Formula One car development blog

Ferrari trial halo-mounted mirrors

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Ferrari showed up at Barcelona with new wing mirror supports. Instead of the attachment to the chassis shoulders, the wing mirrors are linked to the halo. The team have meanwhile also added a winglet just above the mirror housing, perfectly shading the mirror itself when looking at the car from above.

It was only between the Chinese and Azerbaijan Grand Prix that the FIA announced that mirrors could also be attached to the halo. The Technical Directive was a response to the decreasi... Read more

McLaren surprises with unique nose cone

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McLaren didn't disappoint with their much anticipated aerodynamic update to the Renault-powered MCL33. With updates all around the car, the most intriguing changes were done at the front, where an entirely new and unique nose cone has debuted on the car when it was sent to scrutineering on Thursday afternoon.

McLaren was clearly inspired by solutions seen elsewhere, with the team now implementing an open thumb nose, akin to Red Bull Racing's solution to reduce drag created by the ti... Read more

How Ferrari's vented rear view mirrors really work

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A lot has been said about Ferrari's innovative wing mirrors. Changes like this are hard to come by these days in Formula One, but Ferrari have certainly thought out of the box here. While all other teams have their mirror housings as round as possible, to limit drag created by them, Ferrari's items feature a small gap all around the actual mirror. The traditional mirrors guide all air around the housing, whereas with Ferrari's new design, some airflow flows through the housing.

Whil... Read more

Red Bull sort out bargeboard panels

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In what continues to be a crucial area of aerodynamic development, Red Bull Racing turned up in Australia with an improved version of their barge board panels, which make up for a quite complicated set-up, even this early in the season. Thanks to the stable regulations, teams are happily continuing the development paths of last year, even though further downstream, Red Bull's high sidepod inlets are a big change compared to their 2017 RB13.

Still, the barge boards were complex at th... Read more

Mercedes kicks off the development war

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The Spanish GP is usually the venue of the introduction of the first significant development packages of a season. This year, Red Bull was expected to launch a heavily upgraded car after its woeful start to this year’s campaign. The energy drink-owned team brought some aerodynamic changes to its challenger, but it was Mercedes that drew most of the attention to itself by a major front end aerodynamic update.

The biggest change visually is the car's narrow nose, which obviously had t... Read more

Mercedes S-duct evolution

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While other teams have been busy copying Mercedes' S-duct inlets in the nose cone, the championship team itself was busy further developing its own device. The team have certainly taken inspiration from McLaren's solution of 2016, with an outlet ahead of the kink in the nose cone, and split up by the fairing around the pitot tube.

An image taken today by f1today also shows the clear evolution that Mercedes have done, making the outlet clearly a lot larger than it was on the F1 W07.... Read more

2017 design trends: adoption of the S-duct

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Having been tried, used and developed by several teams in recent history, 2017 finally looks to become the year in which (nearly) all teams add some form of S-duct on their cars. It is a solution which was first pioneered by Ferrari back in 2008. Back then, it was aimed at improving their airflow underneath the nose cone at a time when front wing development was possible in the central section of the wing as well.

The major regulation changes of 2009 removed the possibility for Ferr... Read more

Shark fins and T-wings to be banned on safety grounds?

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Following the launch of the first few cars in launch week, voices were raised that shark fins, engine cover sails, or whatever they would need to be called, should be banned from Formula One. F1 teams themselves didn't agree however, as Red Bull's attempts to get them banned last summer failed, most likely because some teams were already happily exploring the aerodynamic possibilities of such engine cover extensions.

Now, with testing underway, and literally every car underway with ... Read more

Blown wheel hubs continue to be tricky business

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Blown wheel hubs have been adopted by a large number of teams this season, but the feature continues to keep aerodynamicists busy.

At Monza for instance, Red Bull Racing briefly tested an alternative to the open wheel hubs by putting a conical cap inside each front wheel's axle. The cap did appear to have small apertures to still allow some airflow to get through, but clearly much less than what would otherwise be possible. Both cars however were running the usual open hubs in quali... Read more

Haas revives double-waved rear wing at Monza

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The Haas F1 Team drew a lot of attention with its new double-waved, M-like rear wing, a completely unique shape for a modern rear wing in Formula One. It's rare these days to see a rear wing that has a different shape along its entire span, and hardly a surprise that Mercedes have, or at least had the most varying profile with its spoon rear wing, as the ones used at Monza and Spa-Francorchamps. Apart from the need to test it under yaw, such designs are furthermore made difficult by... Read more