Formula 1 has commenced testing for the aero package that will be used by Formula 1 cars from the 2021 season.
This video published by the official Formula 1 channel on YouTube shows a scale model of a 2021-spec car undergoing aerodynamic testing at Sauber’s wind tunnel. The design of the model is still being referred to as a “vision” of what the new cars may look like and is still subject to change before the season kicks off in roughly 18 months.
The design of the 2021 cars will be focused on ground effect to improve downforce as opposed to the large and complicated wings of the current cars. Why? The reason is quite simple.
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Current F1 cars lose up to 50 per cent of their downforce when following another car due to the turbulent air they must pass through. By comparison, downforce generated by ground effect doesn’t spew out turbulent air and early wind tunnel tests show that the 2021 F1 cars will only lose 5 to 10 per cent of their downforce when trailing a competitor. This has the potential to allow for more wheel-to-wheel racing and overtaking.
Alongside the simplified wings and overhauled venturi tunnels, the new racers will also switch to large 18-inch wheels complete with covers to control airflow and Pirelli’s new low-profile tires. The sidepods have also been redesigned and the halo has been better incorporated into the overall design of the car.
Modifications to improve the design of the 2021 F1 cars will continue, particularly concerning the front wing from both an aerodynamic and an aesthetic point of view.