- F1 car can drive upside down?
Dear Physics legends/aerodynamicists of STW,
Sky TV are running an advert for the new F1 season that claims there is so much downforce that an F1 car could drive upside down. I call BS!
Really? How fast would the car have to be travelling to support it’s weight?
Please show your working!Posted 4 years agochiefgrooveguruMember
If the downforce is similar to previous times I’ve heard that quoted it’s about 70mph. The cars only weigh about 500kg and they produce so much downforce they can corner at over 3G. To take a flat corner at 3G requires about double the vehicle’s weight in downforce IIRC.Posted 4 years agojambalayaSubscriber
Yes very possible, as above they weigh very little. The wings are kept small to reduce loads and reduce cornering speeds, with larger wings they’d generate even more downforce (or up force if driving on an inverted road). I saw some very interesting footage (could have been top gear) where unless the car was going pretty fast it was very unstable and didn’t corner at all as car is light and grip is poor without the downforce,Posted 4 years agoandylMember
Pretty sure this has been quoted since the 90’s and it’s true. But the car would have to get up to speed the right way first, obviously, and then have a spiral track gradual enough.
A quick google throws up some similar race car data quoted here: http://www.ultimatecarpage.com/forum/showthread.php?t=41451
An f1 car weighs about 1500lbs so at 150mph we could pretty confidently assume that one would have twice it’s weight in downforce at 150mph-ish.
Using the square law for lift then that would give about 70mph for the break even point, obviously you would need to exceed that by a safety margin. Of course you could also set up the wings in Monaco high downforce mode to get a better CL etc.Posted 4 years agoThe Flying OxMember
So why do you find it hard to believe? You obviously understand the physics of it all (I would hope…)Posted 4 years ago
If you can create enough lift to get a 70-odd ton aircraft off the ground, why would it be BS to suggest that you can create enough lift to get a 500kg car off the ground. That’s all you’re doing. You’re just stopping it going any higher with the ceiling it’s driving on.benp1Subscriber
I’m sure they could with the right tweaks
Downforce gives you grip for corners, but makes you slower on the straights, so its a balance that is adjusted by circuit. Its also why you have thing like DRS so you can reduce the downforce generated by the wing
If they tweaked it for pure downforce and ignored top speed I’m sure its possible, just unnecessary for F1 use!Posted 4 years agoandytherocketeerSubscriber
sure this one’s been done before?
don’t forget when doing the sums that the aero downforce upsidedown needs to have an additional 2x the weight of the car to get the same force into the road surface, if you want the same traction.
and when did kg become “force”?Posted 4 years ago
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