The Formula 1’s governing body FIA (Federation Internationale de l’Automobile) writes the rules of sports, racing and the cars and make sure they are implemented in the best possible way. The teams and their engineers always try to find a loophole or to interpret the rules in a way that can benefit them. Many argue the sport has become very regulated, and engineers and designers are having a hard time to bring innovation to the game.
The rules and regulations have come to stage after years of evolution. The FIA used to make a particular law; the teams would try to go over that rule and then FIA would bring out more clauses and stricter conditions to stop teams from benefiting from that loophole. But before all this black and white, there used to be a lot of grey areas. In the era of the grey area of rules, legendary Formula1 designer Gordon Murray decided to throw the rulebook out of the window with his incredible ‘fan car’, the Brabham BT46 B.
The Lotus has invented what they were calling ‘ground effect’. It was basically clever aerodynamics making the car stick to the track, especially in the corners. And to counter their innovation, Murray decided to install a giant fan at the end of his Brabham to create down force. Murray basically found a loophole in the rules. The rules at the time said you can’t use a moveable device for an aerodynamic advantage. Murray designed a car with a large fan at the back and could argue that it was a necessity to cool the engine of the car during the race. However, the side effect of the car was that it will stick with the race track because the fan was continuously sucking the car to the road. That would give the car immense downforce and incredible cornering speeds.
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