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F1 | Ferrari SF90 Launch

F1 | Ferrari SF90 Launch

15/02/2019, England, Motorsport - Road Racing, Racecar Engineering, Article # 28530185

Ferrari SF90

Ferrari revealed their highly anticipated 2019 challenger – the SF90 – that they are hoping will take the fight to Mercedes this season. The team has gone through another era of change, with the departure of Maurizio Arrivabene making way for the new Team Principal, Mattia Binotto, formerly Ferrari’s Chief Technical Officer. Add to this, the swapping of seats between the experienced Kimi Raikkonen and F1’s new young gun Charles Leclerc, and it appears that Ferrari are pulling out all the stops to beat Mercedes. But as we’ve seen in the past with the Italian team, change does not always trump consistency.

Ferrari only released high res renderings of the SF90, so although we cannot accurately analyse the details, we can get an understanding of the general design philosophy of the car. 

The front wing features the regulated 5 closed main elements, with all the additional furniture on the outboard portion of the wing removed. The endplates are much more simplified and the rendering suggest that these are also curved. The SF90’s nose is of very similar shape to that of last year, with the tiny inlet at the front. The slot gaps along the side of the nose, highlighted in blue, seem to have remained as well as the turning vanes rearwards of the front wing. It will be interesting to see whether the front wing on the real car will include so many of the same features as last year, considering that the aerodynamic philosophy of the car has had to completely change for 2019. 

Ferrari_SF90_Front_Wing_Comparison
Front wing comparison between the SF90 rendering (top) and last year’s SF-71H at the Brazilian GP (bottom)

The brake ducts have been another area of simplification for 2019, with the complex turning vanes and surrounding shrouding removed. Only one single aperture that is 50mm in circumference is permitted, which can be seen below on the render. However, it is likely that this has been further simplified for the rendering. Development in this area is now a key focus for 2019 as the outwash effect of the brake ducts and wheel rims becomes more important, due to the heavily restricted front wing.

Ferrari_SF90_Brake_Ducts_Comparison
Brake duct comparison between SF90 rendering (top) and SF-71H at the Abu Dhabi GP (bottom)

The Ferrari SF90 sidepod concept is again similar to that of last year’s car, although there appears to be only one main inlet. The mirrors that sparked so much controversy last year are now mounted to the main chassis and the elements surrounding the sidepod, rather than from the Halo. The lack of cooling vents rearwards of the sidepods and other details again suggest that the renderings are a much simplified version of what we will see on track. 

Ferrari_SF90_Sidepod_Comparison
Sidepod comparison between the SF90 rendering (top) and last year’s SF-71H at the Brazilian GP (bottom)

Another 2019 rule change is the reduction in bargeboard height from 475mm to 350mm above the reference plane, which can clearly be seen in the blue squares to the right of the image below. Another difference lies in the extended elements that condition the flow into the sidepod inlet. The Ferrari SF90 rendering shows that the bottom section is now significantly shorter than last year and consists of three elements, rather than one (the third is black and difficult to see).

Ferrari_SF90_Baregeboard_Comparison
Comparison between the bargeboard area of the SF90 rendering (top) and last year’s SF-71H at the Brazilian GP (bottom)

One of the main things that Ferrari have been working on is relocating some of the power unit ancillaries, with the aim of saving space. This has allowed Ferrari to tighten up it’s packaging, resulting in a narrower engine cover for the SF90, cleaning up the airflow before it flows onto the rear wing. 

Ferrari_SF90_Engine-Cover_Comparison
Engine cover comparison between the SF90 rendering (top) and last year’s SF-71H at the Abu Dhabi GP (bottom)

This narrower packaging can also be seen by the different shape of the engine air intake, which is now much more triangular when compared to last year. Although, Ferrari say that their work on the fluid dynamic side of things has resulted in a cooling package which achieves the same level of efficiency as last year’s car, but now takes up less space on the Ferrari SF90.

Ferrari_SF90_Enginer_Air_Intake_Comparison
Engine air intake comparison between the SF90 rendering (top) and last year’s SF-71H at the Brazilian GP (bottom)

Overall, the Ferrari SF90 renderings are more about showing the effect of the 2019 rules, rather than revealing any secrets about it’s design. Only when the car hits the track will we really see what the Italian team have really been up to over the winter. 


 

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F1 | McLaren MCL34 Launch

F1 | McLaren MCL34 Launch

15/02/2019, England, Motorsport - Road Racing, Racecar Engineering, Article # 28524290

McLaren MCL34 Launch

McLaren’s 2018 season was not the revolution that the Woking based team had hoped it would be, even with the introduction of the Renault power unit. However, their new 2019 contender – the MCL34 – might just be the car to boost the team up the grid.

