The bottom of the car is shaped like the wing of an
airplane, turned upside down. Air rushing under the car
gets forced down, creating a suction effect. When skirts
are added to the sides of the car body, the suction is
greatly increased, sucking the car to the road surface.
Mario Andretti won the 1978 Grand Prix Drivers Championship
in a Lotus 79(MKIV), which made extensive use of the ground
effects handling. Team Lotus all but dominated that
season. Ground effects was legal in F1 from 1977-84.
Moveable/Sliding skirt systems were banned for the 1981
season, only flat bottom cars were allowed. Suspension
lowering devices became legal.
Further testing by several teams saw that if the whole body
was shaped like a wing, further handling advantages might
be gained. Thus , the "WING CAR" was created. The 1978-1980
Grand Prix Seasons would see several teams create some
interesting cars in order to gain that extra edge of
performance. Ground effects was banned after the 1984
season for safety reasons.
Alfa Romeo -
BRM V12 -
Other Links Of Interest...
Angelfire - Easiest Free Home Pages
AMERICAN SPEEDWAY RACING!!! - Speedway motorcycle racing in the USA.
The SHADOW Race Team, which competed in F1, F5000, and can-am from 1970-81.
MONZA GT REGISTRY - Racing GM H-Bodies from 1975-80.