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

Portuguese GP: Best F1 2021 technical images from Portimao

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

Portuguese GP: Best F1 2021 technical images from Portimao

Click on the arrows in the images to scroll through them…

Red Bull Racing RB16B brake duct detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B brake duct detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull has made an adjustment to the front brake duct for the Portuguese GP, with an extra vane added to the upper section of the inlet to help direct the airflow where it needs to go inside the brake duct.
Red Bull Racing RB16B bargeboard detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B bargeboard detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull made a significant change to the design of the sidepod deflector array for the third race of the season, with the forwardmost vertical element split into two sections, whilst it now meets with the floor rather than being mounted above it. The Venetian blind-like arrangement has also been adjusted.
Red Bull Racing RB16B bargeboard detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B bargeboard detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A shot of the older configuration on the RB16B for comparison.
Red Bull Racing RB16B diffuser detail
Red Bull Racing RB16B diffuser detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull also has a new diffuser with a slimmer central section that it will test throughout the weekend.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, floor
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21, floor
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari has made changes to the floor, with the fins on the edge of the floor ahead of the rear tyre increased from four fins to seven.
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, floor
Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, floor
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The older specification floor on the Ferrari with four fins ahead of the rear tyre.
AlphaTauri AT02 rear detail
AlphaTauri AT02 rear detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The AlphaTauri AT02’s diffuser has been modified in the outer section. The shape of the outer wall, and the Gurney-like tabs that surround it, have all had their shape subtly adjusted to help improve flow out of the rear corner and limit the damage created by the wake shed from the tyre alongside.
Aston Martin AMR21 updated sidepods and wing mirror stalks detail
Aston Martin AMR21 updated sidepods and wing mirror stalks detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

A close up of the changes that Aston Martin has made to the AMR21’s sidepods and wing mirrors at Imola.
Mercedes W12 powerunit detail
Mercedes W12 powerunit detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

A look under the engine cover of the Mercedes W12, note the much bigger inlet plenum on the power unit this year that’s resulted in the bodywork needing a blister to cover it.
Mercedes W12 powerunit detail
Mercedes W12 powerunit detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The blister that covers the inlet plenum on the Mercedes W12.
AlphaTauri AT02 'S' duct panel detail
AlphaTauri AT02 'S' duct panel detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The front end of the AlphaTauri AT02 with the ‘S’-duct panel installed shows how the airflow from the nose enters the panel above the chassis indent and is channeled to the outlet on the slope of the chassis.
AlphaTauri AT02 floor and bargeboard detail
AlphaTauri AT02 floor and bargeboard detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

A good look at the floor and bargeboard cluster off the car. The main vertical element was changed at the last race, with a series of slots added in the upper edge.
AlphaTauri AT02 bargeboard detail
AlphaTauri AT02 bargeboard detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

A side view of the bargeboard cluster from the side, note the slots in the main element already mentioned.
AlphaTauri AT02 diffuser
AlphaTauri AT02 diffuser
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Photo by: Uncredited

The diffuser of the AT02, note the vertical slots in the strakes housed within.
Alfa Romeo C41 rear wing detail
Alfa Romeo C41 rear wing detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The Alfa Romeo C41 with a high downforce rear wing installed.
Alfa Romeo C41 front brake duct detail
Alfa Romeo C41 front brake duct detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The C41’s front brake assembly with the main drum detached shows how a collar is used to help direct the airflow internally.
Alfa Romeo C41 front brake duct detail
Alfa Romeo C41 front brake duct detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

Another shot of the C41 front brake duct, this time with the brake drum attached.
Red Bull RB16B rear end detail
Red Bull RB16B rear end detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

There’s plenty going on in this image of the Red Bull RB16B with the engine cover removed we can see the saddle style cooler mounted above the power unit. Without the brake drum installed we can see the pipework that carries cool air to the caliper.
Red Bull RB16B preparation
Red Bull RB16B preparation
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Photo by: Uncredited

A look at the front end of the RB16B during preparations, note the inboard suspension elements on display.
Mercedes W12 front brake duct detail
Mercedes W12 front brake duct detail
20/46

Photo by: Uncredited

A look at the front brake duct on the Mercedes W12, note the wire added to the inlet to prevent discarded rubber and debris collecting inside the tract and reducing cooling performance.
Mercedes W12 front brake duct detail
Mercedes W12 front brake duct detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The front brake duct of the W12 from the other angle, which shows off the fence and the various fins used to help redirect the airflow as it passes by. Also note the small inlets tangled up amongst the fins, which are used to capture more airflow that can then be redistributed outboard the assembly.
Mercedes W12 diffuser outer corner detail
Mercedes W12 diffuser outer corner detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The outer corner of the W12’s diffuser, note the full-length strakes used to help control the flow through it that were modified for Imola.
McLaren MCL35M front wing detail
McLaren MCL35M front wing detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The front wing of the McLaren MCL35M, note the forward mounted strakes that peep over the edge of the mainplane.
Mercedes W12 front wing detail
Mercedes W12 front wing detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The Mercedes W12’s front wing for comparison which is much more loaded in terms of angle. Also note the positioning of the adjuster when compared with the McLaren, with the distribution of what is mobile and immobile very different between the two.
McLaren MCL35M front brake duct detail
McLaren MCL35M front brake duct detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The McLaren MCL35M brake duct has two curved channels carved into the drum that are used to encourage the air to follow in order it’s emitted out of the wheel face in a more aerodynamically beneficial way.
McLaren MCL35M front brake duct detail
McLaren MCL35M front brake duct detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

