Formula One car development blog

Toro Rosso fits rear wing support through exhaust pipe

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Introduced at the Australian Grand Prix and continued in Malaysia, Toro Rosso have designed a unique rear wing support that appears to protrude the engine's exhaust pipe. A central pillar is common to all teams to help support the aerodynamic forces exhibited by the rear wing to assist the rear wing endplates. Usually though, teams design a carbon fibre fork around the centrally mounted exhaust pipe, or otherwise create a carbon fibre mounting within the engine cover, above the exh... Read more

More gills on Williams to manage heat

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With Malaysia being all about heat management, Williams have added new gills on each side of the cockpit to provide additional cooling for the car's internals. Even though this in itself is nothing new, it's interesting to see that Williams appear to have put in some effort in making the fins efficient, arranging them in two rows of variable sizes. It makes us suspect the team won't limit their use to a single Grand Prix.

Note that the area containing the gills is more or less the o... Read more

McLaren adds 2-channel S-duct in car nose

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McLaren is pushing on with aerodynamic development while Honda focuses on getting its power unit up to speed. The most notable update seen on the MP4-30 chassis at Malaysia is the addition of an S-duct in the nose cone, undoubtedly pushed by Petr Prodromou who worked on the feature with Red Bull in recent years.

Similar to the inlet on the Red Bull RB11, air is caught via a wide channel underneath the entire span of the nose cone, with the outer extremities however feeding channels ... Read more

Cockpit edges: to round or not to round?

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Since Toro Rosso introduced their shorter nose cone on the STR10, the team also added long fins on each side of the upper edge of the monocoque. It's a unique feature across all current cars and appears to be aimed at reducing air to spill over the edges of the monocoque.

This can be a particular issue under yaw, for example when the car is turning left. Air that is then flowing left of the monocoque could spill over the edge and end up in the cockpit opening area, one of the least ... Read more

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