Post by email@example.com Post by a425couple
Here are a number of pictures, and an interesting
story of an unusual layout in a Can Am car.
And yes, American racing used downforce before
F1 tried it, and caused failures.
What's the time lines here? I know that Jim Hall had a fan car before Brabham did, but who got "wings" out there first? Or did they happen at roughly the same time?
Jim Hall with his Chaparral Cars was quite an innovator.
"The 2E was based on the Chevrolet designed aluminum 2C chassis and
presented Hall's most advanced aerodynamic theories to the racing world
in the 1966. The 2E established the paradigm for virtually all racing
cars built since. It was startling in appearance, with its radiators
moved from the traditional location in the nose to two ducted pods on
either side of the cockpit and a large, pivoting variable-incidence wing
mounted several feet above the rear of the car on struts. The wing was
the opposite of an aircraft wing in that it generated down-force instead
of lift and was attached directly to the rear suspension uprights,
loading the tires for extra adhesion while cornering. A ducted nose
channeled air from the front of the car up, creating extra down-force as
well. By depressing a floor pedal that was in the position of a clutch
pedal in other cars, Hall was able to feather, or flatten out, the
"normally" negative-incidence wing's angle when down-force was not
needed, such as on a straight section of the track, to reduce drag and
increase top speed. In addition, an interconnected air dam closed off
the nose ducting for streamlining as well. When the pedal was released,
the front ducting and wing returned to their full down-force position.
Until they were banned many sports racing cars, as well as Formula One
cars, had wings on tall struts, although many were not as well executed
as Hall's. The resulting accidents from their failures caused
movable/pivoted wings mounted on the suspension, as well as
movable/pivoted aerodynamic devices of any variety, to be outlawed."
The serious failures were at the F1 races at the start of
1969, at South Africa and Spain.
In short in 1967 F1 had almost NO aero downforce, while
the Can Am cars very often had spoilers (often adjustable)
at the rear and often enough front corner trim tabs.
Indy cars also were starting to have aero downforce.
Here is a decent read
(with decent pictures)
#F1 HISTORY: AERODYNAMICS IN FORMULA ONE – PART I
February 5, 2014 · by adamac39 · in F1 History. ·
Brought to you by TheJudge13 chronicler Jennie Mowbray
The first in a two part series looking into the F1 aerodynamic evolution.
1968: When Formula One Cars Grew Wings
It was in 1968 that man first orbited the moon in the Apollo 8
spacecraft and it was also 1968 that saw the first wings fastened onto
Formula One cars. The first took men higher into space than they had
ever been before, but the function of the second was to keep them closer
to the ground.
Graham Hill arrived at Monaco in May, 1968 with modest front wings and a
very subtle rear spoiler on his Lotus 49B. This was the start of ‘aero’
in Formula 1. Up to this time the cars had only used mechanical grip
that was generated though the tyres and suspension system.
Wings had been seen previously on Jim Hall’s Can-Am sports cars. In
1963, the Chaparral 2 was fitted with front mounted wings to prevent the
front wheels from lifting off the ground. Then in 1965, the Chaparral 2C
was fitted with a rear wing mounted on pivots and in 1966, a
dramatically high wing on the Chaparral 2E.
The use of soft rubber and wider tyres showed that good road adhesion
which in turn produced better cornering ability was just as important as
a powerful engine in producing fast lap times. This desire to further
increase the tyre adhesion led to a major revolution in racing car
design, the introduction of inverted wings which then produce negative
lift or “downforce”. In addition to enhancing the cornering ability,
aerodynamic downforce allowed the tyres to transmit a greater thrust
force without wheel spin and this resulted in increased acceleration.
The Lotus 49 demonstrating the larger rear wheels
The Lotus 49 demonstrating the larger rear wheels
Even without wings which Colin Chapman so famously introduced the Lotus
49 was a revolutionary car. It won its first grand prix at the 1967
Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort with Jim Clark at the wheel. It was the
third grand prix of the season and the engine had been fitted to the car
only a few days before. Jim Clark had not even seen the new car and
Graham Hill had only had a few hours behind the wheel. Graham Hill
retired from the lead on lap 11 with a broken tooth in the timing gear.
Clark had been sitting in fourth, but after Hill retired he worked his
way up to the lead, overtaking Jack Brabham on the sixteenth lap. Clark
went on to win the race by 23 seconds with Brabham in second. The car
had performed better than anyone had dreamed and Lotus and Ford were
ecstatic. Not since Fangio had won in a Mercedes in 1954 had a Formula
One car performed so well on its first outing.
First Time Out 1967 – Lotus 49 at Zandvoort
South African GP 1968
The 1968 season had started well for Lotus with Jim Clarke winning the
first race of the season at Kyalami. He had taken the lead on the second
lap and kept it until the end with Graham Hill finishing second 25
seconds behind. It was Clark’s third consecutive GP win in a row;
however, it was to be his last. The tragic event of his death shook the
world of Formula One. Read our on this day article for the full story.
