The F1 Technical Developments Thread

vikiradTG2007

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
11,084
Location
The country UKIP is scared of
Car(s)
Working on it
I think the most technically-minded of us need somewhere to discuss the intricacies of the current F1 cars' developments and designs. So this thread shall be dedicated to the developments on the current F1 cars... and so much more. We can also discuss various designs that were used over the years.

Hope this doesn't die after one page...
 

ladora

Not A Dude
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Messages
1,590
Great idea. Part of what fascinates me about Formula One is the technology, and although sometimes it's really hard for me to wrap my head around the really technical stuff, I still love learning as much as I can about such stuff. :)
 

Xeon SX

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2005
Messages
1,515
Location
London
I will gladly read what you guys have to say but dont expect me to post here again as I know nothing about engines, aerodynamics or anything else you can find on a F1 car )
 

TechZ

Captain Internet
STAFF MEMBER
Joined
Dec 19, 2004
Messages
4,335
Location
Singapore (Ex-Bahrain)
Car(s)
Audi TT '08 (Sold) S8 '02 (Sold)
I think the most technically-minded of us need somewhere to discuss the intricacies of the current F1 cars' developments and designs. So this thread shall be dedicated to the developments on the current F1 cars... and so much more. We can also discuss various designs that were used over the years.

Hope this doesn't die after one page...

You're basically saying that only the smart people should post here.
 

Sir Stiggington

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
3,885
Location
Cambridge, UK
Car(s)
McLaren Mercedes MP4/23 :P
Good idea, we need this. I didn't read the whole FIA report as it is more politics than anything else, but I'l post some stuff as developments happen...
 

vikiradTG2007

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
11,084
Location
The country UKIP is scared of
Car(s)
Working on it
Two interesting developments in terms of front wings in China:



Renault went for a different shape on the wing plates and their adjacent Gurney flap...



... while McLaren is going the Red Bull way and adding an extra flap.
 

Sir Stiggington

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
3,885
Location
Cambridge, UK
Car(s)
McLaren Mercedes MP4/23 :P
I wonder how the Renaults new wing and gurney flap is more efficient in terms of downforce. It seems to channel air more than anything.

And why does the Renault's front wing droop at both sides?
 

vikiradTG2007

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
11,084
Location
The country UKIP is scared of
Car(s)
Working on it
Not sure. I'd say that it's a bit of a tactic to facilitate under-car air flow, because the underside of the nose apparently is designed to work as a venturi tunnel. That causes some turbulence and decreases the efficiency of the diffuser.

Speaking of diffusers, here is Renault's first DDD... with the mother of all slots for the second deck:



While McLaren have a minor slot and a winglet that seems taken from the Monaco spec of their 1992 or 1993 car...




And I think it's easily recognizable why the Renault is so difficult to follow. That diffuser is just screaming "MASSIVE TURBULENCE!!!!!".


EDIT: I have a Panasonic-branded calendar on my wall, and it's basically a bunch of Toyota posters. The Mar/Apr one shows last year's diffuser... and the central section is huge. A good explanation of the Trulli Train phenomenon.
 
Last edited:

justvisiting

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
642
Location
california and boston
Car(s)
e46 bmw
they probably work similarly though, the renaults and mcLarens, in terms of downforce created- its just the renaults has its DF straight down, with mcLarens going forward and down. The difference is where they are funneling the low pressure stream - with McLarens funneling further back and up prior to the low pressure and renault just opening the area for the high pressure zone. Maybe its to funnel the air more to the rear wing? Hence the rounded plate below the rear crash structure?

Massive turbulence is right, but williams and brawn also have large open diffusers.
 

Sir Stiggington

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2006
Messages
3,885
Location
Cambridge, UK
Car(s)
McLaren Mercedes MP4/23 :P
they probably work similarly though, the renaults and mcLarens, in terms of downforce created- its just the renaults has its DF straight down, with mcLarens going forward and down. The difference is where they are funneling the low pressure stream - with McLarens funneling further back and up prior to the low pressure and renault just opening the area for the high pressure zone. Maybe its to funnel the air more to the rear wing? Hence the rounded plate below the rear crash structure?

Massive turbulence is right, but williams and brawn also have large open diffusers.

You should also keep in mind that both (but especially the McLaren one) is made as a quick solution. All McLaren did was open up something already in the design. It's not the most efficient way of doing things, which is why they will have the proper thing in Bahrain or Spain...
 

WillDAQ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
2,725
Location
Ukania
I wonder how the Renaults new wing and gurney flap is more efficient in terms of downforce. It seems to channel air more than anything.

And why does the Renault's front wing droop at both sides?

The problem with front wings is always that you need to know what's downstream of them to really understand why they've been shaped the way they have.

For example it could be that the notch is being used to promote generation of a particular vortex that has some crucial impact downstream (possibly backfilling the wake of the front wheel).

Generally speaking this years front wings are all about getting the air clear of the front wheels, which they can do as they're wider than previous years.

Not sure. I'd say that it's a bit of a tactic to facilitate under-car air flow, because the underside of the nose apparently is designed to work as a venturi tunnel. That causes some turbulence and decreases the efficiency of the diffuser.

It's not quite as simple as getting flow under the nose and under the car. A significant quantity of downforce comes from the undertray (black thing hiding away in this pic) which juts forward of the main body of the car. The pressure difference between the stagnating air above it (directly under the nosecone) and the high speed air below it (air going under the plank/pods) is what creates this. More downforce can be generated by allowing this high pressure air to wrap round the bottom of the side pods (if you look at this just below the main vodafone logo on the side pod you can see the undertray continuing round the side of the car), with high pressure air from under the nose above this plate and low pressure below it.
 

