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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 5:55 pm 
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Announcers yammer on about Team A has a short wheelbase car & Team B has a longer wheelbase so they are better suited for different circuits.

Is there anything in the rules that prevents the teams from developing more than one chassis design in a single season? Obviously cost & time are big factors in the feasibility of it all.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:03 pm 
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It can be done, but the biggest obstacles are time, money, and crash testing. Even the most affluent teams have finite resources, and they have trouble with just one car design each year. So to design and construct an entirely new chassis robs the company of the ability to get going with next year's car. As well, any new parts require crash testing and approval by the FIA. Even today, the teams with money could afford to design and crash test the new narrow nose, while the much poorer teams just don't have the money to even achieve this simple goal.

But a team can change the wheelbase of a car just by bolting on new suspension components, a much cheaper and simpler solution.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 6:20 pm 
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Blinky McSquinty wrote:
But a team can change the wheelbase of a car just by bolting on new suspension components, a much cheaper and simpler solution.

The new wheelbase wouldn't be a fit with the overall aerodynamic concept of the car, however, which is why I think teams rarely do such a thing. Every bit of an F1 car has to be designed along with all the other bits, or the whole thing doesn't deliver 100%.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:17 pm 
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The most recent I recall was Lotus a couple of years back when Kimi was still there. They went to a shorter wheelbase in the latter half of the season.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 7:48 pm 
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It happens. Remember Ferrari using the old car for the first few races for a couple of years in the 00s.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 9:05 pm 
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Nothing to prevent Mercedes from building a shorter wheelbase car for 2018, then using a 2017 chassis (with aero updates, etc) for the higher speed circuits. The 2017 chassis was a proven winner, so would be at no disadvantage should any of the other teams make advances with their 2018 designs.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:30 pm 
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I seem to remember in 1998 McLaren had a short and long-wheelbase version of the MP4-13 which they would alternate between circuits, depending on which they felt it would suit. Oddly, they brought the LWB version to Monaco, but is obviously worked as Häkkinen won.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:28 pm 
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Technically speaking, that was the most common thing in 70's and partly 80's, when the season started in January and nearly everyone would race old cars from the former season, gradually bringing the new one.

For these days, I am even surprised why they don't have different wheel bases for different racetracks, but as someone mentioned, it must be very expensive with the current cars.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:51 pm 
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I've often wondered why teams don't do this more if only subtly.

Although not entirely related to the question, we have seen teams develop a car that will go well at certain tracks. Williams in 2014/2015 went for a lower drag concept and it made them apparently the best chassis at 3-4 races in 2014 but absolutely no where in the wet and in high downforce. Force India also did the same in 2009 and should have won in Spa and were right up the front in Monza when the car was usually battling for 12th-18th places.

It also reminds me of the 2013 Mclaren, which after £200 million investment and 12 months of development managed to be slower than the 2012 car. Before 2006 and the Honda vs Super Aguri comparison, I always thought this would be impossible - but apparently not. It was only pressure from sponsors and to save face that Mclaren did not revert back to the 2012 car for the 2013 season.

For comparison, Hamilton managed a 21.7 in Spainish GP qualifying 2012.
Perez did a 22.0 that was 0.3 slower and that was against the 2012 car that was had 6 months less development than the one that finished 2012 and they could have started 2013 with. Some of the time would have been the driver but the tyres were also quicker in 2013 to offset that. The other teams were going 1.2-2.0 seconds per lap quicker than the year before. A case when 2 cars should have been used.

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