software is making P424 possible

Simulation is replacing physical testing at all levels of the racing car development process

10 years ago we could test 30% of an F1 car design exclusively in simulation. In Formula E, we can test 60% of the car in simulation. P424 will be designed and tested 95% in the virtual world and limit physical testing to the minimum.

Software reduces RnD cost significantly

Traditionally an OEM would invest 50 to 100 million USD to develop a racing car for Le Mans. With software we will reduce that cost by an order of magnitude. As an example the NIO EP9 was one of the first car of its kind entirely developed in CFD.

Software speeds up the RnD process

It takes months to build a car and put it on a track for testing. It only takes days to run digital simulations. The secret is to have the required experience to run simulations properly.

Software empowers designers and developers

Designers can now perform their own tests on their own desktop without having to involve a chain of people. Designers can get cost estimates for 3D printed parts in minutes using online quotes without waiting for a procurement team to contact their network of suppliers. Less management is needed when designers can perform their own design and testing loop.

Chassis development

Aerodynamic CFD

  • Full size models at various attitudes including external and internal flows (brake cooling and radiator cooling)


  • Linear stress analysis for stiffness and strength of metallic, plastic and composite assemblies

  • Nonlinear stress analysis for buckling of suspension legs

  • Dynamic stress analysis for crash test of safety structures


  • Linear stress analysis for K&C (kinematics and compliances)

EV Drivetrain development


  • Thermal simulation of battery cooling inside modules

  • Thermal simulation of battery system in car environment during race distance


  • 2D Electromagnetic simulation for MGU design

  • Thermal simulation for MGU and inverter cooling


  • Gear mesh sliding simulation for efficiency (multi-body simulation)

  • Oil movement simulation for churning losses and pick-up pressure effectiveness (based on a weakly-compressible SPH formulation)

  • Bearing life simulation based on season duty cycle

Vehicle dynamics

Lap Time Simulation

  • Quasi-static lap simulation using single mass point on fixed trajectory for first order design decisions

  • Dynamic simulation using trajectory actively optimised for second order design decisions and setup optimisation

  • Multi-lap simulation for energy usage optimisation during a race (very important for EV racing cars like Formula E)

Virtual 4 Post Rig

  • Dynamic track replay of high frequency inputs at the 4 tire contact patches

  • Suspension legs dynamic load calculation for strength load cases definition

  • Sine wave inputs for normalised damper optimisation

Driver development

Racing teams are using DIL (driver in the loop) simulators more and more to help drivers practice upcoming racing events, get used to new procedures, new steering wheel commands, work on the chassis setup with their engineers.

DIL simulators can also be used for chassis, suspension and controls developments but are not necessarily the more efficient tool for these tasks due to the ‘driver noise’ effect (repeatability not as good as simulation models for fine step gains in development).

For electronic systems, control software or suspension components, HIL simulators (hardware in the loop) are good simulation tools and are used extensively for validation of new components and code blocks before they are implemented on the racing car.

Interestingly, mass market gaming racing platforms are getting closer and closer to professional simulators. Mainstream driving simulations are nearly good enough to train professional racing drivers.

Regarding P424, a driving simulator and dynamic car model is being developed on Unity platform. The objective is to perform a ‘Virtual lap record’ on Nürburgring in a professional motion platform simulator and use the content for marketing the project and growing our community.