Starting from the front, for 2019 only five closed main horizontal elements are allowed which can be seen on the McLaren MCL34 below (top and middle). It is interesting to note that the inboard sections of these elements are much more tapered and curve downwards more on the real car (middle) than what the rendering suggests (top) as highlighted by the red circles. Furthermore, the real front wing has 7 visible mounting points, where the rendering has none. This is why it is so important to take the renderings with a pinch of salt. They are only useful to hint towards the general design philosophy of the car, only when the cars hit the track can the details be accurately analysed. 

McLaren_MCL34_Front_Wing_comparison
Front wing comparison between the MCL34 rendering (top), the actual MCL34 at launch (middle) and the MCL33 at the Abu Dhabi GP last year (bottom)

The McLaren MCL34 features a similar nose to last year’s car, with three inlets. The lighting makes it difficult to see whether the actual MCL34 also has a vertical element within these inlets, however the rendering suggests that there is one in the central inlet highlighted in blue, but we will have to wait until we see the final car on track. The aim of these elements could be to keep the airflow attached to the surface, tidying up the air as it travels through the inlet and progresses onto the so called ‘cape’. 

MCL34_Nose_Comparison
Nose comparison between the MCL34 rendering (left), the actual MCL34 at launch (middle) and the MCL33 at the Abu Dhabi GP last year (right)

This cape extends rearwards from the nose and was orange on the MCL33. It appears that the McLaren MCL34 has stuck with the same philosophy, only this year it is black, as highlighted by the red square. One difference however, is the curved sides of the nose are now deeper, which has allowed for a small winglet to be added, highlighted in blue. 

McLAren_MCL34_Cape_Comparison
Nose comparison between the MCL34 rendering (top left), the actual MCL34 at launch (top right) and the MCL33 at the Abu Dhabi GP last year (bottom)

Another regulation change for 2019 is that only two strakes are permitted on the underside of the front wing. These can just be seen on the MCL34 at the launch and are supported by the renderings. However, the final version of regulations that was released late last year permitted some more freedom in this area so we may see some additional elements in this area on the final cars. 

McLaren_MCL34_Strakes
Comparison of front wing strakes on the MCL34 at launch (top) which are supported by the MCL34 renderings (bottom)

Moving rearwards, we can see that the suspension design is similar to last year, with pushrod actuated fronts and pullrod suspension at the rear. Another similarity lies in the fact that the upper front wishbones are outboard mounted. 

McLaren_MCL34_Suspension_comparison
Front suspension comparison between the MCL34 at launch (left) and the MCL33 at the Brazilian GP (right)

Another major change for 2019 is the simplified brake ducts. No longer are the complex turning vanes surrounding the brake ducts allowed. Only one single aperture that is 50mm in circumference is permitted. Furthermore, unlike last year, all apertures where the suspension legs, upright elements or brackets meet the ducting must be sealed. These seals are flexible to allow the suspension components to move, but no air can pass through them. This is all in an effort to eliminate the ‘blowing nuts’ tactic seen in 2018.

McLaren_MCL34_Brake_Ducts_comparison
Front brake ducts of the MCL34 at launch (left) and the MCL33 at the Brazilian GP (right)

 

 

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F1 | Red Bull Racing RB15 Launch

F1 | Red Bull Racing RB15 Launch

14/02/2019, England, Motorsport - Road Racing, Racecar Engineering, Article # 28518210

Red Bull Racing R15

Red Bull Racing were the second team to unveil their 2019 contender in the flesh – the RB15. This racer completed a successful shakedown and filming day at Silverstone on the same day as their Mercedes F1 rivals, who were running their W10 EQ Power+.

As usual, Red Bull kept their cards close to their chests as their RB15 featured a one-off livery which is not only designed to look good, but also to disguise the details of the RB15’s aerodynamic design.

Red_Bull_Racing_RB15_Launch_Side_3
Red Bull Racing’s RB15 at the shakedown at Silverstone

The bargeboards and surrounding area are more important than ever this year due to the heavily restricted 2019 front wing regulations. From the shakedowns we can already see the different approaches taken by the RB15 and the W10. The details of these components are very specific to each team and the chosen ethos of their aerodynamic package. Therefore, it is difficult to compare accurately between teams and the designs will evolve throughout the season as the teams continue to understand the aerodynamic impacts of the 2019 rules.

