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Aerodynamics Of F1 Racing Car


The field of aerodynamics is one of the major area of research and development in
modern motor sports. a consequence of the fact that many different avenues that can be exploited in
order to effect continuous improvement of the race cars, possibly the most intensely research area
centers surrounded generation of maximum down force on the car, because it enhances the
performance of vehicle and increase mechanical rate as well as aerodynamic grip and hence lateral
acceleration and braking capacity.

This paper gives the general overview of the aerodynamic consideration in design of
model F1 racing cars. The important of aerodynamic to a modern F1 car is quantified and the effect
of FIA (Féderation Internationale de l'Automobile) regulations on the aerodynamic development of
the racing car is presented and roll of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) and wing tunnel

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Aerodynamics Of F1 Racing Car



FORMULA ONE, abbreviated to F1 and also known as Grand Prix racing, is the highest class of
single-seat open-wheel formula auto racing. It consists of a series of races, known as Grinds Prix,
held on purpose-built circuits or closed city streets, whose results determine two annual World
Championships, one for drivers and one for constructors. The cars race at speeds often in excess of
300 km/h (185 mph) with engines that produce, as of 2005, around 900 bhp at 18000 rpm. The
sport is regulated by the Féderation Internationale de l'Automobile.

F1 ORIGINS The modern era of Formula One Grand Prix racing began in 1950, but the roots of
F1 are far earlier, tracing to the pioneering road races in France in the 1890s. Through the
Edwardian years, the bleak twenties, the German domination of the 1930s and the early post-war
years of Italian supremacy. And back in 1895
At the birth of racing, cars were upright and heavy, roads were tarred sand or wood,
reliability was problematic, drivers were accompanied by mechanics, and races — usually on
public roads from town to town — were impossibly long by modern standards. Regarded as the
first motor race proper was a 1,200 km road race from Paris to Bordeaux

The competitive advantage over the competitor may be gained from modern F1 car
from relative improvement in one of three key areas; Engine, Tires & Aerodynamics. In general
each competitor receives their engine & tires from external suppliers & hence limited influence as
to development of motor. Aerodynamic is thus biggest area of investment for the formula 1

The constructer must obviously take every benefit of its chassis. The chassis must be
light and stiff, be capable of carrying enough fuel, satisfy FIA crash test requirement and offer a good
working environment for the travel. Similarly wings, nose cone angle, and bodywork of the car
generate required downforce. Therefore a better attention in proper design and analysis of these
Similarly the cooling system is critical; it must be reliable and can be considered as part
of aerodynamic package. While all these components are essential to improve the performance of the
car and problem in any of these areas can cause a car to be significantly slower, so for these constructer
is forced to make a large investment in these areas.

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Aerodynamics Of F1 Racing Car

For all vehicles, ranging from small passengers vehicle to commercial buses and trucks,
reducing air drag is one of the most efficient ways of improving fuel economy. For example, a 5%
improvement in drag for a typical diesel-engine heavy truck, which can simply be achieved by
improving the design of the wing mirrors, can result in fuel saving of hundreds of liters a year for the
typical annual highway driving cycle. On the other end of the scale, in motor racing, fuel saving might
not be the number one priority, but reaching very high speeds certainly is. In order to propel a typical
class 1 ITC racing car at 300km/h, around 30 KW of additional power is required for a car with a drag
coefficient of 0.40, compared to one with 0.36. And when you are operating at the limit of your engine,
this can make the difference between winning and losing. But there is a lot more to external
aerodynamic design than simply reducing the air drag. A typical modern F1 grand prix car has a much
higher drag coefficient than the production vehicle it is based on! This should not come as a big
surprise, especially when looking at all the aerodynamic components and features that are there to keep
racing cars stable and drivable at high speeds, effectively preventing them from flying off the ground.
Components such as front wings, diffuser-shaped underbody, brake cooling ducts, engine intake and
rear wings are there to improve the car’s stability and downforce, which, according to sustain can be at
the same time can add to the drag of the vehicle. Therefore< the optimum aerodynamic design has to
produce the best balance between low drag and high downforce that allows the car to be stable and
drivable at very high speeds.
Aerodynamic has become the most important part of racing during the latest years. It
has nearly become the only way for engineers to gain considerable time on their opponents,
considering the very strict regulation in today’s motor sports. To do so, engineers use wind tunnels to
test their designs.
The primary task of aerodynamicists is to find down force - the vertical force that
pushes cars to the ground by forming a zone of low pressure underneath its wings - and to minimize
drag, the associated longitudinal force that resists the car's forward movement.


