Has modern aero caught or overtaken the old ground effect?

Has modern aero caught or overtaken the old ground effect?

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Discussion

vx220

Original Poster:

2,405 posts

178 months

Monday 12th August
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As above, any help appreciated

StevieBee

7,825 posts

199 months

Monday 12th August
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As in the amount of downforce generated? I'd say so, yes and probably by some margin.

I think there has been some talk of returning to GE in some form though.

Mark-C

3,035 posts

149 months

Monday 12th August
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Modern aero is exactly what the current formula needs it to be ... because you are not allowed full-on ground effect. If the rules were more free then a fully skirted Ground Effect car (with a fan if you want to go completely nuts smile) would probably be the way to go on a downforce vs drag basis.


Norfolkit

2,169 posts

134 months

Tuesday 13th August
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"Has modern aero caught or overtaken the old ground effect?"

I don't see how it ever could, wasn't the idea behind ground effects that it was drag free downforce, modern aero certainly isn't drag free.

Eric Mc

106,998 posts

209 months

Tuesday 13th August
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Comparing chalk and cheese a bit. A 1980 F1 car is a very different beast to what passes for F1 these days. The problem with the ground effect cars of that earlier era was the fact that they ran with rock hard or virtually no suspension travel. The down force may have been high but by modern standard, very crudely managed in the overall dynamics of the vehicle. The drivers took a real beating.

I would say that modern cars generate as much, if not more, downforce, but the chassis and suspension design is infinitely superior to that of 1980 so the driver is not pummeled and vibrated the way they would have been back in earlier times.

mattikake

4,674 posts

143 months

Tuesday 13th August
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I'd say yes, hugely.

GE was still in it's infancy by the time it was banned. Overcar aero has been in development for roughly 50 years. CFD and wind tunnels accelerate this development as well. There has also been a lot of evolution not just in how to generate down force from over car airflow but also in how to direct that air flow to help balance cars and reduce drag or increase cooling. Not to mention all the suspension and mechanical grip gains. All of which allows them go faster... which then helps them generate even more down force...

Corners speeds now are higher than they were with GE if you look at unaltered corners like Eau Rough or Parabolica.

You only need to look at how much faster f1 cars keep getting year on year, despite efforts to slow them down, to imagine how much further GE had to go development and speed wise.

As for an actual figure. No idea. They've been using that drive upside down on the roof of a tunnel analogy for decades!

Edited by mattikake on Tuesday 13th August 08:50

TheDeuce

2,563 posts

10 months

Tuesday 13th August
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Norfolkit said:
"Has modern aero caught or overtaken the old ground effect?"

I don't see how it ever could, wasn't the idea behind ground effects that it was drag free downforce, modern aero certainly isn't drag free.
This is my view. In terms of down force generated, it probably has caught up and overtaken - hence the crazy cornering forces we see these days. There is no other way the cars of today could achieve such high levels of cornering force without exceeding the down force levels previously generated by skirted cars from the GE era.

Overall though, it can never really 'catch up'. As stated above, the current aero regs demand most down force is generated in ways that also increase aero drag - which GE down force almost entirely avoided. GE down force, in terms of pure engineering, is a better solution for a race car.

The upcoming 2021 regs will apparently allow for an increase in GE, but nowhere what it was back in the day - not even close. Unless they allow a return of skirts and active suspension then it never could be. The current thinking is that if GE is increased somewhat, drag generating down force can be reduced and overall the cars will have as much down force as they do currently, but with less drag they will a) run faster on the straights, b) create less dirty air for cars following. Both these things will help overtaking. Pretty sensible and on paper should certainly work.

entropy

3,778 posts

147 months

Tuesday 13th August
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Straight after GE was banned most teams went down the avenue of exahaust blown diffusers to regain the lost downforce and it took a few years to catch up to GE levels - and this was when teams were still hiring wind tunnels from research institutes and ECU technology at its infancy.

HardtopManual

1,215 posts

110 months

Tuesday 13th August
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TheDeuce said:
This is my view. In terms of down force generated, it probably has caught up and overtaken - hence the crazy cornering forces we see these days. There is no other way the cars of today could achieve such high levels of cornering force without exceeding the down force levels previously generated by skirted cars from the GE era.

Overall though, it can never really 'catch up'. As stated above, the current aero regs demand most down force is generated in ways that also increase aero drag - which GE down force almost entirely avoided. GE down force, in terms of pure engineering, is a better solution for a race car.