Red_Bull_Racing_RB15_Launch_Side_Close_Comparison
Comparison of bargeboard area between Red Bull’s RB15 and Mercedes’ W10 at their respective Silverstone shakedowns

One thing that is interesting to note from the above pictures is the aggressive rake of the RB15 which is notoriously Red Bull. Although the rendering images of Renault F1’s RS19 also showed similarly high rake.

Red_Bull_Racing_RB15_Launch_Bargeboards_2
Comparison of bargeboard area between the RB15 at the Silverstone shakedown (top) and the RB14 at the Abu Dhabi GP (bottom)

The reduction in bargeboard height of 150mm as specified by the 2019 regulations can be clearly seen in the above images. Although difficult to see due to the camouflage-style livery, the RB15 features some interesting vertical elements around the bargeboard area. 

Red_Bull_Racing_RB15_Launch_Bargeboards
Close up shots of the bargeboard area between the RB15 at the Silverstone shakedown (top) and the RB15 rendering (bottom)

The front wing on the RB15 is much more simplified, with only 5 closed horizontal main elements and all the furniture on the outboard portion of the wing removed.

Red_Bull_Racing_RB15_Launch_Front-Wing_Comparison
Front wing comparison between RB15 at the Silverstone shakedown (top) and the RB14 at the Mexican GP (bottom)
Red_Bull_Racing_RB15_Launch_Front-Wing_Comparison_Close-up
Close up of the front wing comparison between RB15 at the Silverstone shakedown (top) and the RB14 at the Mexican GP (bottom)

One of the consequences of the 2019 regulations stipulating a 100mm overall wider rear wing is an increased DRS effect. This is because the gap between the upper and lower element is also wider, increasing the cross sectional area and therefore the amount of air that can flow through this gap when the DRS is activated. This will lead to a higher drag reduction than in 2019, and ultimately a larger power boost to aid in overtaking. 

Rear_Wing_Regulations_Comparison
Rear wing illustrations from the 2019 technical regulations (top) compared with the 2018 technical regulations (bottom)

Also shown in the above drawings is the increased rear wing height, which is 70mm higher than in 2018. 

Red_Bull_Racing_RB15_Launch_Rear
Rear view of the RB15 at the Silverstone shakedown

Despite the aim of the 2019 rules to aid overtaking and ‘improve the show’, the 2019 regulations have gone down badly at certain teams, such as Red Bull. ‘Sometimes this sport has the ability to shoot itself in the foot,’ said Christian Horner, Team Principal at Red Bull Racing at a press conference at the Spanish GP. ‘The work that has been done for 2021 is all good stuff, the problem is a snapshot of that has been taken and hasn’t been fully analysed and there are no proven conclusions from it. It has then been rushed into a set of regulations that completely conflict with existing regulations. It completely changes the philosophy of the car because the front wing will be wider and different. The point that the car meets the air is the front wing and that then changes everything behind it: the suspension, the bodywork, absolutely every single component. We talk about costs and being responsible but what has just been introduced is a completely new concept which will cost millions and millions of pounds.’

Despite the controversies of these 2019 rules, only when all the final versions of the cars are lined up on the grid at the Australian GP will we find out just how effective these aero changes will be at improving overtaking.


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F1 | Mercedes W10 EQ Power+ Launch

F1 | Mercedes W10 EQ Power+ Launch

13/02/2019, England, Motorsport - Road Racing, Racecar Engineering, Article # 28516230

Mercedes W10 EQ Power+

More W10 analysis to follow…

Mercedes were the first F1 team (unsurprisingly) to give us a true insight into what the real cars of 2019 will look like as the team revealed its new W10 EQ Power+ contender at a private shake-down and filming day at Silverstone.

Mercedes W10Each team is allowed to carry out two Promotional Events (PE) per season which is not considered as ‘testing’ by the regulations. These are limited to only 100km and run on tyres specific for this purpose. They are labelled as filming days, but of course teams use these as an opportunity to do a final systems check before the first pre-season test in Barcelona. 

‘The shakedown is a very limited number of kilometres and it is our first opportunity to find out whether everything we did in the factory has actually prepared a car that is capable of going round a track,’ explains James Allison, Technical Director at Mercedes F1. ‘The shakedown is our last significant opportunity to make sure that the all important 8 days of winter testing are as useful to us as they can possibly be. We don’t want those 8 days interrupted by any form of problem that subtracts from our opportunities to maximise our track running. It tends to be that the significance of the achievement of bringing together all of those thousands of bits in harmony for the first time going round a track plays 2nd fiddle to just the mechanics of ‘lets make sure we are ready for the real thing’.’

