An Active Suspension for a Formula One Grand Prix Racing Car

[+] Author and Article Information
J. Dominy

Rolls-Royce Ltd., Transmissions Research Group, Aero Division, Derby, U.K.

D. N. Bulman

Royal Military College of Science, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Shrivenham, Swindon, U.K.

J. Dyn. Sys., Meas., Control 107(1), 73-79 (Mar 01, 1985) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3140710 History: Received February 01, 1985; Online July 21, 2009


During 1982, Formula 1 racing cars generated very high downforces by the use of “ground effect” aerodynamics. Such cars required very stiff suspensions to maintain a reasonably constant ride height with the result that the slightest bump unsettled the chassis and reduced cornering speeds. A semi-active suspension would have been capable of withstanding the variations in downforce while remaining “soft” to rapid road inputs. This paper proposes such a system and decribes an analysis of its dynamic responses. It demonstates that it is able to maintain a sensibly constant ride height and attitude during cornering, braking, and acceleration, while minimizing the chassis response to individual bumps.

Copyright © 1985 by ASME
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