50 percent of the
Delta Wing’s braking force
is generated behind the
center of gravity, giving a
dynamically stable response.
Locking propensity of
the unladen front
wheel at corner entry
is greatly reduced due
to virtually no lateral
load transfer with the
narrow front track/
wide rear track layout.
efore the Delta Wing ran for the first
time, the question most often heard was,
“Will it turn?” Now that it has run – and
successfully turned – the question has
become, “How does it turn?” Delta Wing
designer Ben Bowlby explains...
How does it turn? Pay a visit to your tool
shed or Home Depot and you can “drive”
the Delta Wing on your own. If you put a
sledgehammer on the ground with the
handle facing forward and the heavy, metal
head at the back, and you push on the
handle, it’s really easy to make it change
its direction. That’s because, at the handle
end, it’s light and has very little inertia;
you need very little force to change the
direction of where the handle is pointing.
tires. Of all the physics involved with
the car and how it works, this is the one
that’s often the hardest to digest.
The front of the Delta Wing is incredibly
light, but the weight at the rear acts to
stabilize the front. In layman’s terms, the
back makes the front work.
The front tires do a very small amount
of work to change the direction because of
the sledgehammer concept. The rear tires
have a massive amount of capacity;
they’re almost the size of an LMP1 rear tire,
but the car only weighs half as much as an
Audi R18. This is another major contributing
factor to how the Delta Wing turns. The rear
of the car – the steel head of the hammer –
is supported by the huge capacity of the
tires, and those tires are supported by big
aerodynamic forces pressing down on them.
Put all of that together – the lever
effect, the light front section that takes
very little inertia to be turned, the big
rear tires which carry most of the
cornering forces, and an exceptional
amount of downforce pinning the car to
the ground, and it’s very simple to change
the direction of the car.
From the driver’s perspective, once the
steering wheel is turned and the
cornering event begins, the rear of the
Delta Wing takes over to steer itself
through the corner. That’s the bottom
line, that’s the deal.
“The front of the Delta Wing is
incredibly light, but the weight at
the rear acts to stabilize the front”
Now push on the head of the
sledgehammer and, by comparison, it
will take an enormous amount of force to
move it. What the Delta Wing does is to
balance the amount of tire capacity,
the amount of aerodynamic downforce
distribution and the amount of mass it has
so that all of them are in harmony to turn
the front like the sledgehammer example.
Now let’s think about that
sledgehammer in another manner.
With it resting flat on the ground, most
of its weight is in the steel head, but the
handle affixed to the head doesn’t
remain suspended off the ground, does
it? The end of the handle actually rests
on the ground. The same parallel can be
drawn with the Delta Wing in how its
weight distribution, which is mostly
toward the rear of the car, acts like a
BETTER TIRE USE
Steered wheel “scrub
drag” moment is
virtually zero, greatly
The Delta Wing’s
compact frontal area,
downforce from its
body and enclosed
wheels add up to a
low drag coefficient
for a racecar.
0.7 FORMULA 1 CAR (LOW DOWNFORCE)
CLOSED-COCKPIT LMP 0.45