The Frontiers of Society, Science and Technology, 2020, 2(12); doi: 10.25236/FSST.2020.021217.
Beijing National Day School, Beijing 100039, China
The rear wing of a Formula One race car generates both aerodynamic downforce and drag. While downforce improves cornering speed, drag impedes straight-line speed. Race car engineers have long struggled to balance downforce and drag, often sacrificing one in pursuit of the other. In this work, we address this problem by designing a constant-chord-length inverted rear wing airfoil that has an optimal lift to drag ratio. Using an elliptical airfoil as a base for modification, we examined how variations in maximum suction-side and pressure-side thickness, location of suction-side and pressure-side vertices, and leading edge-radii affected the airfoil’s lift-drag ratio. We computed the lift-drag ratio and the flow field of over 40 test airfoils through finite-element numerical simulation using ANSYS FLUENT. By comparing these simulation results, we identified distinct design trends and produced an airfoil with a high lift-drag ratio of 62 at the average speed of formula one cars. This high-performance airfoil has the potential to be effectively applied to race cars, and even to regular cars to enhance grip and improve driving safety without sacrificing fuel economy.
F1 rear wing, Airfoil, Lift-drag ratio, Optimization, CFD
Zihao Zhou. Design of F1 Race Car Rear Wing Airfoil: Optimizing the Lift to Drag Ratio through Numerical Simulation. The Frontiers of Society, Science and Technology (2020) Vol. 2 Issue 12: 116-122. https://doi.org/10.25236/FSST.2020.021217.
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