Motor (Australia)

Four FAST FACTS

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NO TOUCHING

There are flaws with ground effect, particular­ly on bumpy surfaces. Old-school designs were hugely sensitive to pitch, yaw, and roll, requiring massively stiff suspension. Additional­ly, if a car bottomed out and the floor touched the ground, it would effectivel­y cut off the tunnels, reducing downforce to zero immediatel­y. You don’t need us to explain what happens when you lose all downforce mid-corner.

WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK AS INTENDED?

Peugeot is aware it is taking a gamble with its wingless 9X8 design. Testing is set to begin before year’s end, and months of CFD theory will be put to the test. “If at any point we find that it is not the right direction, we are sufficient­ly experience­d to change our mind and revise our opinion,” Jansonnie told Autosport.

“We have sufficient humility to understand that you need to test to prove that the new ideas are correct.” F1 won’t have that luxury.

NISSAN’S ATTEMPT

Nissan used a similar concept to that deployed by Peugeot in its GT-R LM in 2015 but were hamstrung by the restrictiv­e LMP1 bodywork regulation­s. The front-engined car channelled huge amounts of air into a pair of tunnels that then dumped out on top of the rear diffuser. The extremely innovative, but ultimately unsuccessf­ul project showed initial promise – being fastest in a straight line at Le Mans in 2015.

THE HIDDEN FANS

The iconic McLaren F1 had fanaided ground effect devices hidden underneath its bodywork. “I had two reflex diffusers, very steep, that the air would not normally follow. It had two 140mm fans, sucking the air out of them and when you switched them on we got 5 per cent downforce and a 2 per cent reduction in drag,” Gordon Murray explained.

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