This week we’re talking about how critical it is to keep the mass of a race car as low as possible. While everyone will say “it’s important” being engineers we have to always know just how important it really is. So we made sure to simulate what the resulting lap time would be if we varied nothing else but the mass of the car.
Our results were quite insightful, while it is common for Formula One teams to quote ~0.4sec per lap per 10Kg this number is often thrown around in conjunction with fuel loading. Our results suggested that for our car design the sensitivity of mass on lap time was about 0.25sec per lap per 10kg. It is important to remember that this number will vary from race track to race track and is also dependent on the cars general parameters such as total mass, aero down force, tire grip and engine power. Nevertheless this constant of 0.025sec/lap/kg will be useful in managing efforts to reduce weight and the overall design of the car. Next week I will continue the design review by covering the effect of the vertical placement of center of gravity height (CG) on a race car and its lap time.
Thanks for reading! Until next time,