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Basic Racing Car Design

We now understand enough to design an F1 racing car. Here are some beginner's guidelines.

We will choose to drive the rear wheels so that the weight transfer during acceleration helps to improve the traction.

The engine is the heaviest part of the car, so we need to place it somewhere near the middle of the car. If we put most of the weight on the rear wheels, we will not be able to accelerate because the front wheels lift off the ground. If we put the engine too far forward, we will not be able to use the rear wheels to brake.

We can help a lot by making the wheel-base long thus reducing the amount of weight transfer. If we make it too long, however, the car will not steer well.

Finally, we can help a lot by making the car as low as possible. This will reduce weight transfer as well as making the car more aerodynamic.

Richard Bower
Thursday October 8 16:09:30 BST 1998