Pat Symonds on the work of wings on cars in 2021August 25, 2019
One of the main problems that the drafters of the technical regulation of 2021 struggle to solve is related to the flow of disturbed air created by the front tires, and the front wing directs it away from the Formula 1 car, but in the end a turbulence zone forms behind, which it’s difficult for opponents to pursue and overtake.
In the new regulation, all this will be taken into account so that the effect of turbulence is reduced, although it cannot be completely eliminated.
Some fans ask themselves: if all these difficulties are exacerbated by the operation of the wing, why not remove them at all? Indeed, in the 60s there were no wings at all on Formula 1 cars, and in the 70s and 80s the front wings were very modest in size.
The technical director of Formula 1 Pat Symonds explained why this is not possible.
“I don’t think it would be right to abandon the front and rear wing, and there are many different aspects,” said a motorsport veteran, who once worked in teams such as Benetton, Renault, Marussia and Williams. “We want to create a machine that works efficiently in a stream of disturbed air, although we are trying to reduce this turbulence.”
Pat Symonds began his career in the 80s, he is well aware of the features of the racing technology of those generations, and he is categorically against returning to that era: “If you remember, in the early stages of my career cars were distinguished by the fact that the downforce was largely created under the bottom , sometimes without the help of the front wings, and the hind wings played a not so significant role. Many people think that they were wonderful cars that could closely follow each other, but this is not entirely true.
Now we are conducting large-scale research in order to create a car by 2021 that would allow the riders to wage a tight fight on the track, and one of the secrets that we managed to open – we knew before, but now we have received evidence – that that the rear wing is necessary to direct the flow of disturbed air generated behind the machine upwards so that it passes over the pursuing machine.
So the rear wing has an important function. But if the rear wing is installed on the machine, then very large loads act on its rear part, so there should also be something in the front part that allows this to be balanced.
Many smart people work with me who are engaged in all this, work has been going on for some time and will continue. Such tasks are not resolved quickly. “We have taken up the matter for quite some time now and we really hope that in 2021 we will be able to achieve a significant difference, despite the fact that outwardly the cars will not be so much different from the current ones.”
The work on drafting the technical regulations of 2021 should basically be completed closer to the end of October.
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