Formula One car development blog

Mercedes follows Lotus to trial DRD

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Mercedes have tested a new evolution of the passive DRS, more commonly known as drag reduction device. The team trialled it on Nico Rosberg's car early in FP1 before removing it to get on with more conventional development work. Last week, Lotus also revived its DRD and even debuted it in the race on Kimi Raikkonen's car.

Mercedes' new version clearly underwent development since the Barcelona winter test where the team last tried it. The car configuration with DRD features an additi... Read more

Lotus gets DRD race-ready at Silverstone

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Lotus are set to give 'the device' its race debut at Silverstone. The ducting system, more commonly known as DRD (Drag reduction device) is fitted on Kimi Raikkonen's car. At a time when other teams have seemingly given up all hope of racing it, despite Mercedes, Red Bull and Sauber testing similar designs during winter testing, Lotus is pushing ahead.

The system contains two separate inlet channels, one from the airbox itself, and one other. In Lotus case, this is indeed the airbox... Read more

Skinnier bodywork on Lotus E21

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Lotus have introduced a new bodywork package on their E21 which appears to be a lot skinnier ahead of the rear wing. While Raikkonen was still running the old package, a few times even with DRD, Grosjean's E21 had this new package which looks unsuited for DRD, even though the inlets are still present.

One of the most interesting bits is the outlet of the sidepod's hot air. Where most teams aim to dump that close to the floor or through a Red Bull style funnel ahead of the monkey sea... Read more

Red Bull drop nose bulge as Ferrari add one

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In an interesting turn of events, Red Bull Racing have introduced a different nose cone for its RB9 at Canada, one that drops a bulge underneath the nose that was added on the RB8 back in Singapore 2012. Right now, when Ferrari is testing its own nose bulge for the first time, Red Bull crucially drop it, opting for a very flat nosecone.

At the same time, the cameras have also been moved from the tip of the nose to a more traditional position just ahead of the upper front suspension ... Read more

Ferrari busily testing new nose and front wing

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Ferrari were extremely busy testing several aerodynamic configurations of its F138 during the first practice sessions of the Canadian Grand Prix weekend. Some of the switched components include a new nose with bulge underneath, a lower downforce front wing and the sidepod panels that curve over the top of the sidepods. All this in combination with the longer vs shorter sidepods, something that the team have trouble with deciding which is in fact the best option to go for. Even both ... Read more

High downforce rear wing on RB9

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Contrary to several other teams that focus on introducing major upgrade packages at once, Red Bull is steadily improving its car by adding small changes each and every Grand Prix. At Monaco, the team had a new rear wing endplate, copying a feature that was debuted by Williams and later also copied by Marussia and McLaren.

The vertical opening close to the leading edge of the endplate creates a small vertical aerofoil with the aim to pull more air in between the endplates. The lower ... Read more

McLaren completes car upgrades at Monaco

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McLaren have effectively rounded completed their string of updates by running its new front wing at the Monaco Grand Prix. Following the introduction of a large number of performance updates, the front wing was brought in late on Saturday at the Spanish Grand Prix and was only tested in the final practice session.

At Monaco however, the MP4-28 featured all updates seen at Spain. Among those are a new rear wing which includes a curved endplate with strakes on the outside, similar to ... Read more

Williams test 2012 parts on FW35

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Pastor Maldonado was seen running in the Williams FW35 featuring the stepped nose and front wing of last year's FW34. Williams have lost the direction for its aerodynamic development, and as updates do not bring the expected progress, the team is now checking the efficiency of the car with better known elements, such as the 2012 nose cone and a front wing used late in the 2012 season.

Mike Coughlan, the team's technical director said "We were running different parts across the two c... Read more

Toro Rosso implements own exhaust ramp

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Toro Rosso have perhaps introduced the biggest update package of all teams at Barcelona, with the STR8 now being fitted with a new ramp style exhaust. The team have however not exactly copied any of the existing designs but instead opted to go their very own way and come up with a very special ramp.

Previously the team had an exhaust more similar to that of McLaren, but the new version should help draw the exhaust gases down better, or at least in a more controlled way. Just like wi... Read more

McLaren adopts bridged sidepod panel

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McLaren have pinpointed their problems of 2013 to a problematic correlation of wind tunnel data and struggling to get a persistent airflow around the Pirelli tyres, which are now flexing differently than last year. Jonathan Neale even likened their problems to those at Ferrari last year, saying the Scuderia people will surely know how it feel to be in the position McLaren is currently in.

As a first step to resolve some car problems, the team introduced a modified sidepod panel that... Read more