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F1 reveals first look at 2021 car design in the wind tunnel

Baku, August 23, AZERTAC

Formula 1 and governing body, the FIA, have completed an unprecedented amount of research and development using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) to make their vision for 2021 become reality, according to the official website of Formula 1. The next step was to confirm that data with tests in the wind tunnel.

So last month, ahead of the German Grand Prix, a model of the latest 2021 iteration was put in the Sauber wind tunnel under strict conditions of secrecy, for extensive testing. It came after a first run in January, where a 2018 60% model was used, and a second run in March, when an iteration of the 2021 car was tested with 13-inch wheels. While the general results will be shared with all teams, Sauber`s independent consultancy group ran the wind tunnel ensuring that their F1 team (Alfa Romeo Racing) gained no advantage.

Elements such as the sidepod areas and rear wing are expected to remain the same in the final iteration, but expect the front wing to evolve as they continue to develop it.

An advantage of using the Sauber wind tunnel, which is available commercially to hire, is that the Swiss operation have a very good automatic rake system. Nikolas Tombazis, the FIA`s Head of Single Seater Technical Matters, says the rake is made up of “pitot tubes with yaw sensitivity, so they can measure the direction, the pressure and the velocity of the flow and so on, mainly the velocity components and the pressure”.

He adds: “And in that way we can make sure that what the CFD is predicting is correct as the bulk of the work, 99% of the work, for these configurations has been done in CFD.

“The fundamental point of all of this is that we are trying to reduce the losses that the following car would face. The simplification of the leading car`s aerodynamics also helps for wake performance because on the one hand the front car doesn't have as many methods to control its wake. On the other hand the following car, not having all these little, very sensitive devices is less susceptible to disruption.”

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