Dymola is used by over half of the current Formula 1 teams and a large number of NASCAR and IndyCar manufacturers and race teams. Dymola is used for a wide variety of applications including hydraulics, transmissions, vehicle dynamics, engines, KERS (and now ERS), cooling and supporting control system design.

Those teams that are gaining the most from Dymola are using it to create a single common engineering model that is reused across the organisation. By focusing on the development of 1 common model in this way the teams are able to avoid the duplication of modelling efforts, guarantee consistency between the different simulation tools and use the time saved to focus on optimising the car performance.

Regardless of whether it’s Formula 1, NASCAR or IndyCar, the end result is a reduction in the amount of time spent building models and an increase in the use of the models to optimise how all the systems perform. What is seen on the track is a reduction in laptime to help the team win races.

Nascar modelled using VDL Motorsports library
Open wheel race car with double wishbone with pushrod suspension
Sports Car with double wishbone suspension
One Model
Integrating with Simulink
Deploying Models
Formula 1 2014
  • Dymola’s multi-domain modelling capability supports the development of a single model that can easily be shared. This single model can include a MultiBody model of the suspension, models of the powertrain including the complete electrical system associated with KERS (or now ERS), the cooling system, hydraulic models related to the transmission, the control systems and more. By working with a single common engineering model, each department can focus on developing their part of the car and easily incorporate updates from other departments. This reduces the duplication in modelling effort that is common in most organisations and ensures that every part of the team is working with the latest design.

    The physical modelling approach used by Dymola enables the models to be reused for many different types of analysis without having to rewrite the model for each task. This is handled automatically by symbolic manipulation. For example, the suspension model can be reused in statics, quasi-statics, kinematics and dynamic analysis and all that changes is the experiment that the suspension model is inserted into.

  • Within Formula 1 a standard electronic control unit is supplied to all the teams by McLaren Electronics. This standard ECU can be programmed using Simulink&Reg; and it is therefore essential that any models of the car can also work with Simulink to support the development and testing of the ECU code.

    Dymola models can be compiled as s-functions for use in Simulink so that they can be easily integrated with the ECU code and tested. It is also possible to compile the Simulink model of the ECU code using real-time workshop and then embed this compiled code in to Dymola using the Functional Mock-up Interface standard. This bi-directional support provides the integration necessary to support the design and optimisation of the control software and calibration.

  • In addition to seeing benefits in the Design office, the teams can realise further benefits by taking advantage of the model export options available for Dymola. These options support the compilation of the models as executables, dll’s and the export of c-source code. The export options coupled with Dymola’s support for real-time simulation mean that the design models can be reused throughout the team.

    Some of the areas where we find the Dymola models being used by the teams are in the trackside tools where the Race Engineers can use the models to help make setup changes at the track. We also find them in full-motion driving simulators where the Dymola model is running in real-time to provide the physical behaviour of the car. Models can also be compiled to support the McLaren Electronics vTag platform which means that simulation results can appear alongside sensor outputs in the the telemetry stream.

  • In 2014 the Formula 1 technical regulations change and introduce a small capacity V6 turbocharged engine with energy recovery systems (ERS). The ERS consists of two electric motor-generators: one is attached to the turbocharger shaft; and the second is attached to the crankshaft. The power rating and energy recovery and deployment limits are defined in the technical regulations as is the maximum fuel flow rate for the engine. The implementation, control and optimal usage of these systems is influenced by many factors that need to be understood before arriving at the first race.

    Using Dymola it is possible to create a complete model of the 2014 specification Formula 1 car that can study all aspects of the performance and behaviour. This includes studying the cooling requirements, optimal control of the motor-generators, strategies to deliver the best lap time and race time and training in the simulators. Claytex have produced a white paper, that can be downloaded using the link below, to highlight this capability of Dymola and the various model libraries and options required to achieve this.

    Download the white paper here.