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Q&A: Charlie Whiting, F1 race director - Pt. 2

F1 race director Charlie Whiting chats about the new rules ahead of the 2012 F1 season
F1 race director Charlie Whiting talks us through the major changes to the 2012 Sporting and Technical regulations and explains the reasons behind the various decisions ahead of the start of the new season in Australia this weekend. Here he focuses on the Technical regulations...



Technical Regulations

Q:
Why do the 2012 cars have the 'platypus' nose?

Charlie Whiting:
The height of the survival cell in front of the driver was 625mm – and we wanted to reduce that to 550mm. Our intention was to ensure the nose is lower than the cockpit sides, to protect the driver's head in the event of a 'T-bone' accident. Some teams complained that lowering the whole car forward of the cockpit would force them into a radical redesign. We agreed a compromise that the 550mm height would only apply from a point 1950mm in front of the rear edge of the cockpit template. This achieves the objective equally well, and without requiring the teams to fundamentally overhaul their suspension packaging. They do all look like ducks though…

Q:
Measurement tolerances have been tightened. Why?

Charlie Whiting:
We used to measure tolerances across the flat bottom, the step and reference planes with a margin of ±5mm. The tolerances were there to allow for manufacturing discrepancies but teams were designing to the limit of the tolerances, contrary to the spirit of the rules. We have therefore reduced the allowance to ±3mm.

Q:
The obligatory weight distribution rule was only supposed to run for one season. Why has the rule been continued for a second season?

Charlie Whiting:
We had this rule last year to allow teams to begin designing their cars before they knew the characteristics of the Pirelli tyres. The teams have indicated they would like to keep the rule in place for the second year rather than make expensive wholesale changes to their cars for 2012. We have no problem with this.

Q:
The size and position of exhaust exits is now specified. Why stipulate this area of the design?

Charlie Whiting:
Our objective is to prevent teams operating a blown diffuser, which under certain circumstances infringes Article 3.15 (moveable aerodynamic device). In combination with additional constraints on engine mapping, as described in technical directive number 36 and incorporated into the SECU code, it will limit designers' ability to exploit exhaust gases for aerodynamic effect. However teams will not unlearn the knowledge they have gained and it is quite likely this area of regulation may need to be revisited again in 2013?

Q:
Why are there new dimensional constraints for suspension uprights?

Charlie Whiting:
This is to stop uprights protruding too far from the wheels and being used, in effect, as wings.

Q:
Why has helium been banned from use in wheel guns?

Charlie Whiting:
Powering wheel-guns with compressed helium instead of compressed air saved fractions of a second during a pitstop. Now everyone is aware of this, it would have been a very expensive method of gaining no advantage.

Q:
Why have active torque measuring systems been banned for wheel changes?

Charlie Whiting:
We want the wheel gun operator to be responsible for the action. Once the torque is applied he should be making the decision to disengage. The latest torque guns show a light when the correct torque has been applied. That is as far as we want to go – we do not want any further automation.

Q:
Why have the intrusion panels increased in size?

Charlie Whiting:
The panels were installed 100mm-500mm above the reference plane, they are now 100mm-550mm about the plane. The forward one was 400mm high and is now 450mm high. This change should improve driver safety in the event of a T-bone accident.

Q:
How and why have the tests for front wing deflection changed?

Charlie Whiting:




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
24.09.2011- Qualifying, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate
24.03.2011- Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate
10.07.2011- Race, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate  and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
24.09.2011- Qualifying, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate and Colin Syng, Promoter of Singapore Grand Prix
26.03.2011- Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB7 and Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate
Thursday, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate
Saturday, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate  and Bernie Ecclestone (GBR), President and CEO of Formula One Management
Sunday, Charlie Whiting (GBR), Race director and safety delegate  and Sebastian Vettel (GER), Red Bull Racing, RB6

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