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

F1 2021 tech review images: AlphaTauri, Alpine & Aston Martin

Join us as we take a look at some of the best technical illustrations and images, courtesy of Giorgio Piola and Sutton Images, focusing on the development stories of Aston Martin, AlphaTauri and Alpine in 2021.

F1 2021 tech review images: AlphaTauri, Alpine & Aston Martin

ASTON MARTIN

Aston Martin AMR21 and Mercedes W11 bargeboard comparison

Aston Martin AMR21 and Mercedes W11 bargeboard comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

This side by side comparison of the Aston Martin AMR21 and Mercedes W11 shows the design divergence that eroded some of the similarities between the two competitors heading into 2021.


Aston Martin AMR21 floor development

Aston Martin AMR21 floor development

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin took an aggressive stance when it came to the new floor regulations, having suggested as a team running a low rake design they’d been hindered more than some of their rivals. Their cutout was the largest on the grid, whilst a number of additional fins were added to help coerce the airflow's direction in order to reclaim some of the lost performance.


Aston Martin Racing AMR21 floor

Aston Martin Racing AMR21 floor

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A top-down overview of the AMR21’s floor, with the yellow highlighted section where the floor would have resided on the 2020 car.


Aston Martin AMR21 rear end plate

Aston Martin AMR21 rear end plate

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The AMR21’s rear wing is a development of the one used during the course of the 2020 season, which is a continuation of the foundations laid by Mercedes, of which its challenger was based upon. The major difference for 2021 was the inclusion of a new upwash canard housed within a section of the endplate that had been contoured to accept it.


Aston Martin AMR21 floor comparison

Aston Martin AMR21 floor comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team continued to make changes to the car during the season in order to recoup the performance that had been lost.


Aston Martin AMR21 diffuser comparison

Aston Martin AMR21 diffuser comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A new diffuser was introduced at the Austrian Grand Prix, with the outer shape of the wall altered along with the Gurney-like flaps around its periphery.


Aston Martin AMR21 floor comparison

Aston Martin AMR21 floor comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team also revised the fins ahead and around the Z-shaped floor cutout, with an additional fin added in the front section (highlighted in green), whilst the secondary row of fins around the cutout were removed (highlighted in red).


Aston Martin AMR21 front wing comparison

Aston Martin AMR21 front wing comparison

Photo by: Uncredited

The front wing’s upper flap was also adjusted at the tip end in order to alter the downforce generated and the effect it has on the Y250 vortex.


Aston Martin Racing AMR21 new halo fins

Aston Martin Racing AMR21 new halo fins

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team made an interesting switch at Baku when it came to the halo fairing, as it swapped the boomerang-style wing, that it and many others have used extensively since the introduction of the safety structure, for a pair of fins. Meanwhile, a new set of serrated mirror stalks were also deployed.


Aston Martin AMR21 front wing detail

Aston Martin AMR21 front wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A new front wing upper flap was introduced for the Belgian GP, as the team looked to meet the challenges posed by the circuit - which include a more technical second sector sandwiched between two sectors that require more efficiency.


Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21

Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR21

Photo by: Erik Junius

Peering into the AMR21’s cockpit we get a good view of the steering wheel, with the various buttons, rotaries and switches that control the power unit and chassis parameters visible.


Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin AMR21

Photo by: Erik Junius

The AMR21 on the stands as it is prepared for action - note the front brake warmers that are nestled over the brake drums to help bring everything up to temperature.


Aston Martin AMR21 front wing detail

Aston Martin AMR21 front wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A rare shot of the underside of the front wing and nose shows the length of the strakes and geometry of the footplate


Aston Martin AMR21 front wing detail with sensors

Aston Martin AMR21 front wing detail with sensors

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin installed a Kiel probe array on the front wing of the AMR21 at the Turkish Grand Prix to help collect data on the oncoming behaviour of the airflow.


Aston Martin AMR21 brake drum detail

Aston Martin AMR21 brake drum detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A close up look at the front brake duct on the Aston Martin AMR21 and the various channels used to direct airflow through the assembly.