The term downforce describes the downward pressure created by the aerodynamic characteristics
of a racing car that allow it to travel faster through a corner by holding the car to the track or road

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Two of the most popular explanations existing till today are as follows:


It is also known as the Bernoulli or equal transit time explanation, the popular explanation, path
length or airfoil- shape.


As air approaches a wing, it is divided into two parts, the part that flows above the
wing, and the part that flows below. In order to create a lifting force, the upper surface of the wing
must be longer and more curved than the lower surface (as shown in fig. 2.2.1). Because the air
flowing above and below the wing must recombine at the trailing edge of the wing, and because the
path along the upper surface is longer, the air on the upper surface must flow faster than the air
below if both parts are to reach the trailing edge at the same time. The "Bernoulli Principle" says
that the total energy contained in each part of the air is constant, and when air gains kinetic energy
(speed) it must lose potential energy (pressure,) and so high-speed air has a lower pressure than
low-speed air. Therefore, because the air flows faster on the top of the wing than below, the
pressure above is lower than the pressure below the wing, and the wing driven upwards by the
higher pressure below. In modern wings the low pressure above the wing creates most of the lifting
force, so it isn't far from wrong to say that the wing is essentially 'sucked' upwards.


There are several flaws in this theory, although this is a very common explanation
found in encyclopedias:

The assumption that the two air particles described above rejoin each other at the
trailing edge of the wing is groundless. In fact, these two air particles have no "knowledge" of each
other's presence at all, and there is no logical reason why these particles should end up at the rear of
the wing at the same moment in time. For many types of wings, the top surface is longer than the
bottom However; many wings are symmetric (shaped identically on the top and bottom surfaces).
This explanation also predicts that planes should not be able to fly upside down, although we know
that many planes have this ability.

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The Longer Path explanation is correct in more than one way. First, the air on the
top surface of the wing actually does move faster than the air on the bottom - in fact, it is moving
faster than the speed required for the top and bottom air particles to reunite, as many people

Second, the overall pressure on the top of a lift-producing wing is lower than that on
the bottom of the wing, and it is this net pressure difference that creates the lifting force.


It is also known as the momentum transfer or air deflection explanation, the physics explanation,
PRO-NEWTON or attack angle.


Isaac Newton stated that for every action there is an equal, and opposite, reaction
(Newton's Third Law). You can see a good example of this by watching two skaters at an ice rink.
If one pushes on the other, both move - one due to the action force and the other due to the reaction
force. In the late 1600s, Isaac Newton theorized that air molecules behave like individual particles
and that the air hitting the bottom surface of a wing behaves like shotgun pellets bouncing off a
metal plate. Each individual particle bounces off the bottom surface of the wing and is deflected
downward (as shown in fig. 2.2.2). As the particles strike the bottom surface of the wing, they
impart some of their momentum to the wing, thus incrementally nudging the wing upward with
every molecular impact.


The Newtonian explanation provides a pretty intuitive picture of how the wing
turns the air flowing past it, with a couple of exceptions:

The top surface of the wing is left completely out of the picture. The top surface of a
wing contributes greatly to turning the fluid flow. When only the bottom surface of the wing is
considered, the resulting lift calculations are very inaccurate. Almost a hundred years after
Newton's theory, a man named Leonhard Euler noticed that fluid moving toward an object would
actually deflect before it even hits the surface, so it doesn't get a chance to bounce off the surface at

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all. It seemed that air did not behave like individual shotgun pellets after all. Instead, air molecules
interact and influence each other in a way that is difficult to predict using simplified methods. This
influence also extends far beyond the air immediately surrounding the wing.


While a pure Newtonian explanation does not produce accurate estimates of lift
values in normal Flight conditions (for example, a passenger jet's flight), it predicts lift for certain
flight regimes very well. For hypersonic flight conditions (speeds exceeding five times the speed of
sound), the Newtonian theory holds true. High speeds and very low air densities, air molecules
behave much more like the pellets that Newton spoke of. The space shuttle operates under these
conditions during its re-entry phase. Unlike the Longer Path explanation, the Newtonian approach
predicts that the air is deflected downward as it passes the wing. While this may not be due to
molecules bouncing off the bottom of the wing, the air is certainly deflected downward, resulting in
a phenomenon called downwash.

