Spoiler positioning?

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Nanzilela Obejane
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Spoiler positioning?

Postby Nanzilela Obejane »

I've been trying to find an answer to this for yonks but cant get an answer - Why are the rear spoilers positioned so far behind the rear wheels of all race cars. I know it is for downforce but the force created multiplied by the distance from the fulcrum (the wheel) has to be counteracted by a similar force acting in the reverse direction (Newtons laws of motion) or the front wheels will lift off the ground.

So they put a spoiler on the front of the car to counteract that effect - OK fine that will work but would it not be better to bring the rear wing between the wheels so that the force is vectored between the wheels so there is no lifting of the front. The front spoilers would then be providing ALL their effect into improving traction in the front wheels and not counteracting the lifting effect of the rear spoiler. You could then possibly have smaller spoilers to create the same effect and reduce drag?

I'm sure there are aerodynamics boffins who will tell me I'm a prat - fine I'm sure there is a reason but I can't see it so I'm hoping I will be illuminated.
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby Jabberwocky »

I think the short answer is, because the rules says so.

Hysterically I think it if because it would have to be mounted behind the gearbox
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby Hammer278 »

Nanzilela Obejane wrote:I've been trying to find an answer to this for yonks but cant get an answer - Why are the rear spoilers positioned so far behind the rear wheels of all race cars. I know it is for downforce but the force created multiplied by the distance from the fulcrum (the wheel) has to be counteracted by a similar force acting in the reverse direction (Newtons laws of motion) or the front wheels will lift off the ground.

So they put a spoiler on the front of the car to counteract that effect - OK fine that will work but would it not be better to bring the rear wing between the wheels so that the force is vectored between the wheels so there is no lifting of the front. The front spoilers would then be providing ALL their effect into improving traction in the front wheels and not counteracting the lifting effect of the rear spoiler. You could then possibly have smaller spoilers to create the same effect and reduce drag?

I'm sure there are aerodynamics boffins who will tell me I'm a prat - fine I'm sure there is a reason but I can't see it so I'm hoping I will be illuminated.


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Show this man to the technical forum for God's sake! Spoken like a true engineer!
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Nanzilela Obejane
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby Nanzilela Obejane »

Hammer278 wrote:
Show this man to the technical forum for God's sake! Spoken like a true engineer!


No real need to be sarcastic is there? I looked at the "Technophiles" forum but it does say - " For computing and gaming discussion (incl. batracer)" If you've got a sensible answer lets have it or shut it.
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby vaptin »

Nanzilela Obejane wrote:
Hammer278 wrote:
Show this man to the technical forum for God's sake! Spoken like a true engineer!


No real need to be sarcastic is there? I looked at the "Technophiles" forum but it does say - " For computing and gaming discussion (incl. batracer)" If you've got a sensible answer lets have it or shut it.


I think it was a compliment, he meant your clearly very knowledgeable and would be useful in the technical forum( which is called "The Pits", Technophiles is for computer and gaming discussion although a little redundant looking at the Apple and Tablet threads in the Anything else section).
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby andrew »

This could be one for Scotty. He's studying engineering of some sort with a view to getting into motorsport so may have an answer for you.

In the meantime, introduce yourself here. Stick around - we could do with more technical discussions here. :thumbup:
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby Hammer278 »

Nanzilela Obejane wrote:
Hammer278 wrote:
Show this man to the technical forum for God's sake! Spoken like a true engineer!


No real need to be sarcastic is there? I looked at the "Technophiles" forum but it does say - " For computing and gaming discussion (incl. batracer)" If you've got a sensible answer lets have it or shut it.


Wow. You must be having a bad day...as I meant no offence or sarcasm. As an engineering grad myself, I was truly impressed by your post as it makes a whole lot of sense.

I look forward to an apology from your side my good man.
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Nanzilela Obejane
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby Nanzilela Obejane »

Hammer278 wrote:
Wow. You must be having a bad day...as I meant no offence or sarcasm. As an engineering grad myself, I was truly impressed by your post as it makes a whole lot of sense.

I look forward to an apology from your side my good man.


In the interests of peace and harmony I'll tender an apology - In my defence that pic gave me the impression that you were saying "What the **** are you doing in this forum"

If the mods want to move it to the correct forum I'd appreciate it. I'm hoping I'll get an answer.
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby racechick »

Your wish is my command :) . Im afraid I cant answer your question but I know an experienced engineer, familiar with F1, who probably can. I'll get back to you if I find out.
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby darwin dali »

Jabberwocky wrote:I think the short answer is, because the rules says so.

Hysterically I think it if because it would have to be mounted behind the gearbox

Hysterically, um, sure! :hehe:
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darwin dali
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby darwin dali »

I think one non-aero related reason is an increase of space for sponsors that is not obstructed by the rear wheels :twisted:
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby What's Burning? »

I think in the end the leverage exerted by the short fulcrum in use is negligible compared to the down force applied. In other words does it take more than X pound to actually lift the front end using the leverage point, and if the wing exerts less than X then there is no lift. The front wing I'm sure could generate MUCH more force if they wanted it merely by changing the angle of attack, but with aero it's always a case of wanting just enough to do exactly what you want without an ounce more of down force risking a net effect of slowing you down. I'm sure there are formulas crunched by engineers during every GP calculating just such things.
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby 1Lemon »

Nanzilela Obejane wrote:I've been trying to find an answer to this for yonks but cant get an answer - Why are the rear spoilers positioned so far behind the rear wheels of all race cars. I know it is for downforce but the force created multiplied by the distance from the fulcrum (the wheel) has to be counteracted by a similar force acting in the reverse direction (Newtons laws of motion) or the front wheels will lift off the ground.

So they put a spoiler on the front of the car to counteract that effect - OK fine that will work but would it not be better to bring the rear wing between the wheels so that the force is vectored between the wheels so there is no lifting of the front. The front spoilers would then be providing ALL their effect into improving traction in the front wheels and not counteracting the lifting effect of the rear spoiler. You could then possibly have smaller spoilers to create the same effect and reduce drag?

I'm sure there are aerodynamics boffins who will tell me I'm a prat - fine I'm sure there is a reason but I can't see it so I'm hoping I will be illuminated.


Because Science said so.

Don't :censored: with Science.
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby What's Burning? »

BTW there's a difference between a spoiler and a wing... so just to correct the title of your thread.

I have an old Porsche with the spoiler (whale tail) in the back... a spoiler helps to reduce lift preventing the rear from coming loose. a Wing which is what F1 cars have, actually creates down force which is a much more efficient way to create traction.
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Nanzilela Obejane
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Re: Spoiler positioning?

Postby Nanzilela Obejane »

So a spoiler sticks straight up like on the Porsche and a wing is horizontal - right. As you can tell I'm not a real car junkie but I do watch and wondered why these are placed behind the back wheel. I went to a race meeting this weekend at the local track and saw wings 1.5m behind the rear wheels. Even a Porsches spoiler is behind the wheel and will lift the front wheels.

There must be a plain and simple reason as all these people making their living designing cars cannot be numpties