Aerodynamic study of the wake effects on a Formula 1 car
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The high complexity of current Formula One aerodynamics has raised the question of whether an urgent modification in the existing aerodynamic package is required. The present study is based on the evaluation and quantification of the aerodynamic performance on a 2017 spec. adapted Formula 1 car (the latest major aerodynamic update) by means of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis in order to argue whether the 2022 changes in the regulations are justified in terms of aerodynamic necessities. Both free stream and flow disturbance (wake effects) conditions are evaluated in order to study and quantify the effects that the wake may cause on the latter case. The problem is solved by performing different CFD simulations using the OpenFoam solver. The significance and originality of the research may dictate the guidelines towards an overall improvement of the category and it may set a precedent on how to model racing car aerodynamics. The studied behaviour suggests that modern F1 cars are designed and well optimised to run under free stream flows, but they experience drastic aerodynamic losses (ranging from -23% to 62% in downforce coefficients) when running under wake flows. Although the overall aerodynamic loads are reduced, there is a fuel efficiency improvement as the power that is required to overcome the drag is smaller. The modern performance of Ground Effect by means of vortices management represent a very unique and complex way of modelling modern aerodynamics, but at the same time notably compromises the performance of the cars when an overtaking maneuver is intended
CitationGuerrero, A.; Castilla, R. Aerodynamic study of the wake effects on a Formula 1 car. "Energies", 5 Octubre 2020, vol. 13, núm. 19, p. 5183:1-5183:25.