1980 F1 top speeds

Posted by Kaps 
1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 10, 2005 07:02PM
Posted by: Kaps
Does anyone have an idea what top speeds were F1 cars reaching in 1980 at Hockenheim?
I need this info to make my 1980 season more realistic.
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 10, 2005 09:33PM
Posted by: St.Hubbins
Hello Kaps, I did a quick bit of reaserch and found this:

"""Here are the topspeeds at Hochenheim for a lot of years, I got them from various sources, but mainly out of a book about the German GP, can't remember the title at the moment.

1999: 355,7 (Irvine, Ferrari)
1998: 348,9 (356?, unconfirmed)
1997: 349,5
1996: 345
1995: 334,5
1994: 335,4
1993: 342,4
1992: 339
1991: 338,4
1990: n/a
1989: 328

1981: 296
1977: 289
1971: app. 300

The figures I got of 1998 and 1999 for Monza and Hochenheim are:

Monza 1998: 352,5
Monza 1999: 355,3 (Hakkinen, McLaren) and 361 (Coulthard, unconfirmed)
Hockenheim 1998: 348,9
Hochenheim 1999: 355,7 (Irvine, Ferrari)

I wrote down the speedtrap figures for all tracks in 1998 and 1999, from the info on tv during races and practice.

I remember hearing that Schumacher was measured at 367 km/h this year at Monza. Montoya's comment on the Ferrari's high topspeed: "That car is f*cking illegal!"


Sadly the 1980 speeds are not included but I think this is a good start. :)

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. -- F.Scott Fitzgerald
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 10, 2005 11:57PM
Posted by: JackiMatra
I did research from the web and books on F1 top speeds some time ago.
Here's what I found (in mph):

1977 Ferrari 180.2
1979 Ferrari 180.2
1980 Williams 180.2
1981 Brabham 205.0
1983 Brabham 211.2
1984 McLaren 211.2
1986 McLaren 213.1
1989 McLaren 204.4
1990 McLaren 201.9
1991 McLaren 205.6
1992 Williams 210.6
1993 Williams 212.5
1994 Benetton 200.7
1995 Benetton 205.6
1996 Williams 205.0
1997 Williams 218.0
1998 McLaren 222.0
1999 McLaren 224.0
2000 Arrows 222.0
2002 Ferrari 227.0
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 11, 2005 01:20AM
Posted by: Kaps
Ok, first I want to thank you guys, now for more questions:

@St.Hubbins-do you think it's possible that the cars were a bit slower in 1981 than in 1971?

@JackiMatra-these speeds are all for Hockenheim, right?

Thank you guys so much, you're really helpfull!
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 11, 2005 06:13AM
Posted by: JackiMatra
They're the top speeds allegedly attained at any Grand Prix by the fastest F1 cars in those years. Other than that the 2000 and 2002 figures are Monza trap speeds, I don't know where the others were supposedly recorded, however, the actual top speeds at both Hockenheim and Monza are likely very close as both are high-speed circuits which call for low-downforce car setups and have long straights. Actual speed trap figures for Hockenheim are much much lower than at Monza because the speed traps at Hockenheim were not at the fastest points on the circuit, whereas the ones at Monza always were. 200 mph plus speeds quoted for Hockenheim are likely not recorded at the official speed traps.

It does seem to me to be quite plausible that F1 top speeds did not increase appreciably from 1967 through 1980, and may even have declined slightly, as even though the non-turbo engine power did increase about 100 bhp during those years, the great aerodynamic changes introduced into F1 during that period, including ground effect, would have enormously increased the drag of those cars.
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 11, 2005 06:19AM
Posted by: JackiMatra
When was ground effect banned in F1?

If it was between 1980 and 1981, then that may account considerably for the immense increase in maximum speeds between those two years, and would show just what a huge amount of drag ground effect produced.
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 11, 2005 03:50PM
Posted by: St.Hubbins
My understanding was the 'ground effect' (that is skirts) did not actually increase drag, and hence the top speeds would not be affected. Could be wrong though. Anyway, the banning of skirts happened after the 1982 season.

