Formula One car development blog

Mclaren's new front wing at Singapore

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As part of a big update to its car, McLaren introduced a new front wing at Singapore. The new wing has a totally revised stacked element, in fact the one element featured at Spa and Monza is now replaced by two seperate elements. The outer one is a simple, small two-element wing attached to the main front wing endplate. The wing itself has its own endplate as well, as indicated by an arrow.

The more inward part of the stacked element looks rather more sophisticated and connects to t... Read more

2 different setups for McLaren drivers

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As Monza is by far the lowest downforce circuit on the racing calendar, teams usually develop new front and rear wings to achieve higher top speeds. As did McLaren, bringing a new front wing with significantly less frontal surface and without an F-duct, a first for McLaren this year.

After both drivers tested a variety of setups, including a change of rear wings, only Lewis Hamilton decided to use it beyond Friday practices. Jenson Button meanwhile opted for the higher downforce set... Read more

McLaren in the dark on flexing front wing

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McLaren have been running a new front wing design since Silverstone, in many ways quite different to its opponents. The new wing - in the lower half of the image - has a slightly revised endplate but also includes a more elaborate vertical support ahead of the inner front tyre wall. While it supports the stacked element, it has now become an important element to manage the airflow over the wing and onto the front tyres.

Meanwhile though they have discovered the performance advantage... Read more

McLaren playing catch up with diffuser

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After many teams surprised McLaren by coming up with a blown diffuser at the European Grand Prix in Valencia, Woking had its blown diffuser ready at Silverstone, only to find though that it didn't work as expected. Diffusers and exhausts around them are an especially difficult area to model, and it is in this area that teams are suffering most of the in-season testing ban.

McLaren added shark gills on both sides in FP2 but finally decided against the system. Another new attempt will... Read more

McLaren revise sidepod panel

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In its own series of "updates at every race", McLaren have revised the sidepod panel. Attached to the car's floor and to the sidepod itself, all connections also fulfil an aerodynamic purpose. The panel itself is now more curvy at the bottom, while the section where it is closest to the sidepod now has a leading edge leaning inwards, aiming to direct more air around the outside of the panel.

The panel, although apparently simple, is extremely important for the car's rear end efficie... Read more

Rivals feverishly working to copy F-duct

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Days before the first Grand Prix of the season, McLaren's MP4/25 grew an air inlet on top of the chassis. It turned out to be a feeder for its F-duct system. An air channel is contructed through the chassis, along the driver's legs and through the shark fin into the rear wing. By carefully controlling the airflow with his knee, the driver can now cause the rear wing to stall, allowing up to 10km/h advantage on a straight.

When Jenson or Lewis put their knee onto the channel, they fo... Read more

McLaren continue with snowplough design

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McLaren Mercedes have copied the snowplough that featured on the 2009 Williams contender. As McLaren introduced it as of its first test with the MP4/25, Williams dumped it in favour of cleaner frontal aerodynamic.

The system itself is fairly simple in its operation and effectively acts like a diffuser mounted higher above the ground. Part of the airflow under the nose is split left and right of the plough, while everything that flows underneath is slightly expanded, reducing its pre... Read more