During the midday pit lane walkabout on Friday at the 2013 British GP, a lot of technical detail can be seen. Even through the team try to hide as much as they are allowed. The top teams put their front wings and other bodywork at the back of the garage, away from cameras. They also allow VIPs into the gap between the pitlane and the garage, obscuring clear views of the cars, partially stripped and up on stands. These are some of the images I captured during this walkabout, along with some explanation of what can be seen.
Detail of the front bulkhead, the carbon fibre over the brake reservoirs helps protect them when rapid nose changes are made. Also note the Brake duct inlets are taped over for the wet practice session.
Their front wing pylons appear to be extended with a notch at the bottom.
With the sidepod panel removed the radiator, ducting and electronics can be seen. Note the side impact protection tubes at the front of the sidepod and the exhausts have the coanda exit panel is fixed to the exhaust and not the sidepod panel
Splitter detail, with the top cover removed you can see the way the splitter mounts with an alloy bracket underneath the monocoques. The forward projecting beam is the part that resists the FIA deflection test.
This is a classic current F1 brake duct, the inner face of the duct is devoid of scoops, just the aerodynamic flicks. While the cooling inlet is tucked in behind the vane. Airflow is ducts to both the brake caliper and the disc, hot exits the disc, and with Silverstone’s cooler conditions is allowed to heat the inner wheel rim. In hotter races the duct work will send the hot air straight out of the wheel to keep the wheel from overheating the tyre.
Although their front wing and cascade set up remains visually unchanged for much of the year, the detail changes for Silverstone included these shark teeth on the main plane (painted green). These four black triangular fins are aligned with the fences under the wing and send off trailing vortices over the wing to influence how the airflow detaches on the top\rear of the tyre.
Having tested it many times before, Lotus finally gave their Drag Reduction Device (DRD) its race debut. Here we can see the two exit ducts, the lower one blows neutrally under the modified Y75 winglet (monkey seat). The upper “L” shaped duct stops short of the wings under surface and above certain speeds will blow this area. The effect of this breaks up the laminar flow under the wing into separated (stalled) flow, reducing downforce and rag. The drag reduction gives the car potential top speed boost.
The other part of the DRD is the inlet ducts. Lotus moulded these into the carbon fibre fairing that covers the metal inner roll hoop. Up until now these have races with covers closing the inlets, for the live DRD the inlets were opened to provide the high pressure flow to blow the rear wing.
Lotus also ran a new front brake duct on Raikonnen’s car. It was curvier than the older design, with the projecting vane being twisted to form an inlet and the outer face of the brake drum featuring a channel to direct airflow from the new twisted vane out through the wheel to alter the tyres aerodynamic wake.
In this wider view the older format and simpler front brake duct is visible.
A surprising development for Marussia was a blown front hub. This mimics the current Williams set up where flow from the brake duct is fed directly through the hollow front axle to exit through the wheelnut. This extra airflow through the wheel helps manage the front tyre wake. On Friday both cars had the set up and their axles were kept covered with the heaters throughout the break in between sessions.
With the nose removed, a cradle is fitted that allows the car to be lifted onto stands. This cradle has an unusual half moon shape to its top edge to provide access to the torsion bars.
The team had two front wing specifications, these differed in the detail of the endplate and of the inboard section of flap.
With the sidepod panel removed the side impact protection is revealed at the top front of the sidepod. These are tubes of carbon fibre wrapped around with Rohacell foam cores (the white filling).
Looking low down on the left sidepod, the lower Side Impact spar is visible, these are removable so that they can fit inside the floor. Behind the spars is a light brown ATL bag tank which is the auxiliary oil tank for the Cosworth engine.
Up close the complexity inside the front brake drums is evident. The serpentine ducts twisting around the brake disc take cooling air to the outboard pair of brake caliper pistons. Again note the airflow into the duct is solely from the edge of the drum and not via a conventional scoop.
With the floor removed, you can see the splitter reinforcement. The forward reaching extension is a strong metal section, which is positioned to meet the FIA load test. This test is applied upward both on the centre of the splitter leading edge and 100mm either side of it. This the support is just over 200mm wide.
Up close you can see the brake discs ventilation holes are directional. The holes are formed of three holes merged into one, with the leading edge flattened off between the holes.
The disc and its mounting bell mount to the toothed outer ring of the front hub. The bottle is part of the brake bleeding system.
With the nose off, the carbon fibre panel forms part of the “S” duct that routes up from under the nose to exit over the top of the chassis.
Rather than a blown hub as tested earlier this year, the Red Bull brake duct feeds additionally airflow through the wheel without any cooling effect. The large duct on the front of the upright is fed by the inlet inside the vane. The flow inside this duct then passes by the brake disc and straight of the wheel for an aerodynamic effect on the front tyre wake.
On the rear brake ducts this same through flow effect is achieved by the channel formed in the outer face of the brake duct drum. Note the two tubes going into the car are part of the engine pre-warming system, to get the engine up to working temperature before its fired up.
Sauber’s otherwise super slim nose cone cross section is expanded by the aerodynamic chin underneath it. This chin affects the flow in between the wing mounts and the front wing below to create a little downforce.
The front brakes ducts were closed off with aluminium tape on one car and left open on the other.
Two very slightly different front wing specs were available, one with a larger flap (red with the Claro logo) and one with a far slimmer lower downforce flap.
There is a reaction bar in between the front torsion bars. The torsion bars are not fixed to the chassis, instead they are connected with this bar, thus the torsions bars do not add any spring effect in roll only when the car is pitching (up and down). To compensate for the loss in roll stiffness the anti roll bar will be far stiffer than normal, but overall the roll stiffness can be lower.
This is a typical f1 front brake duct, you can see the fin on the inner face is not related to brake cooling. This part is a flow control device and most likely picks up the tyre squirt spilling off the inside of the front tyre.
The driver’s seat is only some 50cm tall and the straps are to aid the drivers removal in the event of an accident.
The team introduced this split front wing cascade endplate a couple of races ago, the cascade is much more of a vortex generator than a downforce generator, the splits will set off a slightly different trail of smaller vortices to manage the front tyre wake, then one big vortex from a flat endplate.
This was a new nose cone for Silverstone, it uses a rounded nose forming a slight “chin” under the nose tip. The wing mounts are the launch spec elongated versions and the front wing itself was based on a 2012 design.
Although these first appear to be shark teeth as we saw on the Force India, up close you can see these are the under wing fences starting just ahead of the slot gap.