Mercedes W10Last year’s W09 was the last of a two-car concept which started with the W08, also known as the ‘Diva’. The W10 for 2019 will be a new concept, but of course the lessons learnt from the previous years will be carried forward into this year’s design. Handling has been a particular focus area, with the W09 a step improvement from the W08 (hence the Diva reference), but there was still room for improvement for the W10. 

‘We were still not as good as some of our competitors at preserving the performance of the rear tyres [in 2018],’ highlights Allison. ‘We have worked hard on the suspension and aerodynamic characteristics to deliver a car that will be much kinder to its tyres – enough, we hope, to allow us to be competitive at all phases of the race and at each track on the calendar.’

One rule change for the 2019 season is the minimum weight, which has increased from by 10kg from 733kg to 743kg not including fuel. However, this has not stopped Mercedes F1 from minimising weight wherever they can. ‘Weight reduction remains a real challenge on the current generation of F1 cars,’ says Allison. ‘Components that we felt were stripped to the bone in 2018 have been taken, one by one, and subjected to a further round of aggressive analysis to shave further weight from them. Some components surrender what feels like a giant step of half a kilo, others just a few grams, but collectively each of these victories add up to a handful of kilos that have been invested back in the car on aerodynamics, suspension and Power Unit to bring performance.’

The W10 retains the same wheelbase and general architecture as it’s predecessors, however further refinement has resulted in tighter packaging of every item. This is evident in the sidepod area, which now features a taller, but narrower inlet compared to the W09.

Merc_W10_Launch_Sidepods_Comparison
Comparison of the sidepod area of the W10 at the Silverstone shakedown (left) and the W09 at the Brazilian GP (right)

In terms of the development of the M10 EQ Power+ power unit, there have been no major changes in the regulations that impact the PU’s fundamental architecture. Therefore, this year’s power plant is an evolution of last year’s with some modifications to suit the new 2019 aero regulations and a new derivative of fuel developed by HPP and Petronas.

‘We’ve made changes to the cooling architecture of the Power Unit, which hopefully provide aerodynamic benefit on the car and also provide efficiency benefit on the Power Unit – so, hopefully a win on both the chassis and on the Power Unit,’ explains Andy Cowell, Managing Director at Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains. ‘Right at the heart of the Power Unit is the conversion of fuel into heat release in the combustion chamber and useful work out of the crankshaft. We have made steps on the combustion efficiency and on the ERS system. The marriage between the turbocharger assembly with the MGU-H, the inverter, the cells and the MGU-K: that whole system is now capable of operating more efficiently and helping with energy deployment through a race.’

One 2019 regulation change that does effect the power unit is the 5kg increase in allowable fuel for the race, which now totals at 110kg. With every 5kg of additional weight roughly worth two tenths of a second per lap, minimising this weight is key. ‘If you have got an efficient engine with efficient aerodynamics and you are prepared to do a little bit of lift and coasting, then you have the opportunity to start the race at less than 110kg,; highlights Cowell. ‘There is a natural reward to starting the race a little bit lighter. There is still a competitive edge from making an efficient car – both Power Unit and aerodynamics – and racing smartly to make sure that you have good pace at the start of the race as well as through the race.’

Merc_W10_Launch_Front_Wing_Comparison
Comparison of the front wing of the W10 at the Silverstone shakedown (left) and the W09 at the Brazilian GP (right)

The most noticeable changes for 2019 is the aerodynamics. Not only is the front wing 200mm wider, but only five closed main elements are permitted, with a maximum of only two strakes on the underside of the wing. Although teams have slightly more freedom in this area than the original draft regulations specified, so there may be smaller elements/protrusions on the underside of the front wing. Additional fairings are only allowed for the tyre temperature sensor and the required brackets, but most be simplified. The rear wing has also widened by 100mm and now sits 20mm higher with larger endplates. 

Merc W10 Front Wing Strakes

The bargeboards are another key area of development which continually evolves throughout the season, with the W10 bargeboards reducing in height by 150mm as shown below.

