Formula One car development blog

Lotus trim tiny rear wing for top speed

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Lotus were seen racing at Monza with the smallest rear wing of any car. The team created a Monza-only rear wing, another alteration of the already fairly skinny rear wing seen at Spa-Francorchamps. The wing retains the V-shape in the middle of the wing, but different to most wings, the Monza spec does not extend to the maximum allowed height. Instead the upper flap is trimmed down, before a removable gurney flap was added. The nature of the wing also allowed the team to remove any r... Read more

Williams low-drag rear wing for Monza

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Similar to most other teams, Williams have introduced a new, one-off rear wing to adapt to the requirements of the Monza Autodrome. Focusing on top speed, drag shedding is the easiest with a smaller rear wing, given that the rear wing generates much more drag per point of downforce compared top the diffuser. This also explains why teams are never modifying their diffuser, simply because it's more efficient and probably more complicated to alter as well.

The new rear wing fitted in t... Read more

Mercedes keep advantage with aero updates

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Mercedes introduced a considerable update package at Spa, making sure they kept their advantage to the competition. Possibly the most important of those updates was the revamp of the car's nose cone which required a new crash test. The new solution is smaller at its bottom and also slightly higher at the top - note how the supports for the cameras have become shorter. This not only gave aerodynamic gains, but according to G. Piola this also helped to reduce weight, a feature that wa... Read more

Caterham debuts new nose cone

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It's a God's gift, Caterham's new nose cone on the CT05. While the visual appearance may not have been the top priority for the team in terms of aerodynamic development, the modified nose cone is a whole lot better looking that before. True, it could still be better, but such as the rules that strange looking noses are currently a good solution to keep airflow underneath the nose.

In any case, Caterham did not change much to the concept of its car, retaining the matte black cone tha... Read more

Force India continues to switch between engine covers

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One month ago, at the Austrian Grand Prix, Force India introduced a major aerodynamic upgrade package on its VJM07, including a modified nose cone and different bodywork around the engine and exhaust. The difference is obvious around the "Claro" logo when comparing the Canadian specification to the car running at Silverstone. Tighter packaging is an obvious aerodynamic advantage and proved possible even while retaining the location of the oil cooler above the exhaust pipe, fed by th... Read more

Williams revives shark gills for cooling

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Williams introduced a new cooling solution on its FW36 this weekend at Germany by adding a series of small apertures on the legality fin of the airbox cover. The small extension on the airbox cover is there only to fit the minimum area rules of the bodywork, but Williams have found a new use by creating fins to provide engine cooling.

Many teams have small apertures in this area for cooling, but Williams' solution surely is elaborate. The team have seemingly chosen to use shark gill... Read more

McLaren backtracks on suspension blockers

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Along with its brand new front wing, brake duct modifications and floor edge updates, McLaren changed the configuration of the rear of its MP4-29 in Austria. A new diffuser was part of the car's aerodynamic upgrade package, featuring different curves at the outer extremities, allowing for a little more expansion in the diffuser. The winglet sloping around the edge of the diffuser has now been cut back, making it a very similar configuration to the diffuser that the team ran in the r... Read more

New sidepods just the beginning for Toro Rosso

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Toro Rosso have introduced new sidepods on their STR9, removing the curvature on top of the sidepod in favour of a new, more gradual slope towards the rear suspension. Looking from the back of the car it is obvious what the team have tried to achieve as the hot air exits are now closer to the floor, converging towards a design used by Red Bull and Mercedes AMG. In fact, more and more teams are going this direction as Force India had a similar sidepod update, leaving McLaren to be th... Read more

McLaren introduces shapely new front wing

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As part of a fairly large aerodynamic update for its MP4-29, McLaren have introduce a long overdue front wing update, getting rid of the rather bulky previous design that looked dated in comparison to items seen on front running cars.

The new front wing only appears to have the leading edge of the base plane and parts of the endplates in common with its predecessor, but other than that everything is new. Still a three-element wing, the insides of the flaps have considerably changed,... Read more

Force India tweaks front wing design

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Sahara Force India have introduced a considerably aerodynamic upgrade for its VJM07 at Austria, including several front wing tweaks. As indicated in the image comparison, the front wing endplates now have one additional separate turning vane in an attempt to get more airflow outboard of the front wheels. The underside of the endplates have also slightly changed, dropping an edgy curve in favour or a nicely rounded profile.

Interestingly, the team have also opted to move the attachme... Read more