Formula One car development blog

Ferrari trial halo-mounted mirrors

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Ferrari showed up at Barcelona with new wing mirror supports. Instead of the attachment to the chassis shoulders, the wing mirrors are linked to the halo. The team have meanwhile also added a winglet just above the mirror housing, perfectly shading the mirror itself when looking at the car from above.

It was only between the Chinese and Azerbaijan Grand Prix that the FIA announced that mirrors could also be attached to the halo. The Technical Directive was a response to the decreasi... Read more

McLaren surprises with unique nose cone

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McLaren didn't disappoint with their much anticipated aerodynamic update to the Renault-powered MCL33. With updates all around the car, the most intriguing changes were done at the front, where an entirely new and unique nose cone has debuted on the car when it was sent to scrutineering on Thursday afternoon.

McLaren was clearly inspired by solutions seen elsewhere, with the team now implementing an open thumb nose, akin to Red Bull Racing's solution to reduce drag created by the ti... Read more

How Ferrari's vented rear view mirrors really work

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A lot has been said about Ferrari's innovative wing mirrors. Changes like this are hard to come by these days in Formula One, but Ferrari have certainly thought out of the box here. While all other teams have their mirror housings as round as possible, to limit drag created by them, Ferrari's items feature a small gap all around the actual mirror. The traditional mirrors guide all air around the housing, whereas with Ferrari's new design, some airflow flows through the housing.

Whil... Read more

Red Bull sort out bargeboard panels

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In what continues to be a crucial area of aerodynamic development, Red Bull Racing turned up in Australia with an improved version of their barge board panels, which make up for a quite complicated set-up, even this early in the season. Thanks to the stable regulations, teams are happily continuing the development paths of last year, even though further downstream, Red Bull's high sidepod inlets are a big change compared to their 2017 RB13.

Still, the barge boards were complex at th... Read more

Pirelli escapes trouble with standing waves in tyres

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It was just 2 years ago when Pirelli attracted some negative publicity with tyre cuts at the same Spa-Francorchamps when on Friday and Saturday, images revealed considerable standing waves in the rear tyres of some cars. It's a known phenomenon, but the intensity of it at Spa even left some top engineers without explanations.

Perhaps the most obvious occurrence was the one on Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes F1 W08. As he exited the chicane and powered up onto the start finish straight, th... Read more

Internals of Ferrari's 2014 water-to-air intercooler exposed

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Thanks to the bankrupty and public sale of some assets of the former Marussia F1 Team, we now get to take a very up-close look at some of the car's parts from 2014. Peter Bjorck for instance has bought a number of Ferrari engine parts, including the water-to-air intercooler and the unique butterfly wastegate from the Ferrari 059/3 engine as it ran during the 2014 season, the first year of the new hybrid turbo engines in F1.

In the below clip, Peter walks us through the intercooler, ... Read more

Mercedes kicks off the development war

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The Spanish GP is usually the venue of the introduction of the first significant development packages of a season. This year, Red Bull was expected to launch a heavily upgraded car after its woeful start to this year’s campaign. The energy drink-owned team brought some aerodynamic changes to its challenger, but it was Mercedes that drew most of the attention to itself by a major front end aerodynamic update.

The biggest change visually is the car's narrow nose, which obviously had t... Read more

Mercedes S-duct evolution

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While other teams have been busy copying Mercedes' S-duct inlets in the nose cone, the championship team itself was busy further developing its own device. The team have certainly taken inspiration from McLaren's solution of 2016, with an outlet ahead of the kink in the nose cone, and split up by the fairing around the pitot tube.

An image taken today by f1today also shows the clear evolution that Mercedes have done, making the outlet clearly a lot larger than it was on the F1 W07.... 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

2017 design trends: adoption of the S-duct

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Having been tried, used and developed by several teams in recent history, 2017 finally looks to become the year in which (nearly) all teams add some form of S-duct on their cars. It is a solution which was first pioneered by Ferrari back in 2008. Back then, it was aimed at improving their airflow underneath the nose cone at a time when front wing development was possible in the central section of the wing as well.

The major regulation changes of 2009 removed the possibility for Ferr... Read more