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…