Open top menu
23 July 2014
Bite Size Tech: Force India VJM07 Snorkel-less Engine Cover - Hockenheim


Force India had a significant upgrade package in Austria refining what had already turned out to be quite a nice package for the 2014 season.  The update package was however first scheduled for Silverstone and so with the team bringing it forward there were still some lingering components to come through over the next few races.  At the post Silverstone test the team assessed a new engine cover which repositioned one of the oil coolers, deleting the cooling snorkel and saw the introduction of an enlarged shark fin.
Now whilst this option was available to the team for Germany and was trialed during Free Practice the team opted for something a little different.  They retained their original engine cover (above) but deleted the snorkel inlet and associated internal pipework, having already relocated the cooler.
The previous specification with snorkel inlet can be seen above


Read more
Bite Size Tech: Ferrari F14T rear end changes - Hockenheim

Ferrari once again took some sideways steps in Germany with the re-introduction of a much larger cooling outlet at the rear of the car (above).  The use of the cooling outlet also bought about a return of the dual rear wing support pylons, which does seem a little counter productive given that the last time the team used such a large cooling outlet it was in tandem with the singular pylon.  I'd therefore suggest that the team were moreover looking for a consistent/well known baseline, as the team looked to race the car without FRIC for the first time.  We know that FRIC allowed for aerodynamic consistency which is something that Ferrari have been unable to achieve successfully compared to their rivals.  That however doesn't mean to say that their package hadn't been keyed toward peak performance with it, just they were unable to enjoy it to the level their rivals were.
As we can see above (arrowed) the team also added some small fins to the skid blocks trailing edge, these fins create vortices which help to keep the airflow attached, creating better stability.  These vortex generating fins may have simply been a rudimentary quick fix owing to the FRIC ban to overcome some instability or part of their planned upgrades.  Other teams have also run these this season including Red Bull, Lotus and McLaren

EDIT

As pointed out to me Ferrari have been using these Vortex Generators for the last few races

Read more
21 July 2014
Bite Size Tech: Red Bull RB10 - Differing Configurations - Hockenheim


Red Bull's pace compared to the Mercedes powered cars this season must be difficult to internalize for the team.  Their aerodynamic prowess has not simply vanished overnight and they arguably still have the best 'chassis' in the field, however to try and make up the deficit during the race, they are having to give both drivers a selection of parts to cater for their needs.

At Hockenheim this meant that both drivers ran with different specification rear ends, with Daniel seemingly able to cope with a little less wing and more tail happy RB10.  As we can see in the image below Daniel ran the older specification singular mounting pylon, which mounts to the underside of the mainplane, less AoA on both the mainplane and top flap, whilst the endplates only featured 3 louvres (which of course reduce drag).
Meanwhile Sebastian (below) ran with much more rear wing angle, resulting in him also needing to run their two tier upper Y100 winglet / Monkey Seat.  The winglet / seat is used to not only create more aerodynamic consistency and balance for the driver, but also overcome the main wings higher angle of attack.  The endplates on his RB10 also featured 4 louvres in the endplate, which help to reduce the tip vortices (drag) generated by the additional AoA.  He also utilsed the newer swan neck style single mounting pylon, which enables the mainplane to operate more effectively (especially in yaw).
Both drivers used the wider leading edge endplate tyre wake slots introduced at Silverstone.
Read more
Bite Size Tech: Lotus E22 - Front Wing - Hockenheim


Lotus have really struggled to realise the potential of the E22 this season with issues from the Renault power unit causing their fair share of these.  However a complex asymmetric design was also bound to be fraught with issues too and makes aerodynamic changes even more difficult.

In Hockenheim the team arrived with a new front wing, looking to gain balance and performance.  The old wing above can be seen above whilst close images of the new wing are scarce, Giorgio Piola did manage to grab a shot of it in a similar orientation whilst it was in the garage (shown below)
As we can see the changes may not seem widespread to begin with but they will certainly have an effect, the main change is the loss of the endplates leading edge slant, whilst a small section of the front/top edge of the endplate has been more outwardly turned than the rest of it.  This is something we have seen Enstone do before with the E21's wing featuring a similar design during 2013.  The positioning of the outwardly turned section also coincides with the cascades position and will help to pull outwardly on it's flow regime.

Meanwhile at the rear of the Endplate the bottom section has been removed, allowing airflow to traverse from the flapped region across the footplate.  Of course both changes have been made to entice the airflow around the front tyre, creating a stronger flow structure that can impact the tyres wake, increasing the floor/diffusers performance.
The new configuration was tested by both drivers throughout Free Practice but only Pastor used it for qualifying and the race (below).  As we can see above the team ran flo-viz on the wing during Free Practice to correlate its credentials.

Read more
Bite Size Tech: Williams FW36 louvred shark fin engine cover - Hockenheim


The FW36 has been a revelation this season with not only the switch from Renault to Mercedes for 2014 now seeming an inspired decision (most probably due to the Toto Wolff connection) but with the car proving to be exceptionally efficient.  Over the last few seasons Williams have struggled to keep up with the development of EBD (Exhaust Blown Diffusers) whether it be the original floor mounted ones with a lack of technical prowess from the Cosworth unit, or with Renault when trying to employ the 'Coanda' exhausts.  They not only struggled to model the phenomenon in CFD and the Wind Tunnel but also replicate any kind of consistent performance during GP weekends.

A return to none floor/diffuser exhaust driven regulations with the introduction of the centreline exhaust has re-invigorated the Grove based squad, whilst the arrival of Pat Symonds and a technical restructuring has also paid dividends.

With less exhaust influence the Williams team have thrived in a more aero efficient formula whilst making shrewd decisions on packaging and gear ratio selections, which are of course much heavily regulated this season.  Initially it seemed this could be their Achilles heel with short ratios meaning they are always visibly in top gear (8th) much quicker than other teams, however as the season has progressed and their knowledge of the suspension setup/engine mapping has matured the team have made significant strides.  Aerodynamically the team haven't been massively eager to affect widesweeping changes either instead opting for setup changes to suit each circuits characteristics.  (Lest we forget this is a team that have produced around 10 different front wings during each of the 12/13 seasons to try and affect performance with little to no performance step)

The teams most frequent changes have come in the form of cooling options with the team having used what we term a 'conventional' cooling funnel for some of the early season races, before returning to their lowline larger outlet with aspirator in China.


In Germany the team opted to race another iteration of the shark fin configuration, with additional cooling louvres placed along its length. (This had also been tested in China during Free Practice)  The team also added a small gurney trim around the periphery of the lower cooling outlet, that will have a negligible drag penalty, but increase the cars cooling capacity.
Read more
20 July 2014
Bite Size Tech: Lotus E22 - Additional Cooling - Hockenheim


Lotus have really struggled to realise the potential of the E22 this season with issues from the Renault power unit causing their fair share of these.  However a complex asymmetric design was also bound to be fraught with issues too and makes aerodynamic changes even more difficult.  With temperatures rising at Hockenheim the team decided to install and trial some additional cooling inlets under the roll hoop.


It's unclear what the team were looking to cool, whether it be an oil cooler that the team had also moved or whether it was simply just additional cooling for the powerunit.  The team didn't race these additional inlets however, as, as we know any additional apertures results in increased drag and so the team clearly took the decision that the cooling advantage either wasn't required in Germany or didn't supersede the drag component.

Read more

Total Pageviews