Ground effect aerodynamics proposal for Formula 1 2017 revamp

One of the proposals to make Formula 1 cars significantly faster for 2017 involves the return of ground effect underbodies, AUTOSPORT has learned

Ground effect aerodynamics proposal for Formula 1 2017 revamp

F1 is looking into ways to make the cars several seconds per lap faster in the future, and the FIA has invited teams to submit their own proposals following last week's Strategy Group meeting at Biggin Hill.

Ideas being discussed include attempts to increase downforce but to reduce the loss of aerodynamic performance when following another car closely.

Under the current regulations, F1 cars produce their downforce from a small rear diffuser, the rear wing and complex front wings.

The front wings have become so complicated in recent years because they are crucial to the airflow downstream on the car, and that means the effects of following another car closely are even worse than in the past.

A proposal put forward by Red Bull is to alter the proportion of downforce produced by the wings and the underbody.

A longer underbody tunnel, similar to that used in F1 in the late 1970s and early '80s - and currently used in GP2 - is included in the proposal.

This would increase downforce and also provide aero performance more equally to the front and rear of the car.

It is believed cars would then be less affected by following others closely, and make it easier to overtake without the assistance of DRS.

In order to prevent car performance from reaching the runaway levels seen with the ground effect cars of the early 1980s, a spec floor has been suggested by one of the independent teams - although a design for this has not been finalised yet.

AUTOSPORT understands that if teams are required to design their 2017 cars around a spec floor design, the cut-off point for a decision to be taken would be March '16.

In the current proposal, however, the front wings are set to remain complex, with the only change being an increase in width in conjunction with the wider tyres that are expected to come in for 2017.

With the front wing remaining relatively unregulated, there is the potential for it still to have too much of an effect on the rest of the car's aero and therefore still make following closely on track difficult.

Counter proposals to Red Bull's initial suggestions include limits on front wing development to maximise the effect of the ground effect design.

shares
comments
Tech: Force India's unique new car

Previous article

Tech: Force India's unique new car

Next article

British GP: Lewis Hamilton takes hard-fought home Formula 1 win

British GP: Lewis Hamilton takes hard-fought home Formula 1 win
Load comments
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021
Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season? Plus

Who should Alfa Romeo sign for 2022's F1 season?

OPINION: With Valtteri Bottas already signed up for 2022, all eyes are on the race for the second seat at Alfa Romeo next year. Antonio Giovinazzi is the current incumbent, but faces a tough competition from appealing short and long-term prospects

Formula 1
Sep 15, 2021
The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence Plus

The "forced break" that was key to Ricciardo's Monza excellence

OPINION: Daniel Ricciardo has long been considered one of Formula 1’s elite drivers. But his struggles at McLaren since switching from Renault for 2021 have been painful to watch at times. Yet he’s recovered to banish those memories with a famous Monza win – built on a critically important foundation

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton Plus

How Verstappen is ruining his F1 title battle with Hamilton

OPINION: The Italian GP clash between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen followed a running theme in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight. Their close-quarters battles have often resulted in contact - and although Hamilton has shown a willingness to back off, Verstappen must learn to temper his aggression

Formula 1
Sep 14, 2021
Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Italian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Two drivers produced maximum-score performances as, for the second year in a row, Monza threw up an unpredictable result that left several others ruing what might have been

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021
Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash Plus

Why Ricciardo was set for Monza F1 triumph even without Verstappen/Hamilton crash

The clash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton was the major flashpoint the 2021 Italian Grand Prix will be remembered for. Yet by this point, race leader Daniel Ricciardo had already done the hard work that would put him in position to end his and McLaren's lengthy win droughts, on a memorable afternoon in Monza

Formula 1
Sep 13, 2021