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Marcus Piggott

Racing car Aerodynamics - The effect that the current formula 1 cars aerodynamic complexity is having on overtaking

Final car model
Modern Day Formula 1 cars are the product of constant evolution process led by some of the best engineers in the world in the race for tenths of a second.


This evolution has led to the cars becoming increasingly complex as far as the aerodynamic flow around the cars is concerned. In an effort to work and maximise the usefulness of every particle of air that passes over the car, the designers have covered the body of the car in aerodynamical components that drastically alter the flow over the cars and the wake that the cars leave behind.



For cars to travel at full racing speeds through fast ‘high downforce’ corners they require a clean flow of air to pass over the car to maximise the cars aerodynamic efficiency. At present Formula 1 cars leave a turbulent wake that is unfriendly to following cars. This makes it hard for one car to follow another through fast to medium speed corners and makes it harder for a trailing car to get close enough to try an overtaking manoeuvre.



Some engineers in the Formula 1 paddock have attributed the increase in the turbulent wake left by the cars to the winglets and other aerodynamic devices that can be found along the bodywork of the car. If the regulations were changed and if these types of devices were banned would overtaking in races become more abundant?






Week 3 – Hand in project Plan



 Week 3-5 – Literature study on concepts concerning the workings of the car, in conjunction with the designing and starting to build the models



Week 5-6 – Continuation of collecting relevant information through literature study and continuing with the building of the models



Week 7 - Create web page and continue modelling



Week 8 – First half of week off to complete other assignments, second half to start learning CCM+ properly and continue modelling


Week 9 - Continuation of learning CCM+ and working on the completion of models. By the end of week begin trial tests on CCM+


Week 10 – Completion of models ready for testing in CFD simulations by the end of week 10


Christmas holidays - First testing of models in the start of the new year


Page Under construction!