2012 FIA regulations highlights with James Allison

By on Thursday, December 8, 2011

© Lotus Renault GP

Following the announcement of the FIA's 2012 season Technical and Sporting Regulations, Lotus Renault GP's Technical Director James Allison explained some of the key changes we can expect to see in 2012. Part one is featured below, with part two soon to follow.

Lower Noses
The car noses are lowered to 550mm above the reference plane (previously they could be 625mm high). This is to ensure that all parts of the nose are definitely below the height of the cockpit sides in the event of a T-Bone type of crash.

The chassis is constructed from certain panels – the so called “homologated panel” - that are regulated to achieve a required amount of penetration resistance in order to protect the driver. To give better protection to the driver in the event that a car T-bones him from the side, the homologated intrusion panel is increased in height to 550mm above the reference plane (the same height as the highest part of the new nose regulation above).

Apertures and aerodynamics
An ambiguity in art 3.8.5 is cleared up to make it entirely clear that each suspension leg that emerges from the rear bodywork may have just one aperture. Suspension apertures allow the team a certain amount of aerodynamic development possibilities and from an aerodynamicists point of view, the more apertures the merrier. Under the old regulation it was possible to construct a wavy surface where a leg exited and re-entered the bodywork several times, on each occasion accruing another legal aperture – under the new regulation this is no longer possible.

Weight distribution
We had originally agreed for the 2011 cars to have a limited range of adjustment for weight distribution for a single year to cover the introduction of Pirelli’s. This regulation has proved successful and has now been extended to 2013.

For 2011, each wheel had to be held on by two safety where previously they had only needed one. In order to ensure that the tethers offer genuine redundancy in the event of the failure of one of their mounting points it was agreed for 2011 that the tethers needed to have separate mounting points. The wording for this in 2011 was rather clumsy and had some undesired effects. For this reason we have re-worded art 10.3.6 to ensure that the desired redundancy is delivered in a rational manner.

FOM Cameras
Recent seasons has seen the FOM nose cameras located in a manner clearly aimed at promoting the performance of the front wing rather than to deliver effective TV pictures. A new article (20.3.4) has been introduced to ensure a minimum standard for the field of view of any nose mounted camera. A similar minor change is made to the roll hoop camera location to ensure that a clear picture is not sacrificed on the altar of downforce.

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