Technical: Aerodynamics

Keep Calm and Brake Late

Technical: Aerodynamics

Next to the energy management system (ERS) and complying with the 2014 FIA rules, aerodynamics is now the most important area for improving the performance of a Formula One car. The designing is so complex that some teams have more than 100 (smaller teams like Sahara Force India) to over 400 (like Red Bull Racing (RBR)) people employed to design aero bits to improve the car’s efficiency.

The study of aerodynamics influences the way a car cuts through air, aiming to reduce its drag while at the same time adding downforce. All teams are continuously introducing updates, even for gains as small as hundredths of seconds per lap. Such small gains are currently designed and modeled with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software. After a scale model is produced, the vehicle is then tested in state-of-the-art wind tunnel. If the desired results are achieved, final production can start.

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