Bye bye sidepods?

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hollus
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Bye bye sidepods?

Post by hollus » Tue May 08, 2018 7:51 pm

Are we ripe for a radical change in the shape of the F1 car? Has the design evolved to the point where, like an iceberg, it is about to tip over?

It might be long text, but what follows is just a collection of points to ponder, which IMO point to the possibility of a lot of things moving out of the sidepod and into the central section of the car, to the point that the sidepod might disappear more or less completely.
Will it? Can it? Would the performance increase? Would the rules allow it?

To start, the very first Red Bull:
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Then the very last Red Bull:
Image
Image
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Talking more in general, the cars circa 2005 were short, with sidepods that occupied most of the available frontal footprint, only a bit of truly exposed floor (at the time it appeared huuuuge!), with very little stuff around the driver's helmet, with a lot of stuff "in the shade" of the sidepods and with maxed up rear wings at every venue. The diffusers were considered to be massively powered already, but freeing floor space was only the job of the coke bottle, there was no rake worth of mention and I guess, no one had seen a vortex close up and personal.
In that era with CFD nowhere nears its current levels, as someone recently put it on the forum, the cars were running inside their own dirty wake.

Fast forward 13 years, we have mastered vortex management, we have mastered internal aero, and a lot of things are now different: I'll argue that most of them point to smaller and smaller sidepods, a trend that is obvious already:

Cars got longer and longer. More floor means less need to have components using all the width of the car as there is more space behind the driver. As such, the "shade" behind the sidepods is less useful or less needed. Components are moving towards the centerline of the car.

With less absolute power, cars need less cooling, meaning smaller sidepods.

With less cylinders, there is less spaguetti exhaust pipe (and less heat loss inside the car). Cue more space available in the center of the car. MGUH might dissapear soon.

Cars also carry less fuel, meaning more space available in the center, again.

Sidepods, thus, reduce in frontal section, they got more and more sculpted to allow free passage of air to the back.
As cars got longer, more floor is exposed in the upper side. This seems to help the diffuser.

Cars got raked. This makes the volume in the underside of the diffuser effectively larger, white the top of the floor becomes a tilted surface for air to ram against creating high pressure (higher than otherwise).

The vortexes, partly, are used to seal the floor, making diffusers more efficient.

The vortexes also move dirty air away from the car, which is no longer running inside its own dirty air (not as much).

As such, aero over and under the floor can get more and more refined. Which somehow means having as much unimpeded real state over the floor as possible.

Diffusers are now so good that somehow F1 cars have more downforce than ever, despite the restrictions to diffuser geometry.

As a result, rear wings are rarely maxed and are developing spoon shapes and flatter shapes with the focus slowly shifting to downforce stability and reduced drag.

At the same time that the rearwings lost importance, and for unrelated reasons, more things started appearing in front of them:

First the protections around the driver's helmet got bulkier.

At some point, teams starting to move extra air intakes above the helmet. Many are for cooling that used to be in the sidepods, but now it is OK if it shades the rear wing.

Then the halo just created a lot of extra disturbance right there. Without downwash, its dirty air would go straight to the rear wing.

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.
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So... this could continue to evolve slowly, with the sidepods losing cross section and volume inch by inch, or maybe someone will be brave enough to run the whole 10 yards?

Move as much air intake as possible over the drivers helmet. There is a nice suction device in the center of it all to help drive extra cooling flow too!

Remove the sidepods (meaning the air intakes first and most) or reduce them to small slits, more vertical than horizontal, just in the edges of the monocoque, a bit like the extra air intakes Mercedes once tested.

Move all components behind the shape of the monocoque. You have that blockage already. If needed, make the cars even a bit longer.

Result: heaps and heaps of free floor area, fully unimpeded front to back, with no need for a coke bottle shape. The car´s body would effectively be in the central third in front view with only the mirrors and crash structures poking out. Think of a car from the 60s with a floor from the 2010s.



Consequences:

Even better diffuser performance.

Lower rear wing performance. I'd think the difusser trumps the wing, and the wings' angle can be increased if needed within the current regulation box.

Components moving higher, from the level of the driver's belly to the level of the driver's neck. Yep, this is a big negative. Would the extra downforce trump that?

Reduced apparent cross sections. Thus likely reduced drag.

The side crash structures become fully exposed. This is already starting to happen, and teams have started to integrate them in their aero concept anyways. With the sidepod gone, some sort of shroud would have to appear to cover it. This could help shape flow even more, and I'd think that the current sidepod rules allow for some drag minimizing solution without a change of wording.

.
.
.

Sooooo...

Is it possible?

Is it legal within the regulation boxes?

