Why Ripples And Curls Decorate The Floor Of A 2022 Car

Why Ripples And Curls Decorate 2022 Car Floors. – Pre-season in Barcelona gave us a proper first look at the 2022 Formula 1 car. A particular source of intrigue is the outer edges of the floor. Mark Hughes sees why this is such an important area and why a team like Mercedes chooses a unique approach. With technical illustrations from Giorgio Piola. Due to the wide variations in the cooling layout and associated sidepod designs of the new generation cars. The way the team tried to maximize the effectiveness of the underbody venturi tunnel also varied. The most visible area of ​​this differentiation is in the very distinct contours and details of the outer edges of the floor.

While accelerating the flow of air over that floor, the sidepods through the coke bottle passages are critical in maximizing the effectiveness of the tunnel underneath. The contouring of the floor edges is all about manipulating what the airflow does below. At the front end of the outer edge of the floor, the downward ramp that covers the beginning of the venturi tunnel accentuates the pressure difference between it and the floor below.

The ramp creates higher pressure on the outer surface. Increases the pressure difference between there and under the floor at the beginning of the venturi tunnel. This causes more air to be sucked into the tunnel inlet. When the air is directed around the side corners of the lower sidepod by the outermost of the four permitted fences, it will lose some of its energy so behind the sloping part. Most cars feature further curling where the edge of the floor rises slowly, then drops again.

Energizes Air Cycle

This top curl is also about energizing the airflow below. Maximizes his energy and his ability to tow the car to the ground. But instead of a single curl, the lower Mercedes had a series of tiny ripples that would create a counterclockwise swirl of air along the sides of the floor. Prevents air around the back from being sucked into the bottom of the pressure area diffuser and reduces its performance.

This is a very similar design to that Mercedes and Aston Martin used in the first half of last year. For the same reason, although there are changes arranged in the design of the lower floors.

Mercedes abandoned that feature with their 2021 Silverstone update. Instead, they used different bargeboard arrangements as they attempted to rebalance the proportions of flow between the underfloor and around the sides. But with bargeboards no longer there, they have returned to their previous features.

In the Barcelona session, it may operate too effectively. Like every other car, to a greater or lesser extent, it suffers from aerodynamic porpoising as the rear floor is pulled down by the suction to the point where the airflow below will stop. An emergency solution of a small tie rod (bottom) stiffened the outer rear edge of the floor, allowing Mercedes to manage some competitive timing.

It will be interesting to see what solutions are fully considered for porpoising when the next cars come together at the Bahrain Official Pre-Season Test.