All wheel drive?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  matt90 6 years, 1 month ago.

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    Hi, i was watching 2011 Hungarian GP bbc feed, and i have spotted something which i’m puzzled about.

    When Alonso spun on lap 59 we got one of this cool slow-motion shots, on which you can clearly see all four wheels moving in oposition to car’s movement along the road (if that didn’t make sense, basically he was sliding sideways and it looked like he had wheelspin on all four wheels)

    How come? Rear wheels are obviously powered by engine, but front? They should move with the tarmac underneath them, or at least not against it. The KERS motor as far as i know also powers only rear wheels, for my eyes at least they’re clearly powered by something, and it just won’t come out of my head until i figure it out.

    Help please.


    Oli Peacock

    i guess the centrufugal force kept them spinning on the slippy surface



    I don’t know exactly, I’d like someone more qualified than myself to explain, but I know that F1 cars don’t have 4WD and I think it’s prohibited by the regulations too. The only thing I can think of so far is that the car was still travelling forwards, meaning the front wheels would be moving in the same direction because only the angle of the car had changed, not the direction. If the car was travelling completely backwards and the front wheels were going at the same direction as the rear then that might suggest what you thought, but as far as I can see, it is still travelling in a forward direction, meaning the wheels would be too.

    I hope you can make sense of that, I didn’t explain it very well.


    Fer no.65

    They should move with the tarmac underneath them, or at least not against it.

    He was sliding, so the fiction between the tyre and the road wasn’t high enough to avoid the spinning of the tyres. It’s like being at the bottom of a hill, and trying to accelerate hard. You’d spin the tyres, but you’d be going backwards. Once the friction gets high enough, you’d then start moving fowards.

    That’s what happened to Alonso’s front wheels there. He was carrying too much speed, so the grip wasn’t enough, so he spun off and the wheels kept spinning because… well, because there was not enough friction.

    It’s a case of the speed the wheel was carrying and not being able to put it on the road, not that he had some sort of AWD system in his car.

    I guess it’s difficult to explain, but it’s a simple Physics I exercise :P.



    Momentum of the wheels I imagine. If there was power going to the front wheels it would be fairly obvious and not something that any team could expect to get away with.

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