Category Archives: 2013 Highlights

Technical Highlights from each round of the 2013 F1 season

2013 Spanish GP Tech Highlights

Decided to do this tonight as I will have no time on Monday (exams are kicking off, so apologies for lack of content). Here’s all you need to know about the latest updates from F1 as the European leg of the season begins…

McLaren

After three weeks away, McLaren promised fans that they would bring a raft of new parts to Barcelona to try to drag themselves back up the grid after a dismal start to the season.

According to McLaren Motorsport Director Jonathan Neale, correlation issues between the data seen in the wind tunnel and the results shown on track has been their burden to the start of the season, an almost identical situation to what Ferrari were faced with this time last year. This surprised me as the MTC (McLaren Technology Centre) facilities are state-of-the-art, unlike Ferrari’s which are a fair bit older.

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We start with their new sidepods. Atop of the bodywork McLaren have reintroduced two vertical fences that generate vortices down the length of the sidepod. The fences are very curved, stroking outwards towards the shoulder of the pod – the leading edge is much further inward.

This suggests to me that they are picking up much cleaner air near the cockpit and are directing it towards the new bulge that runs along the outer edge (similar to the Mercedes), rather than placing the fences on the outer edge and guiding already turbulent flow from the tyre wake.

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Also evident in this image is the new curvature to the sidepod airflow conditioner, the vertical vane that runs in parallel to the length of the pod. The top of this vane is curved over and attached to the shoulder of the pod, alongside the outer vortex generator. This aids flow around the bodywork and allows it to stay attached to the surface.

All these processes, including the vertical fences, enhance the downwash upon the exhaust plume that all the teams are exploiting this season.

The actual profile of the sidepods has been changed signficantly. Not only do they feature the new outer bulge, but the whole bodywork has effectively been “shrink wrapped” to the car, outlining the very skeleton of the car. Slimming down, if you like…

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Also new is the updated rear wing. The MP4-28 has followed Lotus and Ferrari by adding strakes (three) that lie along the endplate (see above and below the number ‘5’). These are aimed at reducing the disturbance of tyre wake/squirt upon the wing and also help the downforce producing devices on the brake ducts to work harder.

The endplates themselves have also been modified. The profile has changed, in that the trailing edges now flick outwards, much like the shape of a gurney flap (see here for information about gurney flaps http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gurney_flap) and the top edge has been rounded, much like on the Lotus.

The strakes that hang beneath the wing have been accounted for, seven vertical pieces have been added to expand flow out of the diffuser area and also reduce the effects that tyre squirt has upon the outer area of the diffuser. These devices help other main components produce more downforce rather than actually produce downforce themselves.

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This is another image of the new sidepods, but it also highlights another development area of the rear wing. A new slot gap has been introduced at the leading edge, akin to that featured on the Williams, Marussia and Force India cars.

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The front wing has also received a healthy amount of development, although the old spec was run for the majority of practise. The new wing features an extremely different profile to its counterpart although it still features only three planes (or sections). The upper and lower flaps have been twisted slightly, with the inside region being brought much further forward to around the middle of the main plane.

There are brand new cascade winglets. Although the main silver winglet remains unchanged, the smaller inner one is a totally new idea that has not been seen on any other car. The small winglet is there to guide flow around the suspension assembly, whilst the tall fence inboard is there to produce a small vortice that does a similar job.

The lower flap also includes a gurney on the inboard section that should boost downforce as well as navigate flow back towards the T-Tray section.

Ferrari

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Felipe Massa received all of the major changes to the F138 on Friday. Whether Alonso gets it tomorrow is another matter, although I would be surprised if he did not. Perhaps Massa was used as the guinea pig today so Alonso could get on with doing what he does best.

