Mercedes Cross cut wheel rims

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There has been a lot of focus on Mercedes wheel rims since images (via SomersF1) appeared to show a hollow section inside their rear wheels. However looking up close at both Mercedes front and rear wheel rims at Monza showed a new and unique solution. All the wheels sported cross-cut pattern on the inside of the wheel and a black paint coating to this inner face of the rims. Continue reading

Ferrari Monza spec aero

Pic via Tobias Gruener

Ferrari go low drag with their Monza front wing. This new simplified wing removes the winglet cascade elements, but retains the vertical fin like elements. The wing also uses a single piece flap and the nose cone sees a return of the downforce producing chin.

Firstly the Monza spec front wing only needs to produce enough downforce to balance the low drag rear wing, thus the its size is dictated by the car’s rear aero. As much as the front wing is a downforce producing device, the cascades and fins are all about vortex generation to influence the turbulence produced by the front tyre. The wings downforce is therefore mainly reduced by the smaller single element flap (Santander logo) and less by the missing cascade winglet.

As airspeeds are so high at Monza, the cascades do not need to be as aggressive as at lower speed tracks, thus the winglet is removed, but vortices are still produced by the two vertical fins. These will trail spiralling vortices over the upper edges of the front tyre, these reduce the vortices and airflow separation that the wheel forms over the top of the tread.

Under the nose the stepped chin shape has returned, this is an efficient means of creating a little front end downforce for very little drag. Creating load via this device means the front wing can be correspondingly smaller, creating less drag and disruption to the airflow over the rear of the car.

This wing bears many resemblances to the Lotus wing which also employs similar shaped vertical fins.  with James Allison arriving at Ferrari in recent weeks, there could be the assumption that the new design is some how related to him. However such is the time it takes to design, run in CFD, wind tunnel test and manufacture aero parts (c6 weeks), this is unlikely to have had his input.

Pic via Kiril Varbanov

In Detail: Silverstone 2013 Pit Lane Walkabout

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This gallery contains 43 photos.

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 … Continue reading

Report: Force India Straight Line Test

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Having tested at Duxford at the start of May, Force India returned to the aircraft museum and ex-WW2 airfield for another straight line test, after the Canadian GP. Being the run up to the British GP and the summer run of European ‘handling’ circuits, the test appeared to be about, gathering aero data on the cars usual aero set up, rather than a trial of major new parts. This approach has been the way FIF1 have gone about the business for the past year. Gaining speed and consistency form fully understanding their package, rather than throwing lots of new parts at it.

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Analysis: DRS Activation

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Since its introduction in 2010 the Drag Reduction System (DRS) has gone through a series of evolutions in how the team actuate the movable rear wing flap. Having replaced the adjustable front flap, teams have all switched to hydraulics to power the opening of the flap, where as the front flap angle system introduced in 2009 was commonly achieved with electric motors and only a few teams employed hydraulics.

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