Spanish GP 1968
Before the next race in Spain, Jim Clark had died with Colin Chapman not
even showing up at the track. It was now up to Graham Hill to pull his
grieving team together. It had been over two years since Hill’s last
victory and he could only manage sixth in qualifying. However, there was
less than one second between the top seven drivers. Team Lotus was also
arguing with the authorities in Spain about their new livery and Gold
Slowly the cars in front of Hill were forced to retire because of
mechanical failures or accidents. Eventually, Hill ended up in the lead
after Chris Amon’s fuel pump failed. He was being pursued by Denny
Hulme, but Hulme lost his second gear and Hill ended up with the win 16
seconds ahead of Hulme. Graham Hill told reporters, “We badly needed
this win just now. It’s been a long time coming and it could not have
happened at a better time. I reckon I completed 1350 gear changes
during the race today. It was real hard work.”
Monaco GP 1968
It was at the next race in Monaco that the Lotus 49 appeared with the
first hint of aerodynamic wings. Despite the team still coming to terms
with the death of Jim Clark they unveiled their new Lotus 49B and the
press were immediately impressed. It had revised wedge-shaped bodywork
and a small front wing.
Lotus 49 front wing Monaco 1968
In November 1967, Jim Clark had raced an American IndyCar called a
Vollstedt at Riverside. The Vollstedt had small front and rear wings
and impressed Clark with its grip and stability. Clark is quoted as
saying that the Vollstedt “had driven faster than was thought capable by
a mortal man.”
During the lead up to the 1968 Teretonga-Tasman race in New Zealand,
Clark persuaded his mechanics to build him a rear wing from a helicopter
rotor. There appear to be no photos of this and the rear wing wasn’t
used in practice, qualifying or the race but the pieces were starting to
come together for an innovative way to get more speed in Formula One. An
eagle-eyed Ferrari engineer took note of it and the result of what he
took back to the Ferrari factory would be seen at the Belgium GP.
A video of a restored Vollstedt – the same one Clark drove in 1967
Lorenzo Bandini had been killed the year before at Monaco and Ferrari
didn’t attend the 1968 race amid reports that the team was not happy
with the safety standards at the circuit. There was also a lot of
political unrest in France at the time and threats of a power cut meant
the organisers borrowed generators to ensure that the tunnel was not
plunged into darkness during the race.
Graham Hill was on pole 0.6 seconds ahead of the next fastest car.
Johnny Sevox-Gavin was the first off the start but Hill took the lead
early after Servoz-Gavin suffered a driveshaft failure on lap three and
crashed his Matra. Hill then held on to the lead until the end.
Richard Atwood in his BRM gave Hill a fight for the win, setting a lap
record on the last lap on the race and finishing only 2.2 seconds behind
Hill. They were the only two drivers on the lead lap and only 5 drivers
finished the race due to multiple accidents and mechanical failures.
The rear spoiler and front wings that were introduced by Colin Chapman’s
Team Lotus at the Monaco GP, on the revolutionary Lotus 49B, were
quickly adopted by the other teams. F1 would never again be without the
downforce-generating wings, changing the series forever.
Tags: 1968 F1 wings, aerodynamic evolution, Graham Hill Monaco 1968, Jim
Clark, lotus 49 design
1968: When Formula One Cars Grew Wings
The 1968 Belgium GP saw the return of the Ferrari’s after missing the
Monaco GP, with Chris Amon’s V12 now sporting rear aerofoils. In
addition, both Brabham’s sported rear wings but mechanical problems
meant that little of their cars were seen in practice.
Wings on Porsche Spyder 500 in 1956
The Ferrari team had already been experimenting with rear wings, putting
one on the 246SP in 1961, with little effect at the time. Michael May,
an engineer who consulted for Ferrari in 1963-64 on its adoption of
Bosch direct fuel infection for its racing engines, had pioneered the
use of an enormous mid-mounted wing on his privately entered Porsche 550
Spyder, at the 1956 Nurburgring 1000 km race. His car was so fast in
practice that the Porsche factory team manager supported those who
argued successfully for the removal of its wing. May mentioned the
function and success of the wing to Ferrari engineer Mauro Forghieri.
It was Forghieri, who combined talking to May about the wing he had used
previously and using the information given him about the Lotus wing
experimented with in New Zealand, then engineered, built and mounted an
aerodynamically sound wing on the 312F1 Ferrari and tested it in 1968.
Belgium GP 1968
Amon’s pace at the first practice on Friday morning clearly showed the
effectiveness of the Ferrari’s wing. At Spa, the high speeds mean that
any extra rear downforce could add significantly to the stability of a
car, without upsetting its overall balance. Bruce McLaren had his
mechanics fabricate a small spoiler in time for Friday afternoon
practice session. On Saturday, there was so much rain that McLaren was
not able to do any more fine-tuning of his hastily constructed spoiler
and so it was not used for the race on Sunday.