Above are some images of the new sidepod airflow conditioners. The split profile remains, but now the leading section bends over the top of the shoulder of the sidepod, bridging over the pod’s leading edge, before attaching at the cockpit side. The second section of the conditioner now attaches to the pod and forms a small vane to guide flow along the side. The second section also sweeps inwards at a much more aggressive angle, inviting more flow to come around the sidepod and take it downstream to the exhaust area.

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Massa’s car also featured slightly longer sidepods than Alonso’s. Evidently, the exhaust has been moved towards the back of the car, with the exit of the trough now lying alongside the sidepod cooling exit (just below the top wishbone). There is also only one single ‘bump’ on the top of the pod, rather than the two smaller ones on the previous version.

As it is further back, Ferrari do not need to angle the exhaust as much away from the centre of the car, so this has been reduced. This is because it is much closer to the spot (the gap between the floor and the rear tyre) where they want to be blowing the exhaust plume to.

Before they had to counter the flow coming around the sidepod by angling the exhaust exits further outwards, as the plume was fighting against this. Try to imagine the sidepod and exhausts as a hairdryer… bare with me:

The exhaust exits are the exit of the dryer, and the sidepods are the body of the dryer. Hot air comes out of the dryer in a straight line towards a set point. Happy days. This is what the exhaust pipes are doing when the car is stationary.

However if, say, another source of flow started blowing around the body of the dryer, it will eventually end up interacting with the air coming out of the exit. As the body of the dryer is tapered towards its exit, the flow coming around the dryer will also follow this tapered path. This other source of flow is the natural airflow coming over and around the car when it starts moving.

If the hot air is blowing in a straight line, then the flow coming around the body of the dryer will push it away from that line as it interacts. This therefore pushes the path that the hot air takes away from the straight line that it once took.

Angling the hot air exit outwards will counter this effect and send it back to its original point as if it were blowing without the effect of the other source of flow.

Bringing this example back to the Ferrari sidepods, having the exhaust exit further forward will mean that they have to increase the angle as it is further away from the point they want to blow it to. Bringing the exit further back will mean that this angle can be reduced and the flow from the exhaust will also be hotter, and more powerful, than it was on the previous iteration of their sidepods.

It’s hard to explain but I hope you get the gist of it!

Williams

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Williams are also another team in a bit of trouble, so they have also brought a wide spectrum of parts to Spain to try to revive their 2013 campaign. Above are the two front wings they will be testing this weekend, both of the them featuring stand-alone elements.

The top wing was introduced in China, featuring a small cascade attached to a vertical carbon fibre stalk. Below is the new wing with a much smaller main cascade (the white, three element piece with the ‘Oris’ logo) but a bigger secondary winglet also attached to a vertical stalk. The secondary winglet will produce more downforce but may have less of a guiding effect on the new wing than on the old wing, as it has a deeper profile.

Note also that the new wing does not feature the small black vane that was on the main cascade endplate of the old wing.

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Although these vanes are now common place, this is the latest iteration from Williams. These under-chassis pieces of bodywork take flow from the underside of the nose and guide it to various parts of the underside of the car downstream. This design has been split into two, with the leading element taking flow downwards and the rear, larger surface flicking the air towards and around the sidepod area.

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Williams continued to trial their coanda exhaust system, although it has been slightly re-profiled since Bahrain, as it has less of an undercut at the base of the sidepod and the gradient of the top of the pod has been increased to encourage a larger downwash effect.

I am very sorry but that is all I will be writing as I have to sleep, do some revision etc. Unfortunately the biggest update time of the year has coincided with the start of my AS modules. However there are a lot of other updates that you can see on my Twitter page (@theWPTformula) that I posted on Thursday (9th May). Thanks for reading and I promise that the next one will have more content!

2013 Bahrain GP Tech Highlights

Only one week on from China and yet more parts have found their way to the cars for Bahrain. Although all teams will have brought a set cooling package to cope with the much higher temperatures (air was roughly 30-35 degrees, track was 40+ degrees), many teams found a way to install some more aerodynamic modifications to cope with the unique demands of the Sakhir circuit.