Mercedes W10 bargeboards
Comparison of the bargeboard area of the W10 at the Silverstone shakedown (left) and the W09 at the Brazilian GP (right)

‘In the popular imagination the winter is somehow quieter than the racing season but the truth is it is never quiet because you are designing and conceiving the new car during the racing season itself and then the winter is the point where all that starts to come together and all the hardware arrives at the factory,’ highlights Allison. ‘But long before the hardware ever got to the car there were design offices burning midnight oil, releasing hundreds of drawings per day and production guys and planners and buyers working frantically to try and get this huge volume of new material into the factory in time for assembly. Once the hardware starts to pitch up in the factory the torch is handed over to the people that build and test so that pretty much every part of the car has been fooled into thinking it’s on a track and has done thousands of km’s of running under the sort of loads, temperatures and fatigue cycles that it will see when its being used in anger.’

‘Since 2017, this is the second time we’ve had a huge shake up in terms of the regulations,’ highlights Toto Wolff, Team Principal at Mercedes F1. ‘It has all been reset, every team has a chance at producing a front running car and I’m personally very excited to see how some of the teams come out and whether we’ve been able to maintain our position at the front. But the first real benchmark against our own expectations and the competition is going to happen on Saturday in Melbourne.’

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F1 | Renault RS19 Launch

F1 | Renault RS19 Launch

12/02/2019, England, Motorsport - Road Racing, Racecar Engineering, Article # 28510065

Renault RS19 Launch

The Renault F1 team pulled the covers off their RS19 racer which will fight for that all important 4th place spot in the constructors championship for 2019. Although the car revealed at the launch back at the teams’ HQ in Enstone was more of a new livery then a new car – with the 

The most noticeable rule change for 2019 is the front wing. The front wing width between the central reference plane and the outer edge has increased by 100mm both sides, resulting in an overall front wing increase of 200mm which now matches the full 2m width of the car as shown below. Furthermore, the specified area of the front wing can now only contain endplates, a maximum of five closed main elements, a maximum of two front wing strakes and auxiliary components such as a fairing for the tyre temperature sensor and the necessary brackets. Gone are the days of the complex arrays of winglets and elements that sit on the outboard section of the front wing.

2019_vs_2018_Front_Wing_Comparison
The 2019 front wing regulations (top) compared to 2018 (bottom)

‘The front wing with the much wider span, and the fact we are very limited on what we can do with the profiles, furniture and endplates changes a lot,’ explains Nick Chester, Chief Designer of Renault F1. ‘I think teams will be able to generate wing load in a straight line but trying to get everything working when you have yaw and steer on there is going to be really tough. It’s going to take quite a lot of work to get things working the way you want them to and get the right flow structures down the side of the car. That means that front wing area is going to be crucial, and with the air ducts changing too we can’t turn the flow as much as we used to in that area.’

Renault_RS19_Launch_Front_Wing_Comparison
The launch renderings of the RS19 (top) compared to the RS18 (bottom)

‘There may be a few little things we can do and we are looking at those,’ highlights Chester. ‘Ultimately it could all put more reliance on the bargeboard system because if you can’t turn the flow with the front wing you might be trying to get a good deal of outwash with the sidepod vane system. All that whole area, including the front wing and brake ducts will be crucial in making the rear of the car work properly.’

Renault_RS19_Launch_Aerial_Comparison
The launch renderings of the RS19 (top) compared to the RS18 (bottom)

To ensure teams can’t capitalize on the outwashing of the front wing, the regulations have also restricted brake duct design. Only one single cooling aperture, of 50mm circumference, is allowed and so the complex assemblies of turning vanes and winglets of 2018 have been banned. To avoid the ‘blowing nuts’ of 2018 which contributed to the outwash effect, the regulations now specify that no air is permitted to pass through an area 105mm in diameter from the centre of the wheel nut. To eliminate this aerodynamic tactic further, all apertures where the suspension legs, upright elements or brackets meet the ducting must be sealed so no air can pass through them. Last year, teams were using these mounting points to feed air through this area.

However, development in wheel rim and brake cooling design is now more important than ever. ‘It is even more important with the 2019 rules because you are struggling to get the front wing to outwash the air as much as you would like,’ explains Chester. ‘So if you can do more in the wheel it becomes even more important.’  

Renault_RS19_Launch_Side_Comparison
The launch renderings of the RS19 (top) compared to the RS18 (bottom)

Overall, Chester believes that these 2019 rule changes are a rung on a ladder to 2021. ‘Obviously, in one year you could not do all of the changes which are planned for 2021,’ he says. ‘But from what we’ve seen so far I think the 2019 rules will make a small difference. It’ll go in the right direction, so the following [one car behind another] will be a little bit improved, but we’re probably going to have to wait until 2021 to see what the full package can deliver.’


