Trackside Aerodynamics

An insight into the Formula 1 Trackside Aerodynamicist role

Course Description

In race car development, track testing is where the final adjustments are made. Track aerodynamicists are crucial here, running aerodynamic tests and using the data to tweak the car’s performance.

This course takes you through what track aerodynamic testing involves. You’ll learn about the tools used to collect aerodynamic data and how to interpret this information effectively.

You’ll practice the same techniques that aerodynamicists use at the racetrack, gaining skills in adjusting car setups based on real data. This hands-on approach will give you a practical understanding of aerodynamics in racing.

About this course
  • 38 Lessons
  • Approximate time to complete course: 11 hours

Trackside Aerodynamics

Self-Paced Course
  • Lifetime Access to course materials
  • Ask questions and get feedback from the instructor
  • Earn an industry-recognised course certificate
  • Learn at your own pace & watch lessons in any order
  • Quizzes and assignments included

What You'll Learn

  • Demonstrate an understanding in the topic of aerodynamic track testing and its objectives
  • Demonstrate an ability to identify the most suitable instrumentation for aero data collection
  • Demonstrate knowledge in the use of data analysis software to quantify aerodynamic performance
  • Become familiar with the track side aerodynamicist role, and the common techniques used to analyse track data with the aim to improve overall car performance

Course Modules

Trackside Aerodynamics Course Images
  • Introduction to aerodynamic track testing in Formula 1
  • Objectives of an aero test
  • Instrumentation used in aero experiments
  • Aerodynamic data analysis
  • Case study: analysing different aerodynamic setups of a race car

The course also includes career advice and a practical final assignment that models working as a trackside aerodynamicist in F1.

This course is for you if...

You are a student or professional with an interest in fluid dynamics theory and principles

You want to learn about current trackside aerodynamic testing trends in F1

You’re ready to boost your CV and  want to start a career the realm of F1 aerodynamics

