First F1 car to use wings?
Posted 30 January 2000 - 05:14
I always thought this was first tried by one of the British teams.
Posted 30 January 2000 - 05:53
Posted 30 January 2000 - 07:37
Oddly enough, a Porsche ran a huge, full-width wing, mounted to the body amidships during practice at the 1000 km. race at the Nurburgring in 1956! Yes '56!!! I do not believe it ran during the race itself, but it was a decade earlier than Jim Hall's Chapparel.
Posted 30 January 2000 - 10:23
Posted 30 January 2000 - 11:02
But I could be wrong.
The May brothers, who were Swiss, ran a big wing over their Porsche Spyder in 1956 - was it at the Nurburgring or the Targa Florio?
There were no wings anywhere on the Lotus or Ferrari that ran the Tasman Series in early 1968, but by Monaco there were moves afoot.
Posted 30 January 2000 - 12:24
the Lotus had nose wings that were rather like dive planes rather than full wings early in 68, but the first full wing was on the Ferrari at Spa. Lotus quickly followed with wings mounted higher, and directly onto the wheel hubs (the ferrari wing was mounted on struts which attached to the chassis).
In '55, the Mercedes Benz 300 SLR was fitted with a movable "air brake" behind the drivers head. the drivers raised it to assist braking, particularly at the end of the Mulsanne straight. Moss and Fangio quickly found that if they raised it partially, they could take the bend after the pits flat, whereas with it lowered they had to lift off the throttle.
Posted 30 January 2000 - 13:24
They may have been there in '55, but I don't think so. Speedvision did a "Legends of Motorsport" episode of the '56 1000kms. and I saw the car then. The narrator even commented on it. I paid special attention when the cars came around on the 1st lap, and didn't see it in the field. Anyway, I know it was used for practice in '56. Maybe it was there a year earlier as well.
Posted 30 January 2000 - 14:13
Posted 31 January 2000 - 01:43
As far as I am aware, the oldest user of an inverted wing was on an experimental rocket powered car built by Fritz Von Opel in the 1920's. I'm also sure I've read somewhere that the record breaking Auto Unions of the 1930's also featured aerodynamic skirts running along the side of the car, 40 years before the Lotus 78 and 79.
Posted 31 January 2000 - 03:42
If you saw the whole Brabham that Jack raced at Monza in '67, you would be sure the were functioning as wings. There was difinitely a rear "wing" on the car in the form of a sizable horizontal fin on either side of the engine cowling. Attached or not, they were wings. So it was Brabham, NOT Lotus, BRM, or Ferrari who brought wings to Grand Prix racing.
Posted 31 January 2000 - 04:48
Anyone got pictures of those?
Posted 31 January 2000 - 05:51
Posted 31 January 2000 - 10:07
"During practice both 49s appeared with bib spoilers around the nose cone, the intention being to counter any negative lift that might be induced by the high speeds (...) they made the back end unstable since there was nothing to balance the downforce created at the front of the car..."
So it was Lotus in 1967, at least in F1. Brabham did turn up with a nouveaute in Monza '67: the bubble canopy over the cockpit! It wasn't used in the race - too stuffy.
In '68 all designers played around with fins, wings and spoilers.
Posted 31 January 2000 - 10:34
Did IndyCars use wings first or did F1 designers use them first on openwheelers?
Posted 31 January 2000 - 12:17
In addition, Vanwall showed up with a perspex bubble top for Stirling Moss' car at Monza in 1958. It only added 50 rpm down the straights, and Moss elected not to use it. Surely Chapman, not one to ever miss a trick, would have taken a look. But his bubble top at Spa was definitely not the first.
Posted 31 January 2000 - 21:10
Anybody know anything about this? (It was probably a fairy story.... )
Posted 01 February 2000 - 03:48
The story about Lotus "discovering" downforce by accident in this way does sound a bit apoctyphal. Whenever one talks about innovation in Formula One, it's amazing how often Lotus gets the credit, even when they don't deserve it. In this case, it looks like the honours really belong to Brabham and Ferrari (at least as far as F1 is concerned). However, using shaped bodywork (as opposed to aerofoils) to generate downforce IS something that was pioneered by Lotus. The classic 70's wedge shaped Formula One car originated with the 1970 Lotus 72. This itself had evolved out of Lotus's experiences using the wedge shaped gas turbine car at Imdianapolis in 1968.
