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

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
2/32
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.

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Red Bull Racing RB16B detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B detail
3/32
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.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
Aston Martin AMR21 detail
4/32
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.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
Aston Martin AMR21 detail
5/32
Sidepod cooling on the Aston Martin AMR21 is taken care of by two outlets, both of which can be altered with interchangeable panelling.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Williams FW43B sidepods detail
Williams FW43B sidepods detail
6/32
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.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull RB16B detail
Red Bull RB16B detail
7/32
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.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari SF21 rear detail
Ferrari SF21 rear detail
8/32
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.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull RB16B detail
Red Bull RB16B detail
9/32
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.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
10/32
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.

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
11/32
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.

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21
12/32
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.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin AMR21 floor detail
Aston Martin AMR21 floor detail
13/32
Changes immediately apparent on the Aston Martin AMR21 in Bahrain with a new floor available for Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll to evaluate.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
14/32
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.

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521
Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521
15/32
A relatively unobstructed view of the rear end of the cape and the bargeboard cluster on the Alpine A521.

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
16/32
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.

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
17/32
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.

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
18/32
Yet more flo-viz on the McLaren, this time on the rear wing assembly and the diffuser.

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Red Bull Racing RB16B front wing detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B front wing detail
19/32
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.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wing detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wing detail
20/32
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.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Aston Martin AMR21 rear wing detail
Aston Martin AMR21 rear wing detail
21/32
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.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wing detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B rear wing detail
22/32
Another shot, this time from the inside, of the louvred endplate overhang on the Red Bull RB16B.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Red Bull Racing RB16B rear detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B rear detail
23/32
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.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

AlphaTauri AT02 sidepods detail
AlphaTauri AT02 sidepods detail
24/32
AlphaTauri’s sidepod deflectors now feature the almost universally adopted venetian blind-style horizontal array as a central component to affect the airflow.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Ferrari SF21 detail
Ferrari SF21 detail
25/32
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.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21
26/32
Flo-viz painted on the rear crash structure of the Aston Martin AMR21.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
27/32
The Williams FW43B with flo-viz painted on the rear suspension, brake duct and floor.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
28/32
Another angle of the Williams FW43B with the flo-viz painted on the rear corner of the car.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren MCL35M
29/32
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.

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M
Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M
30/32
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.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
Roy Nissany, Development Driver, Williams FW43B
31/32
Side view of the Williams FW43B - note the addition of the winglet above the front suspension’s upper wishbone.

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21, makes a pit stop
Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21, makes a pit stop
32/32
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.

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

 


 

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