Autot ja ajoneuvot

Why Race Cars Keep Taking Off

The incredible speeds in racing can mean that a slight touch with another car or straying off-line can send you flying through the air.
It is a real concern in racing when an unforeseen event can mean aerodynamics are suddenly not working in your favour. Turning downforce into lift and sending race cars tumbling through the air.
So how do these huge crashes happen? And what factors are being put in place to ensure these incidents don’t happen again?
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We’ve seen so many of these incidents across F1, Sports Car Racing and Nascar - as well as every category in between.
Race cars take a lot of careful design to keep them on the track, but sometimes this can go wrong.
Let’s break down the three main reasons cars can get airborne - Angle of Attack, Airfoil Effect and Mechanical Advantage as well as how governing bodies are implementing technology to stop this happening.

The first effect is Angle of Attack, and the best example of this is one of the most famous racing incidents in recent memory. Mark Webber and Peter Dumbreck in the Mercedes SLR at Le Mans.
The Mercedes had a strange aerodynamic flaw that meant it took off three times that weekend, twice in the hands of Mark Webber in practice and once during the race with Peter Dumbreck at the wheel.
The Mercedes SLR was designed almost entirely to be fast at Le Mans, the long straights demand a very slippery car, but also enough downforce for the fast corners and tight chicanes.
This meant the designers created as much under-body downforce as possible, as this is a much more efficient way of creating downforce.
They made the car as long as the rules allowed and used a very short wheelbase. This gave the car very large overhangs and made the front and rear diffusers very large and made them the car’s main downforce producers.
Mercedes also ran a very low-rake for Le Mans, which made the car slippery but aerodynamically unstable.
Race cars normally run negative rake, angling the rear of the car upwards. They do this so that the body of the car acts as a sort of wing - creating downforce.
High-rake also creates and expanding tunnel under the car, which expands the air and creates downforce.
Mercedes ran a low rake for a low-downforce, low-drag setup. Where cars normally run between 1.5 and 3º of rake, Mercedes ran 0.7º.
This flat angle, large overhangs and low over-body downforce proved a lethal combination.
Mark Webber was running at 180mph towards Indianapolis corner and took the slight crest in the road. The high-speed air hit the bottom of the front diffuser, essentially eradicating the downforce it was producing.
This high-pressure air pushed the nose of the car in the air and suddenly removed all of the under-body downforce - sending Mark Webber flying through the air.
The same thing has happened a number of times, twice more that weekend as well as the Porsche 911 GT1 at Road Atlanta.
To stop this, there have been a number of rule changes brought in by the FIA. They tightened up how large the overhangs can be, limiting the underbody downforce that can be created.
This is also the reason for the wheel arch cutouts you see on Prototype Sports Cars. If these cars were put int the same position as the Mercedes, they allow an escape for the high-pressure air under the car. Meaning the nose can drop back down and stop the car flipping.

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  1. Jan Andrei Narag

    Jan Andrei Narag

    6 tuntia sitten

    Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Le Mans International Airport where our pilot Mark Webber will take you to the skies with Mercedes Airlines. Mercedes Airlines, come fly with us.

  2. RocketBoy


    22 tuntia sitten

    Musty fans be like its a Musty flick omg OMG

  3. Dust _sans

    Dust _sans

    3 päivää sitten

    Race Car is basically a plane that can drive on the ground

  4. Wednesday


    4 päivää sitten

    To stop cars from going airborne you need to stop speeding up. Even without any specific aero setup if it runs fast enough it will fly from small sudden impact

  5. Akhyar Rayhka

    Akhyar Rayhka

    5 päivää sitten

    weird relationship between webber and flying cars



    5 päivää sitten

    Thanks thanks and many thanks to you!

  7. gerhard Bezuidenhout

    gerhard Bezuidenhout

    7 päivää sitten

    I'll tell they keep flying because their to fast

  8. jkk20


    7 päivää sitten

    holy shit, please try to speak at a faster pace,and with a less monotone voice. maybe i'd be awake and pay attention to your videos. or maybe its common among bri'ish people.

  9. Jack Britt

    Jack Britt

    7 päivää sitten

    And here we are again with that Formula E wreck.



    8 päivää sitten

    Yea got recommended after alex lyns crash

  11. Nuno Ribeiro

    Nuno Ribeiro

    9 päivää sitten

    6:00 That explanation is incomplete. If both wheels are the same size, have the same amount of grip and are traveling at the same speed, then when they touch they cancel eachothers momentum, since the back of one's wheel is travelling up and the front of the others is travelling down. The reason he went flying is because when the front car breaked, they reduced their wheelspeed, meaning that there was now a speed difference between the wheels of both cars, so the wheels of the car in front only canceled a part of the tailing car's momentum, with the remainig bit pushing the car up, thanks to newton's second law.

