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

Bahrain test: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Join us as we delve into the latest technical developments from the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain courtesy of Giorgio Piola and Motorsport Images.

Bahrain test: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Click on the arrows on the images to scroll through them…

Mercedes F1 W12 floor detail
Mercedes F1 W12 floor detail
1/32

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Plenty of detail to absorb with the Mercedes W12 floor: Aside from all of the new furniture on its edge, it’s worth noting the upturned lip ahead of the rear tyre, which also has a downward-facing Gurney tab to help force the airflow around the tyre (blue arrow). The central portion has been carved out significantly to get as much flow into the coke bottle as possible (red arrow).
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
2/32

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

McLaren got plenty of data on the performance of the MCL35M’s new rear end with kiel probe rakes mounted ahead and behind the rear tyres early-on in the morning session.
Red Bull Racing RB16B detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B detail
3/32

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Having kept the RB16B firmly under wraps until now, here’s the all-important rear shot of the Red Bull. It has followed Mercedes’ lead when it comes to the layout of the rear suspension, with the elements all raised as high and rearward as is possible to allow flow over the top of the diffuser.
Aston Martin AMR21 detail
Aston Martin AMR21 detail
4/32

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

As a comparison, here’s the arrangement on the Aston Martin AMR21 which uses the same layout that Mercedes used in 2020. The rear arm of the lower wishbone is located further back in this setup, as it’s inserted in the crash structure not the gearbox carrier.
Aston Martin AMR21 detail
Aston Martin AMR21 detail
5/32

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Sidepod cooling on the Aston Martin AMR21 is taken care of by two outlets, both of which can be altered with interchangeable panelling.
Williams FW43B sidepods detail
Williams FW43B sidepods detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The Williams FW43B sidepod deflector which – contrary to the rest of the grid – features a predominantly vertical arrangement, rather than the horizontal louvres used elsewhere.
Red Bull RB16B detail
Red Bull RB16B detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The RB16B outfitted with a kiel probe array between the front wheel and sidepods but also note the feather-like slots in the upper edge of the main bargeboard element.
Ferrari SF21 rear detail
Ferrari SF21 rear detail
8/32

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The Ferrari SF21 fitted with a large kiel probe array behind the car that measures the flow out of the diffuser and the wake generated by the rear tyres. Also note how the kiel probes have been angled to better capture the flow.
Red Bull RB16B detail
Red Bull RB16B detail
9/32

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A wider-angle shot of the RB16B shows how high the rear suspension is mounted and how the team is using a single rear pillar mounting, as it did in the last few races of 2020, that wraps around the main exhaust tailpipe and now singular wastegate outlet beneath.
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
10/32

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Another angle of the McLaren MCL35M with the rakes mounted either side of the rear wheels, also note how this angle shows off how the venetian blind slats are swept upwards.
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
11/32

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

The Aston Martin AMR21 from above shows off the new fins mounted on top of the floor just ahead of the cutout. Also note the new T-Wing which the team tested during shakedown at Silverstone and features a more curvaceous endplate at the bottom.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The Ferrari SF21 complete with a floor specification similar to the one tested by the team in Abu Dhabi, whereby a cluster of fins help direct the airflow around the car.
Aston Martin AMR21 floor detail
Aston Martin AMR21 floor detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Changes immediately apparent on the Aston Martin AMR21 in Bahrain with a new floor available for Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll to evaluate.
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
14/32

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Flo-viz paint applied to the underside of the front wing on the McLaren MCL35M and the suspension components as the team looks for visual cues on how its aero is working.
Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521
Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521
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Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

A relatively unobstructed view of the rear end of the cape and the bargeboard cluster on the Alpine A521.
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
16/32

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Flo-viz painted on the Aston Martin AMR21’s rear wing mainplane, albeit in green which makes it more difficult to make out against the livery.
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
17/32

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

A great top-down view of the McLaren MCL35M as it comes into the pitlane, the flo-viz having settled on the front suspension and front brake ducts that the team will take close up shots of before cleaning it down for the next run.
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
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Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Yet more flo-viz on the McLaren, this time on the rear wing assembly and the diffuser.
Red Bull Racing RB16B front wing detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B front wing detail
19/32

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close up of the Red Bull RB16B’s front wing endplate, which as you’ll note has some of its real estate stolen by the footplate.
Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wing detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wing detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

At the rear of the RB16B there’s plenty of detail to take in, albeit not all of it is new. It still has the louvred endplate overhang and upwash strakes, while the rear wheels still have the heatsink-like bumps to help control tyre temperatures. The exhaust is enveloped by the single rear wing mounting pillar too, which now sees the main exhaust mounted atop the wastegate pipework.
Aston Martin AMR21 rear wing detail
Aston Martin AMR21 rear wing detail
21/32

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Rear-end shot of the Aston Martin AMR21 gives us a good view of its new design in the front corner of the endplate. In order to alter the tip vortex that’s generated by the wing the team has reduced the thickness of the endplate, which has in-turn allowed the installation of an extra upwash strike.
Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wing detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wing detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Another shot, this time from the inside, of the louvred endplate overhang on the Red Bull RB16B.
Red Bull Racing RB16B rear detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B rear detail
23/32

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close up of the central portion of the Red Bull RB16B’s diffuser which was changed in the latter stages of last season and still features the different surface treatment that was introduced. Also note the teardrop-shaped fairing on the side of the gearbox carrier where the suspension fairing connects and just behind that another upward flow generating fin.
AlphaTauri AT02 sidepods detail
AlphaTauri AT02 sidepods detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

AlphaTauri’s sidepod deflectors now feature the almost universally adopted venetian blind-style horizontal array as a central component to affect the airflow.
Ferrari SF21 detail
Ferrari SF21 detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A look across at the floor of the Ferrari SF21, which we can see the three twisted floor flaps midway along. Also note the central sidepod deflector that’s new on the car this season is also split into two.
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
26/32

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Flo-viz painted on the rear crash structure of the Aston Martin AMR21.
Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
27/32

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The Williams FW43B with flo-viz painted on the rear suspension, brake duct and floor.
Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Another angle of the Williams FW43B with the flo-viz painted on the rear corner of the car.
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
29/32

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Among the dust cloud kicked up by the MCL35M we can see that the right-hand side lower half of the brake duct, which has been affected by the new regulations, has flo-viz painted on it.
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

McLaren had additional cameras to monitor tyre temperatures on the car in Bahrain, with the camera housings on the side of the airbox expanded to house them.
Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Side view of the Williams FW43B - note the addition of the winglet above the front suspension’s upper wishbone.
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21, makes a pit stop
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21, makes a pit stop
32/32

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Another look at the AMR21’s new floor as it’s wheeled back into the garage and also note the flo-viz on the rear wing mainplane.

 


 

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