Formula One car development blog

McLaren add vented front wing endplates

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McLaren have decided to continue to develop its MP4-24 in a little more conservative way as previous highly anticipated updates did not pay off. At the N├╝rburgring one of the new aerodynamic things was a revised front wing endplate which now includes small vents that catch air flowing along the outside of the wing towards the inside. The idea was pioneered by Toyota but has since March found many more followers.

Additionally, the team also reverted to its more traditional front wheel fairings. As marked in the image, the fairing is identical to last year's version and does not overlap the sidewall of the tyre - like the inside panel still does.

It needs no explanation that the front wing endplates highly influences the airflow around the front wheel, hence requiring continuous evaluation in that area.



Another new diffuser for the Red Bull

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It was only back in Monaco that Red Bull introduced its revised package aimed to benefit from a new double decker diffuser, and now again the RB5 is fitted with an update. The element is possibly as good an improvement as the original DDD was.

This time around the new diffuser now spans the maximum width, while previously the team, along with Toro Rosso, was the only not to use this. All diffusers of the RB5 in the first 7 races were the width of the rear wing, with its endplate extending down to form the diffuser walls. Although now they are still attached, the endplates only reach onto the diffuser, not down to the reference place.

Also note the added hot air exhaust in the engine cover to cool the car's internals better.


BMW revise front wing, again

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BMW Sauber have introduced another update to the F1.09's front wing. Now that the team is completely focused on improving the aerodynamics of the car after ditching KERS, all parts have evolved from being simple to less simple. To no avail it appears though, as BMW was again in a troubled position during the British GP weekend.

The updates however include a new endplate which is slightly bent, allow a little more air to be accellerated under the front wing rather than pushed around the front wheels. Aside of the front wing adjuster, the fixed panels have also been revised, now featuring a curvature of the lower element.


New nose for Red Bull RB5

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Red Bull were starting to miss their duck resembling noses and hence changed the previous one to one that more fits its tradition. The new nose is wider and also slightly higher than the version which the team used for the first 7 Grand Prix. In order to prevent the obligated camera housing from mixing up the airflow too much, the team chose to move them forward as much as possible, effectively putting them to use as straighteners for the airflow alongside the nose cone.

Also note the marked ride height sensor that it attached in a carbon fibre hub under the nose cone. It was used on Friday by the team to measure the influence of the car's new parts - which also include a new diffuser.


Improving front wheel aero on the TF109

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The Toyota TF109 has also seen some updates at the Turkish Grand Prix weekend, including aerodynamic tweaks in the front. New for instance is the modified front wing endplate of which the outer small panel now features an upward flip to help manage airflow ahead of the front wheels.

This area is particularly interesting as the wheels generate a lot of drag while a steadier airflow can also help to keep the brakes cool. Therefore the team also changed the cooling inlets while the wheel fairings allow for a clean exit of the brake air and dust. The design of the fairing alone for instance can be good for a few percentages of extra downforce at the rear end of the car.


BMW introduce their own DDD

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BMW Sauber have taken a long time to design and manufacture a double decker diffuser to replace the more conventional one that followed 'the spirit of the rules'. The new version immediately proved effective as Robert Kubica was there within the points, while in Bahrain they were no where near the midfield.

The new diffuser resembles much that of Brawn with an empty keel structure in the middle and an early exit above it for additional downforce. It also pick up an idea of Toyota by creating a small extension to the diffuser under the rear crash structure - with the safety light, the only area where the diffuser is allowed to extend further behind the rear wheels.


New front wing for BGP001

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The Brawn GP design team have been looking carefully at Ferrari's front wing compared to their own. Previously that resembled a lot to BMW Sauber's design as it features two upper flaps with the actuator mechanism in the middle of these flaps. The new wing however is completely different and sports only one flap. The most important advantage of this will be the adjustability for the drivers. Previously they only has control of a small panel of which they could change the angle of attack, but adjusting the new single flap by 6┬░ will greatly change downforce at the front end.


Redesigned mirror support on BGP001

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Since Spain, Brawn is introducing updates all over its car, some smaller than others. At Monaco the BGP 001 featured updated mirror supports. Up to now, the team was running a twin element support while the new version is a much thicker aerofoil. Such in-season change of a previously simple element marks the team's search for performance improvement in areas where aerodynamic development is still allowed.


Red Bull introduce long awaited DDD

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It's finally there! There has been talk about it for more than a month, but Adrian Newey's design team have finished their version of a double deck diffuser, a device that brings several tenths of a second per lap. Newey has however claimed that while it will be some step at Monaco, the new design should benefit the car more at circuits with high speed corners.

The new diffuser adds an exit channel above and ahead of the usual one which has a constant height over the whole span of the diffuser. Apart from the extra upward flow thanks to this, the inner fences now also feature are small cut-out that allows air to flow into the central diffuser channel. This is also featured with many other teams and was debuted by Brawn GP.


New rear wing for Force India VJM01

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Following the introduction of an updated diffuser at Spain, Force India has fitted a new rear wing on its 2009 car. Just like so many other teams, FI is exploiting the small central region of the rear wing where it is allowed to have more than two closed sections.

FI's solution is however quite distinctive as the team have chosen to add an extra little wing above the other elements. At the same time, the existing elements were modified to create an extra slot, similar to that of the new wing of McLaren.