Williams carefully improve floor efficiency

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Because of a considerable simplification of upper bodywork, the aerodynamicists at Williams are spending a lot of time to investigate the efficiency of the car's underbody. It is well known the this part of the car can bring a lot of downforce with a low drag penalty. For the same reason, the team developed their double step diffuser which reportedly is good for 15% more downforce compared to the simple designs that follow 'the spirit of the rules'.

More at the front though, at the sidepod's entry, the outer edge of the car's floor curves up. In this area, the airflow is from the inside of the car towards the outside due to the splitter underneath the cockpit. To guide this airflow, the upward edge of the floor effectively creates a venturi which reduces pressure under that section of the floor and hence creates downforce. The 3 vertical elements under that curve help straighten the airflow similar to the elements attached under the frontwing or in the diffuser.


By Roland Ehnström on 01-04-2009 at 09:22

How cute. :)

Any downside to this, like less airflow to the rear diffuser? And maybe slightly more drag from the rear wheels?

By kilcoo316 on 01-04-2009 at 13:11

This is all aimed at running turbulence (a vortex) down the side of the floor. Looking at this particular side of the car, from the front of the car, the aim would be to have a clockwise vortex - i.e. a velocity component away from the car at the bottom of the vortex. Use turbulent energy (momentum) to try and oppose the pressure force sucking air in.

In other words, it is a fluidic attempt at a side skirt to reduce leakage from under the floor.

The vertical feature of this piece of bodywork will encourage some air underneath the car... due to RAM pressure. The rest it tries to roll up into a vortex and send down the side of the car.

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