Tag Archives: vortex

Video: How does an F1 front wing work?

In my first proper YouTube video, I explain the basic design features of a modern F1 front wing. As you can see, it’s a bit rough round the edges, but I’m reasonably happy with my first attempt. Please like the video if you enjoyed it and subscribe to my channel for more!

2014 Hungarian GP Tech Highlights

The final round before the 4 week summer break was held in Hungary – a very high downforce orientated circuit with only one straight to worry about in terms of drag reduction. It is for this reason that we often see as many aero bits crammed onto the cars as possible, just like Monaco.

Straightline speed is not a necessity but strong driveability is crucial for good laptime, from both the power unit and the chassis. This is particularly notable in the middle sector where a series of medium speed corners really test the car’s aerodynamic balance and power delivery. This is why Red Bull appeared to be a step closer to Mercedes as their chassis is arguably the best on the grid and their Renault power unit has had multiple software upgrades on the driveability front.

As far as new tech went there wasn’t much to talk about but as always there were a few things that are worth mentioning… Continue reading

Analysis: Vortices

Vortices. We hear about them all the time in modern F1 design and it goes without saying that there has been a lot of development in producing and utilising vortices for aerodynamic performance over the past decade. This piece aims to cover what they are, how they are formed and why they can be both advantageous and detrimental.

What are vortices?

Vortices, the plural of ‘vortex’, can form in two ways however let’s underline just what type of vortices we are looking at for this piece. A regular vortex is a region of air spinning around an imaginary axis and can easily be formed by simply stirring your tea with a spoon or pulling the plug from a sink filled with liquid and watching it drain.

What we are looking into here are wingtip vortices – vortices induced by the natural properties of air as it flows over a surface. They can be seen as spirals of air trailing behind the tips of a wing, be it on an airplane on a racing car. Due to their rotation they are often the biggest cause of induced drag as they are turbulent and slower than clean, laminar airflow. Continue reading