Caterham

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Caterham are on course to bring a large update package for both cars to Barcelona. However, Charles Pic got to run half of the overall package that will be brought to Spain in three weeks as Caterham felt the need to gather data and attempt to see exactly where they are at relative to Marussia.

The upgrades worked as expected, which often cannot be said for this small team as previous modifications have often been less fruitful. On this occasion their efforts appear to have paid off, finding at least half a second with the second half of the parts yet to be brought to the car. Pic was the highest finisher of the new teams and was only a handful of seconds behind Daniel Ricciardo’s Toro Rosso. Things are looking promising for the Oxfordshire based outfit as we head into Europe.

Coupled with Heikki Kovalainen being back in the car on Friday’s, we should finally see some proper progression over the next coming races.

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Above shows the main comparison between the new (top) and old (below). Up front, the car now features a “pregnant” nosecone, designed to encourage flow to reach further down and beneath the flow of the car without a high drag penalty. The wing pylons and the wing itself are unchanged but expect those changes to come in Barcelona.

The other main feature is the rear wing. Previously, the conditioners that hang beneath the rear wing were longer and were attached at the base. These twisted fins expand air coming off of the diffuser by straightening the turbulent flow coming off of the tyres (formally known as “tyre squirt”). This expansion effectively makes the diffuser ever-so-slightly larger, improving downforce.

The other alteration to the rear wing is the endplates. Five horizontal slats have replaced the previous four curved gills to reduce wingtip vortices, reducing drag and enhancing the overall performance of the wing. The horizontal slats should even out the pressure difference more evenly across the wing before the flow hits the wingtips. The curved gills will have only evened out pressure at a certain points on the wing.

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Also visible from this front facing shot are the two sidepod conditioner modifications (unfortunately I have not been able to edit images yet for your benefit but I will do my best to describe where these modifications are!).

On the outboard side of the sidepod (next to the two vertical vortex generator fences), the conditioners top edge has been curved downwards and attached to the sidepod itself, much like what Sauber and Red Bull have been doing. However, only half of the device as been formed onto the sidepod, the other half remains exposed, as there is a slot between the two sections of it. This allows flow to be controlled over the sidepod, inducing a better downwash effect, helping the exhaust plume to point downwards towards the floor. It also allows flow from the front tyres to be managed around the side of the car more efficiently at the same time.

Ferrari

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Ferrari introduced these interesting cooling louvres to put up with the high desert temperatures. Since 2009, the rules really restrict teams opening up the bodywork but there is a small space available above the floor that Ferrari have utilised. These louvres release hot air from the radiators but will not aid any other flow as this air is often dense has a slow velocity. Ferrari tried using hot air extraction as a way to boost downforce at the rear of the car last year but this turned out to be a failed exercise.

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The Prancing Horse also featured another iteration of their front wing concept. The top flap that was split just in the inboard section has now been cut all the way across the plane and joins onto one of the existing slots at the endplate. This aids flow management over the suspension arms rather than producing more downforce.

The position of the camera pods were also changed. All cars must have a specific number of camera pods that they can place in a variety of spaces on the car (except the mandatory T-cam – the one you see on the onboard footage on TV). These pods can be used in an aerodynamic advantage as most of them do not contain cameras anyway. Previously they have both been behind the front wing main plane between the two wing pylons. However, in a bid to further manage flow between the suspension wishbones, they were placed further up for this weekend in line with the lower wishbone.

Red Bull

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Following up from the Williams concept introduced right at the start of the year, Red Bull have come up with their own version of the blown axle system. Flow that is otherwise used to cool the brakes is instead passed through the hollow axle, exiting flush to the wheelnut surface. The half-moon shape tunnel can be changed in shape or rotated inside the axle to exit the air in a desired way. This relatively fast flow can then be projected into the wake caused by the front tyre, reducing drag and increasing efficiency. The lap time benefit is less than a tenth of a second, but that all adds up over a race distance.