The above principle that allows an airplane to rise off the ground by creating lift
under its wings is used in reverse to apply force that presses the race car against the surface of the
track. This effect is referred to as "aerodynamic grip" and is distinguished from "mechanical grip,"
which is a function of the car's tires and suspension. The creation of downforce can only be
achieved at the cost of increased aerodynamic drag (or friction), and the optimum setup is always a
compromise between the two. Downforce is necessary for maintaining speed through corners. Due
to the fact that the engine power available today can overcome much of the opposing forces
induced by drag, design attention has been focused on first perfecting the down force properties of
a car then addressing drag. The aerodynamic setup for a car can vary considerably between
racetracks, depending on the length of the straights and the types of corners; some drivers also
make different choices on setup. Because it is a function of the flow of air over and under the car,
downforce typically rises with the speed of the car and requires a certain minimum speed in order
to produce a significant effect. .

The amount of downforce that can be created is typically much greater for an open-
wheeled Formula One or Indy car than for a full-bodied touring car or stock car because of its
enhanced aerodynamic characteristics and the use of wings rather than spoilers.

Two primary components of a racing car can be used to create downforce when the
car is travelling at racing speed reshape of the body, and wings uses airfoils.

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Downforce is available by understanding the ground to be part of the aerodynamic

system in question. The basic idea is to create an area of low pressure underneath the car, so that the
higher pressure above the car will apply a downward force. Naturally, to maximize the force one
wants the maximal area at the minimal pressure. Racing car designers have achieved low pressure in
two ways: first, by using a fan to push air out of the cavity; second, to design the underside of the car
as an inverted aerofoil so that large amounts of incoming air are accelerated through a narrow slot
between the car and the ground, lowering pressure by Bernoulli's principle. [Ref. 1]

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The main factor which separates the victors from the valiant in this area is the
aerodynamic performance - too much drag and you're pulling unwanted air along with you. It is
in efficiency where the skills of the aerodynamicist are tested to the full. He must obtain as much
downforce as he can without creating too much drag, and slowing the car. .

It is important to note that top speed is important to have, but it's generally more
important to get around the corners fast. It is here that the most important Formula One trade-off
takes place. Forget all other; this is F1 in a nutshell - Fast or Nimble? To go forward fast, you must
aim to minimize drag. To corner fast, you must maximize down force (to maximize the grip on the
racetrack). Unfortunately, downforce comes at a price - the price of additional drag! Cars can be
lightening on the straight, yet be a second down on lap time. Why? The engineers haven't balanced
the level of downforce and straight-line speed required.

Cornering is critical. A car will have to decrease its speed to go from a straight,
around a corner, and onto another straight. The ability to go around this quickest is paramount in a
successful car. A decrease in speed must be re-claimed once back on the straight, so the car that
loses the least speed will have to accelerate the least when back on the straight - and accelerating
takes time.

The design of this corner will, to a point, limit the car's speed around it. The other
factor is the cornering ability of the car. To take a corner like Copse at Silverstone in a Formula
Ford car would be very different to doing it in an F1 machine due to the difference in design
between the two vehicles. Even taking it in two different Formula One cars would have different
effects. The competence of a car in cornering comes in part from the height of the centre of gravity.

This is the point through which the weight of the car is seen to act, or the point
where the car would balance on a pivot l. Designers want the centre of gravity in a race car low to
the floor. Other major criterion in cornering is the design of the suspension and tires, the load
transfer characteristics, and the downforce on the car.

All the above discussions are coupled together, and fit under the banner of
'Drivability'. The designer strives for this, and it must be the biggest dagger a driver places in the
designer's heart when he claims the car is 'undividable'! Along with all those factors described

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previously, the relationship between the centre of gravity and the aerodynamic centre is crucial for
a driver's confidence.

