Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Bahrain GP: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Join us as we delve into the latest technical developments from the opening round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship in Bahrain, courtesy of Giorgio Piola and Sutton Images.

Bahrain GP: Latest F1 2021 technical developments
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Mercedes W12 inlet plenum comparison
Mercedes W12 inlet plenum comparison
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A look under the skin of the Mercedes W12 reveals a larger inlet plenum (highlighted in green) on this year's power unit has resulted in the engine cover’s bodywork bulge.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes W12 detail
Mercedes W12 detail
2/37
Mercedes front suspension and brake duct detail, which without the brake drum attached you can see the pipework used to duct the airflow out through the assembly and influence the airflow as it passes by the front wheel.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
Aston Martin AMR21 detail
3/37
A closeup view of the bodywork panel that makes up the front section of the sidepod and is attached to the side of the chassis. Note the smaller inlet beneath the side-impact spar that feeds cool air into the lower section of the sidepod where the electronics are housed.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Williams FW43B rear detail
Williams FW43B rear detail
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The Williams FW43B sans rear bodywork gives us some insight into how the Mercedes power unit is packaged and the team's other decisions on cooling. Note also the trio of winglets on the edge of the floor ahead of the rear wheel, whilst the twisted vanes on the brake drum will manipulate the flow in the void between it and the wheel rim.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari SF21 front brake drum detail
Ferrari SF21 front brake drum detail
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Ferrari’s front brake duct has a much squarer inlet for 2021.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes W12 cooling detail
Mercedes W12 cooling detail
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Mercedes has a large cooling outlet present on the W12 as it prepares the car for scrutineering. Also note the fin mounted between the airbox and halo, which is used to just tease the airflow in the right direction.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari SF21 S-duct detail
Ferrari SF21 S-duct detail
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Ferrari’s new nose solution for 2021 with the front wing pillars narrowed in order to free up space for a side-mounted cape. Highlighted and arrowed is the ‘S’-duct inlet.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alfa Romeo Racing C41 floor detail
Alfa Romeo Racing C41 floor detail
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The detail on the edge of the Alfa Romeo C41’s floor, with a pair of detached Gurney flaps mounted above the scrolled section of floor and the two fins outwardly angled to help encourage the airflow's transit.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes W12 without bodywork
Mercedes W12 without bodywork
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Another wider angle shot of the Mercedes W12 with the bodywork off, enabling us to see the layout of the power unit and its ancillaries.

Photo by: Uncredited

Mercedes W12 detail
Mercedes W12 detail
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The new front brake duct arrangement on the W12 sees the inlet inverted and the wider section now placed at the bottom. In doing this the team has been able to remove the ancillary inlets that were in the face of the fence last season, which means the winglets housed in the bottom half of the fence can now be larger and/or see their number increased.

Photo by: Uncredited

Mercedes W12 diffuser
Mercedes W12 diffuser
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A sideways shot of the Mercedes W12’s diffuser which has seen the inner strakes cut down by 50mm to comply with the 2021 regulations.

Photo by: Uncredited

Red Bull RB16B bodywork off
Red Bull RB16B bodywork off
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The Red Bull RB16B with the covers off allows us to see how the sidepods are packaged and that it’s once again using a saddle-style cooler arrangement above the power unit.

Photo by: Uncredited

Mercedes W12 rear wing endplate
Mercedes W12 rear wing endplate
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This shot of the Mercedes W12 rear wing endplate shows off the contours used to open up more space for the wing elements and how that fashions a route to the serrated cutout in the upper rear corner.

Photo by: Uncredited

Williams FW43B sidepods detail
Williams FW43B sidepods detail
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A side view of the Williams FW43B gives us a clearer picture of the route the airflow must take around the sidepod, with the team opting for a healthy undercut that’s assisted by another vertical flow generator mounted between the sidepod and deflector array.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes W12 floor detail
Mercedes W12 floor detail
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A closeup of the wavy floor arrangement on the W12, with the sizable flap mounted above it to help tune the flow through that section.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

McLaren MCL35M detail
McLaren MCL35M detail
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A close up of the McLaren MCL35M and the inboard suspension arrangement.

Photo by: Uncredited

McLaren MCL35M detail
McLaren MCL35M detail
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The McLaren MLC35M’s front brake assembly without the drum fitted reveals how some of the airflow is ducted to the bottom of the assembly to feed cool air to the brake caliper.

