Formula 1 using overtaking simulation to shape future circuit design
Formula 1 is using the "world's first overtaking simulation" to shape future circuit design and to even come up with tweaks to existing tracks that it thinks will promote overtaking and closer racing.
Pat Symonds, who heads up F1's Vehicle Performance Group – a working group created by Liberty Media to evaluate and analyse the racing – has revealed that the group has created what he believes is the world's first simulation that focuses purely on overtaking and how track design – things such as corner speeds, width, angle and track surface – can increase the spectacle.
It's already being used on Hanoi's street circuit, which is set to join the F1 calendar in 2020, as well as existing circuits where overtaking is lacking.
"We've produced what I think is the world's first overtaking simulation," Symonds said whilst speaking the Autosport International Show.
"It's been extremely complex to do. To run a lap takes several hours. It's a very, very complex simulation but it has a proper wake model of the cars, it looks at the surface and the tyre characteristics and all these sort of things.
"We're now using that to design our new circuits and to look at some modifications [to existing circuits]."
Symonds is confident it will have a positive impact on the design of the Hanoi street circuit, which will be the first track to put the simulation to use in reality when a final layout is confirmed later this year.
"Vietnam, which is the first circuit we've really been involved with, I think that we have really been able to understand what it will take to make good racing there," he added.
"I think Vietnam is going to be a superb circuit. It's got some great features and it's going to have some close racing at it."