Auto Manifesto

March 25, 2008

F1 Wheel Cover

One of the finer points of last weekend’s F1 race in Malaysia was the front wheel covers on the McLaren team cars. Instead of rotating with the wheels they remain stationary while the car is in motion (click here for picture).

There is a brake duct on the inside of the assembly which channels air over and around the disc and caliper. It appears the vent in the wheel cover allows airflow from the interior of the wheel to exit more efficiently.

This enables greater temperature reduction by allowing more air to flow through the wheel and brake than with a rotating cover. On a rotating cover a vent or opening would probably only be effective for a portion of each revolution of the wheel, thus requiring more openings and inducing more aerodynamic drag.

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