Formula One car development blog

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.


McLaren introduce new rear wing

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For the high downforce requirements of the circuit in Monte Carlo, McLaren have designed a new rear wing. The new item now features a completely horizontal leading edge, ditching the curvature in the middle. The resulting lower leading edge will allow the wing to catch a little more air and hence create a stronger downward force.

Additionally, the team also looked at Toyota's central third element, only allowed in the middle section of the wing. While not applicable for the complete wing, this small section will see an improved aerodynamic efficiency compared to a two-section wing.


Ferrari open up rear end of F60

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Ferrari were suddenly in much better shape at Spain thanks to a new rear end package. While previously the sidepods ended in between the rear wheels, a big air exhaust is now in place further ahead. The solution is very similar to an update that Renault introduced at the Chinese GP.

Along with it, the engine cover was redesigned to form a slightly lower curve, aiming to provide better efficiency of the rear wing due to a cleaned up air stream. Close to the car's centre however, the cover features elongated openings to provide cooling for the car's internals. Similar to Red Bull, the teams wanting to have air exits in that region have no option but to make them small as other apertures further away from the car's longitudinal axis are prohibited.


BMW redesigns front end of sidepod

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BMW Sauber finally introduced a major aerodynamic upgrade at Spain after struggling badly in the initial stages of the season. Already before the first Grand Prix, the team found the car's airflow around and onto the sidepods. The front end of the sidepod in particular was worrisome as it caused varying air pressure underneath the car and hence unpredictable downforce levels. An interim solution slightly helped, until now the team redesigned the complete front.

First of all, the sidepod's air inlet was reshaped and moved more towards the centre of the car. It now catches air flowing along the monocoque's sides. Because of this change, the outer side of the sidepod could be sculpted more gently. You can clearly see in the images that the new design is much smaller at its widest part - see the floor that now extends wider the the pod at the marker arrow. While the F1.09 still features one of the biggest sidepods of all current F1 cars, it's a major improvement already.

To further improve airflow towards the rear, the sidepod panel was also redesigned. It is now bigger, has a gap in the middle and still supports the outboard wing mirrors. Additionally, the team also follows the trend to fit small barge boards and turning vanes on the leading edge of the floor to better direct air around the sidepod.