Formula One car development blog

Another step for BMW's front wing

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BMW have quickly improved over the winter to become the third team in F1. Yet it is not enough and improvements are coming quickly to close the gap with the leading teams. At Barcelona the team had a new main plane ready for the front wing. It was strangely not tested before during the Barcelona test but instead Mario Theissen only made an announcement on Thursday that the team would run a new item Friday morning. The new main plane is more edgy in the middle than before and aims to... Read more

Modified exhaust covers for Renault

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In an attempt to regain some pace from last year, Renault introduced several updates for the Spanish Grand Prix. One of these changes are the modified exhaust covers that are now smaller at the base. The arrow denotes the new version that is designed to improve the airflow towards the rear wing. The smaller base size will decrease the air cooling along with the exhaust pipes but lowers the drag.

Honda grows elephant ears

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From all the updates at Barcelona, Honda came up with the weirdest looking of all. Instead of an added plane on the front wing, Honda have not been looking for front downforce. Instead two giant extensions were developed on top of the nose cone. These are positioned and curved so that they improve airflow towards the driver's helmet and further downward onto the rear wing. As this may affect driver visibility or may be dangerous in case of an accident it is still unsure at this time... Read more

Engine cover update for Ferrari

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Ferrari have released a complete new aero package for the rear of their car during the Barcelona testing. While the team is said to have a brand new cooling system in the car, apparent aerodynamic changes were added to further support the increase in efficiency. The engine cover is now more curved in the upper part. Since FIA regulations state that the airbox must have a specified minimum surface and because Ferrari engineers cut out some carbon in between the rear wheels some surfa... Read more

Red Bull jumps the doubled front wing wagon

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After McLaren showed up at the Spanish test with an upper element on their front wing, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Honda were the only teams that didn't have any form of upper element on their front wings. Spyker and Super Aguri are both running somewhat old fashioned items as the others have elements running from the endplates to the nosecone (or over it in McLaren's case). This new Red Bull wing changes this with a design that appears to be a mixture of the Renault and Williams versi... Read more

McLaren introduce imaginative front wing

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As all teams have brought updates to Barcelona, Ferrari and especially McLaren are catching most sights. The Woking based team have developed a front wing with a "bridged" upper element over the nose cone. While most other teams attach their upper flaps onto the nose cone McLaren may have developed an improvement to that. The new layout obviously has increased potential if air above the nose needs to be conditioned. It also allows changing the angle of attack of it, contrary to the ... Read more

Updated chimney layout for Toyota

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Toyota appeared at yesterday's Barcelona test with an updated chimney. While previously (upper part of the image) it was quite bulky and possibly hindering efficiency of the winglet just behind it, the new one is more curved. Just like about every bodywork element the curves are designed to follow the airflow in order to decrease drag. At Toyota the chimney is still connected to the winglet. The new solution appears to be quite more elegant than the outdated design that was present ... Read more

Renault compromise front aero for tyres

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As of the beginning of tyre testing with Bridgestone, Renault realised the weight bias had to move forward compared to what the team used with Michelin. However, as testing went on, it appeared more was needed, and so the team decided on a redesign of the highly efficient nose to a cone with more internal volume. The nose of the R27 (above part of image) resembles more to the nose of the R25, which afterall was the predecessor of the R26 (lower part of image). The solution that Rena... Read more

New sidepod shields for Spyker

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Spyker was expecting quite a bit of their new aero package this weekend, but due to Sutil not completing a single lap and Albers suffering an engine failure early in the race that potential did not show. Part of the new package is the new sidepod shield as displayed down in the picture. The above part shows the previous item that was used at Australia and resembled very much that fitted on the M16. The new panel is different in a way that it's not anymore meant to create downforce ... Read more

More shark gills for Ferrari

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Ferrari have chosen to add a few shark gills to their sidepods in order to better cool the car down. Although Renault stepped away from the gills last year with the introduction of the V8 engines they still appear to be needed at hot tracks. It is mainly Ferrari now who implement this solution more extensively than Renault or any other team. Since the Ferrari engine isn't particularly known to keep its head cool, we may conclude that the Ferrari chassis does rely less on rear hot ai... Read more