Aerodynamic Brake for Formula Cars

Author(s): Roberto Capata, Leone Martellucci

In the last years, in formula racing cars championships, the aerodynamic had reached an ever more important stance as a performance parameter. In the last four seasons, Red Bull Racing Technical Officer had designed their Formula 1 car with the specific aim to generate the optimal downforce, in relation to the car instantaneous setup. However, this extreme research of higher downforce brings some negative effects when a car is within the wake of another car; indeed, it is well known that under these condition the aerodynamic is disturbed, and it makes difficult to overtake the leading car. To partially remedy this problem, Formula 1 regulations introduced the Drag Reduction System (DRS) in 2011, which was an adjustable flap located on the rear wing; if it is flattened, allowing to reduce the downforce, increasing significantly the velocity and, therefore, the chances to overtake the leading car. Vice versa, when the flap is closed, it ensures a higher grip, which is very useful especially in medium-slow speed turns. Keeping the focus on the rear wing, but by shifting attention from the increased top speed to increase the grip in the middle and slow speed curves, we decided to study a similar device to the DRS, but with the opposite effect. The aim is to design an aerodynamic brake integrated with the rear wing. In particular, the project idea was to sculpt, on the upper surface of the wing (pressure side), a series of “C” shaped cavity, normally covered by adequate sliding panels. These cavities, when they are discovered, at the beginning of the braking phase, produce a turbulence and additional increase downforce, lightening the load on the braking system and allowing the pilot to substantially reduce slippage and to delay the braking. Since it seems that the regulations adopted by the FIA Formula 1 Championship do not allow such a device, it has been decided to apply the concept on a Formula 4 vehicle. This paper describes the design and analyzes the effects of these details on a standard wing cavity, using a commercial CFD software.


Journal: World Journal of Mechanics
DOI: 10.4236/wjm.2015.510018 (PDF)
Paper Id: 60569 (metadata)

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