Why are F1 cars open wheel?

PWooster

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Wouldn't a full body or wheel fairings greatly improve aerodynamics and keep more temperature in the tires and brakes?
 

vikiradTG2007

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Regulations. It's always been open-wheel (with one notable exception back in the 1950s). Fairings and everything = LMP cars and that's another class of racing.



The end.
 
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vikiradTG2007

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Also, if you wanted more heat in the brakes, you could just use smaller brake ducts.

And tire temperature isn't influenced so much by bodywork around the tires, it's all about track conditions, car set-up and the way the car is being driven. The louvres on the wheel fairings of LMP cars are not for temperature reasons, they're for extracting air out of the wheel well and creating some downforce.
 

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Why's this in the Top Gear section anyway?
 

PWooster

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Haven't watched the Turkish or Spanish Grand Prix yet and didn't want any spoilers. So are LMP cars faster in a straight line?
 

MadCow809

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So are LMP cars faster [than a F1 car] in a straight line?

Yes and No.


Yes, because tracks like Le Sarthe have extremely long straights like Mulsanne, where 85% of the time is spent on full throttle. Obviously the car will be setup for high speed, rather than pure acceleration.


F1 cars can do 400kph, only with the correct gearing and a long stretch of tarmac. Which is why you will hardly ever see a modern F1 car trap beyond 200mph (with exception of Monza, spa etc), most of the speed is spent on acceleration, deacceleration and high speed corners.
 

Hazardous

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Yes, because tracks like Le Sarthe have extremely long straights like Mulsanne, where 85% of the time is spent on full throttle. Obviously the car will be setup for high speed, rather than pure acceleration.

LMP1 would presumably beat an F1 car as far as top speed goes, but I actually would expect a contemporary F1 car to beat an LMP1 car around La Sarthe if it was set up for the circuit (pretty much using Monza setup, possibly with more ride height). F1 cars would eat the heavier, less powerful LMPs under braking (and there is quite a lot of heavy braking), through the corners (especially the high speed corners) and especially on corner exits, and I don't think the higher top speeds would be enough for the LMP1s to catch up.

It would be an interesting duel to see, though...

F1 cars can do 400kph, only with the correct gearing and a long stretch of tarmac. Which is why you will hardly ever see a modern F1 car trap beyond 200mph (with exception of Monza, spa etc), most of the speed is spent on acceleration, deacceleration and high speed corners.

I doubt any of the contemporary F1 cars would crack 400kph. Honda reportedly did it with their Bonneville 400 project some years ago, but that was not an official test and also whether that car was within the F1 rules I don't know, they certainly had the big rear fin instead of the rear wing at some point. Anyway, that car had the more powerful V10 engine and also I would presume that the aero development over last five years which has made the cars much faster around fast corners would also have made them slower on the straight line.

It would actually be interesting to see how the current F1 cars would stack up in absolute top speed comparison...
 

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F1 cars have much more money spent on development than any other class of racing car. Draw you own conclusions.

Well honestly there are other racing cars that, in a straight line, can achieve a higher top speed.
But you're completely correct that around a track, any track, nothing beats a Formula 1. Except maybe a Hispania/Virgin may be defeated. :lol:

To answer the question in the topic they're open wheel open cockpit race cars because they just are. It's the regulation. To impair the aerodynamics of the cars they're open wheeled. It's done on purpose.
Very few cars in the history of F1 have had any aero over the wheels. Even the famously different Tyrell P34 had open wheels. The tiny front wheels were better shielded by the bodywork than on other cars of the time but it was still an open wheel race car. I think you gotta go all the way to the fifties to find a car with closed wheels wich raced in F1.
 
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PWooster

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I'm thinking it's simply because of tradition. It doesn't make sense to spend so much on aerodynamics research and then hang those giant blobs of rubber out in the airflow.
 

Cold Fussion

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I'm thinking it's simply because of tradition. It doesn't make sense to spend so much on aerodynamics research and then hang those giant blobs of rubber out in the airflow.

How would being open wheeled make them have more traction?
 

bone

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read again...tradition! not traction :lol:
 

Cellos88GT

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F1 cars are open-wheel mostly for tradition but also due to their very high demand of traction. With an open wheel racer you have a lot of "space" to make use of the oncoming airflow, thats why you see various winglets incorporated all over the car. It is also important to mention that open-wheel designs have less airflow that gets deflected as it hits the car. In a closed wheel design much of the oncoming air gets deflected by the front fascia, hood, and windshield which in turn gives less air for the rear air package to "work" with. LMP cars try to circumvent this issue by making the cockpit as small as possible in order to provide more air flow for the rear.
 
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Sir Stiggington

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F1 cars are open-wheel mostly for tradition but also due to their very high demand of traction. With an open wheel racer you have a lot of "space" to make use of the oncoming airflow, thats why you see various winglets incorporated all over the car. It is also important yo mention that open-wheel designs have less airflow that gets deflected as it hits the car. In a closed wheel design much of the oncoming air gets deflected by the front fascia, hood, and windshield which in turn gives less air for the rear air package to work with, this is why you see ridiculously large rear wings on closed wheel racers. LMP cars try to circumvent this issue by making the cockpit as small as possible in order to provide more air flow for the rear.

Now look what you've done. Just as you had us believing you were the smartest man on earth in the other thread, you arrive with this load of rubbish...I'd say almost none of that is true...which is quite impressive given the amount you wrote...
 
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