Archive for the ‘AT&T Williams FW31’ Category

iRacing World Tour 2011 – Belgian Grand Prix

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Close encounters at the final chicane

The next event in the iRacing 2011 World Tour recreates the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix. Run on the same weekend as the real world series, this event sees the first time that the iRacing FW31 is used in a World Tour event.

Last years World Tour had a similar event to coincide with the British Grand Prix but unfortunately the FW31 wasn’t released fast enough to be used, so we used the Lotus 79 for a classic style event (my race writeup for that event is here).

363 racers participated in the event, forming 14 individual race events. I started 10th in my split (the fourth split). I was pretty concerned about getting wrecked in turn one (especially as I had been looking forward to this race for a long time and had put a lot of practice in) and sure enough it was a very messy start. Luckily I picked my way through the spinning cars and no-one hit my car.

I settled into what turned out to be a really enjoyable race. I had decided to go for a one stop strategy and it turned out that a lot of the field had chosen two stop strategies. So as the race progressed the cars that drove away into the distance at the start eventually came back into play once the pit stops had worked their way out.

In the final third of the race I checked the race order and found that I was in a very good position – all the cars ahead of me had another stop to make. Sure enough, I soon found myself in first place with a 10+ second lead, and brought it home for a very memorable win!

Belgian Grand Prix results (iRacing members only!)

Started :
10th of 26
Finished : 1st, 142 points (1 incident pt)
iRating : +50
Safety Rating : A/4.98 (+0.34)

There is a similar World Tour event in October to coincide with the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka – a great track.

Learning the new FW31 setup parameters

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

The latest iRacing build is arriving today, with the FW31 arriving a few hours following the build deployment itself. Following the footsteps of recent builds iRacing have kindly provided the release notes ahead of time.

Reading through the release notes provides a small preview of what we have instore for building FW31 setups :

- Introducing the 2009 AT&T Williams FW31.

- This is the first car for which we have written a setup guide, located within the Instruction area of the website.

- 3 downforce trims are available.

- Front flap angle and rear wing wicker can be altered for aero balance adjustments.

- Front suspension has corner springs, anti-roll bar, and heave spring.

- Rear suspension has heave spring and anti-roll bar only.

- Vehicle has 6 dampers: 4 corner dampers, and 2 heave dampers.

- Brake pressure and dynamic brake bias are available to adjust.

- While in pit-box and in neutral dynamic brake balance is shown on display.

- Ballast is moveable.

- Front and rear inerter masses are adjustable.

- Spec out diff locking with ‘diff build.’

- In-car adjustments are brake bias, three diff settings, engine braking, engine power and throttle pedal response.

- Pit stop adjustments include front flap angle.

A lot of the items are straightforward and have been used in other iRacing cars previously. There are a few setup parameters that are new to iRacing and are sure to cause some head scratching initially.

One of the parameters involves the inerter adjustment. The inerter first appeared in F1 in 2005 but it has taken a few years for their secrets to really become known (it seems until 2008 no reliable knowledge was in the public domain).

As we prepare to get truly confused with building FW31 setups here’s a useful guide to how inerters (originally called ‘j-dampers’ by McLaren) can be used in an F1 setup. If someone wants to really get into the task of building and tuning iRacing F1 setups, then they’ll need to have a solid understanding of how these work.

racecar-engineering – how j dampers really work

F1 Technical article on J-dampers

Another major new setup option is the 3rd spring (or ‘heave’ spring). When I find a similar resource for the heave springs I’ll update this post.

2009 Brawn F1 heave spring

2009 Brawn F1 heave spring (top)

Final Williams Video

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Here’s the final teaser video that iRacing are planning on releasing ahead of its release next week.

The iRacing Williams FW31 should be arriving on October 28th (possibly the 27th) along with a new build of iRacing.