Formula One car development blog

Alpine already switching to more compact rear end

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Lots of people were stunned by Alpine's decision to fix a bulky airbox on the A521, but the team have already run their new car today with a new, more compact design that sees the rear end of the car considerably slimmed down. Along with the airbox that now tapers down more more quickly, the sidepod air outlets are smaller, leaving a lot more room low above the car's floor for clean airflow.

As the image shows, Alpine were focusing on front end aero on Friday morning with a rake fit... Read more

Mercedes vs Red Bull - Rear end comparison

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Mercedes's secrecy about their car's floor triggered the interest of many ahead of winter testing. Though the team were perhaps most clear about it, others similarly tried to not reveal too much about the floors, as this area is where teams had to adapt their designs to comply with the modified regulations without losing too much downforce.

The reduced floor width towards the rear wheels meant teams had to redesign an aerodynamic area that is crucial for the efficiency of the diffus... Read more


Mercedes trials chimney via dorsal fin

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The Mercedes F1 W08 was seen in testing at Barcelona with a shark fin that features an opening on top.

This hot air outlet is obviously a trade-off with openings at the back of the car, but may be an interesting development route now that the rear wing is now placed lower, putting it quite a bit below the exit stream of the chimney. In addition, by opening up this cooling outlet up there, Mercedes is able to cut down on venting at the rear of the car, allowing cleaner flow underneat... Read more

F1 2017 explained: Key changes

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The regulation changes for 2017 are quite extensive, to such a measure that many designers have said it's their biggest change they have had to cope with in their careers. Lots of details have changed, but there are a number of highly impacting changes, aimed primarily at increasing downforce and enhance the way a Formula One car looks.

The front wing for instance will feature a swept forward shape while also being wider by 7.5cm each side. The latter provides additional downforce, ... Read more

Ferrari tweaks front wing

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While Mercedes introduced fairly extensive updates on their car's rear wing endplates and barge boards, Ferrari had some upgrades that focused mostly on the front of the car. Apart from a pair of small winglets behind the front suspension, the front wing was modified to further improve airflow control ahead of the front wheels.

Following the trend of pushing as much air as possible outboard of the front wheels, the front wing endplates were modified to feature a curved trailing edg... Read more

New nose and camera mounts for Mercedes

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Mercedes AMG have come out on track today at Barcelona with an updated nose cone, along with new mountings for the camera pods. Even though unconfirmed reports recently noted that the FIA asked Mercedes and Ferrari to revert to more traditional camera mountings, the team have now come up with small vertical carbon fibre supports to mount the cameras even higher above the nose cone. It moves the camera out of the airflow onto the front suspension, whereas the shape of the mounting's ... Read more

A closer look at McLaren's new wheel rims

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McLaren's long term wheel supplier, Enkei, has provided the team with new rims for the 2015 season, or at least the start of it. Finished in matte black, the wheels were on display at Jerez today, showing very different front and rear wheel designs. The reasons for this are obvious, with first of all wider tyres at the rear, but more importantly for their design, much less heat coming from the rear brakes. Due to weight transfer under braking, and the energy recovery system that kic... Read more

Toro Rosso STR9 gets new nose

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Toro Rosso have fitted a new nose cone on their STR9 on Saturday at Bahrain, the penultimate day of testing before the Australian Grand Prix.

It was always a bit odd to see two bulges on each side of the chassis and at the front bulkhead with the detachable nose cone then featuring an entirely flat upper profile. The new design however explains why the bulges were there, as the team now have a nose that features two high arches on each side of the "finger" extension. The arches are ... Read more

Wheel rim coatings to heat the tyres

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Even though it's been known for a while, recent thermal imagery has shown the true effects of rim coatings to manage tyre temperatures. The coatings were first photographed on Mercedes AMG's Advanti wheels, featuring dimples on the inside of the rim as well (inset). Later on, Red Bull was confirmed to also use a similar treatment of their OZ Racing wheels, although in their case the inside of the wheels features grooves rather than dimples. Ferrari meanwhile are said to be coating t... Read more

Ferrari's high downforce Monaco package

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Although the aerodynamic differences are much more subtle than they were 10 years ago, teams are still bringing high downforce packages on their cars at Monaco. Ferrari is no different with a new monkey seat and high downforce rear wing. To indicate how the difference is in the detail, the rear wing used at Monaco is actually nearly identical as Massa's rear wing at the Spanish GP at Barcelona, a track that has a much higher average speed than Monaco. Fernando Alonso on the other ha... Read more