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McLaren and Alpine debut new F1 front wings at the British GP

Mercedes is not the only team to introduce new front wings at Formula 1’s British Grand Prix, with McLaren and Alpine bringing significant changes too.

Alpine A523 technical detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

As expected, given the propensity for teams to do so, the main changes are made in the outer portion, altering how the flaps and endplate interact in order to improve the outwash effect. 

Alpine has achieved this by increasing the chord length of the mainplane while reducing the chord length of the three flaps thereafter.  

This tightens the gapping between each flap at the endplate juncture and results in each of the elements becoming more tightly wound.  

Modifications have also been made to the diveplane. This is still an S-shaped variant but has been lifted into a higher position and reprofiled to suit the new locale.

Beyond this, the pod used to house the infra-red tyre monitoring camera has also been moved to a lower position that also requires a more upward angle.  

However, this probably has more to do with the aerodynamic properties it poses in this position, rather than the view it provides. 

There are also changes at the inboard end of the wing, with the moveable sections of the upper flap increased in width, as the pivots move closer to the side of the nose.  

McLaren MCL60 Front Wing

McLaren MCL60 Front Wing

Photo by: Uncredited

In turn, the non-moveable section has narrowed and the shape of the flaps have been altered as a consequence. 

Similarly, the leading edge of the mainplane and the second flap have been re-contoured to take the associated changes into account and provide the necessary assistance for flow around the wing and nose section. 

In lockstep with its impressive update package at the Austrian Grand Prix, which only Lando Norris was able to sample, McLaren has also introduced a new front wing and modified nose at the British Grand Prix. 

The changes made at the outboard end of the wing follow a development trajectory that we've seen from Mercedes under these new regulations, with the flaps being semi-detached from the endplate and metal spars used to bridge the gap between the two.  

The advantage of this design is having three additional shedding surfaces in a sensitive region of the wing, all of which can be outwardly angled in order to persuade the airflow to wash outboard of the front tyre. 

For both teams, the changes being made are obviously keyed towards an increase in local performance. 

However, a shift to a more outwash-focused front wing often comes hand-in-hand with an improvement downstream, such is the interconnectivity of the flow structures, both of which are areas of the car where Alpine and McLaren have made changes in recent races.  

Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

Aston Martin AMR23 technical detail

Photo by: Matt Kew

Aston Martin has also made changes to its front wing for the British Grand Prix, albeit not as extensive as those teams around it.

The upper two flaps have been customised in order to make the design more suitable for the demands of the Silverstone circuit. 

The changes have warranted new flaps to be installed too, rather than them simply being trimmed-down variants of the design configuration introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix.

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