BMW Sauber thanks CFD for success

Ansys engineering simulation software was crucial, says the company

BMW Sauber F1 Team believes that its success in more than doubling last year’s points in the 2007 Constructors’ Championship is in part due to using Ansys engineering simulation software.

Prior to the season, the BMW Sauber F1 Team signed an extended agreement with Fluent Deutschland, a subsidiary of Ansys, to use Fluent CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software to run simulations on its new supercomputer – one of the largest in Europe – rather than invest in a second wind tunnel.

As a result, the team was able to run increasingly complex engineering simulations of race car aerodynamics far quicker than was previously possible. That, in turn, enabled the team to analyse and implement design changes more quickly, and hence the performance.

“The launch of our latest supercomputer was a decisive reinforcement of our CFD capacity,” says Mario Theissen, BMW motorsport director. “Unlike other teams, we didn’t plan to build a second wind tunnel.”

He adds that wind tunnel testing will continue as an important design element for its F1 racing car design. “The big difference with CFD compared to wind tunnels is that you not only get results, but also an understanding of what goes on,” he says.

Author
Lou Reade

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