  12. Walter Burton

    Walter Burton

    11 päivää sitten


  13. DennyHulme


    13 päivää sitten

    Aero was the worst thing that ever happened to auto racing.

    • DennyHulme


      5 päivää sitten

      @Jett Nope.

    • Jett


      5 päivää sitten

      Are you one of the engineers behind the SF1000

  14. Beacon Blaster

    Beacon Blaster

    14 päivää sitten

    to get that sweet world record shortcut

  15. Danieltambadoc


    15 päivää sitten

    It is a CLR not SLR

  16. gonira


    15 päivää sitten

    We should call Webber "The Flying Aussie", if we think about it.

  17. Elybtw


    16 päivää sitten

    6:41 yo wtf

  18. gailja


    16 päivää sitten

    The improvement of this channel's quality is incredibly noticable! Been around for a while and I'm really happy and proud for the success of your channel!! Keep up the hard work!!!😬👍

  19. Flavio Bertolino

    Flavio Bertolino

    16 päivää sitten

    Very inspiring for Coffin dance GIFs 😄😄😄

  20. James Manning

    James Manning

    16 päivää sitten

    It's was the clr not the slr, the slr is their road car

  21. Utku Taşkın

    Utku Taşkın

    16 päivää sitten

    I have watched this vid 4 times now!

  22. Tony_yeung


    17 päivää sitten

    Red bull gave Mark webber wings before he even realize it

  23. chunder monky

    chunder monky

    17 päivää sitten

    have any marshals ever bean killed by a car.

  24. Joe Garrett-Robinson

    Joe Garrett-Robinson

    18 päivää sitten

    i know why the downforce and aerodynamics of the car and the next thing you know you'll be in space or the 911 GT1 that got it's back section ripped off (also due to the fact that it is light)

  25. v2_


    18 päivää sitten

    Mechanical Advantage is also what caused Wheldon's fatal accident in 2011, which is of course why we want to keep cars on the ground and not flying through the air.

  26. Rohit Burra

    Rohit Burra

    18 päivää sitten

    So a lot of math then......

  27. Mikey C.

    Mikey C.

    18 päivää sitten

    I turned the video off and gave thumbs down when he mistook the CLK-GTR for an SLR, because I’m a dick

  28. Oliver Gräfe

    Oliver Gräfe

    19 päivää sitten

    This peroni crash is the craziest i have seen

  29. Eunice Reeves

    Eunice Reeves

    19 päivää sitten

    The deafening talk socioeconomically tumble because meat fundamentally drag below a lonely sarah. amusing, marvelous ticket

  30. GeoMetall yt

    GeoMetall yt

    20 päivää sitten

    That I think GP2 car hopping into the air after going over an apex for some reason looks kinda funny as it just suddenly jumps into the air

  31. Protoka


    20 päivää sitten

    i don't know why but my brain plays marios WaHOO at 0:07

  32. Joseph King

    Joseph King

    20 päivää sitten

    Very good video!

  33. AntisaPlayz


    21 päivä sitten

    i know why they always crash, heres the problem: they are fast but have almost no weight at all

  34. DME EMD


    21 päivä sitten

    awesome 👌 -- great per usual! 🤘🙂

  35. charitra Jain

    charitra Jain

    22 päivää sitten

    But I thought that the le mans incident happened with Peter dumbreck was due to the fact that it left the slipstream of that toyota and got airborne . I thought this is the reason why le mans have more and more turns rather than straights !

  36. Gibbon


    22 päivää sitten

    I’m too poor to fly cars

  37. Bryan Steacy

    Bryan Steacy

    22 päivää sitten

    Wasn't the Porsche and the Mercedes crashes also caused by exiting the slipstream of the cars ahead of them on the crest of a hill?

  38. Driversity


    22 päivää sitten

    Ryan Newman became an honorary NASA Pilot last year, trust me

  39. izxmir


    22 päivää sitten


  40. Ashwin H

    Ashwin H

    22 päivää sitten

    It's a CLR

  41. Amine Kouki

    Amine Kouki

    22 päivää sitten

    Merc CLR not SLR

  42. Anders Christian Hald Pedersen

    Anders Christian Hald Pedersen

    22 päivää sitten

    could you explain the new class system coming up in endurance racing and the manufacturers that have shown intent of participating 🏁

  43. 77gravity


    23 päivää sitten

    5:30 There is no way to distinguish that real-life video from that produced by the game consoles. Seriously, that crash looked CGI.