The “aerodynamic centre” is similar to the centre of gravity in definition. It is the

point through which the force created by the aerodynamics is seen to act. The fuel, which is the
only part of the car to change weight significantly during the race, is positioned in such that the
centre of gravity doesn't move significantly. However, the aerodynamic force is constantly
changing, so keeping the aerodynamic centre in the same place throughout a lap is a near
impossible task. As the car is so close to the ground, millimeters of ride height (distance between
the car and the ground) change downforce levels significantly. If the front is closer to the ground
than the rear (as in braking), there will be more downforce on the front than normal, and the
aerodynamic centre will move forward. In contrast, accelerating lifts up the front, and the aero
centre moves back. To the driver, this movement feels unsettling, so the more level the car can be
through accelerating, braking, cornering, and over the bumps, the more controllable it will be. For
that reason, suspension stiffness is also important, as are load transfer characteristics. [Ref. 6]

The complexities of compromises between all of these factors make the difference
between the car being fast, and the team being furious!

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The general shape of body is like a “Boat “and In general the body of f1 car can
thought as a Bluff Body close to ground, with large wake and associated form drag. [Ref. 1]The
teardrop shape, previously discussed, displays ideal aerodynamic properties in an unconstrained
flow and is well suited for aeronautical applications. However, when this shape is incorporated into
the design of an F1 vehicle, it is subjected to constrained flow, which causes different flow
behaviors. This is due to the simple fact that these cars are very close to the ground. The presence
of the ground prevents the formation of a symmetrical flow pattern .The results of this flow
behavior are an unfavorable increased drag coefficient and generation of a very favorable
downforce. The rounded and tapered shape of the top of the car is designed to slice through the air
and minimize wind resistance. Detailed pieces of bodywork on top of the car can be added to allow
a smooth flow of air to reach the downforce creating elements (i.e., wings or spoilers, and
underbody tunnels). The underside of the body is similar in shape to an inverted wing and creates
an area of low pressure between the car and the track, pressing the car to the road. This is
sometimes called a ground effect and has been the subject of many rule changes over the years in
different racing series. [Ref. 3]


Front wing aerodynamics is one of the most complex elements of Formula One car
aerodynamics. Through the history of Formula One, the front wing has developed from a simple
single element wing into a highly three-dimensional, multi-element high lift device (as shown in
fig.4.2.1). [Ref.2] Endplates are sophisticated, which avoid the spoiling of air and influence the
performance of the front wing. The most obvious function of a front wing is to produce downforce
on the front end of the car. The wing itself generally produces approximately 25 – 30 % of the total
car downforce. [Ref.1] beside its contribution to the overall downforce, the front wing also works
as an adjustable counterbalance to the rear wing load. A front wing system is placed on the front-
end of a car also regulate the air flow over the entire car (as shown in fig. 4.2.2) and as the foremost
device that disturbs the incoming (from the car point of view) airflow, it prevents the rest of the car
to see a preferable ‘clean’ flow as a by-product of this is high downforce production. [Ref.3] The
performance of the front wing is also strongly dependent on the presence of the front wheel. A

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rotating wheel produces strong crosswise flow areas close to the ground in front of the wheel due to
a squeezing or jetting effect. These jet vortices are highly influential in understanding the form of
the front wing wake, and their effect changes by the end plates. [Ref.2]
On each end of the wing as well as nose cone is made symmetrical and provided
with endplates. The height of front wing is reduce nearer to the nose cone as this allows air to flow
into the radiators and to the under floor aerodynamic aids. If the wing flap maintained it's height
right to the nose cone, the radiators would receive less airflow and therefore the engine temperature
would rise. [Ref.3] the asymmetrical shape also allows a better airflow to the under floor and the
diffuser, increasing downforce. This again allows a slightly better airflow to the under floor
aerodynamics and help in producing ground effect. By means of a ground effect, this was
particularly interesting for front wings because if would increase downforce at high speeds without
an increase of drag.


The nose cone is nothing but the front edges of the formula1 racing car (as shown in
fig. 4.3.1) the height of nose cone plays an important role in case of f1 car design.

The main advantages of a higher nose need some thinking and knowledge of the
complete car to see. At first sight the higher nose is equal to less downforce as by itself it pushes
less air up over the nose. In recent cars surprisingly the nose is not aimed to push air up, but instead
small at the front to allow airflow aside of the nose. The air that passes the nose forms the basic
concept of a high nose cone. Having such a nose allows air to go straight through under the nose
instead of having to bend around it. While it reduces drag for sure, the front wing planes can span
the complete width of the car, which in fact allows more downforce to be generated at the front. All
air that passed under the nose is then guided under the car or split to either side of the car by the
splitter located just in front of the side pods. [Ref. 3]

Why now would we want so much air to nicely pass the nose and go into the side
pods or under the car's floor? Quite simply where the most downforce can be generated, exactly the
diffuser that locates at the end of the car's stepped floor. The more air you get under the floor and
the faster it can exit out of the diffuser the more downforce will be generated. The advantage of
such a floor is even more obvious as downforce is generated not only in the diffuser but also under
the complete floor.

