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F1 cars downforce figures throught the years


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#1 Kubiccia

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 21:49

I've been desiring to have as much downforce numbers as possible for the F1 cars over the years.

So far I have this:

_A guy posted in another forum a racetech magazine article from 1998 which stated that, before Imola 94 and the sucession of restriction in aerodynamics that followed the tragedies of Senna and Ratzenberg, F1 cars were reaching around 4000lbs(about 1800Kgs) of downforce at 165mph(265kmh) for Monaco configuration and that in the year of 1998 those figures were 3000lbs of downforce at the same speed of 165mph for Monaco configuration as well.

_I also read somewhere a quote from Piola's book claiming 1500kgs of downforce in Monaco at 290kmh were achieved in 2000 and in 2001 it generated 1700kg at same speed at the same Monaco configuration.

_Aditionally, I saw once in a Williams documantary that their 2008 front wing generated around 800kg of downforce at 300kmh and that the front wing accounted for 25% of total downforce which gives 3200kgs of downforce for 2008 cars at 300kmh. This is also comparable with an information that once was in f1.com in the year of 2007 which stated that F1 cars could equal their weight in downforce with speeds of 125-130kmh. Doing some calculations: 300/130=2,3 and the square of it multiplied by the car's weight(downforce at 130kmh) gives the downforce value at 300kmh for a laminar flow. The number we get by this is 3195, which confirms the Williams documantary info.





Does anybody have more figures from Piola's books, racetech or any other sources to share, please?



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#2 Greg Locock

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 22:33

Both of Peter Wright's books have sections on F1 aero. I imagine Katz may have written something relevant as well.

I'd a thunk it was strongly associated with whatever body shapes and technologies were currently in vogue or banned, and the max power (not torque) of the engines.

#3 Kubiccia

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 18:37

Those books are old and only contain info of Lotus 78/79 etc.

I don't have a racing magazine collection but somebody who does have it, might have the answers for it.

#4 Greg Locock

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 21:23

Those books are old and only contain info of Lotus 78/79 etc.

I don't have a racing magazine collection but somebody who does have it, might have the answers for it.

...and with your ungracious attitude I'd be amazed if they bothered to help. PW's Ferrari book doesn't mention Lotus, not very surprisingly.

#5 24gerrard

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 12:40

...and with your ungracious attitude I'd be amazed if they bothered to help. PW's Ferrari book doesn't mention Lotus, not very surprisingly.


To give Peter Wright his due, he did learn his craft from some of the greats even if he tapered off a little bit later on.

#6 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 30 January 2012 - 15:23

I find this link useful in general terms.

http://www.mulsannes...r.com/data.html

For instance that a 1978 Lotus was making levels of downforce a CART team in 2000 would have been happy with.

#7 Kubiccia

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 20:02

...and with your ungracious attitude I'd be amazed if they bothered to help. PW's Ferrari book doesn't mention Lotus, not very surprisingly.

what is surprising about Peter Wright is that the figures on his books are lower than the ones said for Williams in the BBC series called "Gentlemen, lift your skirts"

In this show, it is said that the 1980 Williams with skirts generated from 4 to 5 thousand pounds of load at 180mph. While Wright wrote Lotus only reached 3600lbs at the same speed. :confused:

#8 Greg Locock

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Posted 04 February 2012 - 21:05

Even if everybody is telling the truth, I wonder if that was at the same test condition? From memory Ferrari run 3 different downforce configurations in a season. And the optimum downforce for a given car on a given circuit could be different to that for a different car.

#9 Kubiccia

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:52

Even if everybody is telling the truth, I wonder if that was at the same test condition? From memory Ferrari run 3 different downforce configurations in a season. And the optimum downforce for a given car on a given circuit could be different to that for a different car.

Well, looking it closely, apparently the Lotus figures are from 1978 despite their car was named 79. Williams figures are probably from 79 or 80 when Williams was the fastest car without having a super engine.

So I suppose Williams overtook Williams in the ground effect run and managed to extract many downforce from it.

It would be nice to see how a fan car would develop. I think you could generate tones of load calibrating the fan to suit your need and properly sealing the floor and skirts combined with today's vortices that prevent some high pressure air from entering the low pressure underbody.

#10 bigleagueslider

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:06

Some of the skirted F1 cars made lots of downforce from the underbody. In fact, the skirted underbody became so effective that some teams eliminated their front wings, such as the BT49:

Posted Image

But the downforce numbers from F1 cars were probably nowhere near those achieved by some of the Group C sports cars or IMSA GTPs when their tunnel sizes were unregulated. The full bodywork, massive tunnels, big tires, and powerful engines used in those sports prototypes, combined with the high speeds seen at places like LeMans and Daytona, meant massive amounts of downforce.

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#11 Catalina Park

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:20

From memory the Group C cars had to have a flat rectangle of a certain size under the floor, so the tunnels had to start after the flat rectangle.
This rule probably helped keep the cars sensible otherwise they could have been lifting the drivers bottom to make the tunnels longer.

#12 GreenMachine

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:33

From memory the Group C cars had to have a flat rectangle of a certain size under the floor, so the tunnels had to start after the flat rectangle.
This rule probably helped keep the cars sensible otherwise they could have been lifting the drivers bottom to make the tunnels longer wider.


 ;)

#13 Tony Matthews

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 10:25

Well, looking it closely, apparently the Lotus figures are from 1978 despite their car was named 79.

The Lotus numbering system had nothing to do with the year of design/manufacture, it was just chronological.

So I suppose Williams overtook Williams(Lotus) in the ground effect run and managed to extract many downforce from it.


Exactly, once teams worked out what Lotus were doing it was (relatively) easy to design similar, better chassis. Not everyone got it right, McLaren for one, and Lotus went the wrong way with the Type 80.





#14 macoran

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:05

This may be of interest to you
Posted Image

#15 Tony Matthews

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:22

Very interesting, Marc, thanks. I don't remember ever seeing that before.

#16 macoran

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:26

Very interesting, Marc, thanks. I don't remember ever seeing that before.

Cutawayland Tony, page 71
you must study your Ibsenology !!
:p

Edited by macoran, 05 February 2012 - 12:28.


#17 mariner

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:39

I think that drawing was from the UK Motor magazine in the late 70's or early 80's. It was a follow-up to a much older drawing of the "100 mph corner" done in Motor back in the 1950's.

I think the first one was by Lawrence (?) Pomeroy.


BTW the death of Charles Bulmer the noted UK motoring writer of eh 1960/70's has been announced which is sad.


Without getting too misty-eyed he was from a generation of writers in Motor and Autocar in the UK who had significant technical understanding and wrote quite in-depth articles in those weekly mags. I think one of his articles was a full analysis of front drive torque steer with some equations. Try to find that sort of thing today

#18 Tony Matthews

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 13:54

Cutawayland Tony, page 71
you must study your Ibsenology !!
:p

Page 71? Almost before I was born...

#19 macoran

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 15:32

Page 71? Almost before I was born...

You was born on page 3 post #92

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#20 Tony Matthews

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 17:02

:)

#21 GreenMachine

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 05:19

The Lotus numbering system had nothing to do with the year of design/manufacture, it was just chronological sequential.


 ;)

#22 Tony Matthews

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 08:05

Thanks Greenie, I was confusing it with chronological gearboxes!

#23 24gerrard

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 10:47

;)



Hmm thats queer. :stoned:

#24 Craven Morehead

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Posted 20 February 2012 - 06:53

Thanks Greenie, I was confusing it with chronological gearboxes!


:lol: nicely played :up: