2021 Williams F1 CFD

Thanks to some clever people I was able to get a CAD model of the current 2021 Williams F1 car — that’s not something that happens every day, so of course I had to run CFD on it.

CAD Geometry

The suspension positions on the model were set up for around 2.08 degrees rake, so that’s how I’ve run it for the baseline. To make it easier on myself I’ve also replaced the wheels and tires with the geometry from my MVRC car (see my previous post). The only problematic geometry was the brake ducts which were in pretty bad shape, so I went ahead and made some simplified parts to replace them — I especially wanted to capture the winglets on the rear duct:

Simplified Brake Ducts

The other notable issue was that the diffuser did not have any strakes. I may try to add some in later but for now I’m running without them.

Here are the results:

Baseline Results, 2.08 deg rake. A = 1 m^2
CL Front WingCL BodyCL Rear WingCD Front WingCD BodyCD Rear WingCL/CD Front WingCL/CD BodyCL/CD Rear Wing
Breakdown by Part

The drag looks to be rather high, but otherwise I think these numbers are at least in the right ballpark, given the limitations of the CFD setup (there are clearly areas where the mesh is limiting the performance). For reference, when I tried to match my lapsim program to telemetry from the 2020 Spanish GP, I arrived at CL = -5.421 and CD = 1.150 (perhaps more about that in another post). Balance also looks reasonable at 43.6% front, a few percent rearward of the dry weight distribution (45.5% for 2021).

Naturally, these numbers change dramatically with ride height. I’ve begun running a ride height map and I’ll make a separate post about that when all the runs are finished.

Below are a series of images, enjoy:

7 thoughts on “2021 Williams F1 CFD

  1. it looks cool and you put a lot of effort into this but I have no idea wtf you are talking about.

  2. What code are you running this in? What turbulence model are you using? What’s your y+ here? How many elements in the mesh? Also, where can I get that CAD model???

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