Chris Amon took pole position with a lap time nearly four seconds faster
than the next fastest car of Jackie Stewart. To put that in
perspective, in Q1 of the 2013 Grand Prix qualifying, (barring Charles
Pic) the entire field was separated by 4 seconds.
Amon fought a high-speed battle with John Surtees for 7 laps before Amon
retired after a stone punctured his radiator. 4 laps later, Surtees
retired after his suspension collapsed. Stewart was then in front with
a commanding lead but on the second to last lap had to stop for more
fuel because of a miscalculation of his fuel consumption. McLaren was
then in the lead and won the race unaware that Stewart had had to pit.
It was McLaren’s first win and Stewart came in fourth despite his late
Bruce McLaren thought he had only finished second until he pulled up on
the exit of the La Source hair-pin in order to save himself the strain
of another 14km warm-down lap. Rival BRM team chief mechanic Cyril
Atkins ran up to him shrieking, “You crossed the line number one,”
Atkins shouted. Bruce was momentarily confused as his M7A was carrying
race number five. Then he got the point as Atkins continued to bawl;
“You’ve won, didn’t you know?”
British GP 1968
By the time the cars arrived at Brands Hatch for the seventh race of the
season the majority of the cars were sporting the rear and front wings.
Race footage from the day shows the numerous varieties in the heights
and sizes of the rear aerofoil. The only two teams that were not
sporting them were BRM and Cooper, who employed the system of ducting
air through the nose to hold it down, believing this would be
sufficient. Lotus and Honda were attaching their struts directly to the
suspension uprights. The infamous Team Lotus designer, Colin Chapman,
reckoned that he got 400 pounds of down-thrust on the rear wheels.
Everyone else attached them to the chassis somewhere with the result
that the springs were being compressed and there was much less shock
absorber action. Always one step ahead of everyone else, Chapman had
raised his wing by a further foot to a height of 5ft so that it would be
out of turbulence of other cars. Beltoise had a self-adjustable spoiler
on the Matra but he didn’t think it helped very much.
Graham Hill had dominated qualifying, with his pole setting a new lap
record. He was leading the race until engine failure on lap 26 forced
him to retire. Jackie Oliver was forced retire on lap 43, leaving a
closely fought duel between Chris Amon’s Ferrari and Jo Siffert’s
privately entered Lotus. The Swiss driver held off Amon to win the race
by 4 seconds as well as breaking the previous lap record. This is
regarded as the last Grand Prix victory by a genuine privateer and was
the first victory by a car carrying the new high aerofoils. Colin
Chapman was there to congratulate Siffert as he left the car when he
arrived in the pits after the race.
Siffert drove for the Rob Walker Racing Team which was the most
successful privateer in Formula One. They were the first and last
entrant to win a formula One Grand Prix without ever building their own
car. Stirling Moss had given them their first victory in 1958, driving
a Cooper T43 and Jo Siffert gave them their last at Brands Hatch in 1968.
This was the Rob Walker Racing Team’s first year using the Lotus, but
Siffert had wrecked his Lotus 49 in his first race with it. He had
crashed while practicing for the non-championship round, the Race of
Champions, at Brands Hatch in March. He had been driving the late Jim
Clark’s car, the same car Clark had won with in South Africa. This car
was then destroyed by a fire at Walker’s racing workshop where it was
The British Grand Prix was Siffert’s first race with the 49B. The car
wasn’t completed by the beginning of first practice although three
mechanics had worked all night at Lotus to try to get it ready, but he
managed to get some laps in with ten minutes to go and set the eleventh
fastest time and after qualifying was fourth on the grid just behind
Graham Hill and Jackie Oliver in the works Lotus team, and Chris Amon in
Jo Siffert in the Lotus 49B
Jo Siffert in the Lotus 49B
The logic behind the wings was to generate downforce. However, the
engineers made it up as they went along. They tried them big and small,
high and low. They were made out of all kinds of materials. The effect
on the car was all guesswork, a far cry from the supercomputers of
nowadays. They were often attached directly on top of the suspension
uprights because that’s where the downwards load was needed in order to
force the wheels onto the track. It all made sense at the time.
Graham Hill went on to win the title in 1968 and the Lotus 49 continued
winning races until 1970. It would be inaccurate to say that it was due
to its wings that Lotus won the 1968 championship. It won because of
its Ford-Cosworth engine that Chapman had the foresight to make a
stressed member of the chassis. However, the Lotus 49B marks the divide
between the pre-aerodynamic era of the sport and F1’s modern age.
Below is a video about the early years of wings in F1
For a more general look at the year of Formula One, see below