic of the races.
In this specific case, the modifications to the floor and diffuser aim to mitigate the issue of ‘porpoising’, which had been causing concerns for drivers.
By reducing the oscillations of the cars, these changes could potentially enhance driver safety and also improve the racing experience by allowing for smoother and more predictable driving conditions.
However, the impact of these rule changes will ultimately depend on how well teams adapt to the new regulations and the resulting performance differentials between them.
According to Monchaux, the introduction of the new rule resulted in a loss of approximately half a second per lap. However, he now suggests that this estimate has been revised to plus or minus a tenth, and is more or less consistent across all circuits.
“I am confident that the majority of teams will have managed to regain the time lost,” is my belief.
“The determining factor is how much additional performance the teams have managed to add to their cars prior to the start of the season.”
“Even more crucially, for us, is how much more performance we can add during the season. Although we had a strong start last year, we encountered some difficulties in augmenting the car’s performance later in the season.”
In the 2022 constructors’ championship, Alfa Romeo achieved a sixth-place finish, with an equal number of points as a resurgent Aston Martin, but ahead on countback.
Alfa Romeo’s success was primarily concentrated in the initial third of the year, as the Swiss outfit only managed to amass an additional four points following a double-points finish at the Canadian Grand Prix in June.
Monchaux said, “Last year taught us an important lesson – that the season is not decided until the final lap in Abu Dhabi. This was evident when we finished in P6, just half a second ahead of [Aston Martin driver] Sebastian Vettel on the last lap.”
“As a team, we had our ups and downs, but it’s become clear from all the reviews we’ve conducted that we cannot afford to give up.”
He added, “The first race will be what it is.”
“Perhaps it will exceed our expectations, or maybe we’ll be somewhat disappointed. Regardless, we must move forward, as there are still 22 races to go.”
“I’m confident that both Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu, and the 500 individuals making up our team will work tirelessly to recuperate any losses that need to be made up or create an edge if we find ourselves at the higher end of the midfield,” said Monchaux.
F1 2023 Rule Changes F1 2023 Rule Changes
Alfa Romeo has already tested their 2023 car, the C43, with a shakedown on the track.
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