The science behind THAT famous crash - Mike's Mechanics

  • čas přidán 13. 01. 2019
  • Racecar crashes can be horrifying, but none get close to the craziness of those witnessed at the 1999 Le Mans 24 hour race that led to many questions being asked about car design, engineering practice and the rules that the teams adhered to.
    During the 1999 endurance racing season, five incidents occurred that involved cars ‘somersaulting’ through the air, so let our man Mike explain why these cars decided to literally take off.
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Komentáře • 189

  • Myster1ous
    Myster1ous Před 20 dny

    Haha, turn on subtitles at 0:15

  • ZpurpZ
    ZpurpZ Před 28 dny

    Hey Thanks for the info, I will hopefully be at the next Lemans at road Atlanta

  • Joshua Collins
    Joshua Collins Před měsícem

    When I think of "that crash at Le Mans" those flip over are not what I think of. That phrase takes me to the 1955 crash. I know in the context of this video that is irrelevant, but still. I would not call those flips "the Le Mans Crash".

  • Jido Fisterfilly
    Jido Fisterfilly Před měsícem

    @ Le mans: TWO!!! CLK´s learnd to fly.. Mark Webber was the other dude. This shows that the Merc engineers where either stupid or grossly negligent.. No other car went in the air that WE in Le mans.

  • Magik Joe
    Magik Joe Před měsícem +1 pretty but very unstable. That sounds familiar.

  • Nico Rosberg F1 Fan
    Nico Rosberg F1 Fan Před 2 měsíci

    I guess the dirty air didn't help either

  • Gabriel Gontijo
    Gabriel Gontijo Před 3 měsíci

    1000mm? Really?

  • andgate2000
    andgate2000 Před 3 měsíci

    In typical German fashion.....they blamed the driver.

  • theuncanspan
    theuncanspan Před 4 měsíci

    I think they push L3 to bounce

  • luggnutz
    luggnutz Před 4 měsíci

    Who did you piss off that you got stuck in the closet? Back to this subject, it was crazy while at a Le Mans party watching it live state side and seeing the Merc just take off into the woods.

  • John Smith
    John Smith Před 6 měsíci

    This "expert" is as sketchy as his looks, and the music he uses.

  • John Smith
    John Smith Před 6 měsíci

    Pitch angles does not "mean that the frontal area is larger." No the "long overhang" does NOT multiply the force and "further rotate" the car about the rear axle.

  • 1n5uff1c13n7
    1n5uff1c13n7 Před 6 měsíci

    It's called asphalt concrete or just asphalt, not tarmac.

    • Tater Ater
      Tater Ater Před 5 měsíci

      It's handegg, not football

  • Thunder Mover
    Thunder Mover Před 7 měsíci

    2:03 wouldn’t the downforce from the rear cause it to start flipping sooner?

  • Techy of Voidspace-3
    Techy of Voidspace-3 Před 7 měsíci

    So much downforce it reaches the number limit and goes into the negative resulting in Maximum lift.

  • Robert John Stevenson
    Robert John Stevenson Před 7 měsíci

    Thumbs up for Bathurst footage

  • Adrian Nel
    Adrian Nel Před 7 měsíci

    What is your take on Ayrton Senna's fatal crash? Did the car crash into the wall, and break the infamous steering mechanism weld point, or did the impact with the wall cause the weld to fail? I remember also something about the changed ride height being a factor, but I can't find a decent, unbiased summary of what happened, to refresh my memory.

  • Toby Weber
    Toby Weber Před 7 měsíci

    Anyone else think of that airborne GTR at the green hell?

  • Stephen Britton
    Stephen Britton Před 7 měsíci

    Didn't Mark Webber do the same thing at Le Mans?

    • Stephen Britton
      Stephen Britton Před 7 měsíci


    • Jack
      Jack Před 7 měsíci

      Stephen Britton yep but they didn’t get any footage of it

  • lord thick nipples
    lord thick nipples Před 7 měsíci +45

    1950: " I bet we will have flying cars in the future"
    1990: we have flying cars but you don't want to be in one

    • Joshua Collins
      Joshua Collins Před měsícem

      They still kind of had flying cars in the 50's and they were even less fun.

