Downforce is a measure of how much vertical aerodynamic load is created by a Formula 1 car’s aerodynamic surfaces.

The same principle as an aeroplane wing, only up the other way.

As the car moves forward, it splits the air particles with some going over the car and some going under. The floor is designed to create a longer flow path so the air particles accelerate to get to the rear of the car at the same time as those travelling over the car, creating low pressure that pushes the car down towards the road surface. 

The payoff for downforce is drag, which is why F1 cars utilise the DRS on high-speed straights. 

At high speed, the downforce created by an F1 car will be far in excess of its weight, so in theory, this would allow it to drive upsidedown along the ceiling of a tunnel.

Andrew Burden

The author Kiwi F1 Fan