Chimney or Funnel


chimey at McLaren mp4/14

Chimey at McLaren MP4-14







Chimney at McLaren MP4-14




Another remarkable appearance was invented by McLaren. The "chimneys" or "funnels" in front of the rear wheels do not put out engine exhaust gasses, but rather hot air from radiators. Some other teams have copied this novelty in 2001. The principle behind this is actually very simple. Point is to direct air flow either side of the rear wing and as the outlets was above the main flow passing close to the sidepods surface, the outlet wouldn't change cars aerodynamics so much. Additionally the outlet further forward allowed the sidepods to be narrower between the rear wheels.
This solution has become known as a chimney and has been adopted by almost all the teams at some point, either as a permanent fixture or as an aid to improve the cars cooling requirements in certain situations and circuits.

On the one hand, the air passing through the radiators isn't specified by the throttle, but it depends on the car speed. Increasing the throttle makes the engine suck move air into it, and thus generates more exhaust gasses. Radiators are only provided by air flowing in trough sidepods, due to the movement of the car. So the effect of engine exhausts is just that little faster on downforce in acceleration then with radiator air. On the other hand, it is very interesting of blowing out this hot air as soon as possible, because it heats up the inside of the car and engine surroundings. Keeping the air longer under the bonnet, will increase the engine temperature.

Ferrari f2002 exhoust Ferrari f2002 exhoust
Ferrari f2002 exhoust
Ferrari f2002 exhoust
Ferrari f2002 chimney with exhaust

Year is 2002 and Ferrari on his car, f2002, made use of a aerodynamic effect that used the very fast flow from the exhaust pipe to accelerate cooling flow through a chimney duct, effectively acting as a pump to scavenge hot air form the sidepods. This is accomplished by creating a pressure gradient and venturi effect, a phenomenon sometimes referred to as 'aspiration'. The increase in speed of the air over the chimney creates a low-pressure region that sucks out air from the sidepods to aid the radiators in cooling the engine. The distinctive tall arched outlets around the sidepods became adopted by others again both as permanent and optional cooling solutions.

This concept was studied by Parra and Kontis in their 2006 paper, Aerodynamic effectiveness of the flow of exhaust gases in a generic formula one car configuration, published in the The Aeronautical Journal:

"Due to the characteristic configuration of a Formula One car, the exhaust pipes pass through the chamber located directly behind the radiators. This chamber is normally shaped so that it enhances the outflow of gases. However, an extra outflow could be generated by inserting the exhaust pipe into a bigger diameter duct to create a mixing stream. Such mixing is believed to generate an aspiration along the outer duct, based on the same principles of operation as an ejector pump. Because this enveloping duct connects the chamber behind the radiator with the atmosphere, an outflow of gases through this passage would increase the efficiency of the radiator," (p574).

The downside of this solution was that both the exhaust and cooling flows went directly into the rear wing, hindering its efficiency. Hot air is not as dense as cold air, diminishing wing effectiveness.
Second problem was very hot air blowing over the wing. We are talking here of temperature of few hundred degrees Celsius. Special shielding was required to protect carbon fiber material. You can see this protections applied on upper suspension wishbone in gold color in the pictures above.
Third problem was different air speed over the wing, depending on throttle.
But gain using this solution was bigger. Coke bottle area now can be tighter, and this greatly improves air flow on the back of the car.

Allied to the Exhaust fairing outlet Ferrari placed the radiators at a compound angle in the sidepods. Usually the radiators are angled in one dimension vertically or horizontally, usually placing both oil and water cores into a single panel. By angling the radiator in such a way Ferrari were able to increase the size of the radiators surface area (area of panel is more important to cooling than the thickness of the core) without making larger sidepods. Again, now every team uses radiators at a compound angle in the sidepods.

As a result of the changes the 2009 cars appear quite different to their predecessors, with the removal of the vast majority of bargeboards, winglets, chimneys and cooling gills leading to much cleaner looking designs. Gone are the fairings on the front suspension pick-up points (where the suspension attaches to the monocoque) and the use of turning vanes is now restricted to a small triangular section in front of the sidepods. Cooling vents, chimneys and winglets are noticeably absent from the top of the sidepods and there is no winglets on top of the rear axle.

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Books to read


Some useful links:

- f1technical.net, a great site with a lot of technical information’s and explanations. Site is updated daily with news from F1 word.

 - autosport.com, This site is a legend. A bible for racing lovers. News from all around the word. Unfortunately, to get access to all news, interviews and to open the site completely you should be subscribed to Autosport magazine. Anyway, great read.

James Allen on F1
- JA.F1 site (or blog) ovned by ITV Sport’s lead commentator on Formula 1 James Allen

Joe Saward blog
- joesaward is the Joe Saward official blog about Formula 1 world. Joe is an journalist, who write primarily about politics in and around motorsport, specifically on the FIA Formula 1 World Championship

Vital F1
 - vitalf1.com/ is another great site for Motor Sports fan’s like me. Site is relatively new, but great fun, with great discussion forum, Formula 1 news and forum.

 GP update
- f1.gpupdate.net, Site with fresh news from Formula 1

Planet F1
 - planetf1, another site with many different articles, news and statistics. Biased toward British teams, but anyway good read.

Gurney flap
 - gurneyflap.com, Great history site. You can learn a lot from this site. Pictures, cars and many many more. Great.

4ormula1 is a database of Formula 1 history and statistics of drivers, teams, grand prix, and all results since 1950.

Missed Apex Podcast
Enjoy range of Podcasts and Articles on Motorsport. Every week a Formula one chat on Missed Apex F1 Podcast with F1 journalist Joe Saward and tech Analyst Matthew Somerfield as guests. Also the exciting all electric racing series formula E on eRadio Show and Bike Show Lean Angle Podcast.

Racecar engineering
-Racecar Engineering, an online magazine with a lot to learn from, a lot of technical information’s and explanations

 - fia.com, La Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, representing the interests of motoring organisations and motor car users. Head organisation and ruler in auto sport.

 - wikipedia.org, I don’t believe that I have to tell you anything about this site. It’s not about Formula 1 technology, but you can learn a lot about that too.

Sutton Images

grandprix photo

 - carbibles.com, a great site for normal car users. Here you can find explanations of almost everything about your car and how it works. Technical reviews and explanations of some in-car gadgets.

Dare To Be Different
- Daretobedifferent.org Susie Wolff and UK governing body of UK motorsport have joined forces to launch Dare To Be Different, a high-profile new initiative which is about increasing female participation, not just on the track but in all aspects of the sport.

Giorgio Piola web site