Would it help?


This was just a very long exercise in thinking out loud. Feel free to shoot it down and drag it in the ground!
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astracrazy
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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by astracrazy » Wed May 09, 2018 12:09 pm

Don't forget the cars are wider now that before. So whilst the air intakes are smaller, I also think its somewhat of a illusion the overall side pods are a lot smaller. They are smaller, but the floor is also wider so its a double effect.

It's my understanding the coke bottle shape helps the airflow? We have seen teams try various ideas over the years to put air directly to the back of the car, but overall if I remember they didn't work as well.

Image
Image

They were years ago, but they come to mind on the subject. I can only assume if your suggestion was worth it a team would have something similar again?

DiogoBrand
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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by DiogoBrand » Wed May 09, 2018 12:41 pm

Considering that the floor width for this is 1400mm (corrected):
Image

And for this it's 1600mm (also corrected):
Image

The sidepods are more sculpted and tapered, yes. But also you have to consider that even with smaller engines, 40% fewer exhaust pipes, a lot less wasted energy, thus, in theory, less cooling required, and also a lot of the cooling moved to the airbox above the engine. Even with all of that the sidepods are only, let's say, 20% smaller.

You do realize that 20% smaller and 100% smaller are two completely different things, right?
Last edited by DiogoBrand on Wed May 09, 2018 3:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Zynerji
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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by Zynerji » Wed May 09, 2018 1:50 pm

I had thought about this, but my concept was to replace the water cooling jacket in the engine with heat pipes into the wet liner, with the radiating fins mounted on top of each bank housed in their own smaller plenum that has smaller air inlets fed from the roll hoop.

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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by jjn9128 » Wed May 09, 2018 1:54 pm

DiogoBrand wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 12:41 pm
Considering that the floor width for this is 1600mm
https://f1trindade.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/9.jpg

And for this it's 1800mm:
https://cdn-5.motorsport.com/images/mgl ... g-rb14.jpg

The sidepods are more sculpted and tapered, yes. But also you have to consider that even with smaller engines, 40% fewer exhaust pipes, a lot less wasted energy, thus, in theory, less cooling required, and also a lot of the cooling moved to the airbox above the engine. Even with all of that the sidepods are only, let's say, 20% smaller.

You do realize that 20% smaller and 100% smaller are two completely different things, right?
Bodywork was 1400mm wide up to 2016 and 1600mm wide now. Other than that you're correct, the sidepods themselves aren't that much narrower. The longer wheelbase allows a tighter coke, so if wheelbases were shortened teams would probably front load the sidepods again to keep the coke bottle waists.

I wouldn't say many of the heat exchangers have moved to the overhead airbox - it's not ideal to move that much mass too high up - maybe only the gearbox oil (with ERS water?) is fed from the side inlets on the rollhoop. Engine water and oil will still be in the sidepods. This was the cooling layout for the 2014 Caterham - the intercoolers (purple) take up the most space.
Image
#aerogandalf

DiogoBrand
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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by DiogoBrand » Wed May 09, 2018 3:13 pm

jjn9128 wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 1:54 pm
DiogoBrand wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 12:41 pm
Considering that the floor width for this is 1600mm
https://f1trindade.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/9.jpg

And for this it's 1800mm:
https://cdn-5.motorsport.com/images/mgl ... g-rb14.jpg

The sidepods are more sculpted and tapered, yes. But also you have to consider that even with smaller engines, 40% fewer exhaust pipes, a lot less wasted energy, thus, in theory, less cooling required, and also a lot of the cooling moved to the airbox above the engine. Even with all of that the sidepods are only, let's say, 20% smaller.

You do realize that 20% smaller and 100% smaller are two completely different things, right?
Bodywork was 1400mm wide up to 2016 and 1600mm wide now. Other than that you're correct, the sidepods themselves aren't that much narrower. The longer wheelbase allows a tighter coke, so if wheelbases were shortened teams would probably front load the sidepods again to keep the coke bottle waists.

I wouldn't say many of the heat exchangers have moved to the overhead airbox - it's not ideal to move that much mass too high up - maybe only the gearbox oil (with ERS water?) is fed from the side inlets on the rollhoop. Engine water and oil will still be in the sidepods. This was the cooling layout for the 2014 Caterham - the intercoolers (purple) take up the most space.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C1WO5SXXAAQBwY-.jpg
I wasn't sure about the floor width, but with your data in place of mine, my point is even stronger. Since the raise from 1400 to 1600 is bigger in proportion than from 1600 to 1800, the "illusion" of smaller sidepods is even bigger.

