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  • There are few things in life as thrilling a live Formula one race. The speed and roar

  • of the engines sends adrenaline pumping through yours veins, but this isn't just mere entertainment.

  • Racing at the highest level tests engineers and drivers in ways that normal production

  • cars do not and forces them to think of clever and innovative ways to improve performance.

  • These technologies have on multiple occasions found their way into our everyday lives. There

  • are countless examples of this happening since the birth of competitive racing.

  • The first reliable steel disk brake was produced for the Jaguar C-Type in 1953. The exposed

  • disk brake allows the brake to shed the heat generated in breaking much more effectively

  • than the drum brake and allows stopping distances to decrease. This technology helped the Jaguar

  • C-Type to reduce wear on the break and reduce braking distances,allowing it to take 3 of

  • the 4 top places in the 1953 24 Hour Le Mans and has since saved thousands of lives in

  • the real world, due to their superior braking and reliability. Over the course of the 24

  • hour race many of their competitors had to drop out of the race because their brakes

  • were disintegrating. The improved breaks also meant that the drivers could break much later

  • into a turn and thus post much quicker laps.

  • Racing technologies are always a few steps ahead of production cars, but these technologies

  • generally trickle down over time as costs reduce. Carbon fibre is probably going to

  • be the next great innovation in car manufacturing. All F1 cars use carbon reinforced composite

  • brake disks which save weight and are capable of operating at higher temperatures than steel

  • disks, but you will rarely see such high end materials in normal everyday cars. The material

  • was first used in the monocoque of F1 cars in 1981 when McLaren unveiled the MP4/1. The

  • material had been used for small parts previously, but some engineers doubted it's ability

  • to withstand a crash. That all changed when John Watson crashed his McLaren at the Monza

  • Grand Prix and came away uninjured. John Watson himself doubts that he would have been so

  • lucky if he had been driving in a traditional aluminium frame.

  • After that day the other racing teams were playing catch up and now every F1 car uses

  • the material. Carbon fibre has slowly found it's way from high-end racing cars to production

  • cars thanks to car manufacturers like BMW who have made huge investments in manufacturing.

  • Carbon fibre production has typically been incredibly expensive due to the vast energy

  • required but BMW invested invest 300 million into a hydro-powered carbon fibre manufacturing

  • plant in Moses Lake, Washington with the aim to produce 9000 tonnes of the material per

  • year exclusively for their cars. This increase in production quantity reduced the prices

  • enough to make it viable for production cars like the BMW i3 and i8, which have an all

  • carbon fibre reinforced plastic frame (wrong word). Carbon fibre is becoming more and more

  • common and we can expect to see it gradually replacing metal parts in our transport because

  • it reduces weight and thus reduces energy consumption, while also being incredibly strong.

  • It has even found it's way into our passenger planes with the Boeing 787 dreamliner and

  • Airbus A350 XWB being primarily made from composite materials, but more on that in my

  • next video.

  • These examples go on and on but today we are going to focus on the leaps in our understanding

  • of automotive aerodynamics as a result of competitive racing. Some of the most talented

  • aerodynamicists in the world work for modern day F1 teams and the lessons they learned

  • through racing has helped improve the efficiency of our cars immensely. Allowing them to cut

  • through the air effortlessly, drive faster and use less fuel, but it wasn't always

  • this way. In the early days of competitive racing there

  • wasn't really any distinction between race cars and street cars, they only discernible

  • difference was in the lunatics that were to driving them. The distance between the left

  • and right wheels were narrow and the centre of gravity of the cars were high, making the

  • cars incredible unstable in turns and susceptible to roll overs....

  • Early sports racing cars were typically light weight front engined vehicles and their designers

  • understood the basic concept of drag. The engines at their disposal were relatively

  • low powered and inefficient and so to counteract this they made their cars as round and streamlined

  • as possible to reduce the effects of drag. Drag is defined by this equation:

  • Where Rho, which is the greek letter that looks like a p represents the density of the

  • fluid the object is moving through, v is the velocity, C is the coefficient of drag which

  • is a property defined by the shape of the object and A is the cross sectional area of

  • the object.

  • You can see from this equation, that the drag force increases dramatically as the speed

  • of the car increases because the velocity is squared. That is why to gain even a tiny

  • bit of speed at the higher levels of racing huge amounts of additional horsepower are

  • required. This is why these early designers focused so much on lowering the drag for their

  • low horsepower vehicles. The coefficient of drag for a circle is just 0.47, while a square

  • is 1.05. So by rounding a shape we can reduce the drag by more than half. And if we decrease

  • cross-sectional area by half we can reduce the drag by half again. So it's clear why

  • the shape effects the performance of the car so much.

  • This equation is useful for understanding how drag works, but the designers were not

  • getting a full picture of what was happening to the air around their cars, because they

  • had essentially just designed aerofoils that were capable of producing lift. At best this

  • reduced the car's ability to transfer power from the tires to the ground at worst it made

  • the car begin to lift off the ground and crash. .

  • One of the first people to realize and attempt to correct this problem was a young Swiss

  • engineer and driver called Michael May. He recognised the potential of using an aerofoil

  • to create negative lift and thus push the car down towards the ground, thereby improving

  • traction, grip and handling of his car. So he modified his Porsche Type 550 by mounting

  • this huge inverted wing over the cockpit. The wing proved so successful that it beat

  • all other Porches in it's first race in 1956 at therburgring 1000 Kilometre race,

  • this drew criticism from the Porsche's factory team and they pressured the race organizers

  • to ban the wing on the grounds that it blocked the view of the drivers behind him. This incident

  • stalled the development of downforce generation, but the idea was too good to go unnoticed

  • for too long.