As JackiMatra points out, it is quite conceivable that top speeds reamined quite similar for long periods. While engines may have been more effective, remember that in 1970 not only were most cars running without massive wings at low downforce tracks, but also the cars themselves were (I presume) a great deal lighter then compared to the early 1980s.

The above posting was not my own work but the basic research of a person on a far away motorsport forum, so I can in no way guarantee the accuracy of the figures. I believe the information was originally taken from Autosprint magazine.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. -- F.Scott Fitzgerald
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 11, 2005 08:13PM
Posted by: Kaps
Yes, I believe that the construction of cars was so different in 1970 and the cars were much lighter so it's perfectly possible that the top speeds were roughly the same throughout that period.

As for ground effect, like St. Hubbins said, it was banned only after the end of 1982 season and my guess as well would be that that didn't affect top speeds that much.

So based on everything we said so far, would you agree that 1980 Hockenheim top speed should be in the 295-300 kph region?
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 11, 2005 08:22PM
Posted by: St.Hubbins
Yes, I would settle for 295kph as a maximum. JackiMatra's figure of 180.2 mph equates to 288kph.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. -- F.Scott Fitzgerald
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 11, 2005 10:37PM
Posted by: JackiMatra
Dry weights of F1 cars in kilograms (from "The Complete History of Grand Prix Motor Racing" by Adriano Cimarosti):

Brabham BT20 515
BRM P115 620
Cooper T81 580
Eagle TG2 530
Honda RA300 600
Lotus 49 510
Ferrari 312 530
McLaren M5A 535

Brabham BT33 540
BRM P153 530
Ferrari 312B 540
Lotus 72 530
Matra MS120 555
McLaren M14A 545
March 701 540
Surtees TS7 553
Tyrrell 01 540

Brabham BT42 575
BRM P160E 580
Ensign MN01 585
Ferrari 312B3 578
ISO iR 585
Lotus 72D 578
March 731 576
McLaren M23 575
Shadow DN1 575
Surtees TS14A 590
Tecno PA123 590
Tyrrell 006 578

Brabham BT45 605
Ensign MN05 604
Ferrari 312T2 595
Fittipaldi FD04 610
Hesketh 308 590
Ligier JS5 605
Lotus 77 593
March 761 580
McLaren M26 585
Shadow DN8 580
Surtees TS19 594
Tyrrell P34 587
Williams FW05 595

Arrows FA1 589
ATS HS1 585
Brabham BT46 595
Ensign MN06 590
Ferrari 312T3 598
Fittipaldi F5A 615
Hesketh 308E 602
Ligier JS9 590
Lotus 78 588
Martini Mk23 610
McLaren M23 589
Merzario A1 595
Renault RS01 605
Shadow DN9 587
Surtees TS20 583
Theodore TR1 610
Tyrrell 008 578
Williams FW06 588
Wolf WR1 589

Alfa Romeo 179 595
Arrows A3 581
ATS D4 579
Brabham BT49 580
Ensign MN10 598
Ferrari F312T5 610
Fittipaldi F7 592
Lotus 81 590
McLaren M30 600
Osella FA1 600
Renault RE20 615
Shadow DN12 607
Tyrrell 010 581
Williams FW07B 585

Arrows A6 540
ATS D6 540
Brabham BT52 540
Ferrari 126C2 578
Ligier JS21 540
Lotus 93T 560
McLaren MP4-1C 540
Osella FA1D 557
RAM 01 540
Renault RE40 545
Spirit 201C 580
Theodore N183 550
Toleman TG183B 540
Tyrrell 012 540
Williams FW08C 540

Notice the gradual increase in weight until the considerable decrease in 1983 likely due to the introduction of carbon fiber construction.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 11/11/2005 10:51PM by JackiMatra.
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 11, 2005 10:57PM
Posted by: JackiMatra
A final note regarding F1 top speeds in bygone days.

I have a video from this century of Jackie Stewart commenting on the 1973 German Grand Prix at the Nurburgring where he mentions that "we only went about 175 mph in those days".
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 11, 2005 11:08PM
Posted by: Kaps
Ok then, 295 kph it is (will be).

Now I only have to make cars not going faster than that...now that will not be easy to achieve.
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 12, 2005 06:31AM
Posted by: JackiMatra
Not really.

