With the development of engines nearing perfection in F1 cars, aerodynamics has become the hot subject for Formula cars engineers. The process is so complex that some teams employ more than 100 people to design aerobic components. The teams are always adding updates, even if the gains as small as hundredths of seconds per lap. Experts describe aerodynamics in Formula One as a black art, which today determines success on the track.
Objectives of Aerodynamics in Cars
Here are some interesting facts regarding use of aerodynamics in F1 championship. Go through these funny facts and impress your friends.
- Influencing the way a car cuts through air
- Reducing the drag
- Adding downforce
- The aerodynamics elements in the cars are tested in wind tunnels. After thorough testing, final production starts.
- Small planes can take off at slower speeds than F1 cars travel on the track. However, the downforce provided by their wings keeps them on the track.
- Without aerodynamic downforce, racing cars have sufficient power to fly once they exceed 160 kph. The cars usually race at over 300 kph.
- The car wings can produce amazing aerodynamic downforce. When a car is traveling over 160 kph, it car can generate enough downforce to hold itself to the ceiling of a tunnel and drive upside down.
- During street course races, the manhole covers on the streets have to be welded down because the downforce of the cars can lift manhole covers.
- The front wing is the key to the aerodynamic concept of the F1 car. The air first experiences the front wing which defines how the air will flow down the whole car. When the air arrives at the rear wing it is traveling around 30% slower than it is at the front wing.
- The F1 regulators have constantly worked to reduce the amount of downforce generated by the cars. These attempts of regulators have resulted in more sophisticated designs.
- The downforce plays an important part. 10% improvement in downforce is worth about a second a race lap.