Posted 01 February 2000 - 04:22
But in the same issue there's a picture of Foyt winning Indy, and his car has the wrap-around bib on the nose as Lotus used!
The really effective wings were those used later on by a number of teams that acted directly on the suspension. These didn't load up the springs, but showed themselves to be fragile.
I think Lotus were first, but Brabham had them front and rear, with a split in the middle at one time so that they acted independently on each wheel - must ask him why he did that! Never questioned it before...
Posted 01 February 2000 - 04:55
Fast one, - OK. I bow to your better knowledge with regard to the year.
Posted 01 February 2000 - 12:21
Please do not bow, as my knowlwdge is superior to no one's. I just was lucky to see a show on the '56 race a few days before. Save your bows for Don, Dennis and Ray, the real gurus around here.
Posted 02 February 2000 - 05:12
"The Beelgian GP was held on June 9th, a date of some historic significance, as the Ardennes race marked the first occasion on which GP cars ran with rear-mounted stabilising wings.
Lotus had an additional metal foil fitted to the wedge-shaped engine cover of their cars to increase downforce on the rear axle, while Ferrari mounted an aerofoil wing over the 312's engine, and with this Chris Amon was fastest in the first practice session. Soon after that the Brabham was also seen with a rear wing mounted over the engine, which distributed downforce more evenly over the whole car and not just on the rear suspension.
Posted 02 February 2000 - 06:29
What Brabham ran as early as Spa, 1967 (a whole year earlier than some "historians" have allowed, were protruding fins that generated downforce. Sounds like a wing to me. If you doubt it, look at the photographs. They can neither lie nor be misinformed. Lotus and Ferrari may have been the big names, but Black Jack brought wings to Grand Prix racing, and that is just a fact.
What is of more interest to me is the odd curiousity that the first two courses to see downforce on Jack's cars were Spa and Monza, what would today be considered very low-downforce tracks. At the 'Ring, Zandvoort, and Mosport, tracks where you would think that downforce would make a bigger difference, the cars ran without them. Any ideas why?
[This message has been edited by Fast One (edited 02-01-2000).]
Posted 02 February 2000 - 10:29
Posted 02 February 2000 - 13:28
Posted 02 February 2000 - 22:44
When Jacques Villeneuve came from CART to Williams, they didn't want to listen to what he had to say about set up. In the US, running ovals and road courses teaches teams to set up each corner of a car individually.
JV told Head that the circuit they were going to run had nine right hand turns, most of them fast, and only a few left hand turns, all but one of them slow. Why not set up the car to turn right and make time in all the right hand turns?
They looked at him like he was a backwards idiot and said that for road courses, you set up the front and the rear of the car. Left and right stay the same. It took them much of the season to finally wrap their narrow little minds around what he was saying and his famous outside pass of Schumacher was the result.
Posted 03 February 2000 - 01:19
"In 1963-64 a Swiss engineer, Micheal May, was a consultant to Ferrari on its successful adoption of Bosch direct fuel injection for its racing engines (see... May had been the first to exploit downforce wings in circuit racing (as distinct from record breaking). His privately-entered Porsche 550 Spyder went so quickly in practice at a 1956 Nurburgring sports-car race that the Porsche factory team manager supported those who argued successfully for the removal of its big wing. May mentioned the function and the success of this device to Mauro Forghieri of Ferrari. A well, early in 1968 in New Zealand, Ferrari engineer Gianni Marelli had witnessed experiments with a primitive wing tried, but not raced, on a Lotus driven by Jimmy Clark. In the meantime it was no secret that in America the Chaparral team was using large wings on its Can-Am sports cars, although they had not yet demonstrated convincing superiority over the series Champions McLaren.
