The Concept of Aerodynamics Marks the Difference between Winning and Losing Formula One Races

Ella Stephen September 3, 2015 0

If you enjoy motorsports of the F1 or Formula One variety, you do not want to miss a moment’s worth of excitement. Fortunately, being electronically connected to this exciting sport is within reach with the proper app.

Become an F1 Insider

Therefore, becoming an F1 insider is not that far from your communications reach when you have access to the right app. An app, such as the Worldformula app, keeps you up-to-date on Formula One racing and F1 events. Formula One has such a large following because the cars are specifically engineered to race, which adds to the thrill of motorsport excitement.  The design of a car spells the difference between creating a champion-styled machine or a car that will eventually lose its grip on the track.

Aerodynamics and its Role in F1 Racing

F1 aerodynamicists typically focus on two essential concerns. First, they look at the downforce that is produced. Is it enough to aid in pushing the auto’s tyres onto the race track? Will it be enough to enhance the cornering forces that are created on the track? The other concern is drag. It is essential to design a car where there is a minimisation of drag, the air resistance that slows down a car.

While aerodynamics has always been an important component in the world of motorsports, it became seriously implemented in the last part of the 60s. That is when racing teams began experimenting with aerofoils – wings that are installed on race cars.  Aerofoils operate like aircraft wings, except in reverse. As a result, air flows at varying speeds across either side of the wing, which, in turn, produces a difference in the pressure – a physical formula known as Bernoulli’s Principle.

As the pressure leverages out, the wing attempts to move directionally toward a lower centre of pressure. While aeroplanes use their wings to produce lift, racing cars use their aerofoils to produce a downforce or a negative lift. An F1 car can, therefore, develop a cornering force 3.5 times its own weight because of the creation of downforce.

The primary aerodynamic installations on an F1 car are the front and rear wings, both which account for about 60% of the total downforce. Wings are fitted according to varying profiles, depending on the car’s downforce requirements for a specific kind of track. Slower circuits that wind like Monaco use exceptionally aggressive wing profiles to optimise the downforce, while higher-speed circuits minimise the use of the racing wings to lower the drag and enhance the speed on lengthy straights.

Earlier experiments with high mountings and movable wings created some major mishaps, all which caused the implementation of regulations that limited the location of the wings installed on race cars. Today, front wings usually have multiple components and highly complicated designs to manage airflow and speed. The diffuser, which is located at the rear of a car, also plays a critical role in aerodynamic design.  Without this component, the car could easily fly off the track.

When you next catch up on F1 motorsports events, remember what you can attribute to the excitement that is seemingly ingrained into the sports activity: aerodynamically designed cars. Engineering innovations make motorsport racing of the F1 variety a continuing force in the world of racing and sports.

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