Aston Martin AMR21 sidepods detail

Aston Martin AMR21 sidepods detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A close up of the sidepod deflectors and floor edge design on the AMR21 - note the wavy section of floor, a design feature that’s akin to the one seen on the Mercedes too.


Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A top down overview of the AMR21’s rear end shows how tight the rear end of the car is packaged, with the cooling outlet raised in order to create more space in the coke bottle region.


Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A look at the design of the AMR21’s sidepods, which you’ll note have been made very narrow in their forward projection, resulting in a large sidepod wing that not only has an upturned endplate but also two vortex generators atop.


Aston Martin AMR21 cooling

Aston Martin AMR21 cooling

Photo by: Uncredited

A look at some of the cooling solutions used on the AMR21, with the closed and open solutions used beside the cockpit inset, whilst the main shot from Monaco suggests how little the team were required to open up the rear cooling outlet, even at a street track that usually requires much more cooling.


Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Overview of the AMR21’s rear end in Hungary, including the diffuser, lower strakes on the rear wing, the crash structure winglets and the exhausts.


Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

An interesting view of the forward floor section and the angled fins that direct the airflow outboard.


Aston Martin AMR21 floor detail

Aston Martin AMR21 floor detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The enclosed fin stack ahead of the rear tyre on the AMR21 evolved throughout the course of the season, with this sinuous flap the final evolution.


Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A close up showing the amount of detail that makes up the sidepod deflector region, including the venetian blind-like slats that had become commonplace up and down the grid.


Aston Marin AMR21 wheel detail

Aston Marin AMR21 wheel detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Close up of the rear wheel rim on the AMR21 reveals the knurled finish that’s in use in order to help control tyre temperatures - think of it like a heatsink.


Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The rear brake duct with the drum removed reveals the ductwork used to channel airflow to the caliper, whilst also giving us a view of the intricate upright design.


Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A fantastic shot of the cape section from behind shows us how two inlets are used in the boat tail section to help capture the airflow.

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ALPHATAURI

AlphaTauri AT02 front suspension detail

AlphaTauri AT02 front suspension detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

AlphaTauri was able to change the steering rack and assembly for the one used by Red Bull in 2020 without spending any tokens and dutifully obliged. The design places the assembly further back, within the bulkhead.


AlphaTauri AT02 gearbox suspension

AlphaTauri AT02 gearbox suspension

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The rear suspension, gearbox carrier and rear crash structure is a carryover from the AT01 but as we can see here there’s a huge amount of detail that goes into each of them.


AlphaTauri AT02 new front wing end plate with arrows details, French GP

AlphaTauri AT02 new front wing end plate with arrows details, French GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

AlphaTauri made changes to their front wing footplate design during the season, as the team evaluated the different aerodynamic characteristics it would have with a square or arched profile. Also note the cavity present in the footplate and endplates wall which allowed airflow to migrate from the upper to lower surface.


AlphaTauri AT01 and AT02 front wing comparison, Italian GP

AlphaTauri AT01 and AT02 front wing comparison, Italian GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In this image we can see not only how the team made changes to the wing to deal with the very different demands of the Monza circuit but also how the wing had generally evolved during 2021, with the mainplane and flapped section altered in the Y250 region.


AlphaTauri AT02 detail

AlphaTauri AT02 detail

In this shot of the AlphaTauri where it's laid bare and being prepared for action we’re able to see many of the details that are ordinarily obscured from view.


Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, arrives on the grid

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, arrives on the grid

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

A look at the bargeboard cluster and sidepod deflectors on the AlphaTauri AT02 as it arrives on the grid.


Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, on the grid

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02, on the grid

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A slightly different view of the bargeboard cluster and sidepod deflectors on the AT02.


Steering wheel for the car of Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02

Steering wheel for the car of Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri AT02

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A rare glimpse of the back of Yuki Tsunoda’s steering wheel gives us an insight into the paddle arrangement that the Japanese driver was using.


AlphaTauri AT02 detail

AlphaTauri AT02 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A look at the rear end of the AT02 in the garage, note the small Y150 winglet, or monkey seat, that’s perched over the exhaust to help improve flow direction.


