Location: Enstone, England
“Renault’s driver-in-the-loop simulator features five high definition projectors and the steering motor gives realistic feedback and representation of the forces generated by the tyres. The telemetry is accurate to what is seen at the track and gives drivers and engineers useful data in preparation for a race.
“The purpose of the driver in the loop simulator is mainly to develop and assess new parts that are coming through, so we know where to put our efforts”, explains Renault F1 junior Jack Aitken.
“We have simulations that do some of this, but at the end of the day we can’t replicate a real driver trying it, and that’s where we come in with the simulator.”
As stated earlier, forget about simulation as a tool helping a drivers’ individual development. With teams facing time constraints with regard to car development during the F1 season, simulation helps fast track changes and trial or validate set-ups. It’s also a crucial development instrument for the future.
“We mainly use the simulator for developing the car. We are forward looking quite a long way in the future, in 2019 or even beyond: we are looking at new concepts, new ideas, and new directions. We are looking to understand where we could add performance to the car.
Linking the simulator’s virtual environment to the real world is what correlation is all about. Without it, digital data and validation collected in the dark room is useless. Ben Morgan explains how correlation is regularly checked and substantiated.
“One of the jobs of our race drivers is to validate the correlation. They review the last couple of tracks we have raced at. We will run the same set-up they ran at the track, and we check how well we match the car’s behaviour [in the simulator].”