This report evaluates the proposed FIA Formula 1 World Championship aerodynamics rules changes intended to increase on track passing for the 2009 season. Two full Formula 1 cars were modeled under close drafting conditions, both under the current regulations and the proposed 2009 regulations to determine whether or not the FIA's goals of reducing down force by 50% and improving sensitivity to leading car wakes would be met. Under the current regulations, a car following another at 2.4 car lengths loses approximately 17% of it down force compared to isolation. The new regulations were counter productive and ineffective, failing both to reduce down force by 50% and lower that 17% performance detriment. Instead the cars became more sensitive - losing 26% of their down force in 2009 compared to 17% under current conditions. Though the new cars create an overall cleaner wake, the wake's effects are now concentrated near parts of the car which were previously insensitive.


Aerospace Engineering

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/aero_fac/83