MVRC 2020 – F1 Aerodynamics

Earlier this year I discovered the Mantium Virtual Racecar Challenge, which is an online aerodynamics competition to design a Formula One car using CFD. The final “race” of the year was a few weeks ago, so I wanted to showcase the car that I’ve designed. I also encourage you to check out the other competitors on the MVRC website and on the F1Technical forums, many of them are very impressive.

Standard Parts and Bodywork Volumes

The basis of the competition is a simplified version of the current F1 ruleset. The wheels, suspension, survival cell, engine, gearbox, front wing neutral section, and step-floor geometry is standard and provided to each competitor, along with volumes which must contain the bodywork.

The rest of the regulations are pretty straightforward, with few of the complexities that real F1 designers must deal with. Essentially any design is permitted so long as it is contained within the bodywork volumes. My final car design is shown below:

I create the geometry using the online CAD software Onshape, and CFD is run using an OpenFOAM pre/post-processor called MantiumFlow, which is provided with entry to the competition.

My car ended up around -2.1 CL and 1.3 CD, which is decidedly not great. I only just started to figure the car out towards the end, and it became apparent that I was being limited by some of the features that I had designed early on. As you can see in the CFD images below there is also lots of room for optimization, which I’m sure would yield significant improvements.

I believe the plan for next year’s MVRC is to switch to the new 2022 F1 regulations, which should be interesting since we won’t have any real F1 designs to look at for inspiration. Hopefully I’ll be able to field a more competitive entry, and I’ll post some updates here along the way.

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