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Renault CFD simulator “too accurate”

Enstone, Friday: Renault has suffered a significant hindrance in the development of its 2010 F1 car after an upgraded CFD simulation of how the car would perform proved to be “too accurate.”

Crashed: Grosjean's data was used in Renault's CFD simulator

Computational fluid dynamics, or CFD, has proven increasingly useful in racing car development, with many Formula One teams now using the system in conjunction with their wind tunnel programmes. Renault’s latest software, however, attempted to simulate how their new car would respond to different driving styles.

“Unfortunately the simulator is still in its early stages, and that means that only a couple of driving styles have been included in the program,” Renault team principal Bob Bell told reporters. “For contractual reasons we’re not allowed to use Fernando Alonso’s data to develop our new car, so we had to use Romain Grosjean’s instead.

“Sadly that meant that the simulated car crashed before we could get any useful information out of it. We were hoping that the programmers would be able to stay away from absolutely strict accuracy in the interests of keeping the simulation running for more than a few seconds, but it seems that has proven impossible.”

Grosjean is not thought to be in line for a race drive at Renault next year, so simulating his driving style to get the most out of their 2010 car is going to be of limited use anyway. However, Bell was keen to look on the bright side: “We now have unparalleled information on how different bits of racing car fly through the air once they’ve been sheared off the main chassis in a series of impacts.”

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