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Formula 1 Bahrain GP

Bahrain GP: Latest F1 technical developments direct from pitlane

Join us as we delve into the latest technical details direct from the pitlane in Bahrain, courtesy of Sutton Images and Giorgio Piola.

Ferrari F1-75 detail

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Giorgio Piola is the preeminent Formula 1 technical journalist. View our full selection of Giorgio's technical illustrative content

McLaren MCL36 front brake detail

McLaren MCL36 front brake detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Having struggled throughout the second pre-season test with its front brakes, McLaren has a revised setup for the first race. The metalized brake disc shroud replaces the carbonfibre one used during the test and some additional spars have been added to the inlet to prevent larger pieces of debris being collected by it.


McLaren MCL36 front suspension

McLaren MCL36 front suspension

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Another view of the McLaren MCL36’s front brake duct assembly, this time with the pipework in place that carries cool air from the inlet to the caliper.


Red Bull Racing RB18 front suspension

Red Bull Racing RB18 front suspension

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull has a very similar solution to McLaren in regards to the brake disc shrouding, albeit this version is of a different material and is obviously shaped alternatively to infer the performance it requires.


Alpine A522 side

Alpine A522 side

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alpine has new sidepod bodywork for the first race of the season, with the team building on the rear downwash ramped section by adding a raised shoulder to help guide the airflow down to the rear of the car.


Mercedes W13 engine

Mercedes W13 engine

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A look at the Mercedes W13 without the sidepod bodywork and floor attached reveals the lower side impact structure, the triangular shaped inlet and the radiators which are set back into the chassis recess. Note how the inlet, while appearing to be small from the track shots, is actually similar in size relative to last year, albeit rotated through 45 degrees. Although the inlet is similar in size, the radiators are considerably smaller.


Ferrari SF21 detail

Ferrari SF21 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A peek under the covers of the Ferrari F1-75 shows us some of the electronics housed within the sidepod and how the radiators have been canted and the bodywork that surrounds them to influence through flow.


Red Bull Racing RB16B detail

Red Bull Racing RB16B detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Red Bull’s rear wing, centrally mounted single mounting pillar and DRS actuator bodywork. Note the white dots on the wing which are used by the FIA to monitor flex from the onboard rear facing camera.


Mercedes W12 detail

Mercedes W12 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A close-up of the Mercedes W13’s power unit installation, including the exhausts and the gearbox carrier and rear suspension.


Red Bull Racing RB16B detail

Red Bull Racing RB16B detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Underneath the Red Bull RB18’s chassis we can see how the team has moved a great deal of the electronics on to the car’s centreline to enable the sidepod solution. Also note the sprung element between the chassis and the bib, with a Belleville spring arrangement used to deal with the bib’s interactions with the track surface in a more progressive way.


Ferrari SF21 rear detail

Ferrari SF21 rear detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Ferrari has a unique approach to its exhaust and wastegate arrangement, with the wastegate running externally until the point where it must merge with the exhaust, rather than joining earlier as the other teams and manufacturers appear to have dealt with the change.


Mercedes W12 detail

Mercedes W12 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A look at the rear brake assembly on the Mercedes W13, where you can see the caliper housed within the lower ductwork.


Ferrari SF21 bargeboard detail

Ferrari SF21 bargeboard detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Ferrari’s L-shaped edge wing, which much like McLaren’s version allows the team to break up the floor into several different elements.


Red Bull Racing RB16B detail

Red Bull Racing RB16B detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A look inside the Red Bull RB18’s sidepods reveals how the team has the radiators mounted within, and both side impact structures are on display, with the upper mounted within the sidepod and the lower within the floor.


Ferrari F1-75 rear

Ferrari F1-75 rear

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Rear end shot of the Ferrari F1-75 while on ramps in the FIA scrutineering bay.


Red Bull Racing RB18 car detail

Red Bull Racing RB18 car detail

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A look at the Red Bull RB18’s front brake duct inlet, which is squared-off at the bottom but has more shaping in the top section.


Red Bull Racing RB18 car detail

Red Bull Racing RB18 car detail

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Red Bull has also enclosed the brake disc in a fairing at the rear of the car. This picture also allows us to see the tethers which hold the upright in place in the event of an accident.


McLaren MCL36 front brake comparison

McLaren MCL36 front brake comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A comparison of the brake disc fairings used by McLaren in the pre-season test and what it has mounted ready for the race weekend.


Red Bull Racing RB18 diffuser detail

Red Bull Racing RB18 diffuser detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Plenty of detail to take in as the Red Bull RB18 awaits its slot at scrutineering, from the saddle-like cooler poking out the engine cover cooling outlet, to the stacked beam wing solution, the contouring on the diffuser and the cutout in the lower rear corner of the brake duct winglet.


Red Bull Racing RB18 side

Red Bull Racing RB18 side

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

An overview of Red Bull’s latest sidepod package that was introduced on the last day of the second pre-season test.


Red Bull Racing RB18 rear detail

Red Bull Racing RB18 rear detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Interesting side view of the RB18’s saddle-like cooler configuration above the power unit, while the rear wing pillar mount that wraps around the exhaust is also exposed, as the carbonfibre shroud isn’t in place. This isn’t a solid piece of metal, rather a lattice-like construction that’s designed to take the loads but also save weight.


Aston Martin AMR22 front brake detail

Aston Martin AMR22 front brake detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The front mounted brake caliper on the Aston Martin AMR22 is exposed during the build phase.


Alpine A522 front brake and suspension detail

Alpine A522 front brake and suspension detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

This image, compared with the last, shows the difference in design amongst the teams, with Alpine opting for a narrow but tall inlet, while the Aston Martin favours a short but wide inlet. However, where these two teams do have agreement is on the placement of the caliper, with it mounted at the front of the assembly, something we haven’t seen for a number of years.


Ferrari F1-75 front brake detail

Ferrari F1-75 front brake detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In contrast Ferrari has its caliper in the 4-5 o’clock position with ducting piped in across the top of the assembly.


Ferrari F1-75 T-Tray detail

Ferrari F1-75 T-Tray detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A closer look at the same picture, only this time our focus is on the sprung element being used by Ferrari between the chassis and bib.


Rear wing detail on the Ferrari F1-75

Rear wing detail on the Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close-up of the Ferrari F1-75’s rear wing, complete with the short swan-neck pillar solution and the DRS actuator and pod design.


Nose detail of the Ferrari F1-75

Nose detail of the Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Close-up of the front wing and nose on the Ferrari F1-75 with not only the elongated nose tip that converges with the mainplane but also the NACA duct that provides cool air to the cockpit.


McLaren MCL36 front suspension detail

McLaren MCL36 front suspension detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The McLaren mechanics prepare the MCL36 for action this weekend; the mechanic at the front is doing some work on the steering assembly.

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