ernos5 wrote:oi i got a question.
People say 2004 cars were highly aerodynamic, i dont they were anything special, look at 2008, these cars are the most aerodynamic, they have all these little things added and 2004 can't be more aerodynamic, just look at the 04 cars, they look too basic
The reason todays cars have so many appendages, winglets, turning vanes and other uglies is because when the FIA imposed the 2.4 V8 engines, the top speeds of the cars was significantly reduced as they didn't have the grunt to push along the high-downforce/high drag designs. So the designers then started making the cars more aerodynamically efficient, reducing drag to claw some of this speed back. It still isn't enough as the 2004 cars reached 348km/h at the end of the back straight at Montreal whereas the V8 powered cars last year reached 327km/h - even being more aero-efficient.
Now, don't confuse aero-efficiency with out-right downforce produced by the cars themselves.
In 2004, the front wing of the car was much lower, much closer to the tarmac making it much more efficient (the FIA raised the front wing in 2005 to reduce downforce therefore cornering speeds). This picture shows the difference:
The car on the left is the Ferrari F2004 and the one on the right is the current F2008.
Another area where the 2004 cars had much more downforce was in the location of the rear wing:
As you can see, the 2002 and the 2004 cars rear wings were further back, behind the rear wheels. This meant that the moment (torque) around the rear wheels was greater, increasing the effect the rear wing load had on grip. The FIA moved the rear wing forward 150mm in 2005. They moved it, instead of reducing the allowed sizes to keep drag levels the same, but reducing downforce.
The final area where the FIA limited downforce was the rear diffuser. It isn't easy to get pictures of the diffuser (mainly because photographers aren't too interested in the underside of the car) but the one in the current cars is significantly smaller and less efficient than those used in 2004.
Couple all these together and you have a big reduction in downforce.