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A new front wing was also introduced, following a similar path that Ferrari have taken with their latest edition. The top flap is also split across its entirety, with the inboard part of the flap altered slightly to be at a decreased angle of attack than the remaining section. The position of the front flap adjuster (the small housing with a yellow ring around the centre) has been changed, leaving it away from its previous placement near the outboard section of the wing.

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Similarly to what a lot of teams have been doing lately (Ferrari, Lotus and McLaren in particular), Red Bull have moved to horizontal slot gaps in the rear wing endplate. As mentioned above in the Caterham section, these five slots (that are bent down at their trailing edge) should spread more constant pressure across the extremities of the wing, reducing the size of the vortices produced at the rear wing tips.

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Mark Webber chose to run with a low downforce beam wing for qualifying and the race. It features a stepped profile, with the outer edges being much shallower than the slotted central section.

Williams

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Surprisingly, Williams reverted back to a 2011-spec rear wing that was used at the low drag circuits, such as Canada, for Bahrain. The wing features a boomerang or bow-shaped profile, the centre of the wing having a much shallower cord than the outboard sections.

Perhaps their downforce issues could be compounded by high drag, a problem similar to what Ferrari experienced last year for most of the season. Although Bahrain does have a fairly long pitstraight and back straight, I would still class it as a circuit that needs more downforce demands than low drag, but Williams have the numbers and I do not!

Thanks for reading and if you have any feedback please leave it in the comments below (trust me, it doesn’t take long and it would really help me!)

2013 Chinese GP Tech Highlights

So, a three week gap between rounds 2 and 3 has given plenty of opportunity for teams to bring updates to China, as the development race never ceases. Let’s take a look at what they all had to offer.

Red Bull

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Red Bull appeared to be slightly off of the pace in Shanghai, but generally this is a track that does not suit the characteristics of their car. Their lack of pace was evident due to the fact that they had to concede ultimate qualifying pace in a bid to salvage more points from the race, which they duly did. Mark Webber’s woes continued and were compounded when the right rear wheel of his car was incorrectly fitted during his first pitstop.

However the Milton Keynes outfit brought along a range of parts that they will take with them to Bahrain, which should prove more successful.

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The team trialled two rear wings in free practise. ‘RW 1’ is the wing they have been running since the start of the season, featuring a thicker cord at the centre of the wing and 5 slot gaps to prevent vortices being created at the wingtips (vortices increase drag).

‘RW 2’ shows the updated – almost Monza-spec – rear wing that they brought to test. It features a much thinner cord and a reduced angle of attack, decreasing downforce but, crucially, decreasing drag. Red Bull have been running increasingly thinner rear wings as they seek to address their lack of top speed relative to the other top competitors.

The RB9 produces enough rear downforce from the floor, diffuser and other devices that they can compensate on wing angle, which should help gain a few extra miles per hour.

Originally both cars ran with the older spec rear wing that produces a bit more downforce. However, Red Bull withdrew Webber’s car from parc ferme after the fuel infringement, therefore they could change pretty much anything on the car as long as they started from the pitlane. As Webber was starting from the back, the team opted to start him with the lower drag configuration wing to try to aid overtaking.

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Further modifications to the floor were evident as an additional strake has been added, coupled with a hole between the pair of them. This is also noticeable in the ‘RW 2’ image above.

The purpose of having a pair of strakes is to produce two vortices that interact with eachother to control tyre squirt and improve the channelling of the exhaust plume into the gap between the floor and the rear tyre. The vortices also help expand the airflow from beneath the floor, effectively creating a larger diffuser in the process and therefore producing more downforce.

Combined with the new low drag rear wing, the RB9 could have the same levels of downforce as before but with much less drag. I am looking forward to seeing their concept for Monza later this year.

