Formula 1: Aerodynamics and Pit Strategy

 

 

Renault R.S.17

Aerodynamics is a key to winning a Formula 1 Grand Prix. Certain tracks like Canada and Baku have long straits and might require a lower downforce setup to gain more time on the longer areas of the track. Or circuits like Monaco you will want to go for a high downforce setup so you can make more time on the sharp corners and chicanes.

Another consideration is the weather. This ties in to tire choice when deciding what setup to go with. On rainy Grand Prixs you will probably add more downforce to accommodate the amount of oversteer and understeer you can get from a wet track.

Pit strategies are very important with planning a race. You need to figure out what tires you are using throughout the race. To make a good strategy, the teams need to figure out how the tires wear on the track.

Some tires such as ultrasofts wear a lot faster than supersofts and softs. Some tracks the teams start with the ultrasofts and move into the supersofts. The goal is to make the ultrasofts last the longest so that you can get the majority of faster lap times.

If you get a half a second faster on ultrasofts, that might be the determining factor of the winner because the managed their tires better and pitted later. If you start on a harder compound, you will have to time your pit to exactly the lap maximum of your softer tires.

 

Quick Fact About Aerodynamics:

Every track in the Formula 1 calendar has at least 1 DRS (Drag Reduction System) strait. Before the strait, the cars gap is measured. If they are less than a second apart the DRS systems on the car behind are allowed to be used. DRS is a flap on the back wing that opens while on the strait to reduce downforce and therefore, increase the speed of the car behind so they can pass the car ahead easier.

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