F1 commits to floor impact for new-look 2021 automobile


With discussions now underway between F1, the FIA and groups to finalise new rules aimed toward overhauling grand prix racing, the primary agency particulars concerning the plans for the 2021 have emerged.

As Giorgio Piola’s illustration of what a 2021 automobile might appear to be exhibits, the brand new guidelines revolve round an entire change of strategy to how a automobile produces downforce. The concept is to rid the game of the complicated aerodynamic gadgets which can be dominant these days, particularly within the wing and bargeboard space. There will probably be, for instance, a a lot easier and fewer delicate entrance wing.

However the greatest change is happening beneath the automobile – with a collection of Venturi tunnels feeding a deep twin diffuser that can produce a lot of the automobile’s downforce. The idea is just like what we beforehand noticed in F1, pioneered by Lotus within the late 1970s (as proven under), earlier than being banned in 1983.

Lotus 79 and Lotus 80 comparability

Picture by: Giorgio Piola

The FIA’s head of single-seater technical issues Nikolas Tombazis mentioned: “We wish to make it extra doable for vehicles to race every and comply with one another and to have extra thrilling battles. We wish to have tyres that allow individuals to battle one another with out degrading or solely giving a brief interval for the individual attacking to assault.

“They’re easier than the present vehicles as a result of loads of the small parts have been eliminated: particularly in entrance of the sidepods, the entrance wings are easier. There’s a diffuser going proper underneath the automobile – a venturi channel sort method. There are tunnels underneath the sidepods from the entrance to the again.”

Ferrari SF90 2021-2019 automobile facet comparability

Ferrari SF90 2021-2019 car side comparison


Picture by: Giorgio Piola

The assumption is that the mix of floor impact, easier aerodynamics and entrance wheel deflectors will all work collectively to assist vehicles to comply with one another a lot nearer.

The present technology of vehicles lose round 45% of their downforce when they’re two automobile lengths behind a rival. The most recent simulation knowledge of the 2021 concept places the loss at between 5-10%.

Tombazis added: “Two sturdy vortices suck in loads of the rear wing wake and, because of this, what the next automobile sees is way, a lot cleaner circulate. So we now have an enormous discount of the lack of downforce for the next automobile.” 

F1 hopes to achieve settlement with groups concerning the new guidelines by September 15, so the method can then transfer ahead for ratification by the FIA World Motor Sport Council earlier than the tip of October.

To additional clarify the considering behind it with Jonathan Noble and Jake Boxall-Legge, try this video…

Why the adjustments will enable nearer racing

By Jake Boxall-Legge

Bringing the main focus of the 2021 aerodynamics to the underbody of the automobile is not going to solely create a shift in design philosophy, however must also not less than make a step into enhancing the on-track product of F1.

Presently, F1 vehicles function with a flat flooring, which transitions to a diffuser on the rear axle level. At the side of a rear wing, the 2 contribute to nearly all of a automobile’s downforce, however at the price of a big turbulent wake – colloquially referred to as ‘soiled air’. Turbulence is one thing following automobile is delicate to, as vehicles are usually designed to function at their greatest in laminar, ambient circumstances. 

Switching to Venturi tunnels, which might open up on the entrance of the sidepods, develops what is named a floor impact, the place air is accelerated tougher because it transitions between the automobile’s flooring and the bottom.

This develops extra downforce, and signifies that the vehicles can work with a diminished rear wing measurement. The deal with underbody aero additionally reduces the sensitivity of the aerodynamic steadiness, which means a following automobile received’t endure from the instant lack of downforce inside a turbulent wake.

Including deflectors to the entrance wheels will help with trimming the wheel wake, guaranteeing that these Venturi tunnels stay efficient. The wake turbulence is notoriously tough to handle, therefore the rising complexity of the present bargeboard packages (as highlighted under), and inhibiting that wake signifies that the bargeboards will be extra tightly regulated. 

The complexity of the current Williams FW42 bargeboard

The complexity of the present Williams FW42 bargeboard

Picture by: Giorgio Piola