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

French GP: Key F1 tech updates, direct from the garages

Join us as we delve into the latest technical developments from the French Grand Prix at Paul Ricard, courtesy of Giorgio Piola and Sutton Images.

French GP: Key F1 tech updates, direct from the garages
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McLaren MCL35M rear end plate detail
McLaren MCL35M rear end plate detail
1/29
A new rear wing endplate for McLaren in France that features a series of horizontal louvres where ordinarily we’d find vertical strakes.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

McLaren MCL35M rear detail
McLaren MCL35M rear detail
2/29
For comparison the vertical strakes usually found on the McLaren MCL35M’s lower section of the rear wing endplate can be seen here in the launch images.

Photo by: McLaren

Ferrari SF21 front wing detail
Ferrari SF21 front wing detail
3/29
Ferrari has a couple of front wing configurations available to it for the French Grand Prix, with the revised version at the top sporting a different footplate and a difference in the ratio of the flap section that can be adjusted (white arrows).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

AlphaTauri AT02 front end plate detail
AlphaTauri AT02 front end plate detail
4/29
It’s not an entirely new concept but still worth a look close up given AlphaTauri has two versions available in France. The front wing footplate has a cavity that encourages air to move from the upper surface to the underside of the wing through a hole.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

AlphaTauri AT02 front end plate detail
AlphaTauri AT02 front end plate detail
5/29
The two versions of the AlphaTauri front wing which not only have a different cavity that encourages the airflow to move to the underside of the wing, the overall shape of the footplate is different too, with one using the classic arc and the other a squared version.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

AlphaTauri AT02 front end plate detail
AlphaTauri AT02 front end plate detail
6/29
The view from behind the AlphaTauri front wing shows off the curvature of the footplate.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR21 rear wing detail
Aston Martin AMR21 rear wing detail
7/29
A great view of the Aston Martin AMR21’s rear wing endplate with the various flow conditioning devices used to increase downforce and limit drag.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes W12 rear wing detail
Mercedes W12 rear wing detail
8/29
The Mercedes W12 rear wing endplate by comparison is obviously very similar but note the difference in the lower strake arrangement.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes W12 front detail
Mercedes W12 front detail
9/29
Mercedes prepare its cars for the French Grand Prix - note the brake drum design which features a trench that allows more airflow to flow between the drum and wheel rim.

Photo by: Uncredited

Mercedes W12 front detail
Mercedes W12 front detail
10/29
The brake assembly before the drum is put in position, note the silver ductwork that carries airflow from the inlet to the outer face to assist aerodynamically.

Photo by: Uncredited

Mercedes W12 front detail
Mercedes W12 front detail
11/29
A mechanic adding the drum to the W12’s brake assembly.

Photo by: Uncredited

Red Bull Racing RB16B front detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B front detail
12/29
As a comparison note., how Red Bull has its brake disc exposed, which will alter how the temperature generated by the brake disc acts on the wheel rim and consequently the tyres.

Photo by: Uncredited

Red Bull Racing RB16B front detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B front detail
13/29
A shot of the RB16B’s brake assembly prior to the brake drum being attached shows how the pipework will carry airflow from the inlet through the assembly.

Photo by: Uncredited

McLaren MCL35M front detail
McLaren MCL35M front detail
14/29
The McLaren MCL35M’s front brake drum bypass pipework is slightly different, as it’s split into two channels to alter how the airflow behaves.

Photo by: Uncredited

Alpine A521 front detail
Alpine A521 front detail
15/29
Alpine in comparison is doing all of its aerodynamic work under the covers of its drum.

Photo by: Uncredited

Alpine A521 front wing detail
Alpine A521 front wing detail
16/29
A great close up of the Alpine A521’s front wing - note the higher angle of attack on the wing in the outer section, whilst the flap tips have been stunted / squared off.

Photo by: Uncredited

Alpine A521 detail
Alpine A521 detail
17/29
A nice overview of the Alpine A521’s front end, especially the inboard suspension elements that are visible.

Photo by: Uncredited

Ferrari SF21 front wing detail
Ferrari SF21 front wing detail
18/29
Another angle on the revised front wing that Ferrari has available in France, note the wider footplate arc, revised strakes beneath the wing and the ratio of wing that will move when the adjuster is used.

Photo by: Uncredited

Alpine A521 detail
Alpine A521 detail
19/29
An interesting view of the Alpine A521’s cape, showing the curvature at the trailing edge.

Photo by: Uncredited

AlphaTauri AT02 front detail
AlphaTauri AT02 front detail
20/29
An overview of the AlphaTauri AT02’s front end before the brake drums are added, also note the cutout in the face of the bulkhead where the steering assembly used to sit prior to it taking last year's Red Bull variant that’s placed further back.

Photo by: Uncredited

AlphaTauri AT02 nose and front wing detail
AlphaTauri AT02 nose and front wing detail
21/29
The two front wing specifications available to AlphaTauri - note the difference in the flap design as well as the different footplate shapes.

Photo by: Uncredited

AlphaTauri AT02 front brake duct detail
AlphaTauri AT02 front brake duct detail
22/29
The front brake assembly on the AlphaTauri A02 with the drum attached - note the small winglets on the inner fence that have become a popular addition up and down the grid.

Photo by: Uncredited

AlphaTauri AT02 detail
AlphaTauri AT02 detail
23/29
A peak under the covers of the AlphaTauri AT02 shows just how large the saddle cooler is mounted above the power unit.

Photo by: Uncredited

Alfa Romeo Racing C41 front brake duct detail
Alfa Romeo Racing C41 front brake duct detail
24/29
Alfa Romeo’s front brake duct inlet features numerous channels that feed the various components within and in some cases bypass them in order to assist aerodynamically. The sections of the inlet with guards are usually the ones designated for cooling and are used to prevent them becoming clogged by debris.

Photo by: Uncredited

Alfa Romeo Racing C41 front wing detail
Alfa Romeo Racing C41 front wing detail
25/29
Top down shot of the Alfa Romeo C41’s front wing shows off the cavity it has created that allows airflow to move to the underside of the wing.

Photo by: Uncredited

Haas VF-21 front wing detail
Haas VF-21 front wing detail
26/29
A close up of the Haas VF21’s front wing, note the adjuster has the inner section of the wing relaxed more in this image.

Photo by: Uncredited

Williams FW43B front detail
Williams FW43B front detail
27/29
A fantastic close up of the Williams FW43B’s heave element.

Photo by: Uncredited

Williams FW43B front brake detail
Williams FW43B front brake detail
28/29
The Williams FW43B front brake assembly prior to the brake drum being attached - note the silver pipework in the lower section which carries airflow out the wheel rim to help manage the wake.

Photo by: Uncredited

Williams FW43B front brake duct detail
Williams FW43B front brake duct detail
29/29
Now, with the brake drum attached we can see the team uses a trench to direct the airflow in the void between it and the wheel rim. Also note the wirework that prevents debris from collecting in the inlet that would reduce performance.

Photo by: Uncredited

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