  44. Epicastroman


    23 päivää sitten

    Alternative title:sports cars doing acrobatics like a boss

  45. Mic Smith

    Mic Smith

    23 päivää sitten

    Strict rules for moving under braking in formula 1. Unless your Verstappen

  46. Noli Yoshida

    Noli Yoshida

    24 päivää sitten

    0:31 Radillon was the kick at the end of the Eau Rouge ramp for a backflip? Jeez!

  47. Gamerod G2R4

    Gamerod G2R4

    24 päivää sitten

    Still one of the best rocket league memes

  48. Just Simon

    Just Simon

    24 päivää sitten

    Peroni's crash is more due to a stupid decision to put sausage kerb at a very fast turn.

  49. Lendle Guanzon

    Lendle Guanzon

    24 päivää sitten

    RAGE YOUR DREAM TOKI WO! (I'm sorry)

  50. Paul Jamieson

    Paul Jamieson

    24 päivää sitten

    Drivers should get points based on their airborne aerobatic maneuvers!

  51. Matt Emery

    Matt Emery

    24 päivää sitten

    It’s a bird It’s a plane No. It’s Mark Webber

  52. William Kelley

    William Kelley

    24 päivää sitten

    Welll.... it's because a car is designed like a "wing". It has a flat bottom and an arched top. That generates LIFT. And, if you're going fast enough. It can totally negate "down force". So, flip the design upside, down. Make the top flat and the bottom arched. Simply genus. You're welcome. Pay me.

  53. Mike Hunt

    Mike Hunt

    24 päivää sitten

    Typical female hitting a bend at 180mph! 🙄

  54. NippyMoto


    25 päivää sitten

    Merc F1 cars use a low rake philosophy

  55. Jamie McEwan

    Jamie McEwan

    25 päivää sitten

    I'd never thought of the physics at play when the wheel to wheel contacts occur in racing. Very well explained sir.

  56. colymoli


    25 päivää sitten

    i do not know what to say about the from race cars flying thought the air and than a football is placed in to the clip to work for a rocket league reverence. it is just sad i do not get the fun point out of it

  57. John Mitchell

    John Mitchell

    25 päivää sitten

    The short response is that racing cars are now too fast for the tracks. Need to legislate car design to remove wings and wide tyres. Get back to mechanical grip only!

  58. The Mask

    The Mask

    25 päivää sitten

    Tighten the tracks , forcing slower speeds. Get over the high speed bullshit

  59. Echo 4K

    Echo 4K

    25 päivää sitten

    0:10 rocket league misty flick

  60. Sergio Albuquerque

    Sergio Albuquerque

    25 päivää sitten

    Thsnk you for this very informative video

  61. Simone Trafford

    Simone Trafford

    26 päivää sitten

    The acceptable iraq renomegaly sneeze because stamp conversantly tempt despite a jumbled rest. greedy, unnatural porter

  62. Maxwell Edison

    Maxwell Edison

    26 päivää sitten

    The ambitious jail intrestingly fence because pizza uniquely polish lest a mean segment. real, aspiring ptarmigan

  63. Matthew Sanders

    Matthew Sanders

    26 päivää sitten

    One of the few videos with a thumbnail that looks photoshopped but is just actually a picture of what happened

  64. Nick Burak

    Nick Burak

    26 päivää sitten

    Hi Scott. This is request is unrelated to this video, but I didn't know where else to send it. I think that you would be the most suitable among the F1 FItoprs to explain the following. Recent discussions have bared down on the 2021 aero regulations. Could you please talk a bit in depth how low-rake cars will be more affected (it's more of a challenge for them) by the new floor design regulations, as compared to low-rake cars. First of all, is this even correct? Is it a big deal or a small one? Thanks for your channel and excellent technical videos!

  65. Chevy Dyall

    Chevy Dyall

    26 päivää sitten

    That last crash is insane

  66. Andrei Irimia

    Andrei Irimia

    26 päivää sitten

    I just could not stop putting rocket league music on top of the crashes. I'm sorry but it's hilarious

  67. CMDR Boom

    CMDR Boom

    26 päivää sitten

    Yes, our good friends physics and aerodynamics. It only works in the direction it was designed to travel in. After that, all bets are off. That last crash though where the car turned into a harpoon, jesus take the wheel! I haven't seen something so remarkable outside of a video game!

  68. Megatronic48_Gaming YT

    Megatronic48_Gaming YT

    26 päivää sitten

    Because of there Aero In simplified form

  69. Said Perez

    Said Perez

    26 päivää sitten

    U should added the rocket league soundtrack to the video

  70. The Lord's Side

    The Lord's Side

    26 päivää sitten

    so the bat mobile is real...