Ferrari

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The above drawing by Giorgio Piola shows the changes that Ferrari have made to the F138’s front wing. An extra slot in the footplate has been added to induce higher speed airflow beneath to further enhance turning flow around the tyre more effectively. The cascade also features a slight modification in that the small endplate fence has been modified slightly.

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This image shows the two slots from side-on. Note also how the opening in the endplate has been downsized with the introduction of the second slot.

On Friday both Massa and Alonso ran the new wing. It featured 6 elements along with the above details. However, a new 7 tier arrangement of the same wing arrived on Saturday morning that both drivers chose to run for the remainder of the weekend. The additional elements will aid flow consistency and the driver will often prefer consistency over pure downforce as it aspires more confidence when driving the car.

Lotus

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Both of the Lotus cars were fitted with the upgraded exhaust package that only Kimi got to run during the Malaysia GP. The exhaust features an all alloy trough instead of a carbon composite like most teams have. The alloy is more heat resistive, so when it gets hot it can still channel the exhaust gases quickly and more efficiently than the previous carbon version.

The under-tunnel that guides flow from the outer sidepod region to the centre of the car has been shortened and therefore, in turn, so has the ramp that the exhaust plume attaches itself to (coanda) as it exits the pipe. Increasing the gap between the ramp edge and the tyre also opens up the under-tunnel and allows more consistent flow to reach the upper centre of the diffuser.

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The E21 also featured new vortex generators, mounted on the sidepod airflow conditions. They form a ‘U’ shape that follows the shape of the sidepod leading edge. These vortices then aid the downwash of the exhaust plume and work in conjunction with the horizontal airflow conditioners found just above the sidepod’s intake.

Further tweaks to the slotted bargeboards were also present (see my last post for more on these https://thewptformula.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/2013-malaysian-gp-tech-highlights/)

McLaren

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Following on from their improvised efforts in Malaysia, McLaren brought with them a polished version of a diffuser that aims to reduce the peaky performance of the MP4-28. The above image by Giorgio Piola shows how they have cut a section away from the diffuser footplate.

Although this decreases overall downforce levels (as the diffuser can no longer emit a larger volume of low pressure airflow) the cutaway intends to intervene with the exhaust plume that enters this region due to the coanda effect. This reduces the sensitivity of the car as it pitches (dives) and therefore brings more driveability for the drivers.

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This cutaway has been coupled with a much lower exhaust exit and sidepod package. The bulge that features inboard shows where the engine sits in the car, that’s how low the new layout is! However the bulge has an added bonus of helping the flow atop of the sidepod to wash over the exhaust plume and create the downwash effect.

Lowering the exhaust should direct the plume, without additional spillage, towards the gap between the tyre and edge of the floor, further reducing the pitch sensitivity. This is actually in contrast to what other teams like Sauber, Red Bull and Lotus are doing, as they are actually moving their exhaust layouts further away from this area to try to spread the hot exhaust gases.

Mercedes

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Mercedes introduced as slightly modified front wing. The smaller of the cascade winglets (single plane) has smoothed to form one single piece with the fence that used to separate the pair of winglets that mount to the endplate. It then has a sharp, curved fence at the very tip. This is to induce a vortex to control flow around the front tyre as well as increase the efficiency of the wing itself.

Thankyou very much for reading. A lack of images has meant that I cannot go into further detail but I am still trying my best to sort something out to help explain these intricate updates more clearly. Please comment if you have any suggestions for improvements!

2013 Malaysian GP Tech Highlights

With a week between the first and second rounds, the teams laboured to turn the whole F1 circus around to a new venue within seven days, let alone bring any updates. However a few teams did manage to bring some small iterations to their cars and another weekend of prying camera lenses allowed us to have a look at some more detail of this year’s current crop…

Mercedes

One thing that Craig Scarborough picked up on in one of his technical posts on Autosport was the FRIC (Front and Rear Inter-Connected) suspension system that Mercedes, and Lotus to some extent, have been utilising since 2011. The system is composed of a series of hydraulic lines that shift fluid between each corner of the suspension, even front to rear.