Ferrari itself had experimented with a rear wing on the 246 SP when the value of the tail spoiler was discovered in 1961, but that proved premature. Taking note now of all these influences and assessing as well the potential value to be obtained from a wing to aid cornering traction, Mauro Forghieri and his team engineered, built and mounted an aerodynamically-sound wing on the 312 F1 Ferrari and tested it in 1968.
The results were good enough for both the team's racing cars to appear with wings at Spa in Belgium for the GP on 9 June. On this fast circuit, where the wing would have maximum effect, both Ferrais qualified on the front row of the grid. One raced without its wing but the other, driven by Chris Amon, used it in the race - marking the first deployment of a downforce-generating wing in F1 competition.
Posted 03 February 2000 - 01:57
Prior to this Bruce McLaren and Jack Brabham toyed around with wings, but neither used them in a qualifing or race situation.
It was only when Chris Amon came out during practice at Spa did everyone take wings seriously.
Spoilers and winglets are not considered wings. For example during the '69 Monaco GP, wings wre banned during practice, yet almost every team came out with spoilers and swept up tail sections, which were deemed legal.
Posted 03 February 2000 - 02:05
By your definition, only WWI airplanes had wings. Anyway, think what you want, but the fact remains that Brabham was the first to use wings in a race, and that race was Spa, 1967.
Posted 03 February 2000 - 10:19
Gianni Marelli a young Ferrari engineer who was there at the time photographed it from every angle.
Posted 04 February 2000 - 00:09
I wish I could get you to scan in my pictures of the 1967 Brabham at Spa and Le Mans.
[This message has been edited by Fast One (edited 02-04-2000).]
Posted 06 February 2000 - 06:31
"The Lotus cars (49's) had small air deflectors on the sides of the nose cowling as they were anticipating reaching 190 mph and there was a feeling that the front might suffer from aerodynamic lift. Brabham was also trying similar deflectors".
This was in qualifying and, unfortunately, the race photos do not show any of the Brabhams and the picture of Clark's Lotus 49 shows that no deflector was fitted for the race.
The next month's magazine shows pictures from the French GP at Le Mans and DOES show Brabham's and Hulme's Brabhams with the deflectors fitted. On this occasion however, the caption beneath the photograph states, "The deflector by the front suspension is to encourage a suction to help extract radiator air".
Methinks perhaps that there was a bit of disinformation emanating from Black Jack's technical department.
Maybe if I bump into him at Goodwood this year I'll ask him what these things were really for.
Posted 06 February 2000 - 07:34
Posted 06 February 2000 - 07:38
Fast One, a beautiful car don't you think? All it needs now is an enclosed roof.;)
Ray, I don't have a scanner but if you can find a picture somewhere on the net, just right click on it, hit properties and it will show you the exact URL address specific for the picture (usually ends with .jpg or .JPG if it doesn't then you can't post just that specific picture) then type in this exact URL address on your post in between and it will appear. You can click on edit on my post above that has the picture in it to show you how it is done.
Posted 06 February 2000 - 10:44
When ideas are new, experiments tend to run in different directions. The pathe doesn't narrow until the best method is found...or really the best method the rulemakers decide to allow to continue. Brabham did not run wings of the sort that Amon's Ferrari did, but if the accomplished the same thing in terms of downforce, even if less efficiently, and if the otherwise resemble the aerodynamic device known generally as a wing, then what we have is a wing, like it or not. And like it or not, I am sure Black Jack's cars meet all the criteria. Including those front fins, spoilers, or whatever you want to call them.
The important question for history is who first used an aerodynamic device SPECIFICALLY TO CREATE DOWNFORCE. Attempts to narrow the question are attempts to manipulate the answer. Until Jack Brabham, any downforce created was incidental, not intended. After Jack Brabham were variations on and improvements on the theme. But Jack was first to attempt to create downforce on a Grand Prix car. Not Lotus, not BRM, and certainly not Ferrari, who historically have been one of the least innovative builders. By Monaco '68, Lotus and BRM had delibeately added devices to create downforce. By Spa, Ferrari raced a new kind of wing mounted to the body. Soon wings were mounted directly to the suspension because it was more efficient than mounting them to the body,
and that was the rage until too many failures led to the practice being banned.