1.In 1980 only Alfa Romeo and McLaren had 6-speed gearboxes, while all of the other cars only had 5-speed gearboxes. I would suggest making all of the cars, including yours, use only the first five gears. You can do this by making the 5th and 6th gear ratios the same and adjusting the car setups, the AI's and yours, so that the sixth gear is never used.

2.With ground effect, the 1980 cars should have a huge downforce coefficient, and one would expect them to be much less aerodynamically efficient than present day cars, which should give them a really low (in GP3 APE terms) drag coefficient, resulting in a huge amount of drag.

3.Hardly anyone ran turbos in 1980, almost everyone still using Cosworth V8s, so the power of most all of the engines should probably be no more than about 550 bhp.

4.The weights that I listed for the cars in my earlier post are dry weights, while the original GP3 car weight of 605 kg is the same as that listed for most 1998 F1 cars with oil and water onboard, so the 1980 cars should actually be heavier than those.

Taking all of the above into consideration, I suspect that you won't have all that difficult a time getting the maximum car speeds down to 184 mph.
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 12, 2005 06:35AM
Posted by: JackiMatra
Besides the weight figures that I listed above, I also have wheelbase and front and rear track measurements for all 1980 F1 cars, if you should want these to make 1980 F1 physics files.
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 12, 2005 10:25PM
Posted by: Kaps
Hey, Jacki, excellent data, but I would need some help in creating this physics file.
Now I'm off to watch the Portugal-Croatia football match, but I could send you my 1980 Cosworth (as I named it) physics file in the half-time, so you could see what I did wrong and maybe correct it? I'm sure that downforce coeff. & drag coeff are wrong, but just couldn't find any reference points for those.

Would that be okay with you?

PS What an excellent idea of making 5-speed gerbox!
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 12, 2005 10:30PM
Posted by: Kaps
Oh and another thing. According to P. Menard's Encyclopedia of F1, 1980 Cosworths were only at about 480bhp. Some other sources have the same.
And Renault (the only turbo of the season) was at 510, as well as the Alfa Romeo, and Ferrari at 500 bhp.
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 12, 2005 11:32PM
Posted by: Kaps
Ok, it's half-time so here's the file I've been using in GP3-2000 for 1980 season so far. I believe it can be bettered.


Downforce coeff. 1902.41
Downforce/drag ratio 5.52
Mass 580
X-axis rotation inertia 670
Y-axis rotation inertia 716
Z-axis rotation inertia 111

Front track 1765
Rear track 1610
Wheelbase 2660
CoG Height 276
Braking force 4275
Weight distrib. f/r 44/56
Old mechanic. grip -524288
Old downforce coeff. 44369


Human Race Power 605
Human Qualif. Power 610
Upshift penalty 2560
Flywheel inertia 0,025
Final Drive Ratio 3,80520400944
Max. RpM 10800
Actual Race Power 479.75
Actual Qualif. Power 483.72
Max. Race Torque 237
Max. Qualif. Torgue 239

Tyres Front Rear
Lateral Grip 1869 1875
Longitud. Grip -1719.2382 -1755.31
Slip Angle -14 -14.77

Well, that's that. I'm really interested to hear what do you think needs to be adjusted.
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 13, 2005 02:54AM
Posted by: JackiMatra
The actual mean wheelbase of all 1980 F1 cars was 2698.
The actual mean front track of all 1980 F1 cars was 1710.
The actual mean rear track of all 1980 F1 cars was 1603.

By all accounts, the track grip provided by advanced ground effects (of which the 1980 Williams FW07 is usually mentioned as being a particularly outstanding example, having been considered to have been a great advance in this regard on the previous year's Ferrari 312T4, which itself was considered to have been a considerable advance on the ground-breaking Lotus 78) was immense, which should probably best be replicated in GP3 by a large downforce coefficient. (Perhaps over 2000 or even considerably more? I know that this will likely produce that much hated by "hardcore simracers" "driving on rails" effect, but if it should apply to anything other than recent years' F1 cars, then it should also most certainly apply to the ground effects cars of this era, and probably the active suspension cars of 1992-1993.)

