Formula One car development blog

Internals of Ferrari's 2014 water-to-air intercooler exposed

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Thanks to the bankrupty and public sale of some assets of the former Marussia F1 Team, we now get to take a very up-close look at some of the car's parts from 2014. Peter Bjorck for instance has bought a number of Ferrari engine parts, including the water-to-air intercooler and the unique butterfly wastegate from the Ferrari 059/3 engine as it ran during the 2014 season, the first year of the new hybrid turbo engines in F1.

In the below clip, Peter walks us through the intercooler, ... Read more

Mercedes kicks off the development war

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The Spanish GP is usually the venue of the introduction of the first significant development packages of a season. This year, Red Bull was expected to launch a heavily upgraded car after its woeful start to this year’s campaign. The energy drink-owned team brought some aerodynamic changes to its challenger, but it was Mercedes that drew most of the attention to itself by a major front end aerodynamic update.

The biggest change visually is the car's narrow nose, which obviously had t... Read more

Mercedes S-duct evolution

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While other teams have been busy copying Mercedes' S-duct inlets in the nose cone, the championship team itself was busy further developing its own device. The team have certainly taken inspiration from McLaren's solution of 2016, with an outlet ahead of the kink in the nose cone, and split up by the fairing around the pitot tube.

An image taken today by f1today also shows the clear evolution that Mercedes have done, making the outlet clearly a lot larger than it was on the F1 W07.... Read more

Mercedes trials chimney via dorsal fin

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The Mercedes F1 W08 was seen in testing at Barcelona with a shark fin that features an opening on top.

This hot air outlet is obviously a trade-off with openings at the back of the car, but may be an interesting development route now that the rear wing is now placed lower, putting it quite a bit below the exit stream of the chimney. In addition, by opening up this cooling outlet up there, Mercedes is able to cut down on venting at the rear of the car, allowing cleaner flow underneat... Read more

2017 design trends: adoption of the S-duct

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Having been tried, used and developed by several teams in recent history, 2017 finally looks to become the year in which (nearly) all teams add some form of S-duct on their cars. It is a solution which was first pioneered by Ferrari back in 2008. Back then, it was aimed at improving their airflow underneath the nose cone at a time when front wing development was possible in the central section of the wing as well.

The major regulation changes of 2009 removed the possibility for Ferr... Read more

Shark fins and T-wings to be banned on safety grounds?

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Following the launch of the first few cars in launch week, voices were raised that shark fins, engine cover sails, or whatever they would need to be called, should be banned from Formula One. F1 teams themselves didn't agree however, as Red Bull's attempts to get them banned last summer failed, most likely because some teams were already happily exploring the aerodynamic possibilities of such engine cover extensions.

Now, with testing underway, and literally every car underway with ... Read more

F1 2017 explained: Power unit changes

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Following up on their videos on regulation changes, Mercedes have now highlighted the impact of these changes on the power unit.

In essence, it comes down to coping with the difficulty of having more full throttle each and every lap, while having to work against the increased drag that comes with the additional downforce. The increased stresses that will be put on the engine have resulted in a slightly heaver power unit for Mercedes, whereas the cooling requirement have also gone up... Read more

F1 2017 explained: Key changes

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The regulation changes for 2017 are quite extensive, to such a measure that many designers have said it's their biggest change they have had to cope with in their careers. Lots of details have changed, but there are a number of highly impacting changes, aimed primarily at increasing downforce and enhance the way a Formula One car looks.

The front wing for instance will feature a swept forward shape while also being wider by 7.5cm each side. The latter provides additional downforce, ... Read more

Blown wheel hubs continue to be tricky business

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Blown wheel hubs have been adopted by a large number of teams this season, but the feature continues to keep aerodynamicists busy.

At Monza for instance, Red Bull Racing briefly tested an alternative to the open wheel hubs by putting a conical cap inside each front wheel's axle. The cap did appear to have small apertures to still allow some airflow to get through, but clearly much less than what would otherwise be possible. Both cars however were running the usual open hubs in quali... Read more

Haas revives double-waved rear wing at Monza

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The Haas F1 Team drew a lot of attention with its new double-waved, M-like rear wing, a completely unique shape for a modern rear wing in Formula One. It's rare these days to see a rear wing that has a different shape along its entire span, and hardly a surprise that Mercedes have, or at least had the most varying profile with its spoon rear wing, as the ones used at Monza and Spa-Francorchamps. Apart from the need to test it under yaw, such designs are furthermore made difficult by... Read more