PRI 2016: Part 5


Speaking of things that slow down well— actually better than anything, this side of a parachute— here's more F1. As promised, we conclude PRI Part 5 with a few shots of what makes an F1 car so great. Namely, it’s the countless hours spent the development of its aerodynamics. Let’s take another gander at car that costs this team around $7 million to produce, shall we? (And keep in mind that more than half of that is in the engine).

This is the front right portion of the front wing. The cost to produce the front wing and nose cone of an F1 car is reportedly around $175,000. There is so much downforce on the front wing that— without it—these cars can’t slow down. This was evidenced in 1994 at Imola, during that fateful race weekend at Imola when superstar Ayrton Senna was killed. What many fail to remember was what happened the day before, during qualifying. Upon braking hard from a 200 MPH stretch to a sharp right-hand turn, Austrian Roland Ratzenberger’s car lost its front wing and forced him head-on into a wall. He was pronounced dead at the scene, marking the first time in 12 years that an F1 driver had been killed. The very next day, Senna was killed at the same track.

Here is the same portion of the wing shot from the left side of the car.

Behind that wing is the all-carbon double wishbone suspension, which turns into a knife-edge toward the rear so that air passes through cleanly.

Here’s a shot of the undertray that you see blowing so many sparks out the back as they enter Eau Rouge at Spa. After you see what it's all made out of, it makes you sort of want to cringe each time you see those sparks on TV!

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