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Weaving on the straight
#1
I was wondering what other people think about weaving (moving left to right and back) on the straight. I guess it is well known that you should not move under braking. But how about moving on the straight. I'm asking this because I was in the Tatuus race on Paul Ricard and the guy I was battling for 1st did a lot of weaving on the straight. I think he changed direction at least five times. When I asked him about this, he said it was called "breaking the tow". I think he was also running lower down force (even though I only ran front 3, rear 1). When I was in front the first couple laps he could still pass me on the main straight from 0.5-0.6 s behind. While I could not even stay close if I was behind him. I guess this was partly because of the aero difference, but also because I could not get a proper slipstream since he kept moving the whole straight.

Not trying to blame anyone. I just did not see this kind of "defence" before and was wondering what you guys think. Is this just being smart? Or are you breaking some (unwritten) rules by weaving on the straight?

Related to this, can someone elaborate on how AC handles slipstream? I know if I'm within a couple tenths I gain on the guy/girl in front. But this did not seem to happen when you are not following someone in a straight line?
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#2
My view is that if you are faster than him and about to pass, (i.e., when you are not directly behind him but to the side) he can move once per straight.

If you are clearly slipstreaming (trying to stay exactly behind him) he may move as much as he wants until braking zone.

There are factors beyond downforce that can explain being faster on straights, like geraing or tire pressure.
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#3
Several parameters come into play, some cars generate slipstream up to 1.5s in long straight at really high speed (250-300), for example at Le Mans you would start to get some draft within that gap for those with high drag coefficients, but usually the tow becomes really significant under 0.5s (out of "dirty air")

Generally the rule is you can change line once in straight, not only for defending but also break the tow. It's in F1 regulations, as long as you are not too close

When one driver is completely ahead of another on a straight, they are permitted to make a move in one direction. This move can be of any size, within the track limits, and the move can be made as slowly or as quickly as the driver likes — they can jink suddenly to one side or they can spend an entire straight gradually shifting across the track. This rule is stated under sporting regulation 20.4

20.4 Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason.
20.3 More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off-line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.

5 times is cleary too much in one straight, but i can't remember anyone being penalized for it, Hamilton got some warnings once i think.
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#4
Eh I think as long as it's not excessive it's ok. Like James said, it really depends on the vehicle and situation. Like most things in motorsport, it's pretty difficult to have a catch all and consistent rule for this. Pagenaud's defence at this year's Indy 500 is a good case for allowing tow breaking to a limited extent.
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#5
@James

But the regulations forbid moving more than once to defend your positions. Is breaking the tow directly defending? I personally have no problem with a car in front of me moving several times on a very long straight (like Monza) to get me out of their slipstream. What I have problem with is the moving twice to block my pass, and especially with moving while I am already passing and hitting me.
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#6
(09-03-2019, 09:30 PM)Pawel Kusmierek Wrote:  @James

But the regulations forbid moving more than once to defend your positions. Is breaking the tow directly defending?  I personally have no problem with a car in front of me moving several times on a very long straight (like Monza) to get me out of their slipstream. What I have problem with is the moving twice to block my pass, and especially with moving while I am already passing and hitting me.

To me it is, on some circuits/combo it's really easy to keep up with someone simply with the tow even if you are slower in most parts of the track. As long you stop moving once the car gets really close or approaching the braking zone i think it's ok. Anyway at some point changing too much lines is detrimental to what you "save" breaking the tow. But i agree it has to stop well before the braking zone.

For example here, massive tow at the Nord's straight, he s midly weaving but stops it once we were close and it's fine by me.



@6:55 (Huge boost at the end within 0.5s, overall about 10km/h faster with the slipstream)
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#7
Yes that's exactly what I mean. Weave to keep me out of slipstream if you think it's worth it, but once we are about to hit the braking zone or one I am about to pass (as in your video), stick to your line.
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#8
(09-03-2019, 12:49 PM)James Blint Wrote:  Several parameters come into play, some cars generate slipstream up to 1.5s in long straight at really high speed (250-300), for example at Le Mans you would start to get some draft within that gap for those with high drag coefficients, but usually the tow becomes really significant under 0.5s (out of "dirty air")

Generally the rule is you can change line once in straight, not only for defending but also break the tow. It's in F1 regulations, as long as you are not too close

When one driver is completely ahead of another on a straight, they are permitted to make a move in one direction. This move can be of any size, within the track limits, and the move can be made as slowly or as quickly as the driver likes — they can jink suddenly to one side or they can spend an entire straight gradually shifting across the track. This rule is stated under sporting regulation 20.4

20.4 Any driver defending his position on a straight, and before any braking area, may use the full width of the track during his first move, provided no significant portion of the car attempting to pass is alongside his. Whilst defending in this way the driver may not leave the track without justifiable reason.
20.3 More than one change of direction to defend a position is not permitted. Any driver moving back towards the racing line, having earlier defended his position off-line, should leave at least one car width between his own car and the edge of the track on the approach to the corner.

5 times is cleary too much in one straight, but i can't remember anyone being penalized for it, Hamilton got some warnings once i think.


That is very interesting James, I haven’t done much racing at Le Mans etc so hadn’t even considered very high speeds giving tow from up to 1.5 seconds back.

I was under the impression that AC only gives you slipstream effect when at 0.5s or lower, pretty sure I read this somewhere a few years ago on the official forum and since then my experience has seemed to align with this theory, though that could be confirmation bias ofc Smile

When I am more than 0.5 behind I don’t even bother lining up with the car ahead as I just assume there is no benefit and I have never felt this hinder my performance.
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#9
on some cars the tow starts from too big distance IMO, for example on Maserati 250 cars behind was very far and get big tow and overtake easily, on monza 66 (with banked oval parts for example)
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#10
Yes, like Michal said, I'm pretty sure it depends on the car. For example, I find that GT3 cars generally don't give much of a tow.
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