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.
As F1 teams develop front wings with ever greater emphasis placed on the load created towards the outboard end of the flaps, the airflow over the outer 30cm of wing is becoming ever more critical. With designers wanting to keep this area clear of unwanted obstructions, the need to package a means to adjust the front flap angle becomes more difficult. Red bull as ever have had a good look at the issue and come up with the semi floating adjuster that keeps the wings surface almost interrupted.
For many years the shape and position of the cars suspension elements have been an important factor in the cars aerodynamics. For 2013, almost every team have taken the same approach pioneered by Red Bull in 2012, by raising the rear lower wishbone. In doing this the teams have also oversized the wishbone’s cross section to enclose the driveshaft. It transpires that there are two gains from this practice, primarily improving flow over the diffuser and secondarily reducing the aerodynamic effect of the spinning driveshaft.
I am now also contributing regularly to AUTOSPORT. Every GP I will post a Tech Blog on AUTOSPORT-PLUS, which is a subscription page (or pay per view).
In this weeks AUTOSPORT Magazine I have a double page spread on the Technology around the F1 cars’ Transmission and how its involved in the start process. You can buy a print issue of AUTOSPORT in the UK, or you can again get a digital copy by subscribing or pay per view at the DIGITAL AUTOSPORT Website
I was commissioned to produce a full-colour preview of F1 2013′s Rules an Trends for Sport Magazine. On Page 19 you’ll find the F1 Preview starts, with my spread on pages 26-27.
Following on from the under nose slot of two years ago and the letterbox slot of last year, this years Red bull continues to explore aero solutions around the nose box. However with revised nose rules this year, it’s an idea from Sauber that found its way onto Newey’s drawing board. Now letterbox opening faces backwards and is joined to the slot below the nose with a duct, to overcome aerodynamics issues presented by the nose box.
In the latter part of testing at Jerez the Ferrari F138 appeared with a slot under the nose cone. In adopting a nose slot, Ferrari have followed other teams’ recent developments in this area. Contrary to much rumouring the slot is a relatively simple aerodynamic solution to improve the air flow under the raised section of chassis.