Why Race Cars Keep Taking Off


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    The incredible speeds in racing can mean that a slight touch with another car or straying off-line can send you flying through the air.
    It is a real concern in racing when an unforeseen event can mean aerodynamics are suddenly not working in your favour. Turning downforce into lift and sending race cars tumbling through the air.
    So how do these huge crashes happen? And what factors are being put in place to ensure these incidents don’t happen again?
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    We’ve seen so many of these incidents across F1, Sports Car Racing and Nascar - as well as every category in between.
    Race cars take a lot of careful design to keep them on the track, but sometimes this can go wrong.
    Let’s break down the three main reasons cars can get airborne - Angle of Attack, Airfoil Effect and Mechanical Advantage as well as how governing bodies are implementing technology to stop this happening.

    The first effect is Angle of Attack, and the best example of this is one of the most famous racing incidents in recent memory. Mark Webber and Peter Dumbreck in the Mercedes SLR at Le Mans.
    The Mercedes had a strange aerodynamic flaw that meant it took off three times that weekend, twice in the hands of Mark Webber in practice and once during the race with Peter Dumbreck at the wheel.
    The Mercedes SLR was designed almost entirely to be fast at Le Mans, the long straights demand a very slippery car, but also enough downforce for the fast corners and tight chicanes.
    This meant the designers created as much under-body downforce as possible, as this is a much more efficient way of creating downforce.
    They made the car as long as the rules allowed and used a very short wheelbase. This gave the car very large overhangs and made the front and rear diffusers very large and made them the car’s main downforce producers.
    Mercedes also ran a very low-rake for Le Mans, which made the car slippery but aerodynamically unstable.
    Race cars normally run negative rake, angling the rear of the car upwards. They do this so that the body of the car acts as a sort of wing - creating downforce.
    High-rake also creates and expanding tunnel under the car, which expands the air and creates downforce.
    Mercedes ran a low rake for a low-downforce, low-drag setup. Where cars normally run between 1.5 and 3º of rake, Mercedes ran 0.7º.
    This flat angle, large overhangs and low over-body downforce proved a lethal combination.
    Mark Webber was running at 180mph towards Indianapolis corner and took the slight crest in the road. The high-speed air hit the bottom of the front diffuser, essentially eradicating the downforce it was producing.
    This high-pressure air pushed the nose of the car in the air and suddenly removed all of the under-body downforce - sending Mark Webber flying through the air.
    The same thing has happened a number of times, twice more that weekend as well as the Porsche 911 GT1 at Road Atlanta.
    To stop this, there have been a number of rule changes brought in by the FIA. They tightened up how large the overhangs can be, limiting the underbody downforce that can be created.
    This is also the reason for the wheel arch cutouts you see on Prototype Sports Cars. If these cars were put int the same position as the Mercedes, they allow an escape for the high-pressure air under the car. Meaning the nose can drop back down and stop the car flipping.

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    #Engineering #Motorsport #Aerodynamics

    Pubblicato il 21 giorno fa


    1. Nuno Ribeiro

      6:00 That explanation is incomplete. If both wheels are the same size, have the same amount of grip and are traveling at the same speed, then when they touch they cancel eachothers momentum, since the back of one's wheel is travelling up and the front of the others is travelling down. The reason he went flying is because when the front car breaked, they reduced their wheelspeed, meaning that there was now a speed difference between the wheels of both cars, so the wheels of the car in front only canceled a part of the tailing car's momentum, with the remainig bit pushing the car up, thanks to newton's second law.

    2. Walter Burton


    3. DennyHulme

      Aero was the worst thing that ever happened to auto racing.

    4. Beacon Blaster

      to get that sweet world record shortcut

    5. Danieltambadoc

      It is a CLR not SLR

    6. gonira

      We should call Webber "The Flying Aussie", if we think about it.

    7. Elybtw

      6:41 yo wtf

    8. gailja

      The improvement of this channel's quality is incredibly noticable! Been around for a while and I'm really happy and proud for the success of your channel!! Keep up the hard work!!!😬👍

    9. Flavio Bertolino

      Very inspiring for Coffin dance GIFs 😄😄😄

    10. James Manning

      It's was the clr not the slr, the slr is their road car

    11. Utku Taşkın

      I have watched this vid 4 times now!

    12. Tony_yeung

      Red bull gave Mark webber wings before he even realize it

    13. chunder monky

      have any marshals ever bean killed by a car.

    14. Joe Garrett-Robinson

      i know why the downforce and aerodynamics of the car and the next thing you know you'll be in space or the 911 GT1 that got it's back section ripped off (also due to the fact that it is light)

    15. v2_

      Mechanical Advantage is also what caused Wheldon's fatal accident in 2011, which is of course why we want to keep cars on the ground and not flying through the air.

    16. Rohit Burra

      So a lot of math then......

