At this week's Barcelona test, Honda showed a front wing conforming to the 2009 specifications. While there is a lot more to it than just the central section, this is the most interesting - or boring - part. In recent years, teams came up with various different spoon shapes in the middle part of the front wing, but they won't have to bother anymore. A change in the regulations stipulates that the central part of the front wing (500mm of it to be exact) must consist of a single eleme... Read more
Formula One car development blog
As part of their major Monza package, Honda introduced a completely new rear wing. The new wing consists of two elements with the obligatory spacer in the middle to prevent the slot gap from closing at high speeds.
There is also a cutout in the middle of the wing - alike but bigger than on the Red Bull RB4 -, similar to what can be seen on the outer sides. These items would have made the wing ideal for bending and hence reducing drag at high speeds, but since the rules do not allow ... Read more
In fact, it's a quick fix for heating the car, as it reduces cooling capacity. Modern F1 cars use airflow in the sidepods to pass through the radiators in order to cool the engine. Behind the heat exchangers, most teams have shark gills in combination with a (closed) chimney to quickly allow the hot air to escape the sidepod.
While such gills are a perfect compromise between cooling capacity and drag, it is always better to have less openings if that is possible. So, Honda have quit... Read more
Honda have introduced a new, low-downforce front wing that is remarkable in several aspects. A first is a new end plate that sports a new external flap, guiding air downwards. The carbon fibre element aims to reduce the drag from air hitting the front if the front wheel.
On the inside of the end plate, the previous uncurved flap has been replaced by a more efficient element that better catches the airflow to create a little extra downforce. The new item is also thicker, helping to r... Read more
I have mentioned it before and will say it again; it stuns me that Honda have mentioned in the beginning of the season that 2008 was just preparation and that they would focus on 2009 while at the same time they come up with new updates every single test.
This time around, the team fitted ears to the cockpit sides, similar to McLaren and Renault. The team also introduced a new barge board which is a compromise between the traditional smooth edge versus the jagged edge design. The ne... Read more
Despite being focused on their 2009 programme, Honda have introduced another aerodynamic evolution to their RA108. This time, they replaced their traditional midwing with a version that connects the engine cover with the T-wings. The midwing itself has thereby moved about 30cm forward and is curved more down than before.
The development is however not new and resembles that of BMW Sauber. That team have had such an item since the beginning of the season, and yet no other team had copied it.
After half a season with the highest nose tip of all cars, the Honda engineers have found they were pulling the shortest end and have designed a longer nose with a much lower tip. The development is however surprising as the team earlier declared that it would be focusing fully on next year's car.
Last season, Toyota made a similar, though less drastic move to improve the frontal grip upon corner entry, and it appears that Honda have learned from their fellow Japanese team.
Also not... Read more
Honda drivers Barrichello and Button have been using different rear wings at the Canadian Grand Prix. Jenson Button's version is very similar to the rear wing used at several other races this year as it features the same profile but has an extra gurney flap to it. Surprisingly, this will increase downforce. The wing used by Rubens Barrichello sports a cut out upper plane, as marked by the arrows. Such design is a quick solution for lower drag and downforce on the same wing, although... Read more
Honda have developed several new bits to increase the frontal downforce of the car. While winglets on the outer sides of the front wing end plates have been removed, a new - unpainted - element on the inside was added, effectively chasing the effect of double deck front wing but at a less effective scale. The main panel on the other hand has a cut-out where it attaches to the end places, allowing a better flow into the brake coolers.
Also marked are new endplates that were added to ... Read more
Honda have raced their new W-shaped rear wing for the first time at Turkey. It had previously been tested at Barcelona before the Spanish GP. Previously, Honda's rear wing was a simple shaped horizontal aerofoil with an equal angle of attack over the entire span. For the new wing, the team appear to have started from scratch with some noticeable influence from Ferrari. The element now has a very curved lower element and, as a result, a variable angle of attack along the width of the... Read more