F1 using simulations to trial potential new starting grids

  • 14 Jan 2019 14:15
  • comments 5
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Formula 1 has created its own simulations to trial different ways cars could line-up on the grid in the future. F1 currently uses a staggered two-by-two system with eight metres separating each grid spot. 

Pat Symonds, who previously worked as Williams' chief technical officer, is working with Liberty Media as part of a team that looks at ways of improving the quality of racing. 

Last year, Symonds revealed hat Liberty was looking at how to positively change the start grid line-up by using F1 Esports. However, in the face of realistic difficulties, it has been forced to change its approach.

"We do want to make our decisions based on evidence," said Symonds. "Over the years we've moved towards this eight-metre, staggered grid formation.

"We asked ourselves what would happen if we moved the cars closer together and put them side-by-side again - maybe not four and three like they used to be, but two-by-two.

"When you want to simulate something like that, if you just do it as a physics problem you just get a trivial answer: if you start cars closer together, and they all accelerate at the same rate, they arrive at the first corner closer together.

"That's not what you want to know. What you want to know is what's actually going to happen. So, we built a simulation that uses artificial intelligence, but we can also put a human in."

The new system was originally trialled on the official F1 game, however it didn't include realistic circumstances such as the dirty air effect, as F1 2018 is built for an enjoyable gaming experience. 

The simulation system works with artificial intelligence, however, a human player can also be inputted and it gathers its data by running "50 races of two laps".

Using this method allows them to "statistically analyse every single position of the cars at all times, so we can say 'when we did this to the grid we got 3% more accidents, we got 5% more passes, we got 20% more side-by-side racing'". 

Replies (5)

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  • f1dave

    Posts: 577

    WHY !

    • + 0
    • Jan 14 2019 - 16:09
    • mcbhargav

      Posts: 846

      Because, no one broke it from a very long time. Liberty wants do it, and flaunt it as one their very few achievements.

      • + 0
      • Jan 14 2019 - 21:53
  • "Algorithms will help us with this", Steam said, as they opened their flood gates and just let a whole bunch of teddy bear's full of glass into their store.

    • + 0
    • Jan 14 2019 - 17:35
  • Why just be against? I don't mind them investigating these things, but I do hope that they (and fear they don't) come up with a sensible, non-artificial alternative. In my opinion, there's too many 'all for the show' and too little 'all for the sport' changes.

    • + 1
    • Jan 14 2019 - 19:00
  • f1dave

    Posts: 577

    'When we did this to the grid we got 3% more accidents, we got 5% more passes, we got 20% more side-by-side racing' and we got 0% interest from the fans !

    • + 0
    • Jan 14 2019 - 20:33

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