F1 Masterclass

Editorial Team

Editorial Team


Experts rev up University of Bolton audience to discuss future of F1 cars

25/2/20 – Article University of Bolton

An aerodynamics expert and a former F1 boss discussed the changing aerodynamic design of race cars in a masterclass at the University of Bolton.

Professor Willem Toet, a world-leading F1 aerodynamicist and Dr Bob Fernley, team owner of Ensign, gave a fascinating insight to students, staff and industry leaders.

In the lecture, entitled ‘Aerodynamics in Formula 1: Ensign and the return to ground effect in 2021’, Prof Toet shared an update on the rationale for changing the design of cars for next year’s season.

And Dr Fernley talked of his excitement that engineering students from the National Centre for Motorsport Engineering (NCME) at the University of Bolton are preparing a historic F1 racing car as part of their studies.

The Ensign F1 car last raced in the early 1980s when it was operated by Dr Fernley. By teaming up with students from the University of Bolton’s National Centre for Motorsport Engineering (NCME), the historic car will be prepared by the next generation of engineering minds, at the same time giving students hands-on experience of working with F1 machinery.

Once the chassis preparation is complete and power unit installed, the engineering students will be offered the opportunity to run the car in the 2020 Masters Historic F1 Championship round in Zolder, Belgium.

In the driving seat will be former F1 race winner and Sky Sports F1 expert, Johnny Herbert.

In addition, the students will be tasked with digitally scanning and creating a map of the car’s aerodynamic performance to make comparisons with modern-day racing cars.

With Formula 1 introducing the new technical regulations in 2021, the project is especially relevant for the students who will make a direct comparison with ground effect aero from 40 years ago.

Dr Fernley said: “This is an incredible opportunity for the University of Bolton and its students. No one else is doing anything like this.

“It is important that Bolton becomes the University of choice for anyone who wants to study motorsport engineering.”

Mark Busfield, Director of NCME at the University of Bolton, thanked Prof Toet and Dr Fernley, who are both honorary doctors of the University.

He said afterwards: “Giving our students a Formula 1 car represents a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate their skills in the real world.”

Source: University of Bolton