Fundamental Parameter Design Issues Which Determine Race Car Performance 2000-01-3537
There are several fundamental design parameters that determine a race car's performance including mass, centre of gravity height, static load distribution, engine power and aerodynamic forces.
A sensitivity analysis is performed on these and other parameters to determine their effect on vehicle performance. This is achieved by looking at specific manoeuvres such as straight line acceleration, braking and steady state cornering to determine the relative effect of the respective parameters.
The results presented are determined for both the Leeds University Formula SAE car, figure 1, and a typical mid - late 1990's Formula One car. The results further provide an insight into the differences between high speed cars effected by aerodynamics and low speed cars where aerodynamics makes little or no difference to performance. Combining the performance for a set of manoeuvres provides an insight as to how to improve the overall vehicle lap time.