Another angle of the McLaren MCL35M brake duct which shows the fins mounted on the fence, which like Mercedes also have some smaller inlets mounted amongst them.
Mercedes W12 bargeboard detail
Mercedes W12 bargeboard detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The forward floor and sidepod deflector region on the Mercedes W12, both of which are crucial in dealing with the wake created by the front wheel assembly ahead and setting up structures that improve performance at the rear of the car.
Mercedes W12 rear wheel detail
Mercedes W12 rear wheel detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

They’ve been a feature on the rear wheels of the Mercedes for some years now but these large fins help to control the temperature of the rear tyres, as they act like a heatsink.
Mercedes W12 rear end plate detail
Mercedes W12 rear end plate detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

A great shot of the W12’s endplate which shows the amount of contouring needed to be made to include the thicker upwash strikes (the regulations govern the thickness of the endplate, of which the strikes must also adhere to).
Mercedes W12 rear detail
Mercedes W12 rear detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

A rear end shot of the W12 gives us a nice overview of the exhaust and wastegate pipework, note the four winglets mounted on the crash structure that align with the wastegate pipework
Mercedes W12 halo detail
Mercedes W12 halo detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

Interesting shot across the shoulder of the W12 shows off the boomerang winglets mounted atop the halo, the serrated mirror mounts and the cooling panel that forms the trailing section of the halo's rear leg.
Haas VF-21 powerunit detail
Haas VF-21 powerunit detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The Haas VF21 with the rear bodywork off gives us a good view of the rear suspension layout.
Haas VF-21 front brake detail
Haas VF-21 front brake detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

At the front of the VF21 we find the brake assembly before the ductwork is applied, given us an idea of how the airflow collected by the main inlet is channeled to the various elements that make up the assembly.
Haas VF-21 front brake duct detail
Haas VF-21 front brake duct detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The VF21 front brake assembly with the ductwork attached shows us how some of the work being done by the inlet is aerodynamic in nature and not just used to cool the brakes.
Alfa Romeo Racing C41 powerunit detail
Alfa Romeo Racing C41 powerunit detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

A great picture of the Alfa Romeo C41 as it is lowered down on to the stands, note all of the equipment loaded into the lower portion of the sidepods.
Ferrari SF21 front wing detail
Ferrari SF21 front wing detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The front wing of the Ferrari SF21, note how the flaps are twisted in order that they’re flatter in the outer section, reducing the load.
Ferrari SF21 front suspension detail
Ferrari SF21 front suspension detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

A look at the chassis and inboard suspension elements on the SF21.
McLaren MCL35M front detail
McLaren MCL35M front detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

For comparison, a look at the McLaren MCL35M’s chassis and inboard suspension elements.
Ferrari SF21 front brake duct with no drum cover detail
Ferrari SF21 front brake duct with no drum cover detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

Ferrari’s front brake assembly during preparation - note the teardrop-shaped supports which hold the drum once it's mounted.
Ferrari SF21 front brake duct detail
Ferrari SF21 front brake duct detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

With the drum mounted you can imagine the void that’s created between the two surfaces and allows airflow to be carried from the inlet to the outer face of the wheel, where it mitigates some of the inefficiencies created by the wake being generated by the tyre.
Aston Martin AMR21 high downforce rear wing and rear brakes detail
Aston Martin AMR21 high downforce rear wing and rear brakes detail
41/46

Photo by: Uncredited

The rear brakes on the Aston Martin AMR21 without the drum attached - note the pipework that takes cool air from the main inlet and delivers it to the caliper which it’s wrapped around.
Aston Martin AMR21 front brake duct without crossover panel detail
Aston Martin AMR21 front brake duct without crossover panel detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The left-hand front brake duct of the AMR21 with a panel taken away to leave the channel exposed to the inner face of the wheel rim.
Aston Martin AMR21 front brake duct detail
Aston Martin AMR21 front brake duct detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The right-hand front brake duct being run in a different configuration with the panel installed and three smaller outlets added near the inner shoulder that will transmit the heat generated by the brakes into the wheel rim and tyre differently.
Alpine A521 new front wing and cape detail
Alpine A521 new front wing and cape detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The new specification cape design on the Alpine A521.
Alpine A521 old front wing and cape detail
Alpine A521 old front wing and cape detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The older specification cape on the Alpine A521, note the change in shape a positioning of the inlet.
Alpine A521 front wing comparison
Alpine A521 front wing comparison
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Photo by: Uncredited

The new (bottom) and old front wing designs of the Alpine A521 that were introduced at Imola - note the curvature of the flaps.

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