The original McLaren F1 press release in full - Every detail of the incredible V12 supercar - McLaren F1 centre of pressure control

As McLaren re-publishes the full, original 1992 press release for its F1 supercar, it's a perfect time to celebrate the F1, we think

THE ONLY SURFACE-BREAKING AERODYNAMIC DEVICE IS THE NEAT ‘BRAKE AND BALANCE ‘FOIL TO MAINTAIN THE CENTRE OF PRESSURE IN THE REQUIRED LOCATION

At high speed, aerodynamic lift can compromise any car’s stability. Many high-performance sportscars carry wings to cancel this lift, but Formula 1 experience proves them inefficient and drag inducing.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Major manufacturers often claim minimal drag coefficients – Cd – for new car shapes. Yet alone such figures are irrelevant.

One crucial factor is aerodynamic Centre of Pressure – CoP – through which lift and downforce react upon the moving car. its location is vital to car behavious, yet amongst production sports and supercar designs, few address CoP control.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Under maximum braking, weight transfer causes nose-down dive. Aerodynamically this attitude rushes effective CoP far forward, maximising front wheel load, minimising rear. The braking vehicle’s rear end is inevitably destabilised.

On the McLaren F1, the only surface-breaking aerodynamic device is its neat ‘Brake and Balance ‘Foil’ hinged into the tail deck. Activated automatically by electronic control sensing heavy braking, this BB ‘Foil deploys at 30-degrees, slightly raising Cd, but crucially enhancing base-suction at the rear of the car to generate greater downforce from the underbody with its Centre of Pressure in the correct location.

Thus braking stability is greatly enhaced by moving the CoP rearwards when conventional design would allow it to rush far forwards...

Deploying this BB ‘Foil exposes rear-brake cooling intakes to control the extra heat being generated by the brake application.

BB ‘Foil operation is an entirely different principle to anti-lock braking which maintains tyre adhesion by releasing application on imminent lock.

The McLaren F1’s new system instead evenly increases tyre load during braking to postpone the onset of wheel locking.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The F1 driver may also partially deploy its BB ‘Foil in a ‘High Downforce’ mode. Unlike a traction-limiting control device this actually increases grip and traction – another of the McLaren F1’s valuable safety options.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m4/22869/new-2020-bmw-m4-throws-off-more-disguise-ahead-of-reveal
BMW M4

New 2020 BMW M4 throws off more disguise ahead of reveal

BMW’s next M4 coupe promises much, but will it deliver? Here’s everything we know so far
7 Aug 2020
Visit/bugatti/21646/new-bugatti-divo-deliveries-begin-ps44m-hypercar-hits-the-road
Bugatti

New Bugatti Divo deliveries begin - £4.4m hypercar hits the road

The very first examples of Bugatti’s Divo hypercar have rolled out of its Molsheim HQ gates
7 Aug 2020
Visit/news/20376/scuderia-cameron-glickenhaus-004s-order-books-open-for-674bhp-three-seater
News

Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S: order books open for 674bhp three-seater

Announced in 2017, the road-legal Scuderia Cameron Glickenhaus 004S is now set to enter production later this year
6 Aug 2020
Visit/best-cars/15315/best-cars-to-buy-for-ps20000-evo-garage
Best cars

Best cars to buy for £20,000 – evo garage

The evo team pick their favourite used performance cars
4 Aug 2020