The development of the 2021 Formula 1 car is entering its decisive phase. In June, the FIA wants to present a regulation – The model is currently in its ninth stage of development.
TJ13 will show you what we’re are likely to expect in 2021 which includes two ‘ground effect’ tunnels under the car, according to Auto Motor und Sport, Germany’s premier motorsport publication. Indeed, much of the text below is taken from AMuS after some of their rather fascinating insights from insiders within the sport.
Pat Symonds on 2021 rules revelations
For 2021, the primary objective is to be able to offer a better ‘show’ for fans using revised F1 cars under a new set of regulations designed to rectify the issues faced by drivers in this modern era of Formula One. The current cars suffer with a huge wake, or highly disturbed air directly behind the rear wing, to the point that 80 percent of its energy is wasted, therefore, it is practically impossible for the driver behind to stay in the slipstream of the car in front when cornering. Things only improve with sufficient distance, lessening the chance for the following driver to overtake.
This year Formula 1 is making it’s first attempt to solve this problem and frankly failed. The theory was, simpler front wings means less disturbed air sent around the car (outwash) and higher rear wings should improve the air quality behind the car. But as usual, the FIA and Ross Brawn (technical chief for F1) pushed their concept with very little consideration for the vast army of mental talent each team has at it’s disposal.
For this year, cars continue to successfully send vast swathes of bad air outside past the wheels, maintaining the precious outwash principle. The only minor positive seems to be that the new simple front wings appear to no longer react so sensitively, despite what Adrian Newey of Red Bull tried to convince us of.
The drivers reported in Melbourne that little has changed. You might be able to get a little closer until the downforce loss is really drastic. What is certain is that DRS has become a stronger weapon thanks to the larger opening angle between the rear wing main plane and the opening flap.
A final judgement will only be possible after the next two races. The tracks in Bahrain and China are, in contrast to Melbourne, overtaking friendly. Ross Brawn is of course rather pragmatic about the plan claiming that “If we hadn’t done anything, things would have got even worse”. Perhaps this is true, but overpromising and under delivering rarely gets you many friends in this sport.
LEAKED! The latest iteration of F1's 2021 regulations! 🔥🔥
— Mark Antar Design (@markantardesign) March 26, 2019
The new 2021 cars revealed
With the 2021 car everything should be much better according to the rule makers who are claiming that never before has so much work and scientific research has been put into a concept to make cars easier to drive in traffic.
The F1 management and FIA engineers have already reached expansion stage 9, codename “INDIA” and all concepts will be tested in the CFD simulation and in the Sauber wind tunnel. The most important work being accurately measuring the air turbulence behind the car. TJ13 recently revealed this iteration of development last week.
The colour-coded segments at the rear of the CFD models show quite clearly where the development path is heading. The level of turbulent air behind the car decreases from development stage to development stage. The team working on this project claim that their current model with the codename “INDIA” it is only 20 percent in the critical range. In other words, the driver in the following car has 80 percent downforce directly behind his opponent.
At present, the figure is 30 percent. The further back you look, the weaker the air quality segments of the 2021 cars are. Relatively soon, an area begins in which the driver behind him feels practically nothing.
New front wings located higher than before
The current front wing hangs under nose but this is set to change to something similar to that of F1 from 2005 to 2008.
The last proposal of the commission of experts is currently making the rounds among the teams pushing through two deadlines for the heads of technology.
They had to examine the proposals by mid-March and by the end of April make suggestions for improvements or uncover possible pitfalls. The FIA will then draw in another development loop before the technical regulations are finalised.
Last September, the F1 management presented some studies that gave a vague approximate impression, but six months have passed since then and a lot has happened. AMuS commissioned a designer to visualise the new rules based on the “INDIA” spec car.
Three things can be recognized relatively quickly from this. The front wing no longer hangs under the nose, but grows out of it and is set much higher than normal. In addition, the wing consists of three instead of five elements.
The width of the car is 5 to 10 centimetres shorter and the rear wing is also mounted very high and almost ends with the airbox. In addition to two elements at the top, an underwing is also permitted in the model.
Gone is the current and long standing concept of a completely flat underbody. Indeed the flat floor was introduced back in 1983 to stop teams exploiting dangerous levels of ground effect downforce.
Now the 2021 cars will employ two tunnels of the prescribed size under the sidepods which then end in a diffuser that will be higher than today. This is to compensate for the downforce lost by the simpler wings.
However, it will be difficult for the designers to seal the bottom against lateral airflow leaking out. Movable side skirts like those used during the ground effect era from 1978 to 1982 are of course forbidden. The number of strakes will shrink significantly, so that behind the front wheels, there will only be room for two relatively simple aero pieces.
The over body will return to being relatively smooth compared to 2019, something similar to the 2009 spec cars. No fins or winglets and the Halo will be rather more more elegantly integrated in the overall design.
Only a mini fin at the rear end is allowed on the back of the airbox so that the rear wing does not react so sensitively to side currents when cornering. The two ‘mudguard’ looking devices above the front wheels are designed to immediately push down the turbulence generated there so that they cannot be directed out, then join up behind the car in a similar ‘outwash’ manner the current formula employs.
The rear wing does not necessarily have to be suspended from the end plates as a central support is also allowed. The cars should become even heavier, allegedly by up to 50 kilograms. This is due to the many standard parts that the regulations will prescribe in a big push to save on costs.
Let us know in the comments your thoughts on the plans for 2021.