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But the sky is not all blue as there are also some disadvantages to it. The nose itself
of course does not generate much downforce; in fact the higher the noses point the less downforce
by itself (this does not include any downforce generated by front wing or floor). Another
disadvantage for the highest noses may be visibility from the driver's point of view. The main
advantages of a higher nose need some thinking and knowledge of the complete car to see.


The actual model of rear wing is as shown in fig. 4.4.1) it is mounted at rear side of
the car.

These devices contribute to approximately a third of the car’s total down force,
while only weighing about 7 kg.10Figure shows a rear wing. [Ref. 1] Usually the rear wing is
comprised of two sets of aerofoils connected to each other by the wing endplates .The upper
aerofoil, usually consisting of three elements, provides the most downforce, therefore varied from
race to race .The lower aerofoil, usually consisting of two elements, is smaller and provides some
downforce . However, the lower aerofoil creates a low-pressure region just below the wing to help
the diffuser create more downforce below the car. The working principle of rear wing is (as shown
in fig.4.4.2) the rear wing is varied from track to track because of the trade off between downforce
and drag. More wing angle increases the downforce and produces more drag, thus reducing the cars
top speed. [Ref. 2] So when racing on tracks with long straights and few turns, like Monza, it is
better to adjust the wings to have small angles. Conversely, when racing on tracks with many turns
and few straights, like Austria, it is better to adjust the wings to have large angles.

At either end of the wing are the end-plates are provided which serve two purposes.
The first purpose of the end plates is to prevent tip losses on the wing. Tip losses occur due to
higher-pressure air on the upper surface of the aerofoil moving around the tip of the aerofoil to the
lower pressure under surface of the aerofoil. This can provide a significant contribution to drag and
is a common problem on transport aircraft where the problem is minimized using winglets. The
second purpose that the end plates serve is to prevent interference from the rear wheels. [Ref. 4]
The wheels make the biggest contribution to the drag than any other component on the car and the
regulations prevent them from being encased by body work. The air around both the front and the
rear wheels is very turbulent and therefore it is not desirable to have this highly turbulent air flow
interfering with the relatively smooth flow over the rear wing and reduces the performance of the
rear wing and also increases the drag force which limits the top speed of the car.

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The smallest thing that you can count to the wings part is the diffuser. Actually, it
does exactly the opposite of a rear or front wings. Instead of pushing the air up, it sucks the air up.
The volume of the diffuser increases towards to the end of the car. (As shown in fig. 4.5.1) Where
a certain amount of air molecules filled increases for example initially 1dm³ under the car, these
now fill 2dm³. This drop of pressure causes a car to be sucked towards the ground. Driving at a
speed of 300 km/h, the ground effect of the car would be extreme if there was no air under the car
itself. Therefore, the FIA has forbidden strokes and sloping car bottoms because of safety reasons.
[Ref. 7] Instead of raising the back of the car, the diffuser sucks the air away from under the car
because the low pressure. The diffuser use placed under the rear wing and is actually a sweep up of
the car's floor. It consists of many tunnels and spoilers (as shown in fig. 4.51), which carefully
control the airflow to maximize this suction effect. The design of the bottom of the car, and thereby
the diffuser is a critical area, because it can greatly influence the car's behavior in corners. More
importantly, the designers have to be care full that the car keeps working well in all circumstances,
and at any distance from the ground. Losing all of the diffuser's generated downforce when riding
over a curb will greatly generate a nervous behavior of the car itself. The strokes and flips witching
the diffuser have lately become that advanced (curbed and even foreseen by gurney flaps
sometimes) that any track distance is insufficient to guarantee good performance. It is still a part
where a lot of time can be gained on current F1 cars, partly by pulling more air towards the diffuser
by inducing the coke-bottle effect.

