Mac had their new test car in Jerez as shown the previous posts.
This wore the new front wing and wide nose. It was also shorn of the bargeboards and pod wings, although the aero ‘furniture’ further back down the sidepods was the same as the 08 spec car and ran the very small sidepod opening. Without the complicated bargeboards and pod wings, it’s interesting to see the complex shape of the McLaren monocoque.
The new front wing is a fairly serious first attempt at the 2009 wing. I need to examine the curves of the flaps a bit closer, as they are quite complex but may give clues as to how teams will make the wing work whilst being in front of the tyre. It looks like they are working the wing hardest right in front of the middle of the front tyre, perhaps making two separate vortex flows, to spiral around either side of the front wheel. The odd lift where the flap meets the middle wing section creating a large slot gap, also suggests they are making this area less aggressive to ease the transition between wing and the neutral middle section.
As the endplates are quite simple compared to BMW Sauber’s, I would guess Mac are letting the front wing split the flow, where as BMWE are getting the endplate and fence to this job. From the black carbon fibre panel on the side of the endplate, it seems the wing is ready to adjust 6-degree as per the new reg’s. As I am guessing this plate hides the hydraulic ram to move the front wing flap.
The underneath of the wing and many of the upper body surfaces were sprayed with green tinted oil, this shows how the air flows over the bodyworks surface and is commonly used to cross check to CFD\tunnel data. Clearly Mac are ensuring the wing is sending flow where expected, the fact that the mirrors are sprayed again gives us clues as to here the flow is going.
The team also tested the extended front wheel fairing. This takes the normal fairing and extends it forward to the perimeter of the tyre, this fits within the rules as they demand the ‘bodywork cannot extend above below the front wheel height, nor forwards of the front tyre between these lines. The only issue with this could be maximum width, often the front\rear wheels are the widest part of the car (1800mm). As the fairing is wider the than the tyre, the front wheels must be narrower than the 1800mm allowed.
The benefit will be that the new wider front wing send some of its flow around the outside of the front wheel, last year almost all the flow was around the inside of the tyre. Although the fairing will be higher than the front wing endplate (lower for 2009), it will help smooth its path back along the car, and not upset the flow to the rear wing\diffuser. Without bargeboard to manage the over the central fuselage of the car, this will certainly help. Expect a lot of teams to also run turning vanes affixed the inside of the front brake duct as Renault did on 2008 for similar reasons.