Crash Simulation of an F1 Racing Car Front Impact Structure

Formula 1 motorsport is a platform for maximum race car driving performance resulting from high-tech developments in the area of lightweight materials and aerodynamic design. In order to ensure the driver’s safety in case of high-speed crashes, special impact structures are designed to absorb the race car’s kinetic energy and limit the decelerations acting on the human body. These energy absorbing structures are made of laminated composite sandwich materials - like the whole monocoque chassis - and have to meet defined crash test requirements specified by the FIA. This study covers the crash behaviour of the nose cone as the F1 racing car front impact structure. Finite element models for dynamic simulations with the explicit solver LS-DYNA are developed with the emphasis on the composite material modelling. Numerical results are compared to crash test data in terms of deceleration levels, absorbed energy and crushing mechanisms. The validation led to satisfying results and the overall conclusion that dynamic simulations with LS-DYNA can be a helpful tool in the design phase of an F1 racing car front impact structure.

application/pdf B-I-02.pdf — 1.4 MB