WillDAQ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
2,725
Location
Ukania
(sorry for the double post, lots of interesting stuff to discuss!)

And I think it's easily recognizable why the Renault is so difficult to follow. That diffuser is just screaming "MASSIVE TURBULENCE!!!!!".

It's actually not quite as simple as massive turbulence, Turbulence does play it's part, but it's not quite the right word for the job, there are two main issues to contend with in terms of the wake of the back of a car:

1) Wake structure: two large vorticies and significant upwash mean that the flow no longer arrives at the front of the following car "square on". Obviously the aerodynamics are designed to work with uniform onset flow so all the carefully tuned flow over the car gets disrupted.

2) Loss of velocity: the flow off the back of the car gets dragged along behind it, the core of the wake may be traveling at up to 60% of the speed of the car. This means that the front wing of the following car 'sees' air flowing over it at significantly reduced speed, meaning less downforce.

In terms of diffuser design, there's not a single team out there who are going to be designing a diffuser to deliberately make the car more difficult to overtake. You're better off having less wake, less drag and a faster car.

Also worth remembering is that the diffuser is never a stand alone device, how it interacts with the wing is crucial to overall performance.
 

vikiradTG2007

Forum Addict
Joined
Feb 8, 2007
Messages
11,084
Location
The country UKIP is scared of
Car(s)
Working on it
It's not quite as simple as getting flow under the nose and under the car. A significant quantity of downforce comes from the undertray (black thing hiding away in this pic) which juts forward of the main body of the car. The pressure difference between the stagnating air above it (directly under the nosecone) and the high speed air below it (air going under the plank/pods) is what creates this. More downforce can be generated by allowing this high pressure air to wrap round the bottom of the side pods (if you look at this just below the main vodafone logo on the side pod you can see the undertray continuing round the side of the car), with high pressure air from under the nose above this plate and low pressure below it.

The concept that Renault pursued with the front end was somewhat obvious from the start, and many people spotted it. It's as wide as possible, and the underside of the nose is shaped like a ground effect tunnel, only 15 cm off the ground or whatever. The flaps that enclose that tunnel from the sides and the underside of the nose were re-painted black since the launch; they're painfully obvious in the launch pics.

This might also explain why the team is probably using the simplest front wing flap design on the entire grid: they don't rely so much on the front wing itself, but also on the aerodynamic effects created beneath the nose cone and monocoque, but ahead of the starting point for the undertray.

1) Wake structure: two large vorticies and significant upwash mean that the flow no longer arrives at the front of the following car "square on". Obviously the aerodynamics are designed to work with uniform onset flow so all the carefully tuned flow over the car gets disrupted.

2) Loss of velocity: the flow off the back of the car gets dragged along behind it, the core of the wake may be traveling at up to 60% of the speed of the car. This means that the front wing of the following car 'sees' air flowing over it at significantly reduced speed, meaning less downforce.

It looks to me that the central section of the diffuser is prone to creating disturbances that affect the sides of the front wings of the following cars, the only bits that generate downforce, since the middle section has been made neutral in order to reduce the losses due to wake disturbance. It looks wider than that central section, but it's hard to say if it actually is or isn't.
 
Last edited:

WillDAQ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2007
Messages
2,725
Location
Ukania
The concept that Renault pursued with the front end was somewhat obvious from the start, and many people spotted it. It's as wide as possible, and the underside of the nose is shaped like a ground effect tunnel, only 15 cm off the ground or whatever. The flaps that enclose that tunnel from the sides and the underside of the nose were re-painted black since the launch; they're painfully obvious in the launch pics.

This might also explain why the team is probably using the simplest front wing flap design on the entire grid: they don't rely so much on the front wing itself, but also on the aerodynamic effects created beneath the nose cone and monocoque, but ahead of the starting point for the undertray.
To be honest the entire Renault front end struck me as a boilerplate solution when I first saw it. I'm still not convinced by it, from a purely aesthetic point of view it lacks the finesse of good aerodynamic design. Seems to work reasonably well though.

It looks to me that the central section of the diffuser is prone to creating disturbances that affect the sides of the front wings of the following cars, the only bits that generate downforce, since the middle section has been made neutral in order to reduce the losses due to wake disturbance. It looks wider than that central section, but it's hard to say if it actually is or isn't.
Believe it or not you actually get inflow from round the outside of the rear wheels in towards the centerline (certainly for 2009 spec at any rate). Therefore i'd be extremely surprised if the diffuser centre section was having that effect. In terms of disturbances, the flow coming out the back is actually relatively steady, it's just very slow creating a sheet of dead air for the following wing. What is directly behind the front wing outer elements are of course the rear wheels of the leading car, they have a very significant impact on the following front wing.
 

MP4/14

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 3, 2009
Messages
855
Here is a vid about the diffusers:

[YOUTUBE]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5oDu6nSgBg&eurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Eaustralianmotorsportforums%2Ecom%2Eau%2Fforum%2Findex%2Ephp%3Ftopic%3D2455%2E20&feature=player_embedded[/YOUTUBE]

And comparison before the last GP's diffusers:

 
Last edited:

GaryC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
4,001
Location
Adelaide
Car(s)
'90 Miata, '12 Octavia RS
Interesting stuff.. Just wondering, are the RBR pullrods making a big difference to their performance compared to others?
 
Top