And I hope your elbow gets better! No tennis for a while then.
You're comfusing the types of ground effects.
The cars that were creating problems were the mini-skirt wingless ground effects cars.
The are other forms of ground effects like the initial inverted-wing ground-effects car.
a] A (inverted-)wing ground-effects car (Lotus 78) is one where the sidepods (of a single seater) or the undertray (of a sportscar) is shaped as an inverted wing. Distance of wing section from ground is not critical for generation of downforce. The first generation of "wing car/ground effect" cars were wing cars, as the Lotus 78 (note the "brushes" that Colin Chapman used to keep the fast, low speed air under the car).
b] A "ground effect" skirt car (or wingless car; Lotus 80) is one where the profile of the sidepod or of the undertray is not the one of an inverted wing, but it operates accelerating the air under the car and then extracting at its rear as fastly as possible. In this case, the distance (low height) from ground is very important to generate downforce.
(these were the ones causing the big problems, due to their ride height and dependence on the fragile mini-skirts)
(The Lotus 79 was sort of hybrid between a/Lotus 78 and b/Lotus 80)
c] Today's flat bottom F1 single seaters of today are also partially ground-effects cars. As the combination of flat-bottom + rear diffuser (introduced in 87 I belive) achieves the trick to a limited extent.
(Inverted) Wing ground-effects cars - and not mini-skirts/wingless nor today's flat-bottoms - could make racing safer and better.
By using inverted-wing shaped sidepods/undertrays the overall downforce generated by the single-seater becomes less dependent on the front and rear wing.
So the system may act as a "safety harness" in case the front is lost and/or the car goes over a crest following the tow given by another.
The shape and profile of the floor can be easily regulated by using templates (as the Nascar body inspection technique). Besides safety, wing cars can also be used to spice up racing.
Cars become less dependent on the front wing, so they are more able to follow another one through disturbed air (turbulent air) and not become quite tough to handle in these circumstances.
So it would be easier (and safer) to a car to follow another one up close and then pull an overtaking move.
This would only solve part of the problem, as the suspensions and tires are the other ones.
The suspensions of today don't follow the track properly (as they're actually transversal suspensions not vertical). So we need a new type of suspensions either passive (hydropneumatic, hydragas) or active that can follow the road properly.
Next stop would be slick tires.
Edited by DOF_Renault_BMW, 01 September 2007 - 10:29 AM.