Aerodynamics is the science of controlling how the air behaves as the car cuts through it at speed.

F1 cars are designed similarly to an aeroplane wing, but the force works to push the car onto the track, allowing it to corner at insanely high speeds. Downforce has a negative effect of creating drag and slowing the cars on the fast sections of the track. Finding the perfect balance between downforce and drag reduction is constantly pursuing the team’s aerodynamicists.

In 2022 new regulations were introduced to manage better the ‘dirty air’ that comes off the back of the cars, disrupting the car behind. This is intended to improve the spectator experience by allowing closer racing and more overtaking.

A modern Formula One car is capable of developing 3.5g – which is three and a half times its own weight – thanks to aerodynamic downforce. That means that, theoretically, at high speeds they could drive upside down.

Andrew Burden

The author Kiwi F1 Fan