    • windshield washer
      windshield washer Před 7 měsíci


  • Plebtile
    Plebtile Před 7 měsíci

    Well at least they didn't put a BS slow down section at Lemons

  • Richard Tickler
    Richard Tickler Před 7 měsíci +2

    i have pretty mixed feelings about taking hills away. on one hand: its safer. but on the other hand: the goal is to build a car to go around the track as fast as possible and not to adjust the track so your car work on it

  • David W.
    David W. Před 7 měsíci

    Very good analysis, I’m glad this came up on my recommended

  • Legeden
    Legeden Před 7 měsíci

    cool video, now I know how to turn my car into an airplane

  • Alejandro Medina
    Alejandro Medina Před 7 měsíci

    They fixed it next year with an anvil on the front.

  • SlCKB0Y
    SlCKB0Y Před 7 měsíci

    saw the first two live, those were the days ;)

  • Chris S
    Chris S Před 7 měsíci

    Just a reminder that these flips do still happen and aren't entirely isolated to the LeMans cars of the late 90's

  • BendMan
    BendMan Před 7 měsíci

    Both Mark Webber and Peter Dumbreck flipped their Mercedes CLR-GT1s during practice for the 1999 Le Mans 24 hour race

  • Mr Shaggings
    Mr Shaggings Před 7 měsíci

    Instant flashback to that one NIssan GTR racecar that hit the fence on the Nurburgring due to the front lifting up when coming to a uphill.

  • Juwan Pompey
    Juwan Pompey Před 7 měsíci

    Let’s not forget 2015 Nissan GT-R at the Nurburgring.

  • Level 99
    Level 99 Před 7 měsíci

    the engineers just got the wrong blueprints. they were told to build an airplane.

  • swapode
    swapode Před 7 měsíci

    The open wheel arches weren't a result of these incidents - theres over a decade between them. LMP cars have a tendency to get airborne when going sideways (spinning out) at speed in a similar fashion and those holes are one of the measures to prevent that. I'm sure flying Mercs still were in the back of the head when creating the rules though.

  • CB2C
    CB2C Před 7 měsíci


  • Wayed K
    Wayed K Před 7 měsíci

    First vid I'm watching of you, can't help but ask why you filmed next to a messy rack?

  • Shark 321
    Shark 321 Před 7 měsíci

    I hate the way he says "le mans" idk why

  • Robert Webber
    Robert Webber Před 7 měsíci

    Sorry to say, but actually last year at Spa at the Eau Rogue / Raddion section the SMP racing Le Mans prototype did exactly the same

  • keith walker
    keith walker Před 7 měsíci

    wings waighting to happen

  • NB Outlaw
    NB Outlaw Před 7 měsíci +1

    I’ve seen that crash many times never heard anything of an explanation thanks

  • Top 10 Tech
    Top 10 Tech Před 7 měsíci

    Basically it turned into a wing

  • ilmelangolo
    ilmelangolo Před 7 měsíci +1

    please a video about the difference between engine torque and engine power.

  • Chris, Chief Cope
    Chris, Chief Cope Před 7 měsíci +1

    Can you explain speed wobble and how to correct it when it happens?

  • Jesus Christ
    Jesus Christ Před 7 měsíci

    Teaching what's already obvious

  • Vade Nummela
    Vade Nummela Před 7 měsíci

    Explain why almost every racing sim and even forza horizon simulates this kind of behaviour even when there isnt a bump or hill in the road? The cars just suddenly lose all front grip on the straights, not even close to topspeed.

  • Noreplyrequired
    Noreplyrequired Před 7 měsíci

    Millions spent and years of development,but no understanding of basic aerodynamics.Can I get a job in the industry?

  • Sondre Åvik
    Sondre Åvik Před 7 měsíci

    Did they die?

  • Tim Hancock
    Tim Hancock Před 7 měsíci

    I knew the short nose on the Citroen 2cv was there for a reason.

  • Animiles
    Animiles Před 7 měsíci

    Wait, which car was pretty? All of the cars I've seen in this video were ugly as hell..

  • teamkilled
    teamkilled Před 7 měsíci +1

    what. the. hecc.

  • Brian Prior
    Brian Prior Před 7 měsíci +45

    " god damn pretty, but wow they were unstable..."
    How do you know my wife?

