Formula One car development blog

Toro Rosso fits rear wing support through exhaust pipe

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Introduced at the Australian Grand Prix and continued in Malaysia, Toro Rosso have designed a unique rear wing support that appears to protrude the engine's exhaust pipe. A central pillar is common to all teams to help support the aerodynamic forces exhibited by the rear wing to assist the rear wing endplates. Usually though, teams design a carbon fibre fork around the centrally mounted exhaust pipe, or otherwise create a carbon fibre mounting within the engine cover, above the exh... Read more

More gills on Williams to manage heat

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With Malaysia being all about heat management, Williams have added new gills on each side of the cockpit to provide additional cooling for the car's internals. Even though this in itself is nothing new, it's interesting to see that Williams appear to have put in some effort in making the fins efficient, arranging them in two rows of variable sizes. It makes us suspect the team won't limit their use to a single Grand Prix.

Note that the area containing the gills is more or less the o... Read more

McLaren adds 2-channel S-duct in car nose

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McLaren is pushing on with aerodynamic development while Honda focuses on getting its power unit up to speed. The most notable update seen on the MP4-30 chassis at Malaysia is the addition of an S-duct in the nose cone, undoubtedly pushed by Petr Prodromou who worked on the feature with Red Bull in recent years.

Similar to the inlet on the Red Bull RB11, air is caught via a wide channel underneath the entire span of the nose cone, with the outer extremities however feeding channels ... Read more

Cockpit edges: to round or not to round?

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Since Toro Rosso introduced their shorter nose cone on the STR10, the team also added long fins on each side of the upper edge of the monocoque. It's a unique feature across all current cars and appears to be aimed at reducing air to spill over the edges of the monocoque.

This can be a particular issue under yaw, for example when the car is turning left. Air that is then flowing left of the monocoque could spill over the edge and end up in the cockpit opening area, one of the least ... Read more

Ferrari puts new front wing in use at Melbourne

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Come the third and final pre-season winter test at Barcelona, Ferrari brought along a new front wing for the SF15-T. For me the SF15-T has the fundamentals of a great front wing, as long as they develop on the concept over the course of the season. As expected, the new wing was used on both cars in Melbourne, but clearly Ferrari only introduced it at the final test to maximise development time.

The old wing (inset) had a three element cascade unit with a north mounted turning vane o... Read more

Short nose and new front wing add downforce on STR10

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Toro Rosso have introduced a big update to their STR10, including a brand new front wing and a shortened nose cone. It is understood that the car's longer nose cone was initially designed as a base to get through the crash tests and get testing, while the team subsequently focused on what is generally considered a better aerodynamic solution. Two technical heads have confirmed to me that the shorter nose is indeed a better solution, admitting that this has to do with the flow coming... Read more

New nose and camera mounts for Mercedes

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Mercedes AMG have come out on track today at Barcelona with an updated nose cone, along with new mountings for the camera pods. Even though unconfirmed reports recently noted that the FIA asked Mercedes and Ferrari to revert to more traditional camera mountings, the team have now come up with small vertical carbon fibre supports to mount the cameras even higher above the nose cone. It moves the camera out of the airflow onto the front suspension, whereas the shape of the mounting's ... Read more

The revival of the blown wheel nut

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Jerez pre-season testing has definitely seen somewhat of a revival for the blown wheel nut, seeing that three of the major teams have introduced the system into their cars. All three of them also seem set to keep going with it, as none of these cars were seen with closed wheel nuts (yet).

Williams debuted this idea in 2013 on its Williams FW35, designed by Mike Coughlan. Having run it for the entire season, Williams opted against it in 2014. Is certainly triggered some interest with... Read more

Mercedes ditches log style exhaust on PU106B

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Following a year of running with a very compact log style exhaust (as pictured) in 2014, Mercedes have now chosen to ditch the concept and go for a more conventional equal lenght exhaust manifold as seen on the 2014 Renault engine.

An obviously different noise coming from the Mercedes powered cars yesterday was followed by a further confirmation from Mercedes' Head of Engines at Brixworth, Andy Cowell that the new Mercedes 2015 power unit, named PU106B, features an 'entirely new exh... Read more

A closer look at McLaren's new wheel rims

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McLaren's long term wheel supplier, Enkei, has provided the team with new rims for the 2015 season, or at least the start of it. Finished in matte black, the wheels were on display at Jerez today, showing very different front and rear wheel designs. The reasons for this are obvious, with first of all wider tyres at the rear, but more importantly for their design, much less heat coming from the rear brakes. Due to weight transfer under braking, and the energy recovery system that kic... Read more