This system is particularly effective during the braking phase and very fast corners. As the car pitches (dives) under loading, the whole of the car is effectively tipped upwards at an angle. In the wind tunnel teams can run the cars with a slight pitch at best as the facility cannot accommodate a car with a lot of angle (yet). This angle on the car influences the aerodynamic stability and shifts the CoP (Centre of Pressure) further forward, causing a movement in balance.

Where the FRIC system is so effective is that it reduces this diving as the car slows down by shifting the hydraulic fluid from the rear (where there is a lot less load on the suspension) to the front dampers of the car. This raises the front of the car to some degree, matching the rear and therefore reduces the shift of the CoP, thus increasing stability. The aerodynamics are also more efficient during this phase, therefore the car can actually stop a little bit quicker as their effectiveness increases as a constant ride height (that the teams mainly run in the wind tunnel) is maintained throughout.

The fluid then shifts back as the force reduces at the front of the car, balancing itself accordingly at each upright for the corner that the driver is about to take. The same effect also applies for loading on either side of the car in the high-speed corners. Mercedes have notably been able to run their car very soft to cope with the bumps and kerbs whilst still having good stability at high-speed.

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In Malaysia, we got to see how the system is tuned after the nose of the W04 was removed and two hydraulic lines were linked onto the suspension area. Above is an image by Giorgio Piola showing how Mercedes apply the fluid to the system. The valves and wiring provide the right amount of pressure needed in the system for a given track, as each circuit will require a unique setup and appropriate tuning. The engineers will calculate and fine tune this pressure and quantity during the practise sessions and also on the simulators back at the factory.

Mercedes also brought new under-chassis turning vanes (featured in image above) to manage airflow downstream of the underside of the nose and bulkhead section.

Lotus

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Out of all the teams, Lotus brought the most updates, featuring a new front wing, barge boards and exhausts, although only Kimi Raikkonen ran the new exhaust system. Above are the slightly modified barge boards.

In Melbourne, they featured a 3-tier profile, each tier generating its own vortice which, when all combined together, created a larger vortice to energise the airflow around the undercut of the sidepod. For Malaysia they made some small changes: The third and final (trailing) stage has been split again along the top, creating three further elements to the system to create an even stronger energy of flow. Also evident in this image is an additional turning vane that sits beside the sidepod airflow conditioner on the floor of the E21.

Note also the perforated floor edges aft of the conditioner that also help tidy up flow coming off of the bargeboard and around the side of the floor.

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This is another image of the leading edge of the floor along the side of the car. The edges of the floor peel upwards to not only guide flow along the top of the floor, but also create consistent airflow beneath it, letting out turbulent air that comes off of the bargeboard and front splitter assembly.

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A view from behind the bargeboard section. Here we can see the amount of elements there are in the assembly and how the whole system in front of the sidepod combines to direct flow around the sidepod.

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These are the new exhausts that Kimi was running throughout the race weekend. The carbon inner trough has been replaced by a highly heat resistant alloy that now features bulges, much akin to the Red Bull solution, guiding the exhaust plume downwards along the floor. The yellow line shows the path that the downwashed airflow takes as it follows the gradient of the sidepod, eventually ending up plugging the gap between the tyre and the floor and, effectively, expanding the diffuser area.

2013 Australian GP Tech Highlights

The Australian Grand Prix was the first time we got to see which teams got pre-season testing right and finally discovered the genuine pace of this year’s crop. After every race this season, I will assess some of the key components that we saw appear on the cars over the race weekend.

Ferrari

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Ferrari continued their evaluation of the under-chassis slot that they debuted at the very first test. The slot’s primary use is to reduce the build up of airflow where the base of the nose reaches the start of the downslope of the chassis, as this can affect the key components further downstream, such as the bargeboards and also the way the flow is fed beneath the splitter/T-tray/bib area, compromising the performance of the diffuser. It has a secondary use of cooling the drive and some of the electronic parts housed in the front bulkhead ahead of the pedals.

