Archive for the ‘Formula 1 2013’ Category

How to move an F1 team around the world


Caterham F1 Team Manager Graham Watson explains how a Formula 1 team goes about transporting its entire racing operation around the world week after week.

credit: Caterham F1 Team

Understanding braking efficiency and downforce: Caterham F1 technical



credit: Caterham F1 Team

F1 pit stop procedure: Caterham F1 technical


credit: F1 Caterham F1 Team

How F1 suspension works: Caterham F1 technical



credit: Caterham F1 Team

Caterham Unchained: Guide to an F1 steering wheel



credit : Caterham F1 Team

Caterham CT3 – new rear wing in Canada but only for free testing sessions

Left image the raced spec – right images the tested spec

Left image the raced spec – right images the tested spec

    The Canadian rear wing spec was actually the Bahraini spec with a more neutral and flat shaped main flap. Furthermore a gill-less endplate spec with launch style endplate cut on top was tested but not finally raced .

     Canadian circuit requires a lower amount of downforce than most tracks need, so Caterham choice not to race a lower downforce set up revealed once more the car’s inability to generate enough grip.

Caterham CT3 – New rear wing part of the major upgrade package launched in Bahrain

new spec , first raced at Bahrain on Charles Pic only

new spec , first raced at Bahrain on Charles Pic only

    At Bahrain Caterham pushed to launch a major upgrade package, including a new rear wing. However Charles Pic was the only driver to have the new rear wing and some of other upgrades for race.

     The new wing design had new straight endplate gills, also increased in number from four to five, new endplate vanes close to the diffuser roof, new endplate cut at top (bringing back in memory old Renault style endplates ) , a main plane with  curved upwards centre section (the old was flat)  and finally new beam winglet. All changes added more downforce and alongside with the rest aero changes improved the car balance and stability in both low and high speed turns.

    In Spain both drivers raced with the new wing.

shorter endplate vanes for the new spec

shorter endplate vanes for the new spec

Below follows some key spots on the launch spec rear wing

Caterham CT3 RW Launch 11a F

Launch spec key spots

1. mini plane – resembles to old Williams style

2. endplate gills, reduce drag favoring top speed

3. the endplate has a distinctive cut on top for drag reduction

Marussia MR02 – Addition of beam winglet at Monaco

Marussia MR02 RW Monaco 1

   Marussia brought a common aero feature for the high downforce Monaco circuit, a small winglet located on the central zone of the beam wing .

Marussia MR02 – New rear wing before Melbourne

Marussia MR02 RW Barcelona march 1

   The new rear wing design, launched at last pre session test, has a taller and rocket shaped carapace of the DRS activator and reshaped planes with double flap fasteners instead of three .

Marussia MR02 – sidepod top vane addition at China

Marussia MR02 Sidepod vane China 1



     At China a small single vertical flow guide was added on top of the sidepod to counter fight the lift created by sidepod’s shape which resembles to a down facing winglet . These vertical vanes are common in F1 since a long time ago. For example Caterham current cars race with a combination of three .

Marussia MR02 – New front wing at Spain

Marussia MR02 FW Spain 1

    All teams are accustomed to bring new parts at the first European race, so did Marussia. The upgrade package included new floor and modified front wing with a slot-less second flap to favor downforce production . The funnel at the back of the engine cover, which was used in hot Bahraini conditions, was also discarded .

   At Monaco the previous front wing spec reappeared once again, but did not make it to race.

Marussia MR02 – Revised front wing at Australia

Marussia MR02 FW Australia 1 F

   A small but apparently significant change occurred on the rear profile of the endplate, so as to change the way airflow interacts with the tyre . Worth’s noticing the new fancy sponsor logo on the endplate surface, which may have no impact on the car’s speed, but beyond doubt ensures team’s future speed .

Force India VJM06 – glimpse of the rear end

Force India VJM06 – rear end and diffuser

Force India VJM06 – rear end and diffuser

     There is nothing radical on Force India VJM06 diffuser .The most striking points on the design are the perforated ( slotted) tab and the three in a row vertical fences separating the inner section from the our tunnels.

    Like several other teams in 2013, Force India does also share a carapace of carbon to enclose both the lower rear wishbone and the driveshaft.