The upcoming 2021 regs will apparently allow for an increase in GE, but nowhere what it was back in the day - not even close. Unless they allow a return of skirts and active suspension then it never could be. The current thinking is that if GE is increased somewhat, drag generating down force can be reduced and overall the cars will have as much down force as they do currently, but with less drag they will a) run faster on the straights, b) create less dirty air for cars following. Both these things will help overtaking. Pretty sensible and on paper should certainly work.
They are going to allow skirts, of a kind, unsprung at the rear. There are also other, airflow-based ways of preventing leakage from the floor these days.

TheDeuce

2,563 posts

10 months

Tuesday 13th August
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HardtopManual said:
TheDeuce said:
This is my view. In terms of down force generated, it probably has caught up and overtaken - hence the crazy cornering forces we see these days. There is no other way the cars of today could achieve such high levels of cornering force without exceeding the down force levels previously generated by skirted cars from the GE era.

Overall though, it can never really 'catch up'. As stated above, the current aero regs demand most down force is generated in ways that also increase aero drag - which GE down force almost entirely avoided. GE down force, in terms of pure engineering, is a better solution for a race car.

The upcoming 2021 regs will apparently allow for an increase in GE, but nowhere what it was back in the day - not even close. Unless they allow a return of skirts and active suspension then it never could be. The current thinking is that if GE is increased somewhat, drag generating down force can be reduced and overall the cars will have as much down force as they do currently, but with less drag they will a) run faster on the straights, b) create less dirty air for cars following. Both these things will help overtaking. Pretty sensible and on paper should certainly work.
They are going to allow skirts, of a kind, unsprung at the rear. There are also other, airflow-based ways of preventing leakage from the floor these days.
The difference between an un-sprung part skirt, and a full sprung full length side skirt is huge though. A bit like expecting a hovercraft to work with just 3/4 of the skirt missing.

They can indeed use the laminar principal to create an 'air skirt' which does have the interesting advantage of always extending to meet the ground no matter what. Sadly, it's also far less efficient than a material barrier to contain pressure, so the results far reduced. The other problem with this approach is that it creates drag. It is also dependent on predictable incoming airflow, so side-winds could remove the benefit invisibly to the driver. This is a problem with 'clever' solutions as opposed to the obvious yet outlawed best solutions, they can lead to an unpredictable machine.

I think the have been pretty clever with their approach to the new regs. They have allowed just enough GE to reduce the dirty air problem to a point where it shouldn't really be a problem at all. They have also made damn certain to close off any exploits that could lead to GE approaching the levels of the past era of GE.


entropy

3,778 posts

147 months

Tuesday 13th August
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HardtopManual said:
They are going to allow skirts, of a kind, unsprung at the rear. There are also other, airflow-based ways of preventing leakage from the floor these days.
Yes, they're doing this by cutting slits that are cut at the edges of the floor to create what I call aero skirts.

TheDeuce

2,563 posts

10 months

Tuesday 13th August
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entropy said:
Yes, they're doing this by cutting slits that are cut at the edges of the floor to create what I call aero skirts.
Laminar skirts. You smooth the airflow so the channel of air is all moving at the same speed and direction, creates a low turbulence 'blade' of air that reduces transference of air between either side of the 'blade'. In this instance, air pressure is what they hope to separate.

The principal definitely works and is employed in every day life. It's also however a solution that will cease to work immediately if the incoming airflow is disrupted beyond a very slim margin. As a result we may all look forward to the occasional car spinning off inexplicably in the near future smile

Flooble

1,722 posts

44 months

Tuesday 13th August
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TheDeuce said:
entropy said:
Yes, they're doing this by cutting slits that are cut at the edges of the floor to create what I call aero skirts.
Laminar skirts. You smooth the airflow so the channel of air is all moving at the same speed and direction, creates a low turbulence 'blade' of air that reduces transference of air between either side of the 'blade'. In this instance, air pressure is what they hope to separate.

