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Monday, August 18, 2008

Car Racing in 2009

The sport of Formula One is always in perpetual motion, as is evidenced by the teams always testing future setups, the FIA and their regulations, and also Formula One Management’s Bernie Eccelstone always throwing a fit when it comes to bringing the sport into new markets and stripping some of the most hallowed tracks in Europe and North America of their races. Little known events occurred at the Barcelona test one week before the Spanish Grand Prix.

Some of the teams took part in simulation runs of the new 2009 package and regulations. The 2009 regulations will change the sport quite a bit and usher in a new, exciting era into the sport, and it could not have come at a better time.

The FIA is also standardizing and regulating parts of the aerodynamics as well. To further sweeten and ice the cake the new Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) device will be fitted onto the cars allowing them and extra 80 horsepower boost when used right.

What’s so different about the new aero package for next year are three things. First the middle part of the front wing will be homogenized on every car which will be less aerodynamically effective than the current wings. Barge boards on the side and winglets on the top will also be strictly regulated, further hindering the car’s speed. It will all be counteracted by an underbody diffuser which will greatly offset the turbulence that affects a car. Since the air under the car will not be as turbulent then it will not create a rift in the back of the car. That means the cars will be able to drive closer behind the rear wing and make overtaking a little more easier to do.

Formula One will be a different looking machine next year. Will it be for the best or worse? Everything looks good in theory, but can sometimes be messed up in practice. Right now the new regulations look like they will deliver a great beneficial impact upon the sport. With the old rules of letting the teams usually do what they want with the car under loose regulations, the teams usually with the big pocketbook were the ones that came out on top. By “collectivizing” some of the rules there should be more competition. The drivers and teams will no longer have to worry about putting on a “hard” or “soft” compound tire during the race either. It will be interesting to see the strategies that the drivers will use when overtaking someone.




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