January 23, 2017

A Distinguished Lecture.

Do you think aerodynamics are not that important at a slow track like Monaco?
Even at 70 km/h (43 mph), an F1 car can corner 8% faster with aero than without.

Next time you hear an announcer telling you how teams are trying to eliminate drag from their car, consider that if you simulate a car with zero drag. the lap time gained would be only two seconds but an F1 car without downforce will be 21 seconds a lap slower at the Circuit de Catalunya than one with downforce and drag .... 21 seconds!
No wonder Red Bulls often had the slowest in top speed but the fastest lap time: being fast in the corners is much more of a factor to lap time than being fast on the straight on many circuits.

Willem Toet is a Dutch-Australian aerodynamicist with a past in Benetton and Ferrari in the Schumacher era and later BAR and BMW Sauber.

It's not often we get insight from engineers and insiders and Mr Toet is particularly generous with it.  His LinkedIn page is a bit of a treasure trove of technical insight which, like this lecture are a must for any racing fan who wants to go beyond the basic understanding of Formula 1.

Find the time to listen to this lecture he gave at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.    It focuses on past F1 seasons but there are concepts that apply to the coming championship and the effect rule changes might have.

I guarantee it will help you discuss the sport in a more informed way.

Bonus points, Mr Toet hillclimbs a formula car (with great aero presumably!).

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