  • In 1963 Jim Hall mounted an adjustable wing onto his Le Mans winning Chaparral 2E. He

  • understood that downforce was essential to keep his car glued to the road, but also recognised

  • that it added drag. So he made this wing controllable, this way it could be made horizontal to reduce

  • drag on long straight sections of the track and lowered when entering turns.This was the

  • first of it's kind and the idea was quickly adopted by Formula 1 teams, but these high

  • mounted movable wings were poorly engineered and after a series of breakages they were

  • banned completely. But the automotive world had hit a tipping point. The idea could no

  • longer be ignored and manufacturers began to design entire cars around this concept

  • rather than just going for the most aerodynamic shape possible.

  • There is no better example of this than the evolution of the Porsche in the late 60s.

  • Porsche has made a name for itself as a giant killer with it's sleek, low drag roadsters

  • that were managing to beat much more powerful Ferraris and Maseratis, but as the company

  • grew Porsche decided to design a new high horsepower racing engine and build an innovative

  • body around it and thus the iconic Porsche 917 was born.

  • It's birth was not without it's share of difficulties. Early on it was plagued with

  • aerodynamic instability. This new formula of high power and low drag was a new concept

  • to Porsche and it took them some time to perfect it, but they gradually reprofiled the body

  • work and the 917 began to dominate races in the early 70s.

  • This progression hit a boiling point with the accidental discovery of ground effect

  • with the Lotus Type 78. During the development of the Type 78 the head engineer Peter Wright

  • and his team were experimenting with prototypes of a new design for aerofoil sidepods in the

  • Imperial College London wind tunnel. Over the course of the day the rudimentary prototype

  • wings began to sag towards the ground of the wind tunnel and to the amazement of the team

  • there was a huge increase in downforce. Initially they didn't understand what was causing

  • the increase, but soon discovered that by adding cardboard skirts to the sidepods air

  • was being forced and trapped beneath the car and as we have discussed in previous videos,

  • when air is forced through a constriction it experiences an increase in speed and a

  • decrease in pressure. This is called the Venturi Effect. They later developed these brush skirts

  • that sealed the air under the car, which were later replaced with rubber skirts.

  • This low pressure air relative to the high pressure air flowing over the car caused a

  • huge increase in downforce with only a marginal increase in drag, making the car stick to

  • road in corners and reach incredible speeds on the straights. This was the holy grail

  • of aerodynamic discovers and all Formula One cars since have followed this design principle.

  • The Lotus Type 78 set the standard for what we see today. The successor to the Type 78,

  • the Type 79 was so dominant that teams like Brabham had to think of even better ways of

  • achieving that ground effect phenomenon. The Brabham BT46, is probably one of the most

  • controversial cars to ever hit an F1 track. Teams were struggling to keep up with the

  • Type 79 and Brabham's team led by Gordon Murray were trying to figure out ways of beating

  • it. Gordon Murray was reading through the rulebooks when he noticed a loop hole. The

  • rules stated that cars with moveable devices that were primarily used for aerodynamic advantages

  • were not allowed, but he realised that if he could make an argument for a new device

  • being used primary for cooling then they could use a fan that sucked air from the bottom

  • of the car and ran it through the engine. The energy of this system would primarily

  • be used to cool the engine, but it had the added bonus of sucking the car onto the road.

  • The Brabham BT46 and Lotus Type 79 faced off in the 1978 Swedish Grand Prix and despite

  • complaints from Colin Chapman, the founder of lotus, the fan car still ran. Mario Andretti,

  • driving for Lotus took an early lead, but the Brabham driven by Niki Lauda was gradually

  • gaining and eventually overtook Andretti on the outside. Niki Lauda and the Brabham BT46

  • went on to win the race by 34 seconds, but this would be the fan cars first and final

  • competitive race. Other drivers complained that the car was firing rocks and dusts out

  • the back and despite the car being within the regulations the other teams pressured

  • the FIA to outlaw the car. Brabham were told they could run the car for the rest of the

  • season, but instead decided to withdraw, leaving the door open for Lotus to win the 1978 Formula

  • One season. The following year Lotus slipped to fourth place as other teams caught up with

  • ground effect technology. I think this exemplifies why I enjoy racing, for me it's less about

  • the drivers and more about the engineers behind them competing to create the best vehicle

  • possible within the rules.

  • Today engineers have a huge amount of tools at their disposal to rapidly prototype new

  • car bodies. I mentioned that the Type 78 was tested in a wind tunnel and that testing helped

  • towards the discovery of ground effects, but prototypes are time consuming to make and

  • wind tunnels aren't always available to everyone. One of the biggest developments

  • in F1 and engineering in general in the past 2 decades has been the advancement of computer

  • aided engineering. With this method we can simply generate a huge variety of models and

  • test all of them in a short space of time to quickly figure out which design is best.

  • The animations you are seeing on screen right now are actual engineering simulations that

  • accurately depict the airflow over an F1 car. I have teamed up with SimScale an online based

  • engineering simulation software to bring you more of these animations in future. With this

  • kind of power in an engineer's hands progress can happen so much quicker and that's lucky

  • because the regulations in F1 are constantly changing and challenging the design

  • teams behind the cars.

There are few things in life as thrilling a live Formula one race. The speed and roar

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B1 中級

F1における最も偉大なイノベーション (The Greatest Innovations In Formula One)

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    Ntiana に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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