Formula One car development blog

Williams revives shark gills for cooling

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Williams introduced a new cooling solution on its FW36 this weekend at Germany by adding a series of small apertures on the legality fin of the airbox cover. The small extension on the airbox cover is there only to fit the minimum area rules of the bodywork, but Williams have found a new use by creating fins to provide engine cooling.

Many teams have small apertures in this area for cooling, but Williams' solution surely is elaborate. The team have seemingly chosen to use shark gill... Read more

McLaren backtracks on suspension blockers

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Along with its brand new front wing, brake duct modifications and floor edge updates, McLaren changed the configuration of the rear of its MP4-29 in Austria. A new diffuser was part of the car's aerodynamic upgrade package, featuring different curves at the outer extremities, allowing for a little more expansion in the diffuser. The winglet sloping around the edge of the diffuser has now been cut back, making it a very similar configuration to the diffuser that the team ran in the r... Read more

New sidepods just the beginning for Toro Rosso

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Toro Rosso have introduced new sidepods on their STR9, removing the curvature on top of the sidepod in favour of a new, more gradual slope towards the rear suspension. Looking from the back of the car it is obvious what the team have tried to achieve as the hot air exits are now closer to the floor, converging towards a design used by Red Bull and Mercedes AMG. In fact, more and more teams are going this direction as Force India had a similar sidepod update, leaving McLaren to be th... Read more

McLaren introduces shapely new front wing

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As part of a fairly large aerodynamic update for its MP4-29, McLaren have introduce a long overdue front wing update, getting rid of the rather bulky previous design that looked dated in comparison to items seen on front running cars.

The new front wing only appears to have the leading edge of the base plane and parts of the endplates in common with its predecessor, but other than that everything is new. Still a three-element wing, the insides of the flaps have considerably changed,... Read more

Force India tweaks front wing design

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Sahara Force India have introduced a considerably aerodynamic upgrade for its VJM07 at Austria, including several front wing tweaks. As indicated in the image comparison, the front wing endplates now have one additional separate turning vane in an attempt to get more airflow outboard of the front wheels. The underside of the endplates have also slightly changed, dropping an edgy curve in favour or a nicely rounded profile.

Interestingly, the team have also opted to move the attachme... Read more

Ferrari trial revised bodywork

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Ferrari have introduced a considerable upgrade package for their F14 T in Montreal, including a new floor and this more apparent new bodywork. Fernando Alonso was seen on track with the new bodywork layout while at the same time Kimi Raikkonen ran with the older configuration, allowing the team to do immediate comparisons in the pitlane and back in Maranello.

The update includes the removal of the air outlet around the exhaust, allowing for sleeker upper bodywork. The tradeoff are s... Read more

Ferrari's new Spanish rear wing assembly

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In an attempt to resolve its unstable rear end, Ferrari introduced a new rear wing assembly in the Spanish Grand Prix, following comparison tests during Friday's FP1 with the older twin pillar layout. On Saturday, both cars featured the displayed single pillar rear wing, a design including a curve around the exhaust pipe and a single, central pillar to provide support to the rear wing.

Ferrari previously ran two pillars with fairly long chords connecting to the bottom of the rear wi... Read more

McLaren brings new diffuser to Spain

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McLaren have fitted a brand new rear diffuser to its two MP4-29's, featuring more rounded profiles on each outer extremity, following an aerodynamic trend that was started by Red Bull Racing during the winter tests. Along the rounded edges is an additional winglet that previously used to be only as wide as the horizontal upper edge of the diffuser. The change will particularly help air extraction at each side of the diffuser, allowing for more expansion into the wake of the rear tyr... Read more

Sauber sheds weight with major car upgrade

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Among the many updates, Sauber have probably introduced the most comprehensive upgrade package of the entire field in Spain with a long awaited upgrade that is set to get the car down to the minimum weight limit. Word has it that the team's update reduces the car's entire weight by around 15kg, making sure that with Gutierrez behind the wheel, the car is now no longer overweight. For Adrian Sutil however that is still far from the case as the German is approximately 10kg heavier tha... Read more

Ferrari revives the blown wheelnut

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Ferrari have revived the blown wheelnut system by racing it at today's Chinese Grand Prix. Tried at the two day Bahrain test 2 weeks ahead of the Chinese race, the team found its system to be beneficial in managing front tyre wake.

Part of the system are much larger brake inlet scoops, fetching air flowing over the front wing. This is then directed through the wheel hub and exited via new open wheel nuts on the outside of the wheel. This means air is pushed from a high pressure area... Read more