Pat Symonds gave a talk at the Autosport International show during the weekend.
The ex Renault, Marussia and Williams chief is now a technical colleague of FOM’s boss Ross Brawn, and is key to shaping the future aspects of Formula 1.
During the interview, Symonds revealed more on the use of AI (artificial intelligence) to simulate ways of bringing more action to racing in F1. Changes such as grid distance tweaks for the start of any given GP.
Not exactly a new idea – Pat Symonds revealed back in the spring of 2018 that the rule makers of F1 will consider changes such starting grid formation alterations, in order to guarantee better wheel to wheel racing into the first few laps.
At this year’s Autosport International Show, Symonds said,
“We want to make our decisions based on evidence. Over the years, the current grid system has prevailed, and we wondered what would happen if we brought the cars closer together or back to being side by side. “
“If you reduce the drivers distances at the start and assume everyone starts at the same speed, they’re all closer to each other when they turn into the first corner. That’s obvious,”
“What’s interesting is what’s going to happen as a result – that’s why we created a simulation that uses artificial intelligence but also allows the use of a real human being,”
“We ran 20 cars one of which was controlled by a real person, the rest were moved by artificial intelligence.”
Symonds claims that this would allow more accurate predictions about the impact of the new starting formations on factors such as the accident rate or the amount of wheel-to-wheel duels.
Symonds maintains that in 2016, mistakes such as the failed attempt changing the qualifying format is a prime example of how previous ‘non scientific’ approaches failed.
“We want to get away from these bad old days and work much more scientifically.” concludes Symonds.