Technical: Teams commit to high-downforce rear wings in Monaco

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The majority of the teams have elected to use a high-downforce rear wing this weekend as the sport prepares itself for the narrow streets of the challenging Monaco circuit. F1Technical's senior writer Balazs Szabo analyses teams' rear wing choice for the slowest race track of the F1 schedule.

The 19-corner Monaco circuit is the slowest track on the F1 calendar, and with its narrow streets, bumpy surface and the proximity of the walls, the layout makes very different demands of an F1 car.

Despite the fact that this race is run at the slowest average speed of the year, in some sections speeds can get close to the 300 km/h mark.

At its widest point, the track is just 10 metres across, which means that drivers often flirt with the barriers, and they sometimes brush the walls with the shoulder of the tyres. The skill is in doing this without breaking anything on the car is what can make a big difference in Monaco.

With the track only featuring a single full-throttle section, the penalty of running a steeper rear wing is small, and it is therefore not surprising that most of the teams have opted to use a high-downforce configuration for this weekend.

As seen on the pictures posted by respected journalist Albert Fabrega, it has emerged that Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Aston Martin, Mercedes, Visa RB, Alpine and Williams have all elected to use a high-downforce rear wing.

Interestingly, the flap of the rear wing of the RB20, MCL38 and the AMR24 sports a V-shaped cut-out. There is a slight difference in that as McLaren opted to use only a small cutout while Red Bull and Aston Martin elected to run a more aggressively-designed version.

By contrast, Ferrari, Mercedes, Williams, Visa RB and Alpine will run a more conventional, linear edge without any cut-outs.

Mercedes stands out with its main plane design. While other teams run a U-shaped main plane, Mercedes appears to have arrived in Monaco with the biggest mainplain which only features a concave curve near the endplate to please the technical regulation.

Mercedes' choice is not surprising after the team run a relatively high downforce rear wing in Imola as they intend to calm down the rear of their W15 with a high-drag rear wing assembly.

As far as the aggressively-designed separation of the flap and the endplate is concerned, teams are divided. Mercedes, Visa RB, Alpine, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren have opted for an aggressive separation with which the teams try to help manipulate airflow in this area of the car. By contrast, Aston Martin and Williams brought a rear wing that sports a much smoother connection between the tip section and the flap juncture.

For Ferrari, the Monaco Grand Prix will be crucial as the Scuderia introduces a completely new, high-downforce rear wing at the Monaco GP. Although the first seven races took place on very different tracks, the Scuderia has used the same rear wing design for the opening part of the season, only adjusting the beam wing specification.

Last week, Ferrari brought a comprehensive suit of upgrades to its home race in Imola which included modifications to the rear wing's endplate and main plane link, but these changes were applied to the existing rear wing design.