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Tyre-road heat transfer

3 November, 2023 in Cars, Computers, Games, Science

Tyre-road heat exchange

I have been studying vehicle dynamics for almost thirty years, since I set out to create my first driving simulator, Impossible Drivin’, for the Amiga platform. Over the years, I have primarily studied the complexity of the interaction between rubber and asphalt, which is responsible for 90% of the quality of the simulation, and I have developed several algorithms to effectively implement the thermomechanics of the polymer.

In this scientific paper, I publish one of the formulas I developed (and effectively used in my AVC simulation library) for the dynamic calculation of heat transfer between rubber and asphalt, a formula that replaces the simple constant Hc normally used in the literature:


GT86 Fun

5 May, 2017 in Cars

GT86 car

I like my GT86.

While the GT86 isn’t the most powerful car in her class, I like how the engine begs to be revved, and how she offers “just enough” performance for my needs and driving style. The lightweight body and well balanced rear-wheel-drive layout make her a very good handling sports car; yet, she’s not something “extreme”, the GT86 can easily be used as an everyday car!

All in all, I’m very happy with her!

To pull or not to pull

8 January, 2015 in Cars

In the last months many words have been spent about the bad handling of Ferrari’s F1 car (the F14T project). Debate revolved mainly about the unusual pull-rod front suspension scheme.

Now, there’s a lot of speculation about the new Ferrari F1 project, about this topic: a pull-rod scheme will be used again for the 2015 car?

In my opinion, the problem of the F14T has never been the push or pull-rod scheme. The problem is with the configuration of the double-wishbone.

For aerodynamic reasons the attachment points of Ferrari front wishbones are very high; this solution gives an highly “sloping” configuration of the suspension arms, a thing that is immediately noticeable from a front picture of the car. Such a solution makes the front tyre, when the suspension moves, travel not only in the vertical direction, but also laterally; in other words, whenever there is a pitch movement of the car nose, the wheel track changes.

Of course, too much lateral movements of front tyres increase tyre wear, because additional lateral slip is added; so, this suspension may work only if combined with very stiff setups. And a stiff front setup means, usually, understeer.

So, the real problem about the new Ferrari F1 project is not whether it will sport again a pull-rod scheme or not; the real problem is that, unless the front suspension is heavily modified (attachment points etc.), the car will be again heavily understeering; and given the fact that both Ferrari drivers, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, don’t like at all an understeering car, that will be really a problem!

It seems, from rumors, that James Allison, the new Ferrari technical director, is making changes to the original project (as designed by Tombazis), especially in the front part of the car; let’s hope that such changes will positively affect the new Ferrari F1 car handling!