Clean air is directed into the side pods for cooling purposes; this stream passes through the car and out the back beneath the rear wing. The smoothly contoured body guides airstreams gracefully around bodywork for predictable handling under extreme conditions.
The front wing curves upward, forcing air to move around it in such a way that a high pressure area forms above the wing, with a lower pressure area beneath. This pressure difference is a contributor to a kind of suction force called "downforce" that pushes or sticks the car to the track. Where the wing ends and these different pressure zones meet, the air crashes into itself, creating a spiraling vortex.
Vortices cause drag, which tugs at the car, slowing it down. A cap on the wing tip interrupts vortex formation for a less intense effect. The pointed, curved-in surfaces on the inside edge of the wing intentionally shape and direct a vortex around the floor of the car, sealing in the clean air that passes underneath. So, while vortices do cause drag, they're also a useful tool to separate and seal in different areas of airflow.
Directly behind the tires, barge boards condition or "clean up" some of this airflow while also pushing lots of dirty wheel air away from the body. The narrow gap between the car floor and the track turns the entire floor into a giant downforce generator as air squeezes, thins, and rushes beneath the car at a different rate and pressure than overhead air.
The floor has a forward tilt or "rake" that creates very low pressure at its narrowest point, but allows air to more smoothly rejoin ambient air pressure as it flows out the back.
The upward-curved rear wing, which is another critical downforce generator, has notched end caps, with gaps, and louvers to allow some air to combine early, altering and shaping rear wing vortex characteristics. It's also where, in wet conditions, the noticeable, misty wing tip
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