A short presentation on Aerodynamic optimization techniques in design of Formula 1 cars.
The major performance gain in a Formula 1 car is its Aerodynamic performance, as
engine and mechanical tweaks to the car only provide marginal gains. Thus, it has become
the key to success in this sport, resulting in teams spending millions of dollars on research
and development in this field each year. Even though the aerodynamics in formula 1 is at an
advanced stage, there is potential for further development. With the under-body
aerodynamics banned by the FIA, the only significant changes that can be made to improve
the aerodynamic performance of the car are by modifying the front and rear wings crosssections,
i.e. airfoils, or by developing new diffuser to modify the air flow underneath the car.
Design of airfoil is one of the important factors to consider while designing the car. Design of
the optimum airfoils is track-dependent since each track has different aerodynamic
requirements. The development of the F1 car is regulated by the rules sanctioned by the FIA.
In recent years, the FIA has reduced the allowable operational hours for development at the
wind-tunnel by a F1 team. This study, focuses on the fundamentals of aerodynamics in a F1
car and the various techniques that were and are used by in the design of an F1 car by
different teams on the chassis, the drag reduction techniques on the front and rear wings etc.
for achieving the best lap times possible around a particular track. This will also effectively
focus the area of development in aerodynamics for the car and testing methods both software
and real time for evaluating the design tweaks.