Formula One car development blog

Generating downforce with a chimney

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Having in mind that Malaysia is one of the hottest venues of the year and therefore requiring lots of cooling, one may ask himself why Williams is not opening up their chimney more instead of having the exhaust area decreased. The basic reasoning behind this is the aerodynamic effect of the chimney itself, which by its shape forms a Bernouilli wing. It creates downforce as the air underneath moves faster than above. It is however a questionable approach which Williams is using for s... Read more

New rear wing for Red Bull

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Red Bull have used the Malaysian test last week to improve their aerodynamic package, resulting in a new rear wing. The lower image shows the wing that was used by both Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing in Australia. The new wing is not curved up anymore in the middle but instead has a dropping leading edge all over the span of the wing, except for both ends where they are a bit cut off. As seen with other teams too, the trailing edge of the upper element has been cut off towards the e... Read more

Bridgestone to paint tyre grooves white

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Bridgestone have been thinking of ways to mark the option tyres so that they are visibly while the cars are driving. The Australian race showed that the big white circle painted on the sidewalls of the tyres was not a very good solution. Two alternatives were tested in Sepang. One consisted of a bigger red dot on the sidewalls, while the other was to paint one of the tyre grooves white. As the image shows this is by far the better solution. Bridgestone has therefore decided to use t... Read more

McLaren develops 4 mirror system

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McLaren continue to develop their new mirrors located hidden behind the front wheels. Lewis Hamilton's car was first seen with the two extra mirrors at the latest Bahrain test. While the usual mirrors were still present, the outboard ones were fitted to the sidepod vane. It was a similar solution to what Renault had come up with. The similarities continue however as during the Sepang test, the outboard mirrors had an extra support to prevent the mirrors from shaking under high speed... Read more

Super Aguri puts on Honda front wing

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Although the newest Super Aguri is definitely a derivative from the Honda RA106, the team have developed the aero package over the winter. One of these new things included a new double front wing. The lower part of the image shows the new wing. It has a surprisingly flat upper panel compared to the Renault or Ferrari versions. The drivers hit the track with it on Friday but later in the weekend switched to another, simpler wing. The upper image is the front wing driven in the race a... Read more

Renault adds extra mirror support

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As reported earlier in this blog, Renault have integrated their rear view mirrors onto the sidepod panel. Ferrari gave the example of hiding the mirrors behind the front wheels in 2006 after which several teams adopted the idea in their 2007 competitors. The initial Renault design as it appeared at the launch and winter tests apparently proved a little too weak in order to maintain good driver visibility at high speeds. The team have therefore added a small extra support for the mir... Read more

Changing camera positions to gain a millisecond

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All aerodynamicists in F1 agree that these days the performance gains come in details, rather than revolutionary designs. Now McLaren have relocated the front nose camera position to gain an extra bit of speed. Ferrari have also adjusted the location of the camera so that it would not prevent the front wing from working efficiently. In fact one might even think that it helps the front wing in some cases. Since engines are now hardly different in terms of power output, every little a... Read more

Let the tweaking begin

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As Bahrain was the final test before the start of the season, teams had to finalise their setup for the initial GP at Australia. Unsurprisingly that led to aerodynamic changes all over the cars, with Scuderia Toro Rosso adding an extra fin on the front wing endplates. Knowing that simple changes of the FWEP can lead to downforce differences up to 5% of the overall it is obviously an area of focus for the teams. The extra fin and the lower plane of this end plate are bent up slightly... Read more

Toyota go modern with front wing

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Finally Toyota have got rid of their front wing that was seemingly composed of an unmatched series of flaps. Instead the team now follows suit with Ferrari, Renault and Williams by introducing an extra wing above the base panel, spanning from the nose to the end plate. The design is similar, although the attachments to the nose cone appear to be well thought out. While Renault have opted for small attachments points on the upper side of the nose, the Toyota design features more stra... Read more

Spyker reintroduce WRC rear wing

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Formula One car design today is basically to optimise the car's bodywork in order to make the wings and the diffuser work as efficient as possible. The slightest change in the rear wing can quickly induce an important downforce or drag change. Spyker tried to do so by bending the end plates towards the outer sides of the car. This will cause air under the wing to flow faster. Since faster air directly means lower pressure, the downforce generated by the rear wing will be increased. ... Read more