The principal definitely works and is employed in every day life. It's also however a solution that will cease to work immediately if the incoming airflow is disrupted beyond a very slim margin. As a result we may all look forward to the occasional car spinning off inexplicably in the near future smile
What do you mean in the near future? Ferrari perfected that already (Bahrain!) wink

TheDeuce

2,563 posts

10 months

Tuesday 13th August
quotequote all
Flooble said:
TheDeuce said:
entropy said:
Yes, they're doing this by cutting slits that are cut at the edges of the floor to create what I call aero skirts.
Laminar skirts. You smooth the airflow so the channel of air is all moving at the same speed and direction, creates a low turbulence 'blade' of air that reduces transference of air between either side of the 'blade'. In this instance, air pressure is what they hope to separate.

The principal definitely works and is employed in every day life. It's also however a solution that will cease to work immediately if the incoming airflow is disrupted beyond a very slim margin. As a result we may all look forward to the occasional car spinning off inexplicably in the near future smile
What do you mean in the near future? Ferrari perfected that already (Bahrain!) wink
That wasn't inexplicable, it was the tool behind the wheel losing ones composure in battle smile


kiseca

7,490 posts

163 months

Wednesday 14th August
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I was actually wondering if the flat floor rule could be bypassed by making a ground effect tunnel that increased it's area by opening up to the side rather than to the top, e.g. if you imagine the old GE tunnels being three straight surfaces (one of which is the road) and one curved surface that increases the cross sectional area towards the rear, the curved surface was always the top surface of the tunnel.

Since the objective is to increase area and thus decrease volume, it seems to me that any, or all, of the four surfaces could be curved to achieve the pressure needed for downforce.

Now obviously you can't curve the road surface, so that leaves the top one - banned by flat floor - and the two sides. Could a side surface be curved without breaking the flat floor rule, and generate downforce?

I can't find enough info about the flat floor regulations to work out if it would be legal or not.

TheDeuce

2,563 posts

10 months

Wednesday 14th August
quotequote all
kiseca said:
I was actually wondering if the flat floor rule could be bypassed by making a ground effect tunnel that increased it's area by opening up to the side rather than to the top, e.g. if you imagine the old GE tunnels being three straight surfaces (one of which is the road) and one curved surface that increases the cross sectional area towards the rear, the curved surface was always the top surface of the tunnel.

Since the objective is to increase area and thus decrease volume, it seems to me that any, or all, of the four surfaces could be curved to achieve the pressure needed for downforce.

Now obviously you can't curve the road surface, so that leaves the top one - banned by flat floor - and the two sides. Could a side surface be curved without breaking the flat floor rule, and generate downforce?

I can't find enough info about the flat floor regulations to work out if it would be legal or not.
I'm not sure how far the plank extends, but whatever is left is already used for other aero purposes, some of which in some car designs is already designed with GE in mind. I'd guess as this is an are already exploited by teams, that it's regulation friendly. Putting the oncave curve in it however... I can imagine they can do more of overall benefit along the sides in other ways. Thinking of cooling, aero down force and flowing the air neatly around the rear wheels.

Bright Halo

784 posts

179 months

Wednesday 14th August
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I read somewhere that if ground effects had been allowed to develop along with current tyre technology the drivers (pilots) would need to where g suits in order to drive without losing consciousness.

The big advantage if GE was used instead of aero then the cars could follow closely to each other I would hope.


TheDeuce

2,563 posts

10 months

Wednesday 14th August
quotequote all
Bright Halo said:
I read somewhere that if ground effects had been allowed to develop along with current tyre technology the drivers (pilots) would need to where g suits in order to drive without losing consciousness.

The big advantage if GE was used instead of aero then the cars could follow closely to each other I would hope.
Loss of consciousness? That's almost on the same plane of genius as Bernie's 'put sprinklers around the track' brain wave biggrin


jsf

13,368 posts

180 months

Wednesday 14th August
quotequote all
G suits dont work in the g load direction found in a racing car.

As someone who race prepares the 80's GE cars and have put them in the wind tunnel, i can probably answer the original question with some authority.

Modern aero absolutely spanks the downforce produced by an 80's GE car. They are incredibly crude by comparison.

TheDeuce

2,563 posts

10 months

Wednesday 14th August
quotequote all
jsf said:
G suits dont work in the g load direction found in a racing car.

As someone who race prepares the 80's GE cars and have put them in the wind tunnel, i can probably answer the original question with some authority.

Modern aero absolutely spanks the downforce produced by an 80's GE car. They are incredibly crude by comparison.
Until the fact that almost zero drag is generated via GE is put back in to the equation... In the corners, it's clear to see to all of us that the modern cars are sublime. I don't know how anyone could question it tbh.