Optimal control for a Formula One car with variable parameters

Giacomo Perantoni, David J.N. Limebeer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Citations (Scopus)


The minimum-lap-time optimal control problem for a Formula One race car is solved using direct transcription and nonlinear programming. Features of this work include significantly reduced full-lap solution times and the simultaneous optimisation of the driven line, the driver controls and multiple car set-up parameters. It is shown that significant reductions in the driven lap time can be obtained from track-specific set-up parameter optimisation. Reduced computing times are achieved using a combination of a track description based on curvilinear coordinates, analytical derivatives and model non- dimensionalisation. The curvature of the track centre line is found by solving an auxiliary optimal control problem that negates the difficulties associated with integration drift and trajectory closure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-678
Number of pages26
JournalVehicle System Dynamics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Formula One car modelling
  • lap-time simulation
  • nonlinear programming
  • numerical optimal control
  • parameter optimisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Mechanical Engineering


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