    17. Mikey C.

      I turned the video off and gave thumbs down when he mistook the CLK-GTR for an SLR, because I’m a dick

    18. Oliver Gräfe

      This peroni crash is the craziest i have seen

    19. Eunice Reeves

      The deafening talk socioeconomically tumble because meat fundamentally drag below a lonely sarah. amusing, marvelous ticket

    20. GeoMetall yt

      That I think GP2 car hopping into the air after going over an apex for some reason looks kinda funny as it just suddenly jumps into the air

    21. Protoka

      i don't know why but my brain plays marios WaHOO at 0:07

    22. Joseph King

      Very good video!

    23. AntisaPlayz

      i know why they always crash, heres the problem: they are fast but have almost no weight at all

    24. DME EMD

      awesome 👌 -- great per usual! 🤘🙂

    25. charitra Jain

      But I thought that the le mans incident happened with Peter dumbreck was due to the fact that it left the slipstream of that toyota and got airborne . I thought this is the reason why le mans have more and more turns rather than straights !

    26. Gibbon

      I’m too poor to fly cars

    27. Bryan Steacy

      Wasn't the Porsche and the Mercedes crashes also caused by exiting the slipstream of the cars ahead of them on the crest of a hill?

    28. Driversity

      Ryan Newman became an honorary NASA Pilot last year, trust me

    29. izxmir


    30. Ashwin H

      It's a CLR

    31. Amine Kouki

      Merc CLR not SLR

    32. Anders Christian Hald Pedersen

      could you explain the new class system coming up in endurance racing and the manufacturers that have shown intent of participating 🏁

    33. 77gravity

      5:30 There is no way to distinguish that real-life video from that produced by the game consoles. Seriously, that crash looked CGI.

    34. Epicastroman

      Alternative title:sports cars doing acrobatics like a boss

    35. Mic Smith

      Strict rules for moving under braking in formula 1. Unless your Verstappen

    36. Noli Yoshida

      0:31 Radillon was the kick at the end of the Eau Rouge ramp for a backflip? Jeez!

    37. Gamerod G2R4

      Still one of the best rocket league memes

    38. Just Simon

      Peroni's crash is more due to a stupid decision to put sausage kerb at a very fast turn.

    39. Lendle Guanzon

      RAGE YOUR DREAM TOKI WO! (I'm sorry)

    40. Paul Jamieson

      Drivers should get points based on their airborne aerobatic maneuvers!

    41. Matt Emery

      It’s a bird It’s a plane No. It’s Mark Webber

    42. William Kelley

      Welll.... it's because a car is designed like a "wing". It has a flat bottom and an arched top. That generates LIFT. And, if you're going fast enough. It can totally negate "down force". So, flip the design upside, down. Make the top flat and the bottom arched. Simply genus. You're welcome. Pay me.

    43. Mike Hunt

      Typical female hitting a bend at 180mph! 🙄

    44. NippyMoto

      Merc F1 cars use a low rake philosophy

    45. Jamie McEwan

      I'd never thought of the physics at play when the wheel to wheel contacts occur in racing. Very well explained sir.

    46. colymoli

      i do not know what to say about the from race cars flying thought the air and than a football is placed in to the clip to work for a rocket league reverence. it is just sad i do not get the fun point out of it

    47. John Mitchell

      The short response is that racing cars are now too fast for the tracks. Need to legislate car design to remove wings and wide tyres. Get back to mechanical grip only!

    48. The Mask

      Tighten the tracks , forcing slower speeds. Get over the high speed bullshit

    49. Echo 4K

      0:10 rocket league misty flick

    50. Sergio Albuquerque

      Thsnk you for this very informative video

    51. Simone Trafford

      The acceptable iraq renomegaly sneeze because stamp conversantly tempt despite a jumbled rest. greedy, unnatural porter

    52. Maxwell Edison

      The ambitious jail intrestingly fence because pizza uniquely polish lest a mean segment. real, aspiring ptarmigan

    53. Matthew Sanders

      One of the few videos with a thumbnail that looks photoshopped but is just actually a picture of what happened

    54. Nick Burak

      Hi Scott. This is request is unrelated to this video, but I didn't know where else to send it. I think that you would be the most suitable among the F1 IThomesrs to explain the following. Recent discussions have bared down on the 2021 aero regulations. Could you please talk a bit in depth how low-rake cars will be more affected (it's more of a challenge for them) by the new floor design regulations, as compared to low-rake cars. First of all, is this even correct? Is it a big deal or a small one? Thanks for your channel and excellent technical videos!

    55. Chevy Dyall

      That last crash is insane

    56. Andrei Irimia

      I just could not stop putting rocket league music on top of the crashes. I'm sorry but it's hilarious

    57. CMDR Boom

      Yes, our good friends physics and aerodynamics. It only works in the direction it was designed to travel in. After that, all bets are off. That last crash though where the car turned into a harpoon, jesus take the wheel! I haven't seen something so remarkable outside of a video game!

    58. Megatronic48_Gaming YT

      Because of there Aero In simplified form

    59. Said Perez

      U should added the rocket league soundtrack to the video

    60. The Lord's Side

      so the bat mobile is real...

