Friday, November 21, 2008

F1 2009 Aerodynamics, continued

This makes sense:

BMW Sauber test driver Christian Klien says that it is now easier to get closer to the car in front because of the reduction in turbulence created by the smaller rear wings. In addition the wider front wings mean that the front end of the following car is more stable and so a driver has more confidence that he can make a move.

...while this does not:

A change in the regulations stipulates that the central part of the front wing (500mm of it to be exact) must consist of a single element. It must also conform exactly to the thickness and chord specified by the FIA. [...] All this however for a good cause, as simulations proved that this section was most prone to loss of downforce when trailing another car, so eliminating any downforce will allow the second car to follow closer, and hopefully overtake after that.

My thinking on reading the second was that by degrading the downforce qualities of the front wing would not improve matters -- making things uniformly worse is not an improvement in my mind.

It is only on reading the first that the second made any kind of sense, in that the ability of the cars to follow other cars more closely is tied more to the smaller rear wing of the leading car than any fiddling about with the sensitivity of the front wing of the pursing car.

That said, I still like the new front wings as they are a more classic shape.