Formula One car development blog

All new front wing and nose package on VJM04

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While most teams are planning major upgrades at the next event at Barcelona, Force India brought a considerable front aero package to Turkey. Paul Di Resta and then Adrian Sutil tested it in the Friday sessions, not to see it return for qualifying or racing. The team mainly ran the device to get a first benchmark of what to expect.

In essence, the package brings a brand new front wing that sees a third panel added. The wing itself looks very simple, even the stacked element lacks an endplate. It is sure there are move possibilities from this new wing, but if the team can get the new baseline working, they could well move up the grid a few positions.

Join with the new front wing is a new nose cone which sees Force India's traditional nose bulge disappear in favour of a sharp and high nose, with underneath a McLaren snowplough. The element works as a splitter to guide air left and right of the nose cone, while the upwards airflow from underneath the plough can generate downforce. Also note how the obligatory cameras have been repositioned. Previously just ahead of the front suspension, now on each side of the front wing pillars in line with the leading edge of the snowplough.

Force India introduce new wheels

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Force India F1 have followed Ferrari and McLaren in adding an extension to the wheels to help brake cooling and control the wake behind the front wheel. Since teams started adding static wheel fairings at the fronts and dynamic carbon fibre items glued inside the rim, the FIA put down some regulations that limit freedom, but nonetheless still allow some creative benefits. The additions must now be a rigid part of the rims and be made of AZ70 or AZ80 magnesium alloy, just like the rims themselves.

The benefit of these additions comes from controlling the wake behind the front wheels. While they can improve efficiency of the brake cooling, teams are most interested in cleanly releasing the air that went through the rim. Improving this can easily gain several points of downforce generated by the floor and diffuser.

This effect also partly explains why teams are currently less interested in applying such solution on the rear wheels. All three teams mentioned are running conventional rear wheel rims.