    61. Omahamaho

      when cars turn into kites when engineering meets mother nature

    62. Wes Wells

      Should make video of dirt late models and how there transmission/gearbox works

    63. dubtube

      iRacing does the same lol

    64. Edvin Sula

      Cars in Asphalt 8 be like: 0:44

    65. Pip Pipster

      Basically Mercedes fucked-up big time.

    66. Pip Pipster

      0:10 ‘Unforeseen event’ ... yeah, like driving in a straight bloody line (!)

    67. Matthew Pepper

      5:54 the wheels are not going in opposite directions

    68. kaiman

      Imagine the decision of letting a car race, that already took off two times on that weekend. This is also human failure. Race organizers and teams should prevent decicions like that. Side effect of all the money, that is involved in racing i guess...

    69. faizaanalap4

      Please make a video on why automanufacturers and grand prix have reinvented the steering wheel in the most ignorant way ever chopping of its parts where form over function is emphasized. its so infuriating to look at those chopped off steering wheels in cars which are meant for performance and a huge trade off where the driver is unable to find a handle on the wheel in case of sudden happenning on the road as visible in video at 7:48 i havent understood the logic yet. is there a hidden logic over common sense? waddafuqqqqqqqq?? please someone gimme a sane answer whyyyyy?

    70. Scott Freemantle

      I watched the Alexander peroni one live 😭😭😭😭😭

    71. MaReX

      omata wee,. What only me? Weee, omata weeeee, wee

    72. Chris H

      Simple answer, at the wrong angle downforce becomes lift.

    73. Anthony Flores

      This is the stupidest video on youtube

      1. Qaiser The Cuber


    74. Ali Houadef

      reupload ?!

    75. Omar Garcia

      If you want accidents to stop just STOP racing.... Crashes are a part of racing.....

    76. panhuys

      This would never happen with electric cars 😆

    77. Mouldytoe 34

      DO A FLIP

    78. Weisy Wei

      minut 6:00 is a error, is 0 Mph like a hit to a protuberance al 190MPH. 190-190 = 0 they counteract then only "190" forward, 190 not is real one car are stoping but not are completely stoped, then forward force is 190 minus speed of kovalainen . And if you see hit the front aileron against the wheel at XXX speed and this cause the jump because the wheel rotate in the side of hit upward... then all explanation are wrong. Thanks for your videos i enjoy all! regards from spain

    79. C_22 bg

      Bruh, just bind "air row left" and "air row right" to different controls on your controller. If you play Rocket League on keyboard, get used to 'Q' and 'E' 🙄

    80. Alessandro Verganti

      The one at monza with that sausage curb was just incompetence by the race director. How do you even think that is a good idea!?!? Of course it's going to launch a car, it's literally just outside the racing line.

    81. AbdElHmyd

      Base plate below the chassis acts like a wing

    82. spiyder

      what idiots, when you are a race car driver you are also a pilot, it’s like a hidden fee

    83. Minh Quân Trần Nguyễn

      That’s why nearly every racing they have to made the road flat and no pumps

    84. Mantas Isganaitis

      The statement at 4:39 is incorrect. Car having less downforce doesn't mean that less lift will be needed to airborne the car. First of all, there can't be lift and downforce at the same time, there can be imbalance front vs rear, but there will be either net lift or net downforce. And if net lift will be greater than weight of the car, then it will start flying. All these high downforce cars are apparently especially dangerous, due to how quickly lots of downforce can shift into lots of lift. But old cars also were so despite having lots of lift to begin with, such as Mercedes 1955 Le Mans tragedy, it was however also influenced by their air brake system which they used to compete vs Jaguar disc brakes. Very interesting video, I am enjoying technical/physics content the most.

    85. MrMike44

      I’m somewhat of an advocate that racing should be dangerous to a point but not because of poor track design or engineering.

    86. Adrian Cygan

      "I Believe I can fly, I Believe I can touch the sky"

    87. AlexaTheStripper

      Mark Webber👏

    88. trillrif axegrindor

      #1 open wheel and wheel to wheel contact

    89. J1’2

      0:06 wheeeeee

    90. Zeitgeister

      I didn't understand the first reason. Why was there an interuption of air flow?

    91. alberto robinson


    92. David Pistek

      At airplane speeds cars do airplane stuff

    93. Shishir Govinda

      The new sign is awesome mate. Keep up the good work.

    94. Giui Stefan Jr

      Because aerodinamics work in front on the vehicle with the flow of air being drag from the front to the rear.

    95. DeathInTheSnow

      I'm totally expecting to see more of this with the new Le Mans Hypercar series this year.

      1. Mani 1610

        Well it wasn't really a problem with LMP1, the LMH cars are even a bit slower so I doubt we will see anything like that.

    96. Jon Braid

      I thought this was a Max Verstappen career highlights compilation.

    97. 6Twisted

      So why don't they get rid of curbs?

    98. TheRacingBro's

      Wow Mark Webber could've got a pilot license while he was Racing, no wonder they say F1 drivers are like Fighter Pilots!

    99. Adam Curtis

      Very good video!!

    100. JOG.RR.YASUNI

      Next video idea? Reacting to formula drift competition?