Formula One car development blog

Toyota focus on aerodynamics in suspension

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While a focus on aerodynamics in mechanical parts of the car may sounds like a contradiction, it can greatly reduce drag. The new TF108 certainly stands out from previous Toyota cars as it has been improved and simplified all over the body. As marked in the picture, the new version is still a zero keel suspension-wise but has turning vanes extending on the keels. All suspension arms have also been revised (you can see the old version in the inset) while the geometry has remained lar... Read more

Melting the sidepod shield into the car

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McLaren have once again found a novelty in the sidepod development. While last year they were the first to connect the well known chimney (hot air exhaust atop of the sidepod), the MP4-23 has the most elegant sidepod shield seen thus far. While previous versions were more of an attachment to the sidepod, the new iteration is seemingly a melted part that came loose of the sidepod. The design extends the sidepod at the bottom to allow more air to pass around the sidepod and onto the d... Read more

Thorough skimming of the airbox on MP4-23

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While Ferrari have adjusted their airbox to protrude a little more to the front, McLaren have taken a different approach with a similar purpose. In fact the team chose to cut out some bodywork just behind the driver's helmet. Clearing up the area under the airbox allows to reduce some drag caused by the turbulent air caused by the cockpit opening and the helmet. Since the roll hoop is incorporated into the airbox and is required to be very rigid, the connections that protrude the ne... Read more

Ferrari F2008 keeps weight low and in front

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In between the front wheels is where the real improvements have been made to the F2008. First of all, aerodynamic gains have been made to the nose cone which has its shape defined by the upward airflow from the front wing (1). Similar to the F2007, the zero keel was retained (3) while a central hung mass still helps for a low and forward centre of gravity. In fact Ferrari have discovered it should be even more forward. The team therefore added guiding vanes (4) and (5). The plates a... Read more

Ferrari copy Toyota front wing on F2008

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Ferrari have shown with their F2008 that copying isn't something to be ashamed of. The new Ferrari front wing is very similar to the one that Toyota introduced mid-season in 2007. At that time is was a competely new concept to extend the nose cone to the upper front wing elements. Apparently they have made quite some impression at Maranello. Aerodynamically the implementation is similar to the thickening of the suspension arms at the chassis connection points. Having a smooth transi... Read more

First new rear wing in ages for Spyker

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Spyker F1 was again running their Turkey spec rear wing at Fuji this weekend, the first with a curved mainplane for the team this year. In fact it appears as if Spyker have hardly done any development on their rear wing until getting Mike Gascoyne aboard and developing the B-spec car. Back in Turkey however the wing was fitted on the F8-VII and it debuts here on the F8-VII B. While most other teams are already heavily focused on next year, Spyker is continuing to get comfortable wit... Read more

Toyota copy Ferrari's wheel fairing

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It finally didn't take too long for a team to copy the front wheel fairing from Ferrari. The Scuderia introduced it at Silverstone in its initial form. Toyota now have a similar system with a carbon plate that does not rotate with the wheel itself. As a result, the brake exhaust is always sent downwards to the rear of the car. The location is very similar but Ferrari have a more advanced system in that it has guiding vanes inside the plate opening to further improve airflow. Sooner ... Read more

Development push at Spyker

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As part of their latest B-spec car, Spyker is pushing development by introducing several new bits. One of them is this new front wing endplate. It comes together with a new front wing but especially features a winglet that is curved down (as marked by the arrow). All other teams also have a similar element on their end plates but their implementation is a simple plain element without curvature. Basically such items to the endplate help reduce induced drag from the front wing tips ah... Read more

McLaren's plastic surgery: relocating ears

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McLaren have updated the cockpit ears by repositioning them to the height of the sidepods. It remains to be seen if this is a measure taken for Monza only or if this will be a permanent development. The winglet itself has largely retained the same shape with a rounded outer edge to decrease induced drag. To further improve on that side effect, the trailing edge of the stabiliser tips are neutral towards the airflow. In effect this winglet will do the same as in its previous location... Read more

New Monza nose cone for low downforce

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After introducing a new nose cone and front wing at Turkey, the Toyota team have already a new wing ready for the very low downforce requirements at Monza. In fact the race version (lower image) follows a front wing with the older nose cone (upper image). Toyota have been planning a new nose to improve the car's general spec while also developing a low downforce front wing for Monza. As the low downforce wing was just ready for testing, it was not adopted to the new nosecone until 7... Read more