Friday 23 March 2018
This one gave me the opportunity to drive through the village in a Ferrari, well under one actually.
I grew up with a strong passion for Formula 1. I also liked physics and being a driver was not an option, so I started studying the physics behind Formula 1. The Extended Essay was my way to research more into it.
I knew aerodynamics wasn’t an easy topic. With some inventiveness, we came up with an alternative method to calculate the drag coefficient of 1:18 Formula 1 cars: why not putting the models on the rooftop of a real car as we drive? What effects would that have on their aerodynamics?
The EE took a different turn – it became the testing of a method. It was challenging: from how to fix the cars on top (one wouldn't want them to fall in the middle of the road – they are fragile) to how to interpret the recordings. I tested three different sets of objects: cubes, boxes, and the Formula 1 cars. The method was decently accurate with the cubes and the boxes but gave completely inaccurate results with the cars: one of the coefficients was so low that if it were true, Ferrari would have definitely won the championship in 2011. It didn’t.
It was an opportunity to strengthen my knowledge and explain the physics theory behind my passion. It was fun – especially the driving, the 4000 Excel rows slightly less, but it was still a rewarding learning process, as now I feel I like aerodynamics even more.