Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech verdict: How Mercedes struck back at Suzuka

Mercedes achieved a monumental feat in Japan, becoming the first team in the sport’s history to capture six back-to-back drivers’ and constructors’ F1 World Championships. What makes this particularly impressive is that it has been able to achieve this through a sequence of regulation changes, which shows it could adapt and develop to a range of circumstances.

Tech verdict: How Mercedes struck back at Suzuka

This season is no exception, as Mercedes had to overcome advances from its rivals during a period of regulatory flux.

The 2019 progress had been stunted since the summer break, as Ferrari enjoyed a renaissance that’s challenged the Silver Arrows at circuits that it never expected to. Keen to both maintain its development trajectory over the course of the season and overturn this resurgence, Mercedes implemented a major update for the Japanese Grand Prix.

It’s important to note that while Mercedes would have been keen to make up ground on Ferrari, the development that we’ve seen from the Silver Arrows in Japan is not something that can be achieved in a short space of time, and this was always a development waypoint in their 2019 programme. Although that’s not to say that some resource had not been shifted back to this year’s project in order to refine the package further.

Click on the arrows to scroll through the photos and captions below.

Mercedes AMG F1 W10, detail front wing
Mercedes AMG F1 W10, detail front wing
1/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The smallest of aerodynamic details can often have the most profound effect on the rest of the car, and none more so than when it’s a change made to the front wing. For the Japanese GP, Mercedes had just that: a small canard was added to the outer face of the endplate. This will not only shed a vortex from the trailing edge that will have an aerodynamic impact downstream but it will also alter the pressure gradient across the endplates surface, a key factor in yaw.
Mercedes AMG F1 W10 old bargeboard
Mercedes AMG F1 W10 old bargeboard
2/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The development of the region ahead and around the sidepods of this generation of cars has been fierce, with teams constantly looking to find new, or old, solutions to the problems at hand. The regulation reset this year, although not heavily focused on this area, caused teams to constantly rethink their approach, with each change to a link in the aerodynamic daisy chain having an impact on the other. It’s why, when we see a change at the front of the car, as we did with Mercedes in Japan, it often coincides with alterations to the car’s midriff and the rear of the car too.
Mercedes AMG F1 W10, Japanese GP bargeboard
Mercedes AMG F1 W10, Japanese GP bargeboard
3/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes altered almost every surface connected to the deflector array, outer forwardmost section of the floor and sidepod airflow conditioner in Japan as it continues to find aerodynamic performance from dealing with the turbulence created by the front wheel.
Mercedes AMG F1 W10, Japanese GP bargeboard
Mercedes AMG F1 W10, Japanese GP bargeboard
4/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

[1] The main vertical panel and the slat that runs across the upper surface of the sidepod previously framed the corner of the sidepod. However, in the latest update, the connection between the two was severed. [2] The leading vertical panel was one of the only carryover items in the entire assembly. [3] The team added another horizontal section of bodywork that bridged the gap between the two floor mounted deflectors. [4] The number of horizontal slats used in the middle portion of the deflector array has been increased from four to five, whilst the lowermost pair no longer extend beyond their siblings. [5] The upturned edge of the floor was reprofiled, and another arched element was added above it, which also provides an anchor point for the main vertical panel.
Mercedes AMG F1 W10 floor
Mercedes AMG F1 W10 floor
5/5

Photo by: Steve Etherington / Motorsport Images

A new fin appeared on the floor beside the rear tyre (red arrow), as the team simply looks to better redirect the airflow that’s now passing down the car to that region.

Read Also:

shares
comments
Alfa was "nowhere" in "far from normal" Japanese GP
Previous article

Alfa was "nowhere" in "far from normal" Japanese GP

Next article

F1 agrees Miami Hard Rock stadium plan for 2021

F1 agrees Miami Hard Rock stadium plan for 2021
Load comments
How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle Prime

How Ferrari gained a new edge over McLaren in F1 2021 battle

Supremacy in the McLaren vs Ferrari fight over third place in the constructors’ championship has ebbed and flowed between the two teams so far in the 2021 Formula 1 season. But for several key reasons, right now it seems the advantage has swung decisively back to the Scuderia and McLaren knows it.

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin Prime

The details that boosted Verstappen and held back Hamilton in Austin

As the 2021 Formula 1 title battle winds towards its climax, the United States GP added another thrilling act in the Lewis Hamilton-Max Verstappen battle. Although Hamilton aced the start, Verstappen and Red Bull took the initiative with strategy and were richly rewarded, despite Mercedes' best efforts as the race went down to the wire

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
US Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

US Grand Prix Driver Ratings

On a baking hot afternoon in Texas, Formula 1 drivers were tested to their limits. As the pressure on the title contending squads reaches an ever-greater level of intensity, the foremost challengers again showed their class, but were outshone by a standout drive from the upper midfield

Formula 1
Oct 25, 2021
The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert Prime

The 10 greatest drives of lost legend Jo Siffert

It's 50 years since Jo Siffert was killed in his prime at Brands Hatch. The Swiss scored just two world championship wins in a Formula 1 career spent largely with privateer teams, but showed on numerous occasions in single-seaters and in sportscars with Porsche that he could beat any of the best drivers of his era given the right equipment.

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement Prime

Why a misunderstood Kimi Raikkonen will thrive in retirement

Three years on from Kimi Raikkonen's last Grand Prix victory at Austin, he is now six races away from ending the longest Formula 1 career in history. His friend and former Ice1 Racing rally team PR man Anthony Peacock explains why there’s nobody quite like the 2007 world champion and why F1 will miss him (but he won’t miss it).

Formula 1
Oct 24, 2021
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

Formula 1
Oct 23, 2021
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021