F1 teams are expecting delays in finalising their 2018 chassis as FIA has not yet released information on how the Halo load test will be carried out.
The teams have submitted the full specs for Halo and its load on chassis mountings to FIA. But are yet to find out details, specifically how the push test will be applied so they can figure how the load will get distributed via chassis.
The teams may use ‘ Virtual” test as a temporary solution for the next season.
The complication is that the test cannot be conducted with a real Halo fitted because the concept of the Halo is that it should fail before the chassis mountings.
It is now up to FIA to find a method to perform the test which can realistically recreate the forces applied to the chassis by the Halo, but with a higher load than the actual one could bear.
Many teams are working with FIA to figure out a solution but the delay in the process is causing the teams with early design freeze dates some frustration.
Talking about the Halo design problems Andy Green from Force India said, “The actual Halo that we’re going to run has been defined,”
“But the actual chassis that it bolts to haven’t. To try to get a chassis to cope with the sign-off loads that the FIA have imposed is a challenge.
“The Halo that we’re going to race can’t withstand those loads, so there’s no point in using it to do the load tests on the chassis because the Halo will fail first.
“So you have to do it with something else, and that’s what we’re trying to define at the moment.
“Depending on what that something else is will change how you design the chassis, and how strong you need to make the chassis, because it delivers the load in a different way, depending on the geometry.
“At the moment we’re missing the details on that device, and it’s quite fundamental to the design of the chassis. If you fail the test, you can’t run.”
Due to the time problem, FIA is suggesting to backup the real world test with a Finite Element Analysis to create a model to measure the loads on each team’s chassis planned for 2018.
FIA would then inspect the data submitted by the individual teams and approve based on virtual testing, a first for Formula 1.
This is expected to be a temporary measure until a refined and full physical test is conducted next year. The plan will come up for discussion during next week’s Technical Regulations Meeting.c