For those who haven’t heard of it before, this is something that hasn’t been there since the last era of ground effects in Formula One in the early 1980s.
But a return to a more serious bias in Venturi’s floor-to-ceiling tunnels with this generation of cars meant the phenomenon had re-emerged.
This causes the machines to bounce up and down on the suspension at the end of long straight lines, and this was something that almost every team suffered from to a greater or lesser degree.
The biggest factor here is that as the downforce increases, the machine is effectively sucked closer to the track.
This causes the flow to split at some point, and if the clamping force is lost, the car’s road flight will increase for a moment. The airflow is then reattached, and the cycle will begin again as the clamping force increases rapidly to the breaking point.
Obviously, the cyclical nature of this can be disrupted very easily if the machine is running at a slightly higher altitude.
However, this is not what teams want to do, as it compromises performance. It is here, in this small pocket, where you can find the greatest clamping force.
So now the teams are working to figure out how to better manage the situation.
It seems that no team has escaped the problem, although they suffer from it at different levels of intensity.
This can be reduced to a number of factors, including the fact that from an aerodynamic point of view, each of them came up with their own design concepts within a very narrow set of rules.
This is most noticeable in the design of the sidewalls. But you can also transfer that logic to the front fender, the floor, the tunnels under the floor and the diffuser that affect how they will affect.
For example, those who have found the best way to artificially seal the floor edge with aerodynamic flows are more likely to benefit compared to those who do not.
This would potentially allow them to drive less aggressively in terms of suspension and get the same result as those moving closer to the ground.
And while in 2022 the rules have become more prescriptive regarding floor edge design and their flexibility, teams are already looking for ways to improve performance with different surface geometries, grooves, twists and sash.
George Russell, Mercedes W13
Photo by Mark Satan / Drawings of motorsport
While the seeming mystery the teams face may seem aerodynamic, it should also be remembered that some of the luxury suspension elements of the last few decades that could help solve this problem have also been taken away in 2022. .
Now the suspension should be classic, with inert and hydraulic systems that previously helped with compliance and platform management now banned altogether.
The area where this can cause the most problems is the suspension mode, which is called “suspension”, which is the vertical displacement of the car and where the teams have achieved the most success with hydraulic elements over the years.
This year, teams will continue to use suspension elements in the suspension, as shown on the front suspension of Aston Martin, Haas and Ferrari, below. However, they may not offer the ability to fine-tune the response of the suspension to what the team is used to.
Another variable that has crept into the mix and can cause teams more headaches than they might think is tires.
Formula 1 finally took a bite out of the bullet and replaced its 13-inch wheels with 18-inch ones, which also required Italian tire maker Pirelli to develop a tire with a much shorter sidewall.
The teams have years of experience with sidewall-like tires happening, which has allowed them to adjust their suspension accordingly.
In response to their arrival, most teams helped with the development of new tires, albeit with mule cars that have unrepresentative suspension schemes.
While this may seem like a chance to learn about a new tire, it could also lead to some false reviews.
In addition, from an aerodynamic point of view, which can be critical when considering a stronger slope towards the downforce created by the floor, we need to consider the characteristics of the tire deformation under load.
Eventually, the teams refined their simulation tools to combat the effects of a phenomenon known as “tire splashing” for more than a decade.
This significantly affects the performance of the diffuser, as airflow is sprayed from the side in its path when the tire is deformed.
Teams used different techniques in previous epochs of adjustment to help control this effect, with different dashes, flaps, grooves and completely closed holes in the floor in front of the rear tire that were used to push airflow to the side across the tire surface. to reduce its effect.
It was expected that the shorter sidewall tires of this generation would create fewer problems, as there’s just less deformation due to the stiffness of the sidewalls.
But by reducing the accuracy of the shocks it can lead to a much more savory option of “spraying the tires” when the rear of the car is compressed to the surface of the caterpillar.
It is also clear that the simulations carried out by the teams in the CFD and their wind tunnels did not show the level of guinea pigs that is currently observed on the track, which suggests that you need to work both on the road and in the factory to understand how to deal with the phenomenon.