 

 

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F1 | Williams FW42 Launch

F1 | Williams FW42 Launch

12/02/2019, England, Motorsport - Road Racing, Racecar Engineering, Article # 28506562

Williams FW42

Williams wowed the crowds at their livery launch held at the team’s headquarters in Grove. Not only does the new FW42 feature a vibrant blue livery but a brand new title sponsor as well. Here’s to hoping that this dramatic new look and investment is enough to end the team’s long and painful losing streak.

Williams_FW42_Launch_Side

Securing a title partner off the back of the team’s worst season to date is an astounding achievement and one which is rarely accomplished – as proven by the collapse of teams such as Manor Racing and Caterham. So revealing that Williams have not only secured a new sponsor, but a new title sponsor is fantastic news for the Championship. Their partners in crime are ROKiT who are a new telco brand that offers consumers state of the art mobile handsets and wireless connectivity along with various other products. 

As ever with these livery launches, the use of clever lighting makes it difficult to deduce too much of the 2019 design. As expected, the front wing is simplified with 5 main elements and a simplistic endplate design. The FW42’s front wing resembles Haas’s VF-19, with three narrow elements at the top of the wing, rather than a wider third element as seen on Toro Rosso’s STR14.

Williams_FW42_Launch_Front
The FW42’s front wing features a simplified design as specified by the 2019 regulations
Launch_Front_Wings
Front wing comparison between Williams’s FW42 (top), Haas’s VF-19 (middle) and Toro Rosso’s STR14 (bottom)

The 2019 regulations aim to improve overtaking by reducing the out-wash effect of the front wing, hence the simplified designs. ‘Some really fascinating work has been done by the FIA and Formula 1 to research the effect of front wheel wake and particularly the impact of front wing end plates on that,’ Williams technical director Paddy Lowe says. ‘A decade ago we had the overtaking working group [OWG] which delivered the 2009 regulations. I was part of that process and I thought that it would deliver a reasonably good outcome. But at the time ‘out-washing’ end plates as they became known had not been invented. However, as a direct result of the 2009 rules they were invented. It is interesting to see now that those out-washing endplates undermined significantly the work of the OWG programme and reduced the benefits it found.’

Lowe believes that had the OWG project continued after 2009, these out-washing issues would have been spotted earlier. ‘The original OWG project was funded by the teams, each who paid about £50,000 for the research, and it would have been interesting to have done it again a year later and we could have understood what the teams had done. Had we done that at the time we might have landed at this correction much more quickly. Now Formula 1 has funded centralised research we are able to get onto these things in a centralised way. I’m optimistic that it will make a reasonable impact on the ability to follow.’

Williams_FW42_Launch_Angled Comparison
The FW42 (top) compared with last year’s FW41 (bottom)

The front wing is just one piece of the 2019 rule change puzzle. Bargeboards, brake ducts, rear wings and side pods have all required modifications too. ‘We’ve got rid of all the furniture on the front wing, it’s a wider span, the brake duct winglets have gone, the bargeboard area is very different and what that all does is it gives you much worse wheel wake control,’ explained outgoing head of vehicle performance at Williams, Rob Smedley, last year. ‘We’ve found some really clear directions of where we need to work to recover the performance and it will be very, very interesting at the start of the season, to see the different concepts that come out. Then you’ll probably find that there’ll be a really quick convergence as usual as we take the best concepts from all the cars and blend that into the normal lookalike Formula 1 car.’

Williams_FW42_Launch_Angle_3
The FW42 at the livery launch

With the 2019 season officially kicking off, Lowe is hoping to lead Williams into a new era of racing. ‘Our aims and ambitions remain the same as they were, to make a big step and get to the head of the grid,’ Lowe says. ‘I hope that the dedication the team has shown this year along with better processes and a better technical approach applied to the new car design will let us achieve that. I have a lot of hope and indeed confidence that we can do that. The last time we really had such a significant change to the regulations was 2009, and then you saw considerable disruption to the pack.
 The new aerodynamic regulations provide a good opportunity, the field will kind of be reset in some areas of the car, and that will let us exploit some things.’

Only when the car hits the track at pre-season testing will we get a true representation of the 2019 car design and what this new FW42 is capable of.


 

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F1 | Toro Rosso STR14 Launch

F1 | Toro Rosso STR14 Launch

12/02/2019, England, Motorsport - Road Racing, Racecar Engineering, Article # 28505111

Scuderia Toro Rosso STR14

Toro Rosso revealed their 2019 challenger – the STR14 – through a thrilling launch video, which shows a ‘moodier’ version of last year’s car, complete with a new front wing, new rear wing and new bargeboards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14FLAUOIbl4

As with all of the 2019 contenders, the biggest differences are found in the front wing design. With the 2019 aero rules stipulating that the front wing needs to be 200mm wider and 20mm higher than 2018, and much more simplistic.

