DOF_power

Days Of Downforce And Aero Efficiency

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Williams FW07

The ultimate aerodynamic Grand Prix machine to ever be raced.

2.278 Kgs @ 150mph/240 kmh with 285 Kgs of drag

Lift-to-drag ratio: 8:1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2-Cym60oEU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUiGC_eqcoM

But even he was suposed to have a daddy, the FW08 six wheeler

good21ve.jpg

It's Lift to Drag ratio of 13 to 1 IT is the equivalent of GOD ALLMIGHTY in terms aero efficiency. Ofcourse it was banned before racing for giving heart attacks to FIA officials with its figures.

A modern F1 car has an Lift to Drag ratio of 3.5 to 1.

In other words a lot less downforce combined with a lot more drag to prevent the cars from going fast.

You just can't beat a good ol' ground effects 6 wheeler in the terms of aero efficiency.

Edited by DOF_Renault_BMW

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Great topic! Maybe its an indication of why F1 had/has to go through countless regulation changes. Perfection is at reach when talkng about F1 and the cars can be too fast for the drivers. Not only in terms of speed but in terms of g-forces and physical strain. The FIA realises that and has turned the championship into one big laboratory.

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The problem is, in 94 before and after Senna's death, the modifications the FIA has made lead to the death of clean aerodynamics.

Edited by DOF_Renault_BMW

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I agree the FW07 was a great aero car, probably the first to really improve on the Lotus interpretation of the wing car. But, I think the cars from the 1982 season might have been the better aero cars than the FW07. The Williams FW07 car debuted in 1979 and although constantly updated and raced as late as Long beach 1982 (IIRC), it was not the best aero car. The cars designed for or during that season were far superior in terms of downforce (Ferrari 126C2, Renault Re30, Mac MP4/1, Brabham BT50, Lotus 92, Ligier JS19).

Interesting fact: Ross Brawn worked on the wing tunnel model and testing of the FW07, he was part of the team that sealed the floor around the engine\gearbox (the first team to do so) which really gave the FW07 its downforce.

The FW08 was designed with six wheels in mind, then FISA banned 6 wheels and the car raced as a compromised four wheeler, even though it won the championship this was down to reliability and Rosbergs driving than the car being the best. The short wheelbase that raced in 1982 came about from the removal of the extra set of wheels, this made the ground effect tunnels shorter and prevented the car creating as much downforce as it could have done. Even with the six wheels the longer ground effect tunnels were compromised by the extra rear suspension for the third axle. If you compare that to the Ligier JS19 with its full length skirted ground effect tunnels and rear suspension tucked inside the sidepods the Williams was much better design, although it appeared to late to be fully developed before the flat bottom rule came in for 1983.

Scarbs

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The 82 cars didn't have sliding skirts as they were banned. They also increased the minimum ride; and Brabham bypassed that via hydropneumatique suspensions.

These modifications meant that it was too severely mutilated to still be more than a shadow of what it was. And as it didn't have a turbo like Renault, Ferrari and Brabham-BMW it was even more outdated.

But at it's peak, before the skirt ban and minimum ride height, it achieved a level of downforce and aero efficiency never reached before or after.

Average (field) downforce levels, p24 in Peter Wright's "Formula 1 Technology".

img3200pi4.jpg

Edited by DOF_Renault_BMW

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Basic question: how come F1 cars are so good today? Is it mainly the tyres? I thought downforce would be higher now than in the past, but clearly not. And the power of today is nothing special either. Maybe it's all in the details, like how the power can be applied?

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Basic question: how come F1 cars are so good today? Is it mainly the tyres? I thought downforce would be higher now than in the past, but clearly not. And the power of today is nothing special either. Maybe it's all in the details, like how the power can be applied?

Tires compounds nope, the 06 had the best compounds. Suspensions, no way, as the active suspensions were decades ahead of what we had today.

It's the hole package or something like that.

Things are like this:

- highest top speed and highest average speed, on an oval/combined circuit, the 1937 Auto Union C type with the AVUS streamlined body

- ultimate aero GP racer, the 1979/1980 (sliding skirt, low ride height) Williams FW07

- most advanced GP racer, the 1993 Williams FW15C

- fastest GP racer on a track, the 2004 Ferrari F2004

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Tires compounds nope, the 06 had the best compounds. Suspensions, no way, as the active suspensions were decades ahead of what we had today.

It's the hole package or something like that.

Things are like this:

- highest top speed and highest average speed, on an oval/combined circuit, the 1937 Auto Union C type with the AVUS streamlined body

- ultimate aero GP racer, the 1979/1980 (sliding skirt, low ride height) Williams FW07

- most advanced GP racer, the 1993 Williams FW15C

- fastest GP racer on a track, the 2004 Ferrari F2004

Cheers. I think it must all be in the details like you say!

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