I've found that lower downforce/drag ratios in the GP3 APE produce more drag while higher downforc/drag ratios produce less drag, so I am very surprised to see your downforce/drag ratio at over 5, as compared to the original 1998 GP3 drag ratio of about 2.56 (as I seem to recall). I had never even faintly considered ever using a figure so far removed from the original game one for any cars from any year. All of my recent years physics files use downforce/drag figures close to 2.55. For more drag in what I consider to have likely been less aerodynamically efficient cars of earlier years, I have used lower downforce/drag ratios. The 1985 F1 physics that I currently use have a downforce/drag ratio of 1.85. I would think that it should probably be somewhat lower for 1980. (maybe even as low as 1.5 or so?)

Reliable engine power figures are notoriously difficult to come by.
Here is what Adriano Cimarosti's "The Complete Encyclopaedia of Grand Prix Motor Racing" (from which most all of my technical data comes, as I have never found any other source with so much technical data on pre-1997 F1 cars) quotes for F1 engines of 1981:

Alfa Romeo 520 bhp @ 12,000 rpm
Cosworth 490 bhp @ 10,750 rpm
Ferrari 550 bhp @ 11,500 rpm
Hart 490 bhp @ 9,500 rpm
Matra 520 bhp @ 12,000 rpm
Renault 550 bhp @ 11,500 rpm

I would expect the 1980 engines to have produced just a shade less powerin the case of the turbos, and maybe just as much in the case of the Cosworth.

I've always made the human engine power in the GP3 APE equivalent to that of the highest powered engine in the carset, made engine power team-dependent in GP3Edit, and had everything seem to work fine.

The mean dry weight of all 1980 F1 cars was 594 kg.
Comparing records of other years' car "dry" weights as quoted in "The Complete History of Grand Prix Motor Racing" with "wet" weights (oil and other fluids, but no fuel) as quoted in Autocourse annuals (and apparently as used by GP3), I think that you should add about 80 kg to make up the difference, so the GP3 APE weight of the cars should probably be about 674.

Third party simracing physics designers just love to set extremely high tyre slip angles. I have only ever found one single reliable source that quotes an actual slip angle figure. That is Niki Lauda in his mid 1970's book on F1 and the figure is drastically lower than what the above mentioned folk favor. I don't have the book at hand at this moment (and even if I did, it would take me a while to find just where this figure is buried in its 200 or so pages), however, I did use it a reference for my older F1 physics files. One that I have on hand is my 1985 F1 one which has the slip angle set at -6.3. I think it likely that it may well should not be less than -7.5 or so for 1980.

Slick tyres were in use in 1980, so the tyre grip should be high. I use a figure of 1934 for my 1985 F1 physics, so your figure is thoroughly reasonable.

I think that you should make the braking power a bit higher for two reasons.
1.To compensate for the greater mass of the cars.
2.To compensate for GP3 tracks having CC-lines designed for recent years' F1 cars, as otherwise the AI are likely to consistently "outbrake themselves" and run off the track or spin off.

The X, Y, and Z rotational inertia figures probably relate to the cars' mass, dimensions, CoG, and weight distibution. I think that they should be proportionally higher than the original GP3 figures in as much as these figures differ, but this is mostly a mystery to me, and is probably a matter of personal taste regarding the the cars' "feel", nevertheless, I rather suspect that departing too much from the original GP3 figures may have some unexpected consequences as regards the cars' behaviour in spinning or turning over.

Now set the track grip in their magic data files to average out to about 15500 or so for all tracks, set the top five drivers' race performance in GP3Edit to average out to about 16300 or more, and go see how the AI performance compares with reality as regards laptimes and maximum speeds.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/13/2005 09:49AM by JackiMatra.
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 13, 2005 02:41PM
Posted by: Kaps
Oh, so many new reference points and good tips!

It would take a month for me to try everything out!

Thank you so very much, Jacki!
Re: 1980 F1 top speeds
Date: November 13, 2005 02:58PM
Posted by: Kaps
Just one more thing.

I can't make 5th & 6th gear ratio the same. If I put 5th on, say, 51, the 6th must be at 52.

Is there a way to make them both the same? I mean for my car, for the AI I can make it the same.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/13/2005 03:03PM by Kaps.
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