Formula One car development blog

McLaren roll hoop cooling assembly

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Detail pictures of the roll hoop on the McLaren MP4-28 have revealed that the team has largely retained the cooling layout of the 27. Just as on any other current F1 car, the main, somewhat triangular inlet feeds air to the engine required for burning fuel in the cylinders. Contrary to popular belief though, air is not pushed into this inlet, but the engine is sucking air in, reducing the drag penalty a normal cooling inlet would generate.

Underneath this main inlet is a smaller one... Read more

Red Bull 'rubber nose' flexing confirmed

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Red Bull has drawn attention to its flexing front wing again at the recent Abu Dhabi GP. When changing the nose cone of Sebastian Vettel's RB8, it was clear that mechanics could easily bend the nose cone. Footage has also shown that when hitting the kerbs hard, the nose shudders, creating a tilting effect for the front wing.

While this may be new to many, Red Bull's bending nose has been discussed on the f1technical forum since the very first winter tests of this year, and even earl... Read more

Sauber's brake duct development

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Sauber have been furiously at work to develop their car and keep up with the progress other teams are making throughout the season. Considering their pace at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, that does not look like a problem for the Swiss team.

One of the updates used at Monza was a low drag front wing. Contrary to many other teams who ditched the cascading elements on the front wing, Sauber instead chose to apply minor modifications to the red part of their wing. Especially close to th... Read more

Red Bull adopts Helmholtz exhaust chamber

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Pictures taken at Silverstone this weekend have uncovered that Red Bull have adopted or are at least testing an exhaust chamber. Also known as a Helmholz exhaust, the regular exhaust pipe features a blind additional branch which can accumulate exhaust gases when pressure is high in the exhaust pipe. It can then release those gases again when the driver gets off the throttle, hence evening out the pressure differences that occur in the exhaust pipe.

Apart from the evening out in an a... Read more

Red Bull adds bulges on exhaust exit

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Just two weeks after introducing a major rear end upgrade on the RB8, Red Bull have fitted their car with yet another exhaust tweak at Silverstone. This time around the change is small but may have a big effect nonetheless.

The sides of the exhaust channel have been raised to have two small bulges on each side of the channel, trying to keep the exhaust flow from spilling over the sides. Remember that the actual exhaust exit is point 10° upwards, as defined by the regulations. Ever s... Read more

Caterham adds major update to CT01

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Caterham F1 have updated their CT01 with a major new aerodynamic package focusing on the rear end of the car. It is quite obvious the team have found inspiration at McLaren and Sauber as the team have now (finally) also implemented a downwash exhaust that aims to extract more downforce out of the diffuser.

First and foremost, the exhaust is now in a hub similar to what is seen on the McLaren. The exhaust exit is now more rearward and more outboard than it was before. As the hub aims... Read more

Red Bull redesigns tunnel underneath exhaust

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By introducing yet another new sidepod version, Red Bull is the only team that can compete with Ferrari when you consider the number of changes made to the rear end of the sidepods since the beginning of the season.

The team has now changed the tunnel that goes underneath the exhaust ramp, making the inlet much larger than it was in the previous version. Aerodynamic tests on track had shown that the tunnel was not acting as the team expected because airflow through the tunnel was mu... Read more

New front wing for Lotus E20

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Lotus continues its intensive development programme at Barcelona by introducing a new floor, along with this updated front wing. Compared to last year, where Lotus found many updates not working on its car, it seems the team is back on the right track by pushing developments at every venue so far this season. Part of this is thanks to some testing in the Windshear facility in the USA, which Eric Bouillier dubbed as a certain improvement in the development process of the car.

The upd... Read more

McLaren focuses on front end development

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Since their dismal Bahrain GP where the team only caught a mere few points, McLaren have introduced several new parts on its car, mainly on the front end. Team principal Martin Whitmarsh commented earlier this week that regulations are now so strict that there is often more to gain by optimizing the front in order to get more quality air to the rear of the car, rather than actually developing the rear.

Already on Friday at Barcelona, the team's car featured a new, raised nose after ... Read more

Ferrari introduces another new exhaust layout

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As was widely anticipated, Ferrari today debuted another version of its exhausts in an attempt to resolve some of the car's issues that have hampered its drivers to fight at the front during the first 4 races. The change, although quite dramatic compared to what the Ferrari had so far, shows that the Scuderia continues to follow its very own path in this area.

After relentless experimentation with exhausts inside the well known acer ducts, the new design blows the exhaust gases out ... Read more