The topic of wind tunnels is a very mixed one in the sporting world not just in F1, however they may not be in F1 at all soon…
A modern wind tunnel is a necessity rather than a luxury in Formula One, the first ever team to own their own wind tunnel was Brabham F1 team run by Bernie Ecclestone and Gordon Murray.
Formula 1 teams spend hours on end testing the aerodynamics of their car in the wind tunnel, however that time is now becoming more precious with the introduction of a sliding scale that means a team higher in the Constructors’ Championship is afforded less hours in the wind tunnel than those finishing below them.
What is a wind tunnel?
A wind tunnel is a tool which is used in the aerodynamic research to study the effects of air moving past solid objects, it consists of a closed tubular passage with the car to be tested mounted in the middle.
Eight out of 10 teams favour scrapping wind tunnels…
There is only two teams on the gird who still believe that wind tunnels still have a place in Formula One, the remaining eight are backing the idea of eliminating them from the sport within 10 years, so by 2030.
Does every team have a wind tunnel?
The answer is no, wind tunnels cost a lot to build, maintain and run so some teams share them and rent them out to other teams for however long they are allowed to have them in where they finished in the Constructors from the following year.
I personally think wind tunnels do need to be scraped, but not right away so I agree with by 2030 and it looks more than likely they will with eight teams voting against them last year, I don’t think they would change their mind. However there will be some work needed to see what will replace it as in 2010 Virgin Racing produced the CR-01 which was the first F1 car designed entirely with computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which models air flows in a virtual way rather than using the tunnel, it unfortunately was not a success.
So if F1 and the teams wants to scrap them they both need to get a lot of research in on what could replace the wind tunnel and what would work too, as we now have the budget cap involved in the sport, so it will be a very big change but I think it is one that needs to happen.
Now I want to know your opinion, so vote down below!
2 responses to “Should we ban wind tunnels?”
My view is Wind Tunnels should not be banned…If a team does not want to use one nobody is forcing them to….You may find over time as CFD is developed it will become as good as the real thing (is is sure much cheaper) and thus Wind Tunnels will naturally fade out….That Virgin really was a bathtub on wheels but it was 11 years ago and CFD would have advanced ten fold. I’d love to know the 2 teams in favour of keeping Wind Tunnels….
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I did try and look to see what two teams it was but there was no information anywhere! Hoping it will come out eventually 🤞🏻