Thursday, November 21, 2013

F1 2014 rules illustrated

Year 2014 will mark the start of a new era in Formula 1 which comes with many prominent rules changes.
In the next article I will try to explain some of them with illustrated examples, as I'm not keen on the idea that you need to be an engineer to understand the sport. In one sentence, the 2014 rules emphasize less on the aerodynamics as opposed to the energy recovery systems, power train and reliability.

Engine-wise aside, let's go for the outer, visible changes.

Nose shape

Quite simply, in order to prevent incidents, the nose of the car will be moved further lower down. The nose tip could be as low as 185 mm, which is pretty much at the height of the front wing. Apart from the visual change, one should expect major shift in 'under the nose' aerodynamics - prior to 2014 season the cars had large "mouths". In 2014, we are going to see low noses. We can still speculate whether teams are going to try the maximum allowed nose height in order to better manage the underside airflow.
Example of what it might look like follows, base image courtesy of Will Tyson

Image copyright: Will Tyson

Exhaust position

With the new regulations the exhaust positioning to gain aero effects will be heavily crippled. The rules say that there must be a single exhaust tail pipe (as opposed to the two we have today) exiting in the regions 170 - 185 mm behind the rear wheel center line and 350 - 500 mm above the reference plane. This means the exhaust pipe is likely to be situated just below where today we enjoy the so called "Monkey seats" - directly under the engine cover.
The final 150 mm of the tailpipe must be unobstructed right circular cylinder with its axis +/- 5° to the car 
center line when viewed from above the car and between 0° and 5° (tail up) to the reference plane when viewed from the side of the car. 
No bodywork behind this tailpipe will be allowed, which effectively dismisses various turning vanes to redirect hot gases towards the diffuser. This doesn't mean that the cars won't benefit from sealed diffusers, as the downwash / Coanda effect will be still there. 

Image copyright: Will Tyson

Camera positions

Prior to 2014, we could often see the housings behind the front wing center section with cameras being used for aerodynamic benefit. See below inside the circle: 

In 2014, the mandated position of the cameras will be at 325 - 525 mm above the reference plane, which means a lot higher than the position above.

Narrower wings

Front wings will be a little narrower next year with the width reduced from 1800 mm to 1650 mm (a reduction of 15 centimeters width).
The rear wing will also look a little different in 2014 compared to this year’s models. The lower beam wing is being outlawed and the main flap will be slightly shallower in profile.

Overall, it won't be unusual to see designs such as this one. Again, image model courtesy of Will Tyson - click on the image for full size.

If you want to continue the reading for everything regarding the engines, here's the link -