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The solution to F1's aero wash issue

13w ago

8.5K

Formula 1 has been plagued with the issue of dirty air for a while now. Recently it has been more of an issue with the increase in downforce levels and the new bigger wings. The newest F1 cars are very, very fast machines that destroy lap records every weekend. Yet they are very difficult to get close to on track due to their massive amounts of dirty air from the huge wings. It does not matter if it is Monaco or Monza, there is a significant lack of passing on track. this is due to cars having a hard time getting close to each other corners.

So how exactly do we make it easier to pass and harder to defend on track? Well the reason for all the dirty air is the enormous wings on the current era F1 cars. These massive, downforce producing wings that are large enough to get a Cessna to fly create a ton of drag. Yes even with DRS they are still an issue. Look how close a car has to get in the corners to allow DRS to give them enough of an advantage to actually pass. Unless it is the front straight of Baku where the cars can reach up to 230 mph. So it's simple, make the wings smaller to reduce drag.

Yes making the wings smaller would massively reduce downforce levels and make the cars far, far slower. But hold on and let me explain before you all get all annoyed. make the diffusers bigger to compensate for the decrease in downforce from the wings. Air coming off of diffusers is far cleaner than air that comes off of wings. Recently Indycar did just that for the 2019 season. They decreased the size of the wings and increased the size of the diffusers in order to make it easier to pass. Formula 1 should do just that.

Better yet, bring back the Venturi Tunnels that Lotus started using in 1978 and were quickly picked up by the other teams. This is where the idea of the diffuser originated. Back in the late 1970's and early 1980's F teams would use the Venturi Tunnels to create massive amounts of downforce. The use of side skirts to close off the bottom of the car increased downforce even more. Eventually the cars were making so much downforce that the aluminum monocogue chassis would bow. If modern F1 cars used this aero device they would probably be able to create more downforce than they do now and the racing would probably be interesting.

So increase the downforce from diffusers and make the wings smaller. Formula 1 would be more intersting to watch because of more passing. People would watch F1 more. The cars would be just as fast as they are now. That's a win, win, win.

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