Formula 1 cars come quite close to jet fighters, thanks to the tenets of aerodynamics incorporated in them. In a vehicle of fast driving, aerodynamics is the key. Aerodynamics in F1 cars has two basic functions to perform: to help push the car's tyres onto the track with the creation of downforce and minimize the drag that acts to slow down the car with, with the improvement in cornering forces.
Even in the 1960s experimentation with the wings had begun. Air flows
at different speeds over the two sides of the wing thus creating
difference of pressure. Planes use the pressure to create lift. Race
cars use pressure to create downforce. A modern Formula One car can
create 3.5 g lateral cornering force, which is more than three times its
Size and Location
Size and location of wings was limited by the 1970 season regulations.
'Ground effect' downforce was formed in the mid 1970s. Lotus engineers
discovered that the entire car could act like a wing if a giant wing was
created on its underside. This would suck the car onto the road. Brabham
BT46B, designed by Gordon Murray, used a cooling fan to extract air from
the skirted area under the car, creating enormous downforce in the
process. However the system was withdrawn after other teams challenged
Wings Differ With Circuits
Aerodynamic departments of most teams use wind tunnels and vast
computing power to develop their cars. The primary wings in front and
rear parts of the car are fitted with different profiles depending on
the downforce requirements of tracks. Tight and slow circuits require
elements for maximum downforce. In circuits with long straights the cars
are stripped of as much wing as possible. This reduces drag and
Effects of Aerodynamics
Aerodynamics effects are considered on all parts of Formula One cars.
Even the shapes of suspension links and the driver's helmet take
aerodynamics effects into consideration. A good supply of airflow is
needed to dissipate the vast amounts of heat produced by F1 cars. This
also plays a part in the things.
Here is information about aerodynamics in Formula 1 cars. Aerodynamics is used in F1 cars to enhance their performance dramatically.