In the above image, the duct has been taped up so it can be easy to do a back-to-back comparison with or without the slot’s effect. On Saturday the team settled for the launch version of the front wing, which meant that the slot was not present for qualifying or the race. I expect it to return for Malaysia next week, as Australia is less about aerodynamic consistency but more about setting the car up to comply with the bumps, kerbs and traction zones that the semi-street circuit demands.

Lotus

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Lotus managed to bring a new floor and some small moderations to the front wing and bargeboards for Australia, although these were only on Kimi Raikonnen’s car on Friday, whereas Romain Grosjean only had a handful of laps on Saturday morning in the dry to assess them. This is perhaps why the Frenchman was quite far off the pace throughout the afternoon.

Above shows the three-stage elements of the new bargeboards that the team ran at the last test in Barcelona. Bargeboards have had limited treatment over the years, but as performance is becoming harder and harder to find it is unsurprising to see this area being developed once more along with brake ducts.

The three elements allow airflow to be turn a lot more tightly into the undercut of the sidepod and also at a higher velocity. This is because the three pieces act as, effectively, three separate miniature barge boards, each producing a vortex of their own combining to make one more powerful vortex as they meet. This effect can enhance parts downstream, particularly the central section of the diffuser.

Red Bull

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This low resolution image was highlighted on Sky Sports F1, and shows the ductwork in the Red Bull nose that feeds airflow from beneath the nose to the top of the chassis out of a rear facing slot to keep flow attached to the top of the chassis aft of the step. The rearward slot is visible at the base of the furthest forward telemetry aerial system (below image). The air is fed into a trough, created by the raised edges of the chassis that has been common on all Red Bull cars since 2009.

Why would you want to keep airflow attached to the top of the chassis? In basic terms, the step ahead of the raised section of the chassis acts as a sort of ramp, with high pressure building up as it passes over it. High pressure flow detaches itself from the bodywork and this can disturb how other components function downstream, particularly the airbox (critical in cooling the car’s engine and transmission systems) and central rear wing section.

Boundary layer air builds up beneath the chassis which can actually alter the path of the low pressure flow coming from under the nose. Red Bull have decided to exploit this layer by piping it up and blowing it out of the the slot on top of the chassis. This introduction of lower pressure flow helps reattach the high pressure flow that has been built up due to the buffering effect that the step creates.

Reattaching this flow aids the efficiency of the otherwise effected components above but it also stops flow spilling over the side of the chassis top to some extent. This prevents issues with the flow heading towards the sidepods and bargeboard area.

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Because of the ‘S’ ducting, the original position of the brake fluid cylinders has been moved to accommodate it. Below is a diagram drawn by Giorgio Piola, showing how the cylinders have had to be housed in a carbon fibre shroud.

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The team also continued to run with a slightly altered edition of its launch-spec front wing and not choosing to even test the new wing that we saw on Sebastian Vettel’s car on the penultimate day of Barcelona.

Williams

After a difficult first round, Williams will have to decide which direction they want to take their sidepod development following a poor showing on Saturday and Sunday. This was surprising as the team were genuinely optimistic about the FW35’s potential. Time will tell if they can turn it around.

In the mean time, the team reverted back to its launch specification sidepods – a semi-coanda (McLaren-style) system which, obviously, did not feature the illegal turning vanes. The ‘pods they introduced at the final test correlated with the move for Renault engined cars to switch to a full coanda ramp philosophy, although the Williams system was a slightly more basic concept as it did not appear to full optimise to under-tunnel area that Lotus and Red Bull have exploited. A few modifications and some more work with the Renault engine engineers may help them rebuild a fractured start to 2013.

If you liked these highlights, please leave some feedback in the comments section below and roll on KL next week!