The diffuser is usually found on each side of the central engine and gearbox fairing
and is located behind the rear axle line as seen in Figure .As seen in Figure, the diffuser consists of
many tunnels and splitters. It is designed to carefully guide and control airflow underneath the
racecar. Essentially, it creates a suction effect on the rear of the racecar and pulls the car down to
the track .The suction effect is a result of Bernoulli’s equation, which states that where speed is
higher, pressure must be lower. Therefore the pressure below the racecar must be lower than the
pressure at the outlet since the speed of the air below the racecar will be higher than the speed of
the air at the outlet. [Ref. 5] Racecar engineers must carefully design the diffuser, since its
dimensions are limited by the racing regulations and its angle of convergence is somewhat
restricted .If the angle of convergence is too large then the flow will separate because of the adverse
pressure gradient.

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Although wings and diffusers work similarly, they are based under different
concepts. A diffuser serves to eject air out from the underside of the car. This pulling action
increases the velocity of the air below the car, so that the more slowly moving air above the car will
push the car into the ground. Diffusers, when working properly, can be extraordinarily important to
the aerodynamics of a car. When F1 cars travel around the track, the diffusers produce 40 % of the
total downforce. When not working properly, these devices can befuddle even the best-experienced
drivers. [Ref. 1]

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The car design is carried out using basic aerodynamic principles. Simulating Race
Car Design with “Computational Fluid Dynamics” After this a physical scale model of the car and
place it in a “wind tunnel”, where the teams can conduct further research and continue to assess the
car's aerodynamic efficiency. After these two steps are completed, the final step is to test and assess
the car on the track itself.

5.1 CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics)

It is a computational technology that enables you to study the dynamics of things

that flow. Using CFD, you can build a computational model that represents a system or device that
you want to study. Then you apply the fluid flow physics and chemistry to this virtual prototype,
and the software will output a prediction of the fluid dynamics and related physical phenomena.
Therefore, CFD is a sophisticated computationally based design and analysis technique. [Ref. 10]

5.1.1 The CFD Process

There are essentially three stages to every CFD simulation process: preprocessing,
solving and post processing.

This is the first step in building and analyzing a flow model. It includes building the
model within a computer-aided design (CAD) package, creating and applying a suitable
computational mesh, (as shown in fig. 5.1.1) and entering the flow boundary conditions and fluid
materials properties.


The CFD solver does the flow calculations according to the given boundary
condition and produces the results on the screen.


This is the final step in CFD analysis, and it involves the organization and
interpretation of the predicted flow data and the production of CFD images and animations. Post
processing tools enable to provide several levels of reporting, so one can satisfy the needs and

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interests of all the stakeholders in design process. Quantitative data analysis can be as sophisticated
as per the requirement. High-resolution images and animations help you to tell story in a quick and
impact manner.


Racing teams have been devoting more and more time to the development of the
aerodynamics of their cars. They have done so (and they still do it) with track and wind tunnel
testing. Track testing is widely recognized for being too expensive and dependent on many casual
events. The advantage, of course, is that the car is tested in its actual configuration in a real world

The wind tunnel is the technical answer of the aerodynamic engineers. The wind
tunnels are now days very sophisticated, and allow a wide range of studies, including modeling of
the car in complete configuration, ground plane simulation, etc. [ref.1] It consists of a huge fan. The
main fan has a blade diameter of over 5m and is powered by a 3,000 horsepower electric motor,
generating a torque of 32,000 ft-lb at 500 rpm. In total there are 16 rotating blades and 27 stator
blades - non-rotating blades that are a structural part of the fan construction. This fan will move
around 1000 m3 of air per second so we'll be getting wind speeds of 80 m/s in the test section a
good chance of working before they enter the wind tunnel. [Ref.10]

5.2.1 Tunnels with Moving Ground

One major advancement has been promoted by the use of moving ground planes
(previously not used in other branches of aerodynamics). When in the 1970s it was discovered that
downforce could be created by means of ground effect, it became essential to simulate the effect of
the track on the car performance (on underbody, side pods, exposed wheels, wings).

In a wind tunnel with a stationary ground plane a boundary layer build up under the
car, and can interfere with the boundary layer of the lower components. Such a case cannot give the
correct answer. There are several ways to remove the ground boundary layer, but the most effective
method is to use a moving belt, with the wheels rotating with the belt. The simulation of rotating
wheels could not be more effective. The importance of the exposed wheels in Indy and Formula 1
has been widely recognized, and neglecting this effect may have a large effect on the overall
performances. [Ref. 10]

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The 2008 Formula One World Championship will usher in a new fan-friendly year
for the sport. Following agreement by the Formula One Commission, new proposals, including a
revolutionary twin-wing concept, will ensure that futureF1 cars will be able to overtake more
easily, have more mechanical grip and run on slick tires.