The Ferrai method is the closest to resembling that of a modern car, but that was an accident of the rules, not of any special genius on Forgieri's part. So let's be broadminded and look at intent in evaluating the experiments. That way we won't be answering our questions before we ask them.
Posted 06 February 2000 - 18:35
My problem with posting pictures is that I can scan my own, but have no means of putting them up anywhere. What's the solution?
Posted 08 February 2000 - 21:06
But, I must refer everyone to the 1969 issue of Road & Track, where in the Monaco Grand Prix report there is included the rules regarding what is, and is not, a wing.
I've seen photos of the '67 Brabham and by definition, Jack never ran wings. Aerodynamic devices, yes, but wings, no.
Not until Spa '68, after Amon's Ferrari.
I've been a racing fan for many years and spent ten years racing in Formula Vee and I've seen many the racer try to call a wing by another name to try to get it by the scrutineers, but wings are wings, and everything else isn't
Posted 09 February 2000 - 01:09
"Pete, Do you sometimes get tired? Lately I have been getting tired. Very tired."
Posted 09 February 2000 - 01:55
Is that story about JV and corner setups true?!? If so, it's a better story than any of the others above!
Could you supply more info on your sources, please?
(Incidentally, was that pass the one that some people put down to a backmarker giving JV the advantage?)
Posted 09 February 2000 - 02:45
That's against the rules mate, and we never broke the rules. Did we??
And what do you mean crummy?
We always cleaned the car after lunch.
It was the stains from the Molson that were hard to get out.
"Keep the change"
Posted 09 February 2000 - 04:53
The reason we should count any appendage as a wing in this reasoning is because of the natural progression to put that appendage on supports and get it into the air.
Jack's things count!
Posted 09 February 2000 - 06:16
But you have to change the question to;
What was the first F1 car to run "things"
Then the '67 Brabham, Lotus, et al would
But the only correct answer to the original question is Chris Amon's Ferrari, Spa '68.
The problem I believe everyone is having is that the rules were written a long time ago, but I was actually around to see them go into effect. In all of the history of F1, no rule or description of an aerodynamic device was ever as clear. A wing can only be a wing.
And everything else isn't. Dig up the old FIA rule, it's clear today as it was then.
Posted 09 February 2000 - 08:15
I think your confidence in the clarity of the definition of wings is eye popping. F1 rules have struggled to define also sorts of simple (?) things: rigid, fuel, round, flat, anything to do with Ferrari's barge boards
Wouldn't a "dive plane" odd little triangular "fins" on the lower front corners, with flow over both sides of a surface to generate downforce be a "wing"
Brahbam gets my gurnsey from F1 for intent and some level of understanding in generating lap time out of aerodynamics.
Does anyone get an earlier credit than May with his Porsche (broad or narrow definitions) if we are looking at automotive exploits other than F1?
Posted 09 February 2000 - 23:03
1- You have to define the differance between a true wing and "other" areodynamic devices.
2- He's old enough to remember them at their infancy. I think he's also old enough to remember pneumatic tires being used for the first time and who won the 1935 Targa Florio.
"Pete, Do you sometimes get tired? Lately I have been getting tired. Very tired."
Posted 10 February 2000 - 00:16
Posted 10 February 2000 - 01:15
Dive planes, nose fins, spoilers, angled pieces of bodywork were all allowed after the official ban on "wings".Their dimentions were limited, but they were allowed, hence none of those items can be considered wings.
At least, by definition, The '67 Brabham would have been legal that day.
As for May, so many things can cause downforce, body panels, flaps, raised pieces of bodywork. But from Spa '68 almost all F1 teams used some kind of reverse lift aeroplane wing suspended above the main chassis by struts that either connected to the suspension or frame. These are the true "wings", and nothing like them have been used in F1 before Spa'68, or after Monaco '69. Pictures tell the true story. Now get out those old racing books and have a look.
As for me being old enough to have seen the 1935 "Targa" and the birth of pneumatic tires, ZippyD knows better than that, and he also knows the size of my motor racing library. Everything about Autoracing history is out there somewhere, you just have to look.
Posted 10 February 2000 - 05:31