Rodak
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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by Rodak » Wed May 09, 2018 3:46 pm

Being a wise guy, but it's already been done....... just add a floor.Image
But seriously, I suspect that the radiator area necessary for engine heat extraction would be the driving parameter. The (delta)T (anyone know how to get a delta?) is of course critical for heat exchange so running hotter could reduce radiator size, but there is also a maximum temperature for the engine and I suspect they are there now. Some of the cars seem a bit marginal for cooling; I don't see how one could get enough air to a central radiator location to cool the engine, the battery, and the compressed charge efficiently.

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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by hollus » Wed May 09, 2018 3:57 pm

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting removing any components or functions, just moving as much as possible to behind the driver’s back and head. If necessary making the car longer to create enough volume.
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astracrazy
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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by astracrazy » Thu May 10, 2018 3:36 pm

i guess you would have to make it a lot longer to avoid making it higher, which you would not want.

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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by J.A.W. » Wed May 30, 2018 4:45 am

astracrazy wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 12:09 pm
...It's my understanding the coke bottle shape helps the airflow? We have seen teams try various ideas over the years to put air directly to the back of the car, but overall if I remember they didn't work as well...
Yeah A-C, I'd back your understanding of the 'coke bottle' side-pod - as 'on the money'..
& per design function.. its a Coanda-effect/laminar-flow body shape - purpose.. drag-reduction/downforce enhancer..
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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by cramr » Wed May 30, 2018 3:18 pm

Most of the teams have already quite a lot of radiator behind the drivers helmet and still need quite a big sidepods. I think with the current regulations it would be quite hard to make enough space in the center to fit all the radiators, engine, etc etc.

this ignoring all the weight (radiator are metal full of liquid) you'll move quite high up and also rearward away from the CoG, not only in height but also in longitudinal position making the car harder to turn

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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by geraldix » Wed May 30, 2018 4:20 pm

hollus wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 3:57 pm
Just to be clear, I am not suggesting removing any components or functions, just moving as much as possible to behind the driver’s back and head. If necessary making the car longer to create enough volume.
Make the cars even longer? They already look like limos, please don't!

I really enjoy the looks of the RB14's sidepods. It nicely mixes Red Bull's signature low and narrow design, Ferrari's low side impact structure novelty (which I believe will become the new standard in 1 or 2 years) and 3+ pairs of big, horizontal wings, borrowed both from Ferrari and Mercedes. The car looks like a spaceship and would look perfect if it wasn't for the halo, the horrid hole on its nose and the mandated squared engine cover.

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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by PlatinumZealot » Sun Jun 17, 2018 1:23 am

jjn9128 wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 1:54 pm
DiogoBrand wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 12:41 pm
Considering that the floor width for this is 1600mm
https://f1trindade.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/9.jpg

And for this it's 1800mm:
https://cdn-5.motorsport.com/images/mgl ... g-rb14.jpg

The sidepods are more sculpted and tapered, yes. But also you have to consider that even with smaller engines, 40% fewer exhaust pipes, a lot less wasted energy, thus, in theory, less cooling required, and also a lot of the cooling moved to the airbox above the engine. Even with all of that the sidepods are only, let's say, 20% smaller.

You do realize that 20% smaller and 100% smaller are two completely different things, right?
Bodywork was 1400mm wide up to 2016 and 1600mm wide now. Other than that you're correct, the sidepods themselves aren't that much narrower. The longer wheelbase allows a tighter coke, so if wheelbases were shortened teams would probably front load the sidepods again to keep the coke bottle waists.

I wouldn't say many of the heat exchangers have moved to the overhead airbox - it's not ideal to move that much mass too high up - maybe only the gearbox oil (with ERS water?) is fed from the side inlets on the rollhoop. Engine water and oil will still be in the sidepods. This was the cooling layout for the 2014 Caterham - the intercoolers (purple) take up the most space.
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/C1WO5SXXAAQBwY-.jpg
Interesting.... The caterham intercoolers are two pass. Didn't notice this before. A few of the cars today also use a similar design.
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Re: Bye bye sidepods?

Post by hollus » Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:07 pm

First of all, thanks to all for the feedback back then. Yes, there are a lot of negatives to this idea.

Anyways, a fresh look at it.

These are the regulations volumes pre- and post-2020, or at least an approximation courtesy of @koldskaal: (please correct me if the original author is different)

Image
Image

Turns out that Red bull was probably right at the edge of the step between the current airbox volume and the current sidepod volume. The "airbox" volume is getting a lot bigger in 2021, wider and deeper. Let's see if anyone takes advantage of it. My money is on Adrian to produce an "A" or even an inverted "U" shaped car, juts because it would be cool. (Agreed, that COG might be going too far).
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