Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Singapore dramas disguised Force India's bold new update

Force India’s pace at the Singapore Grand Prix was boosted by a major upgrade that it hopes can help its charge up the constructors’ championship table.

Singapore dramas disguised Force India's bold new update

The reinvigorated and more financially stable team has come out the other side of what seemed like a very precarious situation – and one that directly affected its performance on track.

The financial woes that Force India faced going into the 2018 season had a major impact on the development cycle of this year’s car, with its already limited resources being funnelled into a new chassis to incorporate the halo.

Without the safety device, the team may have been able to carry over a large portion of the predecessor’s design traits and injected those resources into the rest of the car’s design.

As it arrived in Singapore with a raft of new parts, it became obvious that the team was making a concerted effort to rectify some of the issues that proved troublesome in the opening phase of the season.

There were no standout nor novel solutions though, but rather optimisations that are designed to work like a daisy chain, each giving a small uplift in performance that added together result in a larger overall gain.

Force India new bargeboard floor comparison

Force India new bargeboard floor comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The forwardmost vertical element of the bargeboard has been pushed back a little and arched over to meet the side of the chassis, creating a physical path for the airflow to follow (see lower right inset for comparison).

Beneath this, the first in a series of small teeth-like surfaces on the bargeboard’s footplate has also been revised, setting up the flow for the rest of the surrounding surfaces.

The leading edge of the VJM11’s floor has also seen some attention, with the number of strakes increased from three to six (see lower left inset for comparison), reducing the effect any turbulence reaching the floor’s edge can have on its performance and the diffuser downstream.

In behind the bargeboard is the splitter extension, which is run by all of the teams to improve the flow characteristics in that region and was made possible by the adjustment of the regulations for 2017.

It’s been an area of intense development for all the teams throughout the last two seasons, as it ties in with the rest of the aerodynamic appendages around it and needs to be updated inline with any changes made to them.

The slots that permeate the front edge of surface have been moved for Singapore, making use of the alterations both up and downstream of the surface.

Force India VJM11 mirrors comparison

Force India VJM11 mirrors comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team has also done away with the arched wing mirror supports (blue arrow), as they are considered superfluous, with two supports protruding from the leading edge of the sidepod.

Force India VJM11 floor detail

Force India VJM11 floor detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

At the rear of the car, the designers have turned their attention to the floor area just ahead of the rear tyre, upturning the outer edge and adding a flap above it to improve the way in which the airflow is pulled across the region.

The team has also enclosed the slots that previously permeated the floor’s edge, using a metal insert as a way of improving the floors rigidity.

Force India VJM11 diffuser comparison

Force India VJM11 diffuser comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Meanwhile, the diffuser has been treated to some alterations too, with the outboard crossover tab, a design feature of almost the entire grid now, moved from the main diffuser’s body to the primary Gurney (red arrow).

Force India double top wing, Monaco

Force India double top wing, Monaco

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team also utilised a similar rear wing and T-wing set-up to the one used at the other high-downforce circuits of Monaco and Hungary.

shares
comments
Renault move controversy "way overblown" - Budkowski

Previous article

Renault move controversy "way overblown" - Budkowski

Next article

How to make F1 strategies interesting

How to make F1 strategies interesting
Load comments
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Prime

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery Prime

Why Verstappen should be confident of Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi...

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1 Prime

Why dumping the MGU-H is the right move for F1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Prime

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. Damien Smith brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1.

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Prime

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus Prime

How Mika Hakkinen thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Prime

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Prime

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says Stuart Codling.

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021