2015 is just around the corner and, for the second year running, I have drawn up some predictions as to what we could see next season. The new nose regulations will make a noticeable difference to the appearance of the cars next year – gone are the ‘finger’ (or ‘anteater’ or whatever you want to call them!) appendages and in their place will be designs similar to that on the Mercedes/Ferrari or Williams, depending on how the engineers interpret the rules.
Above is my side and plan views of my 2015 prediction (see my 2014 prediction for comparisons). I’ve gone for an evolutionary approach, so the key concepts of the car remain the same.
Starting with the nose, the tip lies as far back as the regulations allow, which is 50mm further forward than 2014. The tip is stubbed and narrow, before expanding – across 100mm horizontally – to a much wider section, as prescribed by the regulations. The nose then tapers linearly back to the front bulkhead, again this is needed to meet the new rules.
I expect the sidepods to become neater versions of what we have seen this year, with a bit more bottle-necking at the rear as the teams get on top of cooling requirements. I have kept the three outlets by the cockpit for this reason, as well as adding a slot near the rear of the engine cover.
The slot in the floor ahead of the rear tyre should be another intriguing area of development as there appears to be no ideal solution given that every team manages the rear tyre wake differently to one another depending on how their diffuser functions. However I have gone with the ‘S’ shaped slot which Red Bull pioneered and which McLaren have adopted.
As the weight limit has been increased for 2015 I believe more teams could opt to mount their rear wing to the car via the wing’s endplates rather than traditional, lighter pylons. This makes the wing’s surface more aero efficient and also reduces drag slightly by decreasing blockage.
Other than these changes I do not expect anything spectacular but it’s F1, so expect the unexpected! Perhaps other teams will try out their own version of the tubercles rear wing McLaren were using during the latter stages of 2014 as it is an efficient way of reducing drag whilst retaining downforce levels. A lot of attention should surround the Y100 monkey seat winglet, too, as F1 begins to harness the potential of interacting exhaust gases with the rear wing.
More 2015 illustrations will follow soon.