AlphaTauri AT02 detail

AlphaTauri AT02 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In this image, without the sidepod bodywork attached, we can see the body within, which also features mesh inside the inlet to prevent large debris from becoming lodged within. Also note the saddle style cooler mounted above the power unit which has become a distinct feature of the Honda-powered cars.


AlphaTauri AT02 brake drum detail

AlphaTauri AT02 brake drum detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The ‘closed’ front brake duct on the AT02, note though on the inner rim how there are ducts which feed airflow out through the wheel face.


Alpha Tauri AT02 cooling comparison

Alpha Tauri AT02 cooling comparison

Photo by: Uncredited

A look at a couple of the rear cooling outlet options available to AlphaTauri, along with the rarely used louvered panel beside the driver (inset).


AlphaTauri AT02 diffuser

AlphaTauri AT02 diffuser

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A great shot of the AT02’s diffuser, which you’ll note has slots in all of the guide strakes, also note the looped T-Wing.


AlphaTauri AT02 rear wing detail

AlphaTauri AT02 rear wing detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A low downforce rear wing on the AT02 for the Saudi Arabian GP, which is also devoid of the trailing edge Gurney flap.


AlphaTauri AT02 rear wing detail

AlphaTauri AT02 rear wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

That same wing from another angle, albeit this time with the Gurney flap attached to the trailing edge of the upper flap.


AlphaTauri AT02 front brake detail

AlphaTauri AT02 front brake detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A look at what goes on internally with the AlphaTauri brake duct, note the outer cowling which helps to make up the ductwork that feeds airflow out of the wheel face.


AlphaTauri AT02 engine detail

AlphaTauri AT02 engine detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A great shot of the Honda power unit before it’s pushed into place in the AT02 chassis.

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ALPINE

Alpine A521 rear suspension and brakes

Alpine A521 rear suspension and brakes

Photo by: Uncredited

The rear brake duct on the Alpine A521, note the small inlets added next to the main inlet and also the vanes mounted on the upper part of the drum which are used to help control the direction of the airflow across the surface.


Alpine A521 Floor comparison

Alpine A521 Floor comparison

Photo by: Uncredited

By the time Alpine had reached the first race of the season its floor had already been through several iteration phases in an attempt to flesh out the best combination of fins both on the Z-shaped cutouts leading notch and on the floor ahead of the rear tyre.


Alpine A521 front wing comparison

Alpine A521 front wing comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The front wing also went through a transformative journey, with the shape of the flaps tips altered (highlighted in green) and the notch in the upper rear corner of the endplate made. Furthermore, the inlet in the side of the cape for the ‘S’-duct was altered (red arrow) and a flapped section could be found down the flank of the capes surface (inset).


Alpine A521 bargeboard detail

Alpine A521 bargeboard detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A top-down overview of the bargeboard cluster shows how complex the region had become in order to improve flow around the front of the sidepods and floor. Also note the strakes jutting out of the floors leading edge, which also have their own mini strakes added to the leading edge.


Alpine A521 bargeboard detail

Alpine A521 bargeboard detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Another angle of the bargeboard cluster with the slots in the footplate shown as an extremely prominent feature in correcting and massaging the airflow's direction.


Alpine A521 front brake duct detail

Alpine A521 front brake duct detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The front brake duct with a full drum assembly mounted - note the internal ducting creates channels for the airflow in order it can be directed out through the wheel rim.


Alpine A521 diffuser

Alpine A521 diffuser

Changes were made to the A521’s diffuser at the Spanish Grand Prix, with the strakes angled more steeply and shortened.


Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521

Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

An overview of the A521’s front end at Monaco - not a new feature for the team but not the haunches on the side of the chassis which help to control the flow across the upper surface and down the flanks.


Alpine A521 bargeboard

Alpine A521 bargeboard

Photo by: Uncredited

Changes made to the bargeboard cluster at the Monaco Grand Prix, including the ‘r’-shaped vane protruding from the main vertical fence (red arrow) and the alterations made to the hedgehog-style vanes mounted on the footplate (yellow lines).


Guanyu Zhou, Alpine A521

Guanyu Zhou, Alpine A521

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A look at the back of the A521’s steering wheel as Guanyu Zhou prepared himself for a Free Practice session.


