At the final day of testing, with cars now approaching they race specifications for Australia, it was time to have a look against what are likely to be two of the strong teams at the beginning of the season.
Hence, we compared them with images from f1zoom, aligning the cars on lines A, B and C. Although we should be careful from drawing too many conclusions from image comparisons due to their slightly different perspectives, there are a few interesting bits we can notice.
First of all it is clearly noticeable that the driver is positioned more forward in the Red Bull chassis compared to the McLaren. This feature allows for longer and narrower sidepods, creating more freedom for the aerodynamicists working at the rear of the car. It is also likely moving the centre of gravity of the car forward, although this can be re-adjusted with ballast.
Secondly, it also appears that the Red Bull is slightly shorter than the McLaren (note markers G and H).
Marker D finally shows how much forward Red Bull have moved the exhausts, allowing the gases to be pulled down onto the diffuser. The latter is apparently considered crucial for performance by both teams.
A highres version is available in the gallery at http://www.f1technical.net/gallery/2012 ... /rb8-mp427
"Secondly, it is also visible that the Red Bull appears slightly shorter than the Red Bull (note markers G and H)."
really? it's shorter than itself?
The difference between them is marginal though, we need to take into account the slightly different photo perspective as well.
I'm not sure how or why driver seating position affects the size/shape of the sidepods.
Moving the driver forward also allows to move the fueltank forward (or make it longer and smaller), hence creating more volume inside the sidepod's first half.
It's really a matter of where to fit which components. If you fit more forward, you'll have less in the back, allowing a narrower or lower end.
It is good to see the comparisons of the cars like that. Assuming that the drivers are of the same skill level, the results of the race can be traced back to how the car is designed.
It's seen clearly that Red Bull is aimed for slow corners and McLaren Mercedes is for top speed and fast sectors. And it seems like RB8 is a bit shorter.. It should also somehow help in cornering and rapid direction changes.
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