Formula One car development blog

Preventing airflow interference to the limit

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On some of the highest speed circuits of the calendar, it is important to have as low drag as possible. The best way to do that without compromising downforce is by tweaking winglets and panels to guide air without interfering with it. McLaren have done so by cutting out a slice of the sidepod panel. The new design - in the upper part of the image - allows more air to flow around the chimney instead of being squeezed in the inside of the sidepod panel.

Cooling tweaks with Ferrari

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Just like their new front wing, Ferrari made several circuit specific changes. First of all the brake ducts have been sized up compared to the previous races. The Circuit Gilles Villeneuve is notorious for its braking requirements and many teams have experienced problems before due to insufficient braking. The second mark points at a much talked about vane added to the upright of the front wheels. It could be considered an unsprung aerodynamic device and it remains unclear why other... Read more

Upswing in Williams rear wing

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In recent years, teams moved from straight, horizontal elements on their rear wings to curves in all possible ways. This year several teams, including McLaren, Red Bull and Renault have opted for simpler wings in their medium downforce configurations. Williams and Ferrari on the other hand are the exemptions on this rule. The British team have now developed a wing that sweeps up in the centre of the car. It mimics the design of a Renault wing at Bahrain 2006. The design aims to gene... Read more

One plane less on Ferrari front wing

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In an attempt to decrease drag all over the car, Ferrari chose to create a special front wing that only has 2 main planes and the additional doubled element. Such a design will decrease the amount of induced drag and is particularly more efficient when the wing is configured to not generate as much downforce as during previous races. From the top teams, Ferrari is the only team to have switched from 3 to 2 planes if you leave out the 2.5 plane wing as seen at BMW Sauber - who on the... Read more

Renault remove midwing for topspeeds

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The mid wing that Renault had just introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix has again been removed from the car after only two appearances. With 2 tracks ahead that require high top speeds, the team opted to remove the wing in favour of the reduced drag. The reduction in downforce is not an issue for Canada or the American GP since a medium to low downforce configurations are used for the wings too. The image on the left shows the locations where the wing was previously attached. It is ... Read more

BMW develop front wing endplates

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After having introduced their new front wing at the Spanish GP, the team have already come up with an evolution of the end plates. The new endplate in fact very much resembles that as seen on their old front wing, races at the first 3 races of this year. At Spain however, the endplate extended higher at the front, meaning that is also acted as the endplate of the upper front wing panel. At Monaco, the front height was reduced and the upper front wing panel being a part of it, much a... Read more

Honda update year-old ears

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Back in 2006 when the Honda did not perform as well as expected at the beginning of the season, the team developed special ears located close to the cockpit. The curved panels - upper part of the image - directed more air into the sidepods and removed some turbulence around the cockpit. The panels survived the winter and were on the current RA107 until now. Honda have now added flow conditioner wings, much alike those at Renault. Contrary however to their French colleagues, Honda ad... Read more

Rear winglet addition for increased downforce

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As with any other team at Monaco, McLaren have sought for solutions to increase downforce with a minimal drag penalty. They have come up with an extra winglet fixed in between the central rear wing supports. The new item simply doesn't stretch the whole rear wing because of the technical regulations. Due to its small size, it will only add a tiny bit of downforce to the rear end of the car while not adding too much drag. In fact the winglet will cooperate with the rear wing just abo... Read more

Toyota optimise podvane for downforce

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Toyota is obviously lacking downforce and overall grip at Monaco, even after several updates. The team introduced a new rear and front wing and have altered their sidepod vanes by adding a winglet on the inside of the panel. The upper part of the image shows the assembly at the time of the Malaysian GP where the vane is built for flow conditioning, similar to BMW, Ferrari and McLaren. The new item in the lower part of the image has a smaller vane and added winglet, similar to what B... Read more

Renault follow midwing trend

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In an urgent challenge to improve the performance of their R27, Renault have followed suit with McLaren and Ferrari to add a mid-wing. The two leading teams have been running these since the beginning of the season, and Renault introduced the item in Spain. It still proves to be useful for a high downforce circuit like Monaco. Contrary to what some may expect, the mid-wing itself is not designed to generate but instead helps to improve airflow onto the rear wing, thereby increasing ... Read more