Alpine A521 rear wing detail

Alpine A521 rear wing detail

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close up of the outboard section of the rear wing where teams create the narrow fillet profiles from a section bound in the regulations to be considered part of the endplate, thus adding additional width to the wing elements, whilst also having an impact on the vortex shed from the tip.


Alpine A521 rear wing

Alpine A521 rear wing

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The A521’s high downforce rear wing was deployed at the Hungarian Grand Prix, along with their double element T-Wing, which as you’ll note has a slot in the uppermost element which arches down around the endplate too.


Alpine A521 high downforce rear wing comparison

Alpine A521 high downforce rear wing comparison

Photo by: Uncredited

Extra stiffening straps were added to the wing in Hungary too, as the team made sure that the new load and deflection tests didn’t trip them up.


Alpine A521 Cooling

Alpine A521 Cooling

Photo by: Uncredited

The A521 would run with many different cooling options throughout the season in order to account for the varying circuit and climatic conditions in order that they weren't carrying an unnecessary drag penalty.


Alpine A521 rear detail

Alpine A521 rear detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The low downforce rear wing as seen here at the Belgian Grand Prix with much more elegant looking swan-neck pillars. Note also the additional stiffening straps added to the elements hung in the outboard section of the wing’s endplate.


Tech Detail, Alpine A521

Tech Detail, Alpine A521

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A good angle of the front wing shows the curvature of the footplate to a much flatter section at the rear of the element, whilst the small tab mounted atop is angled outward to promote the airflow's direction.


Alpine A521 rear detail

Alpine A521 rear detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A nice overview of the lower rear end of the A521 at the Dutch GP, including the diffuser, aerodynamic fairings for the suspension and driveshafts and the shapely rear cover for the rain light and crash structure.


Alpine A521 detail

Alpine A521 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A close up of the bargeboard cluster and sidepod deflectors.


Alpine A521 front wing detail

Alpine A521 front wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Close up of the front wing shows how the five flapped elements are split up, with a full length slot found in the mainplane and a small slot found in the second element at the Y250 juncture to help alter the vortex created here. Also note the slotted section in the cape added earlier in the season.


Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

A fantastic top-down overview affords us the opportunity to see many of the crucial aerodynamic areas of the car all at once.


Alpine A521 brake drum detail

Alpine A521 brake drum detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The inboard brake duct fence is home not only to the main inlet but also a smaller one mounted below and rearward of it, while a pair of small winglets also looks to improve flow over its surface in the lower front corner.


Alpine A521 front brake detail

Alpine A521 front brake detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The additional inlet seen from the previous picture feeds a small bypass pipe (seen here in silver) that takes in the airflow and dumps it out of the wheel rim.


Alpine A521 engine cover spine cooling

Alpine A521 engine cover spine cooling

Photo by: Uncredited

A small outlet in the engine covers spine was added in Mexico in order to help improve heat rejection.


Alpine A521 gearbox

Alpine A521 gearbox

The gearbox carrier, rear suspension and brakes all in clear view as the cars were prepared for action at the Brazilian Grand Prix. Note how the gearbox carrier is designed in order to place the upper elements of the rear suspension as high as possible.


Alpine A521 rear brake detail

Alpine A521 rear brake detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The rear brake duct without the drum attached gives us a view of the pipework that wraps around the rear caliper and delivers cool air to it.


Alpine A521 front suspension detail

Alpine A521 front suspension detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A close up of some of the A521’s inboard suspension elements, brake cylinders and driver cooling inlets.


Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521 steering wheel

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521 steering wheel

Photo by: Erik Junius

Fernando Alonso’s steering wheel with the various switches, rotaries and buttons used to control chassis and power unit parameters all on display.


ALPINE A521 comparison

ALPINE A521 comparison

Photo by: Uncredited

A comparison showing the different rear wing levels used at the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, with the higher downforce (top) used initially in Free Practice before the team switched to the lower downforce spoon-shaped wing.


Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521

Photo by: Alpine

Fernando Alonso reviews telemetry data whilst in the garage (right screen), whilst using the steering wheel screen as a reference for the turn numbers and circuit layout.

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