Photo by: Uncredited

McLaren MCL35M detail
McLaren MCL35M detail
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Another shot of the McLaren MCL35M’s front brake assembly but also note in the background that the team is using a saddle style cooler arrangement.

Photo by: Uncredited

Mercedes W12 detail
Mercedes W12 detail
19/37
A look at the Mercedes W12’s rear end with the covers removed shows just how narrow the gearbox carrier is and how it has packaged their rear suspension elements for maximum aerodynamic gain.

Photo by: Uncredited

Haas VF-21 detail
Haas VF-21 detail
20/37
The front wing of the Haas VF-21: Note how the wing arches quite aggressively as it meets with the neutral section, which will help to tune the Y250 vortex shed from here.

Photo by: Uncredited

Alpine A521 rear suspension and brakes
Alpine A521 rear suspension and brakes
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The Alpine A521’s rear brake duct assembly and new raised rear suspension upright.

Photo by: Uncredited

Mercedes W12 bargeboards and sidepod deflectors
Mercedes W12 bargeboards and sidepod deflectors
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The Mercedes W12’s bargeboard and sidepod deflector arrangement, which remains the same as it was in testing.

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
Aston Martin AMR21 detail
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The Aston Martin AMR21 being prepared for action which you’ll note has the gearbox carrier and rear suspension arrangement used on the Mercedes last season.

Photo by: Uncredited

Ferrari SF21 detail
Ferrari SF21 detail
24/37
Ferrari continue to use the unloaded approach with their front wing design, as the flaps flatten out at the endplate end. The tips are tightly wound over to help shape the vortex shed from the Y250 region.

Photo by: Uncredited

Mercedes W12 detail
Mercedes W12 detail
25/37
The DAS-less steering assembly on the Mercedes W12 and a look at some of the inboard elements of the front suspension.

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
Aston Martin AMR21 detail
26/37
The front wing of the Aston Martin for comparison is not as unloaded as its Ferrari counterpart but the team has slowly edged closer to that concept from its more-loaded starting position.

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
Aston Martin AMR21 detail
27/37
The front view of the AMR21’s front wing shows how the outboard section of the wing sweeps down to meet the endplate, whilst the adjustable flap section is set with a low angle of attack.

Photo by: Uncredited

Alpine A521 detail
Alpine A521 detail
28/37
The Alpine A521 with the bodywork off shows how the team is flanking its saddle cooler with more pipework that’s led to the bloated appearance when the bodywork is attached.

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
Aston Martin AMR21 detail
29/37
The front brake assembly on the Aston Martin AMR21, note the holes in the brake bell which allows air collected by the main inlet to escape out of the wheel face.

Photo by: Uncredited

AlphaTauri AT02 detail
AlphaTauri AT02 detail
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The AlphaTauri AT02 with the covers off shows the saddle style cooler arrangement above the power unit that’s fed by the airbox

Photo by: Uncredited

AlphaTauri AT02 detail
AlphaTauri AT02 detail
31/37
A close up of the AlphaTauri AT02 bulkhead which now includes a crevice where the steering assembly / arms used to reside, whereas now they are housed inside like sister team Red Bull.

Photo by: Uncredited

Alpine A521 detail
Alpine A521 detail
32/37
The front brake duct assembly during preparation on the Alpine A521, note the lower ductwork which takes air collected by the main inlet and passes it out through the wheel face.

Photo by: Uncredited

Alfa Romeo Racing C41 detail
Alfa Romeo Racing C41 detail
33/37
The front brake duct arrangement on the Alfa Romeo C41 which has a hat beside the brake disc to help manage the airflow running through the centre of the assembly and between it and the drum when it’s installed.

Photo by: Uncredited

AlphaTauri AT02 detail
AlphaTauri AT02 detail
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Another look at the AlphaTauri AT02’s front end, with the inboard suspension elements all worth noting too.

Photo by: Uncredited

Williams FW43B detail
Williams FW43B detail
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The brake drum on the Williams FW43B has a large removable panel in order that the team can make quick changes without the need to totally disassemble the entire structure.

Photo by: Uncredited

AlphaTauri AT02 detail
AlphaTauri AT02 detail
36/37
An uncovered view of the front brake assembly on the AlphaTauri AT02, with the splitter and its stay also revealed in the background.

Photo by: Uncredited

Williams FW43B detail
Williams FW43B detail
37/37
Here’s what’s going on inside the FW43B’s front brake assembly.

Photo by: Uncredited

 


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