Toro_Rosso_STR14_Front_Comparison
The studio shots of the STR14 (left) and last year’s STR13 (right)

‘One of the intended purposes of the 2019 regulation changes was to reduce the amount of outwash generated, which leaves us with the challenge of reconstructing the required flow structures to recover the lost load within the scope of the new regulations,’ explains Jody Eggington, Deputy Technical Director at Toro Rosso. ‘Although the front wing width has been increased, we’ve lost the winglets and the elements which were on the outboard portion of the main plane and the endplate itself is simplified. Together with the simplification of the front brake ducts, the opportunities for generating the required flow structures and positioning them where you want are different, and require you to recover the size and trajectory of the front wheel wakes and flow structures by identifying key areas for aerodynamic development and exploiting these to the maximum.’

Toro_Rosso_STR14_Front_Wing_Comparison
The studio shots of the STR14 (top) and last year’s STR13 (bottom)

From the studio shots, we can see clearly the effect of removing the complex array of winglets and elements on the outboard portion of the wing that Eggington is referring too. Furthermore, the STR14 features a simplistic vertical endplate with a much smaller footplate at the bottom, compared to the STR13, as highlighted below.

Toro_Rosso_STR14_Front_Wing_@_Comparison
The studio shots of the STR14 (top) and last year’s STR13 (bottom) highlighting the smaller footplate for 2019

Furthermore, there are only two strakes on the underside of the STR14 front wing, compared to several on the STR13. This is another regulation change that has driven the design of the front wing to be more simplistic, all with the aim of minimising outwash and increasing overtaking. 

Toro_Rosso_STR14_Front_Wing_@_Comparison copy
The studio shots of the STR14 (top) and last year’s STR13 (bottom) highlighting the reduced number of strakes for 2019

For the second year running, Toro Rosso will be racing with their Honda RA619H power plant, which was successfully fired up on the 8th of February this year.

‘There have been no real changes to the rules regarding the PU, apart from being allowed to use 5kg more fuel per car in the race, explains Toyoharu Tanabe, Honda F1 Technical Director. ‘Therefore, our development work has really been a continuation of what we have been doing over the past year. Naturally, with no racing over the winter, the work in Japan and Milton Keynes has stepped up in preparation for the new season. Plus, we have had to deal with preparation for also supplying Red Bull Racing. By working with the Red Bull Technology group, we have been able to streamline that process, in many areas dealing with matters relating to both cars at the same time. We have been looking at all areas of the PU such as ICE, ERS and Energy store.’

Toro_Rosso_STR14_Angle_Comparison
The studio shots of the STR14 (top) and last year’s STR13 (bottom)

With Toro Rosso’s bigger brother, Red Bull Racing, switching to the Honda PU for the first time has led to some important advantages for both teams. Although Honda are keen to promote the fact that they are not only supplying both teams with identical technical hardware (as required by the regulations), but they will also treat the teams equally in terms of the resources allocated to managing the PU as well as its development throughout the season.

Of course, this equality is much easier for Honda with Toro Rosso and Red Bull Racing being part of the same family. This, has also allowed the two Red Bull teams to collaborate, but only where permitted. ‘The chassis itself, as per the regulations, is a complete Toro Rosso design and IP as is the front outboard suspension, along with all aspects of the cooling systems, power unit installation & steering column. The ‘rear end’ has been provided by Red Bull Technology and the key change for Toro Rosso, being that we are taking a gearbox casing and rear suspension although many of the internals of the gearbox are similar to parts we have used in the past,’ says Eggington. ‘Having committed to parts supply from Red Bull Technology, a lot of effort has to be put to integrate everything as well as possible and of course, this remains under the sole control of Toro Rosso. In that respect, we’re excited to join Toro Rosso and Red Bull Technology. Synergy is a concept we as a team have embraced, it has several positives which gives us the ability to refocus our design effort on other areas and resources that come with it, whilst receiving parts which are proven trackside.’

