Spectral/hp element simulation of flow past a Formula One front wing: Validation against experiments

Filipe F. Buscariolo, Julien Hoessler, David Moxey, Ayad Jassim, Kevin Gouder, Jeremy Basley, Yushi Murai, Gustavo R.S. Assi, Spencer J. Sherwin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emerging commercial and academic tools are regularly being applied to the design of road and race cars, but there currently are no well-established benchmark cases to study the aerodynamics of race car wings in ground effect. In this paper we propose a new test case, with a relatively complex geometry, supported by the availability of CAD model and experimental results. We refer to the test case as the Imperial Front Wing, originally based on the front wing and endplate design of the McLaren 17D race car. A comparison of different resolutions of a high fidelity spectral/hp element simulation using under-resolved DNS/implicit LES approach with fourth and fifth polynomial order is presented. The results demonstrate good correlation to both the wall-bounded streaklines obtained by oil flow visualization and experimental PIV results, correctly predicting key characteristics of the time-averaged flow structures, namely intensity, contours and locations. This study highlights the resolution requirements in capturing salient flow features arising from this type of challenging geometry, providing an interesting test case for both traditional and emerging high-fidelity simulations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104832
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Aerodynamics
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Continuous Galerkin method
  • High-fidelity spectral/hp elements method
  • Implicit large eddy simulation


Dive into the research topics of 'Spectral/hp element simulation of flow past a Formula One front wing: Validation against experiments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this