Formula One car development blog

Modified diffuser on McLaren

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Despite their recent 'fighting form', McLaren knows full well that Red Bull is still the team that is aerodynamically ahead of everyone, especially when it matters blown diffuser performance. It is therefore no surprise to see the British team to simply copy some changes on the diffuser of the Red Bull RB7.

RBR recently replaced the common gurney flaps along the upper edge of the diffuser by small wings, proving a more effective method to help create downforce at the rear end of the... Read more

New vanes on McLaren rear wing endplates

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McLaren have added new vanes at the bottom end of the rear wing endplates in order to better manage airflow around the diffuser. Vanes in this area have been copied by Red bull and Ferrari earlier on as they can greatly help generate downforce due to their proximity to the engine exhausts.

It is for the same reason that some or the components of the diffuser and the lower flipup behind the brake duct are coated with heat resistive material to prevent the underlying carbon fibre from... Read more

McLaren ditch pillar and long chord DRS

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McLaren have introduced an entirely new rear wing at Silverstone, completely departing the philosophy the team has followed since the beginning of the season. As the inset shows, McLaren have run an upper rear wing flap with a long chord and were about the only team left to use this extreme design. It allowed for the DRS actuator to be small with little aerodynamic impact, but McLaren found it was not enough.

Instead, the new rear wing has a much smaller uppermost flap. As the regul... Read more

Another new front wing endplate on McLaren

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McLaren introduced at Valencia yet another new iteration of its front wing endplate. The new endplate is targeted at catching more air from around the endplate and feed it under the wing's panels. This will increase downforce creation at the outer extremities of the front wing and will certainly influence airflow around the front wheels.

McLaren had other new bits on their cars as well and are expected to have another host of new components at Silverstone, the first event with the h... Read more

Keeping the MP4-26 brakes cool

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After running regular brake ducts at all of the winter tests, McLaren showed up in Melbourne with a gauze fitted onto the brake duct. Knowing that Albert Park is a street circuit in the middle of a park where leafs are all over the track, such a gauze makes sense to prevent any object getting stuck into the duct and preventing decent brake cooling.

Although this certainly is helpful, there is an efficiency penalty as air is slowed down, and as such less molecules will flow into the ... Read more