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F1 using eSports platform to trial possible rule changes - Symonds

Written by  Jan 12, 2018

Former Williams technical director Pat Symonds has revealed Formula 1 bosses are using the eSports platform to test out potential future rule changes.

Symonds joined the working group headed by managing director of motorsport Ross Brawn to look into ways of improving the racing, whether it be changing the aerodynamics of the cars or sporting regulations.

It is part of a promise Brawn made that no regulation changes would be introduced under his watch without proper evaluation, following previous failures under the previous leadership.

ESports is also a new concept for F1, having held the first championship last year, but its uses are now moving beyond just a chance for the fastest racers to compete against each other.

"We're keen to use virtual environments to test some of these regulations," Symonds was quoted by Autosport. "What we can do then is look at statistics. It gives you a chance to do things you can't otherwise simulate in an easy manner."

The Briton would then offer an example of the current research being done using the technology.

"For a number of years, the starting grid for F1 has been a staggered formation but it used to not be like that, there was a time when cars started two abreast, there was a time when - we've got a photo in our boardroom in London where I think it's Monza - there are four cars on the front row," he explained.

"What would happen if we did that again? It's not the sort of thing you can simulate easily. [Now,] we can go to our eSports group and we can say 'look guys, let's change the grid, let's do 20 races' then we see what happens.

"Are we going to get a much more exciting first lap or are we going to get a huge collision on corner one? It gives us our evidence-based form of decision-making, a mantra I preach quite regularly."

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