The returning fan car revolution that could suit F1
Gordon Murray's Brabham BT46B 'fan car' was Formula 1 engineering at perhaps its most outlandish. Now fan technology has been successfully utilised on the McMurtry Speirling at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, could it be adopted by grand prix racing once again?
Earlier this year, the Goodwood Festival of Speed course record finally fell, to the McMurtry Speirling. Nick Heidfeld had used McLaren's 1998 Formula 1 contender, the MP4/13, to set the bar at 41.6 seconds in 1999 but Max Chilton managed to blitz this by taking his remarkable electric-powered machine up the hill in 39.08s. The Volkswagen I.D. R's sub-40 second run in 2019, also eclipsed by Chilton, was not officially recognised as a record due to it taking place on the Saturday.
There are a number of aspects that make the Speirling unusual but the most dramatic – and most obvious from outside the car – is the twin-fan set-up that lowers the pressure under the vehicle to improve grip. In the case of Goodwood, the drama of outright speed was emphasised by an unusually dusty surface resulting in a visible rooster tail trailing the car as it stormed up the hill.
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