Formula One car development blog

Ferrari puts new front wing in use at Melbourne

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Come the third and final pre-season winter test at Barcelona, Ferrari brought along a new front wing for the SF15-T. For me the SF15-T has the fundamentals of a great front wing, as long as they develop on the concept over the course of the season. As expected, the new wing was used on both cars in Melbourne, but clearly Ferrari only introduced it at the final test to maximise development time.

The old wing (inset) had a three element cascade unit with a north mounted turning vane o... Read more

Short nose and new front wing add downforce on STR10

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Toro Rosso have introduced a big update to their STR10, including a brand new front wing and a shortened nose cone. It is understood that the car's longer nose cone was initially designed as a base to get through the crash tests and get testing, while the team subsequently focused on what is generally considered a better aerodynamic solution. Two technical heads have confirmed to me that the shorter nose is indeed a better solution, admitting that this has to do with the flow coming... Read more

The revival of the blown wheel nut

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Jerez pre-season testing has definitely seen somewhat of a revival for the blown wheel nut, seeing that three of the major teams have introduced the system into their cars. All three of them also seem set to keep going with it, as none of these cars were seen with closed wheel nuts (yet).

Williams debuted this idea in 2013 on its Williams FW35, designed by Mike Coughlan. Having run it for the entire season, Williams opted against it in 2014. Is certainly triggered some interest with... Read more

Lotus debuts 2015 nose concept

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Lotus have unveiled their new 2015 nose concept, set to be tested in FP1 by one of their drivers. The team was undecided on Thursday who would debut it.

The design is the result of development for the team's 2015 car, named E23 Hybrid, and reflects the changed regulations that will effectively outrule the team's current twin tusk nose cone. Lotus have said they don't expect their interim nose to work effectively just yet, given that is has not been designed to work with the E22, but... Read more

Toro Rosso adds S-duct in new nose

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Toro Rosso have come to Japan with a new nose cone on their STR9, which notably also included an S-duct inspired by Red Bull Racing. The car's new nose is much thinner on the lower side, now featuring a short bulb at the very front to meet the regulations while minimizing the obstruction to airflow underneath the nose cone. The previous 'finger nose' was much thicker and was an essential part of the front crash structure, whereas the new one has its crash structure starting further ... Read more

Lotus trim tiny rear wing for top speed

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Lotus were seen racing at Monza with the smallest rear wing of any car. The team created a Monza-only rear wing, another alteration of the already fairly skinny rear wing seen at Spa-Francorchamps. The wing retains the V-shape in the middle of the wing, but different to most wings, the Monza spec does not extend to the maximum allowed height. Instead the upper flap is trimmed down, before a removable gurney flap was added. The nature of the wing also allowed the team to remove any r... Read more

Williams low-drag rear wing for Monza

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Similar to most other teams, Williams have introduced a new, one-off rear wing to adapt to the requirements of the Monza Autodrome. Focusing on top speed, drag shedding is the easiest with a smaller rear wing, given that the rear wing generates much more drag per point of downforce compared top the diffuser. This also explains why teams are never modifying their diffuser, simply because it's more efficient and probably more complicated to alter as well.

The new rear wing fitted in t... Read more

Mercedes keep advantage with aero updates

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Mercedes introduced a considerable update package at Spa, making sure they kept their advantage to the competition. Possibly the most important of those updates was the revamp of the car's nose cone which required a new crash test. The new solution is smaller at its bottom and also slightly higher at the top - note how the supports for the cameras have become shorter. This not only gave aerodynamic gains, but according to G. Piola this also helped to reduce weight, a feature that wa... Read more

Caterham debuts new nose cone

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It's a God's gift, Caterham's new nose cone on the CT05. While the visual appearance may not have been the top priority for the team in terms of aerodynamic development, the modified nose cone is a whole lot better looking that before. True, it could still be better, but such as the rules that strange looking noses are currently a good solution to keep airflow underneath the nose.

In any case, Caterham did not change much to the concept of its car, retaining the matte black cone tha... Read more

Force India continues to switch between engine covers

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One month ago, at the Austrian Grand Prix, Force India introduced a major aerodynamic upgrade package on its VJM07, including a modified nose cone and different bodywork around the engine and exhaust. The difference is obvious around the "Claro" logo when comparing the Canadian specification to the car running at Silverstone. Tighter packaging is an obvious aerodynamic advantage and proved possible even while retaining the location of the oil cooler above the exhaust pipe, fed by th... Read more