F1 Beating Aerodynamics

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Joined: Sat Nov 02, 2019 11:36 am

F1 Beating Aerodynamics

Post Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:10 am

A brief question regarding hyper car aerodynamics (Valkyrie, Speedtail, AMG One etc.):

What would you do to make a vehicle (un-restricted regulations) into a track-focused car, quicker than a Formula One Car? Describe your wish list. It has to be technologically capable, and not cost many millions or more for a single vehicle. It can be Lemans prototype like.

Also, extra for experts: describe the mechanical platform you would use (power train etc.).

Have fun with it :D
A kiwi looking to fly like McLaren.

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Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:29 am

Re: F1 Beating Aerodynamics

Post Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:33 am

I remember looking into some of this when Aston first announced the Valkerie. If I remember correct you need a power to weight ratio of around 1 and a downforce to weight ratio of 2-3 at cornering speeds to reach F1 performance.

Of course if you don't have the limitations on active aero you can trade off some downforce for top speed by trimming the aero back to low drag when you are on 100% throttle.
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Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:37 pm

Re: F1 Beating Aerodynamics

Post Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:20 am

A modernised F1 with full on active aero, active suspension system (to deal with the active aero) and modern brakes might just be enough to meet the brief. It certainly had the legs in original form. And it originally met the cost limit requirement too.
Turbo says "Dumpster sounds so much more classy. It's the diamond of the cesspools." oh, and "The Dutch fans are drunk. Maybe"

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Joined: Tue May 02, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: F1 Beating Aerodynamics

Post Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:47 am

There's a number of factors which affect an F1 car's speed. They're not the best at everything, WRX accelerate faster, WEC reach higher Vmax. Tyres are a huge factor - in 2008 Ferrari were doing a Bridgestone test with the 2009 slicks and the car went something like 10s/lap quicker and Massa could only do about 5 laps before his neck gave up (I forget the exact numbers it's from a Rob Smedley interview where he might have been exaggerating a little for comic effect).

Road going cars are at a significant weight disadvantage because of occupant and pedestrian safety rules, they also have to spec parts for a longer life - there are still some part on an F1 car which can be thrown away after every race (500km life). F1 parts will also have FOS close to 1 while road cars will be 1.5-2 depending on what sort of car. F1 powertrains/gearboxes are getting heavier because they have to be built to last multiple race weekends. Still road going hyper cars are 1100-1300kg, even the Gordon Murray car will be 980kg - compared to F1 that's around 7.5s/lap slower just from weight.

I was doing a bit of analysis the other day (for my own interest because I'm a nerd) and going back in time F1 car have produced around 2x their dry weight in downforce at 240km/hr (between 1.8-2.2), increasing to 320km/hr that ratio is more like 3.2-3.9x (because downforce squares with speed). So purely on downforce a DF to weight ratio of 4:1 at 320km/hr would put you in the right ballpark for being better than F1. e.g. for a 500kg car CzS= 4.05m², a 600kg car CzS = 4.85m², for a 750kg car CzS= 6.08m².

Aerodynamic drag also has an effect on laptime - typical lift to drag these days is around 5.5:1. You can immediately lower drag by covering the wheels and maybe the cockpit. Power and torque are also important; current PU are said to be over 1000bhp when the ERS is fully deployed, but where they really excel over the NA V8s is torque because of the ERS filling in the gap. Again if you want to ballpark it, at the greatest F1 was ~1500bhp/tonne (talking race spec not quali specials - from the mid-00s 950bhp in 605kg cars and those laptimes are only just now being beaten) so something in that region.

Active suspension would be great to maintain an aerodynamic platform, active aero would be great to shed drag. Cost is tricky, I assume you don't want to have to turn up with 20 people to get the thing running..