According to the recent FIA/AMD survey, where over 93,000 fans gave their
opinion, the vast majority (94%) wants to see more overtaking. This is why the FIA and its research
team came up with a proposal for a radical new wing to make more overtaking possible .The
problem has been that most aerodynamic research aims to improve car’s performance when running
in what is known as ‘clean’ air which has not been disturbed by the wake of a car in front. (As
shown in fig. 6.1.2) However, in race conditions when cars follow each other closely, the wake of
one car significantly reduces the aerodynamic performance of the following car, making overtaking
extremely difficult and often impossible. To combat this problem the FIA initiated programmed of
research, which looked into improving aerodynamic performance when a car is trying over take.
With the help of the FIA’s technology partner AMD, the research team came up with the concept of
a Centre line Downwash Generating.

The CDG wing is a split rear wing designed to generate a wake of non-turbulent air
allowing the following car to run close to the car in front without loosing downforce on the front
wing. (CDG) wing (as shown in fig.6.1.1)

The proposal met with broad approval by the Formula One Commission and was
ratified by the FIA World Motor Sport Council. The commission also agreed a proposal for tires to
be supplied by a single manufacturer. As such, the CDG Wing, together with wider wheels and
slick tires, will form part of the 2008 FIA Formula One Technical Regulations. [Ref. 7]

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Aerodynamics Of F1 Racing Car


Thus we see that aerodynamics play a vital role in design of formula-1 cars where
speed is of utmost importance various features like the spoilers, CDG wing, diffuser all aid in this
quest to achieve minimum air resistance to the car (i.e. reducing the drag but at the same time
improving on the cornering speed and the dowforce. The FIA changes the rules every year to
ensure drivers safety and also to make the race ever interesting. Technology changes As a result of
the changing rules, there are changes in car design and laying paths for new technology.

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Aerodynamics Of F1 Racing Car

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Aerodynamics Of F1 Racing Car

Fig. 4.2.1 Actual Model of Front Wing

Fig. 4.2 .2 Air Flow Regulation Over The Car

Fig. 4. 3. 1 Nose Cone

Fig .4.4.1 Actual Model of Rear Wng.

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Aerodynamics Of F1 Racing Car

Fig. 4.4.2 Working Principle of Rear Wing.

Fig. 4. 5.1 Actual Diffuser Model.

. Fig. 4.5.2 Working of Diffuser.

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Aerodynamics Of F1 Racing Car

Fig. 6.1.1 F1 Car With CDG Wing.

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Aerodynamics Of F1 Racing Car

Fig. 5.1.1 Schematic of a CFD simulation process on a F1

Racing Car CAD .Grid.

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Aerodynamics Of F1 Racing Car



1 INTRODUCTION……………………………….…………..…...1


2.1 DOWN FORCE………………..….…….…....4

2.2 PRINCIPLES USED…………………............4
2.3 GROUND EFFECT……………………....…..7


4.1 BODY(WORK)………………...………...…..10
4.2 FRONT WING…………………….…………10
4.3 NOSE CONE……………………..…….....….11
4.4 REAR WING………………………..…..……12
4.5 DIFFUSER………………………..……..…...13



5.1.1 CFD PROCESS……………….………….…15
5.2 WIND TUNNEL………...……………..….....16

6 LATEST DEVELOPMENT……..……………………………...18

7 CONCLUSION…………………………………………………..19

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Aerodynamics Of F1 Racing Car

The field of aerodynamics is one of the major areas of research and development in
modern motor sports. a consequence of the fact that many different avenues that can be exploited in
order to effect continuous improvement of the race cars, possibly the most intensely research area
centers surrounded generation of maximum down force on the car, because it enhances the
performance of vehicle and increase mechanical rate as well as aerodynamic grip and hence lateral
acceleration and braking capacity.

This paper gives the general overview of the aerodynamic consideration in design of
model F1 racing cars. The important of aerodynamic to a modern F1 car is quantified and the effect
of FIA (Féderation Internationale de l'Automobile) regulations on the aerodynamic development of
the racing car is presented and roll of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) and wing tunnel

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