Technical : Aerodynamics

Due to the little development areas left for engine improvements, aerodynamics are now the most important area for improving the performance of a Formula One car. The modelling is nowadays so complex that some teams have more than 100 people employed to design aero bits to improve the car's efficiency.

The study of aerodynamics influences the way a car cuts through air, aiming to reduce its drag while at the same time adding downforce. All teams are continuously introducing updates, even for gains as small as hundredths of seconds per lap. Such small gains are currently designed and modelled with CFD software, running on ever improving computer grids. After scale production, the elements are tested in state-of-the-art wind tunnels after which final production can start.

  • Nose Cone design 01-09-2013

    When Tyrell introduced the first car with a high nose cone in 1990, the car was not at the top of the field and raised a lot of questions about its efficiency Yet it became the standard somehow...

  • Analysis: blown diffusers, before the cut 23-06-2011

    Ahead of the clampdown on the blown diffusers, we take a look at what the teams currently have and how they came to the solution.

  • PIV boosts wind tunnel efficiency in F1 07-01-2011

    While trying to increase windtunnel efficiency, F1 teams are using PIV, a system used initially for airplane modelling. We take a closer look at the technology and its use in F1.

  • Aerodynamics in racing 14-05-2009

    Aerodynamics is the science that studies objects moving through air. It is closely related to fluid dynamics as air is considered a compressible fluid. Nowadays, aerodynamics is by far the most important aspect of an F1 car.

  • The final result of the regulation changes 25-03-2009

    Formula One cars have changed considerably because of the regulation changes. While the new bounding box and possibilities are clear, we take a look at what the designers have finally come up with.