Sauber C32 – E spec rear wing

  E spec

E spec

   The D spec rear wing was also tested without the DRD, accompanied with minor modifications on the DRS ( Drag Reduction System) activator ( changes in yellow), suggesting possible further internal revisions of the mechanism .

Sauber C32 – D spec rear wing and DRD debut

D spec – debut of drag reduction system at Barcelona test on February

                            D spec – debut of drag reduction system                   at Barcelona test on February

        Sauber brought another new rear wing at Barcelona test on February, The revised wing had less gills on the endplates ( three instead of four), a distinctive downwards bending main flap and finally the second flap regained the gurney tab but lost at the same time the V cut in the middle . Modifications also took  place on DRS activator.

       The team accompanied the new wing with a DRD ( Drag Reduction Devise ). Such a device was also tested last season on C31 but was first invented by Lotus last season and later also seen on Mercedes. It is passive, activated only by a fluid dynamic switch and involves additional twin inlets on both airbox sides, possibly the main airbox inlet, a sytem of channels housed inside the engine cover and a terminal L shaped flow air effusion. The twin inlets feed the system with air, which in low and average speeds exits normally through the large oval hot air outlet in front of the beam winglet . On the contrary at high speeds the flow switch forces air to exit through the effusion terminal just below the undersurface of the rear wing;s main flap, causing it to stall, hence reducing drag.

     Mc Laren’s innovative F duct device a few years ago, probably carved the path to all recent drag reduction devices, including the Mercedes and Red Bull double DRS ( DDRS) and Lotus DRD .

Marussia MR02 – New front wing at 2nd Barcelona test

Marussia MR02 FW Barcelona March 1

    Marussia struggles to improve performance, targeting to beat Caterham team again this season. First fruits of hard labour arrived at second Barcelona test where a new front wing made debut. The new piece has four flaps in total, instead of three (no 1) to increase car pace in fast turns, the main flap has a redesigned upward step before it joins the endplates (no 2), the small flow conditioner (no 3) is discarded and new endplates (no 4) to suit better the higher tier wing .

Caterham CT3 – new diffuser at 1st Barcelona test

B spec, tested at Barcelona test on February

B spec, tested at Barcelona test on February

   Caterham tried a modified diffuser at first Barcelona test, featuring a new perforated tab fence demarcated between the rear wing’s endplates . The new design improves diffuser’s suction ability, thus improving downforce production . The perforated diffuser concept is not new in Formula 1 but present since few years ago.

Sauber C32 – C spec rear wing at 1st Barcelona test

first Barcelona test , C spec

first Barcelona test , C spec

       A C spec rear wing was tested on Sauber C32 at Barcelona test on February . The new one had a gurney tab-less second flap bearing a distinctive V shaped cut in the middle zone of its trailing edge, three flap fasteners instead of two and a revised DRS activator. Finally a minor and hard to notice change is the slightly extension downwards of the middle section of the second airfoil profile. Sauber with the new spec targeted to a wing offering similar amounts of downforce with a reduced drag level .

Sauber C32 – B spec rear wing at Jerez test

Jerez test on February ,  B spec

Jerez test on February , B spec

     It is very usual for F1 teams to immediately launch new wings right on the first pre season test after the launch of new car. Sauber honored partially this trend, because the rear wing tested at Jerez on February was actually the A spec with an additional black colored gurney tab across the trailing edge of the second flap to increase the grip of the rear end . Furthermore a color difference, from white to black, occurred on the centre zone of the main flap. To be more accurate the white color is now absent, thus the black carbon fibres beneath the paint layer are revealed .

Sauber C32 Rear wing – launch spec details

Launch (A) spec

Launch (A) spec

  Sauber’s rear wing consists of two upper flaps and one lower, often called beam wing, which supports the whole wing on the car’s rear crash structure . Parallel endplates enclose all flaps to enhance downforce production . Many others characteristics, listed below, aid to make a design successful or not .

1.single profiled extra winglet on the beam wing , helps to raise downforce

2. a series of four gills on the endplate surface to bleed air to the outside , hence reduce drag

3. main flap with slightly raised upwards central zone

4. second flap with a smaller chord, this is the movable flap when DRS (Drag reduction System)  is activated

5. two flap fasteners to secure inflexibility of flaps

6. the L shaped husk encapsulates the DRS activator mechanism

7. endplate’s upper sector features a deep cut, again to reduce drag

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