Course Reviews

See what students have to say about this course

Perfect Way of Handing Down Experience
Mirko Tresoldi
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I am an Aeronautical Engineer and motorsport addicted, therefore I knew most of the topics covered in the course, but the incredible thing is the way which Xavier explains the arguments, the passion transmitted and the hand down of the experience he learned in this sport. The assignments were challenging and they are a launch pad for getting in contact with the motorsport world. Thank you Xavier for this experience!
A Very Well-Organized Course!
Marwan Attar
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Covers various important topics that gives a better understanding to what exact duties and tasks are expected from a Trackside Aerodynamicist. Topics covered help better understand Track Testings and analyze graphs and data, the types of Test Runs and the benefits of each, and finally an interesting case study using MoTeC software to analyse Formula 1 data. Thank you Xavier!
Amazing Course
Francesco Montanini
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I have learnt about the importance, the objectives and the challenges of an aero track test, the importance of developing correlations between CFD results, wind tunnel and track test data to improve the car performance. I have learnt about the instrumentations used in aero experiments, such as static pressure sensors, suspensions load sensors, Pitot tubes, aero rakes and boundary layer visualization techniques. I have also learnt the common techniques used to analyzed aero track data with the aim to quantify and improve overall car performance. Finally, I really enjoyed the hands-on and challenging case studies, that offered me the chance to design my own test plan for an aero track test for FP1 and get familiar with track data analysis, investigating aerodynamic variables and assessing the aerodynamic performance of an aero setup of a race car. Another small steps towards the goal and looking forward to gaining some other valuable skills into this fantastic field! Thank you Xavier!
Brilliant Course
Umberto Stassi
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This is an amazing course for anyone who wants to pursue a career in motorsports. Each lesson is clearly explained, the prcatical examples also allow to truly understand the amazing concepts that are explained. This course, also, integrates perfectly with the knowledge gained from an Engineering Degree. I think that the hands-on assignments are the best part of the course; thanks to those you can truly master the skills taught in this course. The possibility to receive feedback on your work from a F1 Aerodynamicist is fantastic. The feedbacks from Xavier are detailed and extremely insightful. I definetly recommend this course. Thank you Xavier!
Great Course
Reuben Thomas
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A very good launchpad for those who are seriously considering to take up aerodynamics in motor sports as a career. The assignments were both challenging and interesting. This course provides an insight into a few of the nuances of being a track aero.
Perfect Course for aspiring motorsports/aero/cfd engineers
Raja Rajat Walia
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The course is really amazing. It covers all aspects of the trackside aerodynamics testing. All modules are structured well. The instructor is very kind and helpful. Concepts are explained in detail. Assignments are really practical and interesting to work on. I have never seen a course that involved such a level of theoretical and practical concepts. Really enjoyed each and every bit of the course.
A Unique Way of Learning
Jaume Cruces
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I have enjoyed this course very much. It is a unique way of learning since it is the only course I have found where you learn from an actual trackside aerodynamicist, who knows by first hand all the work involved in this subject. I have especially liked the instrumentation and aero data analysis modules, which were very well explained with practical examples, as well as all the practical assessments where I could apply the knowledge acquired. I would have appreciated a bit more of explanation about how vortices are treated in these cars and ways to assess their impact in the aerodynamics of the car using CFD post processing tools.
Understanding of Aerodynamics
Tejasvi Rastogi
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This course not only help to understand trackside aerodynamics of any motor sport but also help me to understand some advanced concepts that I was unaware of and how to analyze it.
Perfect way of handing down
Mirko Tresoldi
Read More
I am an Aeronautical Engineer and motorsport addicted, therefore I knew most of the topics covered in the course, but the incredible thing is the way which Xavier explains the arguments, the passion transmitted and the hand down of the experience he learned in this sport. The assignments were challenging and they are a launch pad for getting in contact with the motorsport world. Thank you Xavier for this experience!
Detailed and Interesting Course
Alessandro Salvatore Pappagallo
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Full of insights about aero phenomena, measurements and explanations through data analysis.
Favourite Course to Date
Marco Piano
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Having completed half a dozen courses on the platform this was one of the more challenging, informative and certainly provided the most comprehensive overall feedback from the course leader.
Great Hands-On Course
Davide Molini
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The course is super, the instructor is very well prepared. The thing I enjoyed the most is the first assignment, where you are asked to program an FP1 run. The professor gives you examples on real runs and you have to complete yours.
Exciting Aerodynamics Course
Gerard Sabaté Arroyo
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Brilliant course which covers all aspects of being a Trackside aero engineer as well as in-deep aerodynamic F1 concepts. It is recommended to have some aero background to follow properly the course. I especially enjoyed the hands-on and challenging assignments and surprised by the fast feedback from Xavier. Not every day you get feedback from an F1 Aerodynamicist! Thank you Xavier!

Meet your course instructor

Xavier Ballesta
Xavier Ballesta
Aerodynamics Project Leader at Williams F1

Xavier currently works as an Aerodynamics Project Leader at Williams Racing Team developing aerodynamic components through CFD, wind tunnel and track testing activities.

With a Bachelor in Aeronautical Engineering and a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering from UPC Barcelona Tech, Xavier started his professional career in 2007 with a short stint at Seat Sport developing the aerodynamics of WTCC Seat Leon. He later joined the engineering and testing firm IDIADA, where he was involved in car aerodynamics for several automotive projects as a CFD engineer for 4 years.

In summer 2012, Xavier moved to the United Kingdom to pursue his dream of working in Formula 1. He worked at Marussia F1 Team as an aerodynamicist for over 2 years, before joining Williams F1 in 2014, where he still works today.

Xavier has worked with

Trackside Aerodynamics
Self-Paced Course


Access Duration: Lifetime     ⓘ

Duration for which video lessons, downloadables, quizzes and assignments will be made available from the time of enrolment.

Mode of Delivery: Online     ⓘ

Lessons are managed by experienced course leaders leveraging online means.

E-mail support     ⓘ

We provide support throughout the duration of the course.

Certification     ⓘ

A certificate will be awarded upon course completion so you can share your achievement with your network.

Interact with instructor     ⓘ

Network with motorsport engineering professionals and receive the advice you are looking for.

Assignments and quizzes     ⓘ

Impress your course leaders by excelling at the challenges they present to you.

Watch lessons in any order     ⓘ

Start from the beginning or the end - you choose!

Assignment feedback     ⓘ

Receive feedback from our course leaders so you can understand areas of improvement.

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