Low Drag Design

Common with other cars of the era, the 804 has a streamlined body to reduce drag, but doesn’t feature any downforce generating devices found on later generations of F1 car.
The bodywork is generally clean with minimal flow separations. The windscreen does a reasonable job of surrounding the the driver with low energy flow (to minimise drag) with the edge of the wake hitting the upper portion of the driver’s face.
The boat-tailing at the back of the car can be seen to be achieving the desired effect of minimising the size of the car’s wake.

Drag Sources

The exposed wheels on the 804 are the largest contributor to drag, accounting for 46% of the total, followed by the body & driver at 37%.
The suspension members make up the remaining 17%, which is perhaps surprising considering their relatively small frontal areas. This is explained by the circular cross sections used in their design that can produce ten times the drag of an equivalent thickness aerofoil section.


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