Toro_Rosso_STR14_Launch_SideAnother advantage for Toro Rosso and Honda, is that Red Bull Racing will now be able to plummet its resources into the dyno activities to help the development process of the PU. Therefore, Toro Rosso have been able to put more of its resources into the integration and cooling package of the PU. ‘With synergy and Red Bull Racing taking the Honda PU, we have been able to reallocate resource to different activity which has provided some benefit in terms of adding capacity to some areas which up to now were maybe limited,’ highlights Eggington. ‘Generally, there are many positives for having a focussed approach to which parts of the car originate in Toro Rosso and which parts are purchased. We now have an even more flexible design office and the people involved have really embraced the synergy project and taken on board new challenges.’

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March 2019 issue out now!

March 2019 issue out now!

08/02/2019, England, Motorsport - Road Racing, Racecar Engineering, Article # 28487329

March 2019 

 Our March 2019 issue features Porsche GT3, McLaren F1, Rally, Formula E, Hydrogen racing, Battery technology and much more.

 

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Inside the March edition:March 2019_McLaren

Exclusive insight into Porsche’s new GT3 contender for the 2019 season – the 911 GT3 R. Featuring a new chassis, new aero, new front suspension and updated driver aids, Racecar delves into the details behind these changes.

March 2019 HydrogenAlso in this issue, McLaren explain what went wrong with their MCL33 F1 car and Volkswagen motorsport release details of their new Polo GTI R5 Rally car. Our technology section features the 2nd part of Racercar’s investigation into Hydrogen fuel cells as well as an in depth analysis on how high voltage batteries work.  


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F1 | Haas VF-19 Launch

F1 | Haas VF-19 Launch

07/02/2019, England, Motorsport - Road Racing, Racecar Engineering, Article # 28481872

Haas VF-19

The Haas F1 team were the first to give us a glimpse into what the F1 cars of 2019 will look like when they revealed their livery on the 7th of February at the Royal Automobile Club, Pall Mall in London. Signifying a new era with their partnership with Rich Energy, the car features a new black and gold livery.

In addition to the new livery, the digital renderings highlight the new, simplified front wing design which is now 200mm wider and 20mm higher. The new rear wing can be seen, although the details are hidden while the smaller and repositioned barge boards are visible. 

Haas VF-19 Front
The Haas VF-19 from the 2019 livery launch
Haas VF-18
The Haas VF-18 from the 2018 launch

The 2019 aerodynamic regulations are the biggest change from 2018 and have caused plenty of headaches for the teams. However, Ross Brawn’s plan is that these changes will hopefully improve overtaking on track. Over the last few years it was found that the behaviour of the airflow around the front wing made it extremely difficult for cars to not only follow each other closely, but also be able to conduct a successful overtake. Ross Brawn’s technical group as well as 8 of the F1 teams completed Wind Tunnel and CFD work to develop a draft set of regulations which proposed: 1) Wider, simplified front wing 2) Wider rear wing 3) Simplified brake ducts to combat this overtaking problem.

Haas VF-19 Side
The Haas VF-19 from the 2019 livery launch
Haas VF-18
The Haas VF-18 from the 2018 launch

Further discussions took place and the final set of regulations were released at the US Grand Prix and featured several other changes too. Although, the ethos of wider front and rear wings and simplified brake ducts remains, the final set of regulations permit teams to include more than 2 strakes on the front wing, while the maximum height of the bargeboard area has been reduced and the maximum rear wing height has increased to 870mm (compared to 800mm in 2018). This has led to the rear wing endplates increasing in size accordingly but overall, this rule now means that the rear wing elements will no longer impede rear visibility.

Haas VF-19 Rear
The Haas VF-19 from the 2019 livery launch
Haas VF-18
The Haas VF-18 from the 2018 launch

Although this higher rear wing philosophy was introduced relatively late last year, this has not been too much of an issue for teams. ‘With the rear wing in particular, although it was quite late, there was a fair amount of discussion that preceded it that indeed investigated alternative ways of increasing visibility, like reducing the rear wing box height,’ explains Ben Agethagelou at Haas. ‘There was a general consensus that because development had been under way, we were dealing with a wing that fits a particular box and the fact that it shoots up by 50mm isn’t a game-changer.’

Haas VF-19 Aerial
The Haas VF-19 from the 2019 livery launch
Haas VF-18
The Haas VF-18 from the 2018 launch

Of course with any rule change, comes plenty of speculation. ‘Apparently the rules should make overtaking easier, we were sold on them with a promise of a fantastic race in Australia next year,’ Guenther Steiner, the Haas team principal says. ‘It will not be like that, the silver bullet will not work in my opinion. I would love to be proven wrong, but I said from the beginning that in Australia it is just difficult to overtake, and nothing will change in 2019. Maybe we should take the wings completely off the cars and then they can overtake?’

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