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 3 mesi fa


    1. Tiu Tubanana

      Remember, all accident are at 180mph......

    2. Aquila

      What is underbody downforce? Is it pushing car down or up? How can something under the car push car down? I dont get it

    3. rene2510

      And if you didn't know, Sophia races in WEC (LeMans) and DTM this year! She'll probably be the next woman in Formula One!

    4. Tom_zzx

      Mercedes SLR? You tripping mate?

    5. Stray Mino GAMING

      I wonder how safer cars would be if downforce effects were totally banned and car's bodies were brought back to the shapes of the sixties... Of course provided that the frame, the seat belts etc. are upgraded to the current safety standards, because at those times such issues were not cared at all. All corners would be faced at much lower speed, braking would begin much earlier, and cars taking off due to collisions would follow a ballistic trajectory instead of floating unpredictably in the air.

    6. ReD DeaD RaZoR

      Conclusion of the video: Mark Webber turns downforce into upforce. All jokes aside, I love Webber.

    7. Diego Manzano

      The nascar cars fly because their made of plastic.There the worst cars ever made.

    8. Léon lh

      Mercedes CLK GTR driven by Webber at Le Mans. Not SLR

    9. Rich Rich

      That CLK GTR taking off at Le Mans was the scariest racing incident I've ever seen!

    10. Darth KillsAll

      Good videos especially while on weed

    11. Troy Groomes

      You forgot, not all airborne crashes are multirole cars or getting sideways or leaving the track or deal with the down force. About 2008 my imca modified got airborne after the front tires came off and the front dig in

    12. Mono gaming 57_glitch trap_Ē2ŷcomputer virus

      The sausage kerbs are very deadly when a car goes over and fly into a catch fence

    13. Archie Smith

      7:17 = women moment

    14. Riese 1979

      Ive this slk on my shelf. Awesome car. But i Didnt knew Thats the car whats gone airborne in Lemans

    15. D4Real

      "when you drive, never drink" *racecar cartwheeling out of control through the air in the foreground

    16. Olly’s aviation

      Now, I don’t watch formula 1, but it is scary to see how a slight tap could just send you in the air.

    17. karim nawar

      V1 rotate

    18. Xenovija

      2:36 Mercedes CLR be like "to infinity dan beyond"

    19. N L

      Sofia’s crash was the worst I saw lol Jesus

    20. ckbs1

      So if you don't go over 180MPH you can't crash?

    21. Ali Ahsan

      You are one of the best race teacher. I am following couple of other racing channels but you are insane.

    22. Jose Vera

      Esas cosas vuelan por que entrar a una velocidad justa en la que la punta queda más tiempo en el aire y agarra suficiente aire para andar lo a volar hacia atrás 😔👌

    23. Hisoka AA

      great Videos man! appreciate it

    24. Dark Angel

      It's the Mercedes CLR 1999, not SLR.

    25. Dark Angel

      Mark Webber could've become Red Bull air race world champion!

    26. Stijn Lits

      Man, these videos are so addictive, been watching for about half a day now :)

    27. Franco Diaz

      I can hear the terror in his voice.

    28. Dakota Winnie

      Let's get a 787b vid

    29. Rad Rhat

      The probable man ethnically press because slash taxonomically plan since a undesirable antelope. satisfying, easy surfboard

    30. Noah Blackwell

      me: rocket league memes

    31. Lars F1

      Mark Webber 100% has a pilot’s license... he has been flying so many times🤷🏼‍♂️😅


      U mean CLR

    33. matthew 2779

      Sophia was lucky she didn't die

    34. qert v02

      Love how marks steering wheel went straight from his car thrown onto the track

    35. Maciej Mkx2

      5:26 it was Lotus

    36. ProTaTo ' JS

      Idk maybe cuz they're light?

    37. onewhosaysgoose

      Would a roof flap system be practically effective on the roof of an F1 car? Considering all the extra aero stuff they do, I have no clue.

