Back-to-back events never really give teams a chance to bring anything new to the table at the second GP event and Brazil was a classic case of this as the F1 circus headed straight from Texas to Interlagos.
Much of the weekend’s practice sessions was spent analysing components ahead of 2015, using large pitot tube arrays to gather information about critical areas where airflow is passing. Whilst CFD and wind-tunnel testing are pretty reliable it is important to transfer the knowledge gained in the factory to the track, hence why the often-used C-word, correlation, is vital to the performance of an F1 car. Continue reading →
Initially I was very surprised at the lack of (visible) updates on the cars during the first few days of the final test in Bahrain, which ended some 7 days ago. However as the days passed the changes started to creep their way in to such an extent that this piece has taken a while to become available to you. Only yesterday I found out about a few more bits and pieces that Mercedes brought!
So here is my final pre-season piece before Melbourne kicks off 2014 next week, hope you find it insightful!
With the highest mileage of any team (just ahead of Williams) throughout winter testing, Mercedes set about further enhancing their W05 package. Having released an outwardly more complex (if not the most complex) car than any other team, refinements have been made across the car rather than all-new parts being introduced.
Although this cannot be said for Mercedes’ new floor and diffuser modifications. Replacing the simplistic splitter up front is a new number, featuring two, long fences running alongside each side to guide airflow along the lower regions of the floor ahead of the sidepod.
Mercedes introduced a pair of intriguing vortex generators above the diffuser
Barring Lotus, the first of two test sessions in Bahrain presented the opportunity for teams to start to delve deeper into their new cars for the upcoming season. Jerez, due to its odd track characteristics, gives teams the chance to shakedown their challengers and put mileage on the next generation of F1 machinery. In Bahrain, however, set-up exploration, race simulation and aerodynamic work start to make their way to the top of the to-do list.
Although we perhaps did not see a huge amount of updates externally, there were a few notable changes to some of the cars and I am sure that many items were addressed to internally post-Jerez.
The C33 was perhaps a little simplistic at the first test therefore it was no surprise to see some a host of additional bodywork make its way onto the car.
As seen in the launch images before testing began, Sauber installed the vertical sidepod airflow conditioner and horizontal vane for the Bahrain test. It is interesting to note the angle at which the conditioner lies relative to the floor – it is very aggressive. Continue reading →