Williams have been running all winter with front brake ducts that seemingly contain no inlet duct. The same sort of duct was seen at Melbourne, although, as visible in the inset, Williams added a flow conditioner on the lower part of the upright compared to the most recent winter test at Barcelona.
As marked in the main image, the trick is to have the inlet in between the tyre wall and the duct's vertical element. The few centimeters of clearance between the tyre wall and the carbon fiber blade are apparently enough to provide enough air to cool the brakes.
It is also clearly visible that on the upper and lower edge of the inlet, there are small sub-ducts. One of these channels air to the inside of the brake caliper, while the other directs air through the duct passing above the brake disc to the outer side of the caliper.
Compare this for instance to the ducts the team ran just 2 years ago: http://www.f1technical.net/development/319
I'm a F1 racing fan. Here at Germany I saw a lot of this stuff on auto shops. Thanks for this post. I learned a lot, especially as I take a look carefully at the image.
Hey there nick! Where are you in Germany? What city? We have the same interest I think? I'm a car enthusiast. Actually my observation when I look at the brake disc at the photo above is cool, seems that it has its maintenance daily.
Some teams may focus too much on how fast the car can speed forward, but I think improving the state of the brake ducts is just as important to ensure that the driver will be able to control the car accurately. Too hard of a brake will spin the car out of control, while too soft will lead to the car possibly crashing into the barrier. I am glad how this forum shows that F1 car mechanics and engineers are taking into account in improving all car parts, not just the ones involving speed. http://www.carid.com
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