Why a decades-old F1 tradition had to be axed
The controversial ‘party modes’, outlawed by the FIA this season, represent the peak of a development curve which began many years ago – but it was right to put an end to it, says PAT SYMONDS…
It was Lewis Hamilton who, in 2018, coined the term ‘party mode’, to describe the engine settings that gave maximum performance, and in doing so brought to fans’ attention procedures that actually go back way before the introduction of the hybrid power unit in 2014.
Even the venerable Cosworth DFV had some adjustability on its fuel injection, and some historic racers still know that the trick to starting these was to click the cam on the fuel metering unit to ‘full rich’ and then back to ‘one off lean’ when the engine warmed up. When racing at altitude, in Mexico for example, the engines ran better with the cam set at ‘full lean’.
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