Measuring Lift & Drag Forces for a Flow Over Formula1 Car’s Rear Wing

Case Highlights:

Client: Research Scholar, Europe

The Objective: To simulate the air flow over car’s rear wing for flow visualization and calculation of lift and drag forces


  • Developing large atmospheric domain to capture the flow physics accurately
  • Selecting suitable turbulence model to replicate the actual air flow around the wings
  • Applying suitable boundary conditions to ensure meaningful simulation results

Solution: Based on the inputs received from the client, the wing geometry was developed using CAD modeling. Large atmospheric domain was developed around the wing geometry and axisymmetric approach was applied to reduce computational power and faster simulation. The results in terms of drag and lift forces were identified along with the observation of vortex formation around the wing tip edges.

Measuring Lift and Drag Forces Measuring Lift and Drag Forces

Rear wings are extensively utilized in high performance Formula 1 cars to considerably increase the down force and keep the car stable on the road surface at high accelerating speeds. However, the placement of the wings and its airfoil geometry is equally important to achieve efficient performance, as improperly designed rear wings may lead to vortex formation, causing the vehicle to become unstable and difficult to steer.

Hi-Tech assisted a client from Europe in identifying the lift and drag forces over the rear wing design through computational fluid dynamics.


The CAD model of the wing geometry was developed along with a large atmospheric domain to capture the flow physics accurately. Due to symmetry in the wing geometry, axisymmetric approach was utilized to reduce the computational power and speed up the simulation process.

Applying the boundary conditions with suitable turbulence model, the velocity and pressure distribution over the wings were simulated. The results showed the formation of strong wing tip vortices near the side body. The drag, lift and lateral forces were calculated through post-processing as requested by the client.


  • Cost-effective method against expensive wind tunnel tests
  • Design modification possible at the early stage
  • Reduced number of physical test trials

About Hi-Tech

Hi-Tech CFD is a division of Hi-Tech Outsourcing Services, a pioneer engineering outsourcing company since 1992 based in India & USA. It provides expert Computer Aided Engineering - CAE consulting services for engineering / product design analysis by modeling & simulation.

The primary services extended include Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), Finite Element Analysis (FEA), product design optimization and value engineering services to Automotive, Building / Construction, Process industry, Power Generation, Manufacturing & Heavy Engineering industries.

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