Traction ellipse and tyre force

Displayed in the charts below are two different visualisations of essentially the same front tyre information. The one on the left is the traditional “Traction Ellipse” and the one on the right is loosely termed the “Black Hole” plot. Both charts give a good indication of the performance envelope for the tyre and general combined force characteristics.

Traction ellipse and tyre force - White-Smoke

The rear tyres on a race car have dual tasks to perform, not only producing the lateral and longitudinal (braking) forces but also the longitudinal (driving) forces. A rear tyre is shown in the charts below. Note that both charts indicate this dual role in tyre characteristics.

Traction ellipse and tyre force - White-Smoke

Personally I prefer the "Black Hole" plot for validation of the tyre data. It gives a very good visual indication as to the confidence of fitting MF-Tyre curves to the raw data. When the fits are good (which are not often the case) this plot reveals the true nature of the tyre under combined force situations. Pure cornering, accelerating or braking rarely occurs in the real world of racing. I have used this analysis extensively to advise tyre companies on construction changes and optimization issues.

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