Why do formulas look like this?

Hi,
today I want to explain the formula cars and why they look like how they look like, because they have something very special, upside down wings!


Wow, ok, what is that? Well in the picture above you can notice two particular parts which you would not maybe expect when driving as fast as possible since they make the friction with air higher.

There is one infront of the car and one behind it. It is turned towards the motion of the car so that the air pushes the car back and down.

I could seem that it is not very efficient and that it only slows the driver, but lets see the physics behind it!


Formulas have one problem, they have to slow down in curve. Why? Well if they would not slow down it would throw them out of it because of the cars inertia (not centrifugal force). At the same time the driver wants to drive as fast as possible to finish the race first. When he is driving in the curve the only thing that holds him in place is the friction from tires, here it has the role of centripital force and the equation for friction is:

F=Nf

Where N is the downward force and f is the ratio between asphalt and tire. To get the highest possible centripetal force, or friction here, you need to have bigger N.

 

You would have big N if you would have heavy car but you do not want to have that since it would slow you a lot in straight line. So you put on your car those wings and it looks like this:

Formula1

The brown arrow is the direction in which the formula drives. Blue arrows are the flow of air this pushes the black part down (red arrow) and little bit back. The simple blue arrow shows where the air goes afterward.

This red arrow helps the car stay on the road because it does not fly away thanks to this even in high speeds, otherwise you would have to slow down because of the inertia.

 

Dragallur

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4 thoughts on “Why do formulas look like this?

  1. I went to an ‘art’ exhibition a few years back in which about a dozen F1 cars from the past 40 years had been collected together, and they all did that aerodynamic thing in different ways – basically as the engineers came up with a specific shape that gave THEIR car the edge, the rules got changed to cut it out, so they came up with something else, and so it went on… Very artistically, too, I might add!

    Liked by 1 person

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