Connect with us

2015 F1

F1: Would You Welcome Back Ground Effect Aerodynamics?

Published

on

F1: Would You Welcome Back Ground Effect Aerodynamics?
The British Grand Prix was a timely reminder of what F1 spectacle is all about amidst all the negativity surrounding the sport of late. With some convincing moves taken upon the future when Strategy Group met at Biggin Hills on the Wednesday before the race, there were proposals put forward for teams to come up with effective innovations towards what believed to be a radical shake-up in 2017.

That would mean prominent diversity in the aesthetics of the cars from what we are used to seeing in the current generation as they are expected to be more ‘aggressive’ in nature and dimensionally wider with bigger wheels. One of the crucial aspects being assessed are the ways in which downforce can be increased and it would certainly have significant impacts from nose to tail.

F1 cars are notoriously ground-hugging beasts in which aerodynamics play an integral part in ferocious speed through corners. Despite clampdowns are often mandated by the governing body to slice off any advantages acquired through loopholes, be it during the season or before it, innovations never stumble courtesy of some of the cleverest minds on board in the paddock.

For example, in 2015 the cars are faster even though little corrections were made to the rule book compared to last year. The regulations strictly prohibit any movable aero bits and pieces on the bodywork of the car as the constant strive to improve downforce does have its flipside: when racing it will be increasingly difficult for the cars run closer to each other due to the air turbulence generated.

Thus in order to make cars go faster without compromising the on-track racing a recent proposal has been considered to reintroduce ground effect aerodynamics pioneered in the late ‘60s and saw intense developments through the ‘70s and early ‘80s in the sport’s own backyard. Back in the days, cars had sealed flexible side skirts and underbodies that channeled the pressurized air to create venturi effect and are entirely separated from on-the-surface aerodynamics.

The first successful ground effect car that took Mario Andretti to the championship was Lotus 78 designed by Peter Wright and Colin Chapman after Robin Herd experimented wings into the sidepods of the March 701 and several other trials from renowned designers including Gordon Murray’s Brabham BT46 Fan Car. Current regulations heavily limit the effect of ground effect aerodynamics, an effective means of creating downforce with the penalty of less drag.

The underside or under tray must be flat between the front and rear axles with titanium skid blocks facilitated down the middle of the cars to prevent them from running too close to the track surface. For 2017, FIA has invited teams to come up with ideas that would make cars several seconds per lap quicker without jeopardising aerodynamic performance when two cars follow in close proximity with one another.

The primary downforce generators in today’s cars are the intriguing front wings, rear diffuser and rear wing. Red Bull are believed to have proposed an idea to modify the ratio in which downforce is generated between wings and the underbody. However, tunnel section seen underneath currently in GP2 cars is also under consideration to improve downforce without mitigating aero performance.

Suggestions of spec floor around which the cars should be built are also being looked upon to hinder teams from taking massive advantages of ground effect aerodynamics, the same reason for which it had been outlawed in the early 1980s. However all these proposals are still, as Red Bull’s Christian Horner said, at an ‘embryonic’ stage and subjected to further discussions at the upcoming Strategy Group meetings.

So, would you readers welcome ground effect aerodynamics back in F1 if wheel-to-wheel racing is still assured and cars are driven much faster?
(Suren M)

Comments

Latest Results




Latest F1 News

2018 F11 hour ago

Preview for the Belgium GP

On Sunday 26th August some of the best Forumla 1 racers in the world will take to the Belgium Spa...

2018 F124 hours ago

Gasly to replace Ricciardo at Red Bull for 2019 F1

French speedy Pierre Gasly will replace the leaving Daniel Ricciardo at Red Bull for 2019 F1 season, the Formula 1...

2018 F11 day ago

Villeneuve urges Ferrari to retain Raikkonen

It was recently announced that Kimi Raikkonen will be spending another year at Ferrari, however, alongside Sebastian Vettel. It’s a...

2018 F15 days ago

McLaren confirms Sainz to replace Alonso in 2019 F1

McLaren Racing today confirms that Carlos Sainz will race for the team in Formula 1 from the 2019 FIA Formula...

2018 F11 week ago

Alonso will not race F1 in 2019

Marking 14th August as a day he would make an announcement on twitter, Fernando Alonso announced that he won’t be...

2018 F11 week ago

Ricciardo is not happy with Verstappen, It’s a risk – Massa

Felipe Massa says he can understand why Daniel Ricciardo decided to quit Red Bull. Ricciardo, one of F1’s top drivers,...

2018 F11 week ago

Stroll leads Force India rescue deal

Force India has been rescued by a consortium led by Lawrence Stroll, the billionaire father of Williams driver Lance Stroll....

2018 F12 weeks ago

Giovinazzi targeting 2019 Sauber race seat

Antonio Giovinazzi admits he has an eye on a Sauber seat for 2019. Ferrari’s other protege, Charles Leclerc, is linked...

2018 F12 weeks ago

Stroll should leave Williams now – Villeneuve

Jacques Villeneuve thinks Canadian countryman Lance Stroll should leave Williams immediately. Stroll’s billionaire father Lawrence is leading the consortium that...

2018 F12 weeks ago

Alonso could leave F1 for 2019 Indycar – McLaren boss

Zak Brown has admitted it is possible Fernando Alonso will leave McLaren and F1 for the Indycar series in 2019....




Most Popular

ThisisF1.com is not affiliated with Formula 1, Formula One Management, Formula One Administration, Formula One Licensing BV, Formula One World Championship Ltd or any other organization or entity associated with the official Formula One governing organizations or their shareholders. Copyrighted material used under Fair Use/Fair Comment.

References
We could use the following leading F1 news sources for stories: SkyF1, BBC F1, Autosport, ESPN F1, FIA Media Center, MotorSport, JamesAllen and others leading authors blog.

All Rights Reserved © 2017 Prime Sport Media