The unwanted effect of airflow being diverted by the rear tyre under the floor has been understood for some time. The trend towards needing a lower Lift\Drag ratio and higher rear ride height has brought this issue into greater focus in the past seven years. Last season saw the slots used to offset this effect, known as tyre squirt, grow increasingly in significance and number.
With the 2016 car launches just days away, let’s look at some of the likely changes and trends to keep an eye out for as launches and testing continue
With huge media and fan attention Red Bull launched their RB10 last week at Jerez. Much of the cars aero has been kept simple to get through the difficult early testing period, but some 2014 specific features are evident around the front of the car and are worthy of some close analysis.
With far reaching regulation changes coming onto the sport in 2014, the 2013 season is likely to be a year of consolidation, as few changes have been are written into this year’s rule book. So teams will be expected to optimise their designs from last year, correcting mistakes and adopting some of the better ideas of their rivals.
Some rules will have a small effect of car design and some trends from last year will be more common place. Unusually there have been few leaks or well-founded rumours circulating in the off season. This is probably as teams are expending a huge amount of resources in finding big gains for just one year’s competition, instead focussing on plans for 2014.
Its been announced today that the FIA have issued a Technical Directive clarifying the issue that emerged over the Monaco weekend around the Red Bull floor hole. This TD-13 outlines that the area 650mm outboard of the cars centreline cannot now exploit fully enclosed holes. As a result Red Bull will have to change the floor design before the next race, the Canadian GP. Although their design has now been deemed to be illegal retrospectively, so they are allowed to keep their results from the three races in which the design has been raced, including the win in Monaco.
Having introduced a “tyre squirt” slot into the floor ahead of the rear tyres at the Bahrain GP, Red Bull had completed two complete GPs before rival teams raised questions about its legality. On the morning of the Monaco GP, several teams started a discussion regarding the slots legality, as it did not follow the practice of Sauber or Ferrari in linking the hole to the edge of the floor. No formal protest was made, but the Technical Working Group (TWG) wanted the rules around holes in the floor clarified.