In the F1 World - Aerodynamics is Everything

The BBC has run a four-part series on "How to make an F1 car" based on an interview with former Formula 1 car designer Gary Anderson. The series provides a great insight into the F1 design process and highlights the overriding importance of aerodynamics. Follow the links to read the full articles.

Anderson Designed 1991 JordanAnderson Designed 1991 JordanLicense: CC BY 2.0, Stuart Seeger

How to make an F1 car, Part 1: conceptual design

First of all, we will examine the first steps in the design of a new car. And it might surprise you to know that the work on the cars you will see for the first time in the next month or so started as soon as their predecessors hit the track at the same time last year. Read more >>

How to make an F1 car, Part 2: basic structure

Once a team has laid out the design of the fundamental mechanical parts of the car, two things need to happen - one, the design office need to devise the most aerodynamically advantageous bodywork for it; and the car needs to be built. Read more >>

How to make an F1 car, Part 3: aerodynamic characteristics

You always want more downforce and less drag - that never changes. This is what F1 teams are referring to if you hear them talking about "L over D". They mean lift - or negative lift, i.e., downforce - compared to drag. You want your L/D figure to be as high as possible. Read more >>

How to make an F1 car, Part 4: aerodynamic detail work

All the aerodynamic surfaces, from the front wing through the sidepods to the diffuser and rear wing, create some sort of force, either negative or positive. What a team are trying to do is increase the positives and reduce the negatives. Read more >>



That was a great set of articles. I really enjoyed Part 4.