  71. Omahamaho


    26 päivää sitten

    when cars turn into kites when engineering meets mother nature

  72. Wes Wells

    Wes Wells

    26 päivää sitten

    Should make video of dirt late models and how there transmission/gearbox works

  73. dubtube


    26 päivää sitten

    iRacing does the same lol

  74. Edvin Sula

    Edvin Sula

    26 päivää sitten

    Cars in Asphalt 8 be like: 0:44

  75. Pip Pipster

    Pip Pipster

    26 päivää sitten

    Basically Mercedes fucked-up big time.

  76. Pip Pipster

    Pip Pipster

    26 päivää sitten

    0:10 ‘Unforeseen event’ ... yeah, like driving in a straight bloody line (!)

  77. Matthew Pepper

    Matthew Pepper

    27 päivää sitten

    5:54 the wheels are not going in opposite directions

  78. kaiman


    27 päivää sitten

    Imagine the decision of letting a car race, that already took off two times on that weekend. This is also human failure. Race organizers and teams should prevent decicions like that. Side effect of all the money, that is involved in racing i guess...

  79. Scott Freemantle

    Scott Freemantle

    27 päivää sitten

    I watched the Alexander peroni one live 😭😭😭😭😭

  80. MaReX


    27 päivää sitten

    omata wee,. What only me? Weee, omata weeeee, wee

  81. Chris H

    Chris H

    27 päivää sitten

    Simple answer, at the wrong angle downforce becomes lift.

  82. Ali Houadef

    Ali Houadef

    27 päivää sitten

    reupload ?!

  83. Omar Garcia

    Omar Garcia

    27 päivää sitten

    If you want accidents to stop just STOP racing.... Crashes are a part of racing.....

  84. panhuys


    27 päivää sitten

    This would never happen with electric cars 😆

  85. Mouldytoe 34

    Mouldytoe 34

    27 päivää sitten


  86. Weisy Wei

    Weisy Wei

    27 päivää sitten

    minut 6:00 is a error, is 0 Mph like a hit to a protuberance al 190MPH. 190-190 = 0 they counteract then only "190" forward, 190 not is real one car are stoping but not are completely stoped, then forward force is 190 minus speed of kovalainen . And if you see hit the front aileron against the wheel at XXX speed and this cause the jump because the wheel rotate in the side of hit upward... then all explanation are wrong. Thanks for your videos i enjoy all! regards from spain

  87. C_22 bg

    C_22 bg

    27 päivää sitten

    Bruh, just bind "air row left" and "air row right" to different controls on your controller. If you play Rocket League on keyboard, get used to 'Q' and 'E' 🙄

  88. Alessandro Verganti

    Alessandro Verganti

    27 päivää sitten

    The one at monza with that sausage curb was just incompetence by the race director. How do you even think that is a good idea!?!? Of course it's going to launch a car, it's literally just outside the racing line.

  89. AbdElHmyd


    27 päivää sitten

    Base plate below the chassis acts like a wing

  90. spiyder


    27 päivää sitten

    what idiots, when you are a race car driver you are also a pilot, it’s like a hidden fee

  91. Minh Quân Trần Nguyễn

    Minh Quân Trần Nguyễn

    27 päivää sitten

    That’s why nearly every racing they have to made the road flat and no pumps

  92. Mantas Isganaitis

    Mantas Isganaitis

    27 päivää sitten

    The statement at 4:39 is incorrect. Car having less downforce doesn't mean that less lift will be needed to airborne the car. First of all, there can't be lift and downforce at the same time, there can be imbalance front vs rear, but there will be either net lift or net downforce. And if net lift will be greater than weight of the car, then it will start flying. All these high downforce cars are apparently especially dangerous, due to how quickly lots of downforce can shift into lots of lift. But old cars also were so despite having lots of lift to begin with, such as Mercedes 1955 Le Mans tragedy, it was however also influenced by their air brake system which they used to compete vs Jaguar disc brakes. Very interesting video, I am enjoying technical/physics content the most.

  93. MrMike44


    27 päivää sitten

    I’m somewhat of an advocate that racing should be dangerous to a point but not because of poor track design or engineering.

  94. Adrian Cygan

    Adrian Cygan

    27 päivää sitten

    "I Believe I can fly, I Believe I can touch the sky"

  95. AlexaTheStripper


    27 päivää sitten

    Mark Webber👏

  96. trillrif axegrindor

    trillrif axegrindor

    27 päivää sitten

    #1 open wheel and wheel to wheel contact

  97. J1’2


    27 päivää sitten

    0:06 wheeeeee

  98. Zeitgeister


    27 päivää sitten

    I didn't understand the first reason. Why was there an interuption of air flow?

  99. alberto robinson

    alberto robinson

    28 päivää sitten


  100. David Pistek

    David Pistek

    28 päivää sitten

    At airplane speeds cars do airplane stuff