  • M Sherhan
    M Sherhan Před 7 měsíci

    Wasn't that as mark webber

  • Rhandy
    Rhandy Před 7 měsíci +189

    how sick would it be if they landed it and kept driving

    • Luke Reck
      Luke Reck Před 3 měsíci

      @Rhandy I was gonna mention that

    • Bilal Khalid
      Bilal Khalid Před 4 měsíci

      Turn on captions
      Peter dumb brick 0:16 😂😂😂

    • Rhandy
      Rhandy Před 7 měsíci +2

      closest to that happening would be italy 1993 fittipaldi backflips across the finish

    • Brandon Martinez
      Brandon Martinez Před 7 měsíci +4

      But what if they did it anyway

    • Jacob Axton
      Jacob Axton Před 7 měsíci +52

      3 minute advantage for style points

  • Hannes Größlinger
    Hannes Größlinger Před 7 měsíci +254

    Very good eplanaition. However you left out one important detail: all 5 of those accidents happened when the car was following closely behind another car. The cars were just stable enough when they were on their own. But in the dirty air of another car the front downforce was heavily reduced, leading to the pitch sensitivity problem.
    That's also the reason why Mercedes could not figure out why Mark Webber had flipped twice during qualifying and during warm up. They actually did several wind tunnel tests after the quali accident, but could not find any reason for why the car would take off like that, so they more or less shrugged it off as a freak accident. After the second flip they knew there was something wrong with the car, but they did not know what. They made huge changes to the suspension settings, thinking that the initial lift of the nose might be caused by too stiff shock absorbers at the front.
    Only after the third flip, the only one that was caught on video, did they realise that there was another car directly in front of it, changing the airflow. Mercedes actually did some windtunnel tests afterwards where they put 2 cars into the tunnel. The result was that if the distance between the cars was just right the second car would loose almost all of its front downforce, while the rear wing and diffusor were still pushing the back of the car down behind the rear wheels, causing the front to lift up.
    Lessons learned: modern LMP rules allow better front aerodynamics, including a front diffusor which is less sensitive to dirty air. The rear wing and rear diffusor must be much closer to the rear wheels, so they can not create so much torque on the chassis to lift the front. And most manufacturers now simulate / windtunnel test the airflow not only in clean air, but also in disturbed air.

    • yoy
      yoy Před 7 měsíci +1

      You did more explanation than this 4 minute video ever did with its boring talk about lift angle which anybody could figure out. Cheers

    • GizmoMaltese
      GizmoMaltese Před 7 měsíci

      Wow, thanks. I was wondering why the problem wasn't detected in wind tunnel tests. I guess there is no test like the real thing.

    • ShadowYeeter
      ShadowYeeter Před 7 měsíci

      Thx for making thsi 3 mins to words

    • Gaming With Merrick
      Gaming With Merrick Před 7 měsíci

      Great explanation!

    • DW media
      DW media Před 7 měsíci +10

      Great explanation

  • Kandres TQ
    Kandres TQ Před 7 měsíci

    i didn't watch it and i wont watch it ! :D

  • McRocket
    McRocket Před 7 měsíci

    That was REALLY well explained. I long wondered about those crashes. Thank you for this video.

  • Michael Hoyer
    Michael Hoyer Před 7 měsíci

    Why aren't there any hatchback supercars? I mean... how hard can it be?

    • Ryan David
      Ryan David Před měsícem

      John Kalinga I think you’re on the right track (no pun intended). Aerodynamics should be much better in the typical car, the high roofline and hatchback would probably create major drag.

    • John Kalinga
      John Kalinga Před 7 měsíci

      I believe it's due to the aerodynamics. With a "smooth" back, the air flows over the car more efficiently, making the car go faster. However, with a "hatchback" style rear end, the car is less aerodynamic, and therefore not as fast.
      If I don't have some of the details right, then I am sorry, but I do hope you understand why they don't make hatchback racing cars a little better.

  • der Jack
    der Jack Před 7 měsíci

    Bellof 1984

  • Turboman_64
    Turboman_64 Před 7 měsíci

    Who the hell designs a car like this, and even worse, who the hell steps into such a car and goes racing with this.... were they seriously that brainless?!

  • theodoro89
    theodoro89 Před 7 měsíci +10

    I want to see an accident were the car does a complete backflip and lands without taking too much damage.

    • A C
      A C Před 7 měsíci +5

      Christian Fittapaldi at Monza in 1993 is probably the closest you're going to get.

    • Kaan
      Kaan Před 7 měsíci

      Not possible I believe because even if the car land on it's 4 wheel without a body part touching the ground, the car will total.

  • egemengenc94
    egemengenc94 Před 7 měsíci +6

    0:23 eject eject eject!

  • LupusAries
    LupusAries Před 7 měsíci

    Might be just me, but smiling about these crashes seems a tad bit..........inappropriate to me.
    Aside from that, the downforce at the rear wasn't "cancelled" out, as otherwise the car would've taken off but stayed "stable" not flipped rearwards.
    Instead the downforce stayed active at the rear, which acted as a lever for the downforce at the front.
    This went ont to a point where the pitch angle of the rear got to far, and the wing stalled, which made it lift as well.