The MP4-30 is very much a revolutionary car for McLaren. Make no mistake, with Honda coming back into Formula 1 as an exclusive supplier to the Woking-based squad, this is a big year for a team that have been busy putting the right people in the right places to succeed again. Aero-wise, Peter Prodromou’s Red Bull influence is already evident on their 2015 challenger and there are plenty of technical details to discuss around the power unit, too.
Starting at the front of the car and it is clear that the entire aerodynamic concept of the MP4-30 is miles from last year’s philosophy. This in turn sets up the rest of the car’s aero characteristics, so you can really see just how much effort has gone into this area to regain ground on the others. Continue reading →
At first glance, you may be fooled into thinking that this year’s Ferrari F1 challenger is no more extraordinary than the (rather ordinary) F14 T of last year. When I first saw the launch photos I was, at first, amazed by the apparent lack of change. Look closer, however, and – especially when comparing it with the 2014 car – the SF15-T becomes more logical and sophisticated.
Ferrari were winless for the first time in two decades in 2014. Ultimately, heads rolled and total restructuring across all departments was made during the early winter. Perhaps the fruits of the upheaval won’t be apparent until 2016 or even 2017, but I get the feeling that the SF15-T is the first Ferrari to really have James Allison’s influence stamped all over it entirely. Continue reading →
After an incredible return to the front end of the grid, Williams hope to consolidate their recent upturn by fighting for more podiums and potentially victories in 2015. Heavy investment (that ultimately put them in debt) last year has indeed paid off as a host of new sponsors join the Martini-striped FW37, a car that looks like a good progression of last year’s concept.
After the first test in Jerez, Williams were joint top of the speed traps (along with Mercedes) despite running on lower power. A recent interview with Pat Symonds revealed that the team have aimed to retain its low-drag characteristics from last year whilst making a good step forward in downforce and early indications suggest this is exactly what they have done. Continue reading →
After reigning supreme for four years on the bounce, Red Bull experienced a rollercoaster 2014. The year started poorly but, despite their problems, they were still able to capitilise on any Mercedes blunders to pick up three victories and finish second in the Constructors’ championship.
However, a lot rides on 2015 being a successful bounce back to form as Renault have effectively jumped on board solely with Red Bull (and Toro Rosso) to create a manufacturer team. With Adrian Newey taking a more relaxed role within the team, this really could be sink or swim time – Newey and his side man Peter Prodromou (who now works as chief aerodynamicist at McLaren) have departed, as has Sebastian Vettel, the man who the entire team was built around.
The RB11 is arguably their boldest car to leave Milton Keynes since the new regulations in 2009. Yes, it is still very much an evolution of last year’s RB10 but there is a lot more ambition about its design. Aware of the fact that Renault have to make up about 20% of their power deficit to even match Mercedes this year, the chassis has a variety of new features aimed at overthrowing the rest of the grid in terms of downforce production. Continue reading →
Mercedes are “out to win” this year’s championship rather than defend their crown, according to senior personnel and two-time World Champion, Lewis Hamilton. They are aware that the opposition – particularly given that in-season power unit development has been allowed – are likely to be making significant gains in performance to catch them. F1 can change very quickly and the seniors at Mercedes know all too well of this.
Improvements have mainly been made within the car to keep them at arm’s length although there are a number of aerodynamic tweaks that have been beneficial. Both drivers have confirmed that there is more downforce on the new W06 than last year’s dominant car, although Jerez is not really the ideal place to be making comparisons given its unique track surface and cool temperatures. Continue reading →
A link to yet another render image analysis for Richland F1, this time of the Mercedes-powered Lotus E23 which you can find here.
The nose solution they have this year is quite interesting – instead of extending a stub out of the main bulk of the nose, Lotus have opted to attach it to the bottom. Of course this limits the amount of flow available into the splitter region but let’s not forget that the ‘chin’ solution has been used by the team before (2009, when they were formerly known as Renault), so they know what they’re doing.
I would say that they’re trying to use the neutral section of the front wing coupled with the chin to accelerate flow and induce a bit of downforce. The nose is also sculpted on each side to invite flow in beneath the chassis, helped by its narrow width. In other words, they could be onto a winner here…
Here is a link to my first impressions on tech in F1 this year by dissecting the early releases from Williams and Force India, which you can find here.
A full analysis of all the cars will be on Richland F1 when they are released, plus a more comprehensive version of the top 5 teams (Mercedes, Red Bull, Williams, Ferrari and McLaren) will be on this blog with a few more drawings. It’s about to get very busy!