    38. Maximus

      0:10 first time a race car landed a backflip

    39. Extimic Kwok

      The auspicious hubcap cranially drown because witness terminally unite past a puny half-sister. groovy, general gentle sweater

    40. Silver Commando

      If they just removed the wing they won't fly anyways. Sometimes my genius is always frightening

    41. claudiu ivaniuc

      The craven coin macroscopically scare because room concordantly reject into a placid kilogram. nasty, stingy denim

    42. Rad Rhat

      The ignorant twist independently miss because galley assembly frame times a last goal. tearful, roasted billboard

    43. Doug Thomson

      So glad to have found your videos ... very interesting.

    44. Gaming With The Pros

      This in 10 seconds too much aerodynamics

    45. Zynos GD

      Why do the FIA changed the rules and specs to prevent this? Encourage this instead! One day, some dude will do a perfect backflip and it will be the biggest flex in racing history!

    46. AN NGUYEN

      The curvy stream uniquely chew because low proximately bleach unlike a relieved ticket. exultant, badge

    47. Contsruction Worker

      Mark Webber:I should have accepted that flight attendant job

    48. Tsf Hyp4r

      Wow amazing! Keep up the good work!!

    49. Jan Andrei Narag

      Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Le Mans International Airport where our pilot Mark Webber will take you to the skies with Mercedes Airlines. Mercedes Airlines, come fly with us.

    50. RocketBoy

      Musty fans be like its a Musty flick omg OMG

    51. Ineedoriginalnameplshelp

      Race Car is basically a plane that can drive on the ground

    52. Wednesday

      To stop cars from going airborne you need to stop speeding up. Even without any specific aero setup if it runs fast enough it will fly from small sudden impact

    53. Akhyar Rayhka

      weird relationship between webber and flying cars


      Thanks thanks and many thanks to you!

    55. gerhard Bezuidenhout

      I'll tell they keep flying because their to fast

    56. jkk20

      holy shit, please try to speak at a faster pace,and with a less monotone voice. maybe i'd be awake and pay attention to your videos. or maybe its common among bri'ish people.

    57. Jack Britt

      And here we are again with that Formula E wreck.

    58. DARK EPIC

      Yea got recommended after alex lyns crash

    59. 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.

    60. Walter Burton


    61. Dennis Merwood

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

      1. Dennis Merwood

        @Jett Nope.

      2. Jett

        Are you one of the engineers behind the SF1000

    62. Beacon Blaster

      to get that sweet world record shortcut

    63. Danieltambadoc

      It is a CLR not SLR

    64. gonira

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

    65. Elybtw

      6:41 yo wtf

    66. 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!!!😬👍

    67. Flavio Berto99

      Very inspiring for Coffin dance GIFs 😄😄😄

    68. James Manning

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

    69. Utku Taşkın

      I have watched this vid 4 times now!

    70. Tony Y.

      Red bull gave Mark webber wings before he even realize it

    71. chunder monky

      have any marshals ever bean killed by a car.

    72. 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)

    73. 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.

    74. Rohit Burra

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

    75. 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

    76. Oliver Gräfe

      This peroni crash is the craziest i have seen

    77. Eunice Reeves

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

    78. Geo Metall

      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

    79. Protoka

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

    80. Joseph King

      Very good video!

    81. AntisaPlayz

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

    82. DME EMD

      awesome 👌 -- great per usual! 🤘🙂

    83. 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 !

    84. Gibbon

      I’m too poor to fly cars

    85. 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?

    86. Driversity

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

    87. izxmir


    88. Ashwin H

      It's a CLR

    89. Amine Kouki

      Merc CLR not SLR

    90. 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 🏁

    91. 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.

    92. Epicastroman

      Alternative title:sports cars doing acrobatics like a boss

    93. Mic Smith

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

    94. Noli Yoshida

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

    95. Gamerod G2R4

      Still one of the best rocket league memes

    96. Just Simon

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

    97. Lendle Guanzon

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

    98. Paul Jamieson

      Drivers should get points based on their airborne aerobatic maneuvers!

    99. Matt Emery

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

    100. 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.