Formula One car development blog

Even supports are now aerodynamic

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Rear wing supports used to be vertical, flat and rectangular carbon elements placed in the centreline of the car to provide extra strength to the planes of the wing. Nowadays that is no longer the case. Apart from their original means, they are designed as stabilisers for the air passing in between the rear wing endplates. As the arrows on the image show, Super Aguri have also realised this, although it is more like a development coming from Honda Racing F1. The supports will not cr... Read more

Slicing off the front wing

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Toyota have cut their front wing more than any other team. They ran the possibly smallest front wing present in Monza by reducing the second panel to something just big enough for advertisements. Just like with their rear wing, Toyota follow an unconventional way of thinking. Other teams opted for bigger panels that are positioned a bit flatter, while Toyota favour a small element with a higher angle of attack. Theoretically though, the first option is supposed to be more efficient.

Watching rear wings: RBR vs STR

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Just like every other team on the grid, Red Bull (upside of image) and Toro Rosso (downside) have also developed a special rear wing for this event. The lower side of the new wing is similar to the Renault rear wing at the beginning of the season in such that it is at its highest in the middle part of the car. This wing is a clear example of development exchange between the two Red Bull(ish) teams. The complete wing as well as the end plates are identical on both cars. The winglets ... Read more

An eye for detail

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A close look on the rear wing endplate displays a very distinct item not seen at any other team so far. Some variations are obviously used at the competitors but at Monza the leading edge of the endplate was fitted with an extra bend to have an extra bit of air flow around the endplate instead of on the wing itself. This item is likely to work on combination with the slides in the plate to decrease vortices behind the rear wing. Consequently, drag is reduced which is capital at Monza.

McLaren's low-drag front wing

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McLaren and Midland were the only teams at Monza that were running 3 elements on their front wings. All other teams removed a plane to reduce the drag caused by that wing. Apparently though because of the good performance of Raikkonen, the wing seems to have worked well. The third flap was significantly reduced in size as there is a smaller need for downforce at the high speed Monza circuit. The image also shows the end plate of the wing which was stripped of all winglets. McLaren h... Read more

Toyota rear wing philosophy

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Many of the fans and engineers have noticed that the Toyota of this year looks a bit unconventional in a way that it looks quite boxy and that there are lots of small winglets added all over the car. While this was reduced by their new front wing introduced in Turkey, the rear wing is still very much different from any other one. The most important difference is the deep mean camber of the wing. The leading egde actually forces air down towards the lowest point of the wing. This des... Read more

Super Aguri is testing ears too

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The Super Aguri SA06 is still under development and friday saw another new item on the car. While Renault run the ears for about the full season now, SA is testing similar winglets on its car. The item was removed for the race and qualifying as it may have caused unnecesary drag in its current development stages. Compared to the Renault ears they appear to be thicker and pointing out higher above the nosecone. Similar though is the end plate which is remarkable because regular wingl... Read more

Thick nose winglets on Ferrari 248

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As the teams arrived at Monza last week for their testing session and now for the race, Ferrari have added a rather thick winglet at both sides of the nose cone. Similar to all items seen in that area of the car, none of them are aimed to produce downforce but guide air better alongside the car. In fact, the new leading winglet (1) will produce lift. Obviously this airfoil creates drag, but seeing it debut in Monza may indicate it is efficient at high speeds. The second winglet (2) ... Read more

New carbon rim ring on Ferrari

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There has been a lot going on about the carbon rings that were introduced by Ferrari. While it is allowed by the FIA as an aid to help cool the brakes, the dubious element has now evolved in such a way that hardly anyone could state it is not meant for reducing turbulence. The new ring is now larger than ever and seems to only have opening in the middle for wheel changes. Although Toro Rosso and Toyota adopted a ring too, it is surprising how few teams actually copy the device. Coul... Read more

A new front wing at Midland

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Although the 3 week resting period is considered a break, most teams have developed new things. The new front wing on the Midland could not be tested before but results in the windtunnel proved it a worthy new element. The new spoon shape in the middle is now similar to that of BMW's front wing. The lower part of this image displays the new wing and shows an extra horizontal fin was removed from the front wing end plates. Still, the wing has three elements contrary to the front wing... Read more