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Explore the low-downforce packages on display at Spa

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Explore the low-downforce packages on display at Spa
By:
Aug 29, 2019, 8:23 PM

Formula 1 teams have revealed the low-downforce packages today ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix as they react to the high-speed demands of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Ferrari, Renault and Toro Rosso were just some of the teams to have been spotted with shallow rear wings on Thursday, which are aimed to boost straight-line speed. The run from La Source to Les Combes often rewards the cars with the least amount of drag, as does the final sector blast through Blanchimont as top speed contributes to a large portion of the lap spent at full throttle.

Using a rear wing with a low angle of attack reduces the overall front area, helping the cars to achieve a lower percentage of drag, and the approaches are demonstrated in Giorgio Piola’s images (Click the arrows on the images below to cycle through them)...

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Ferrari SF90 rear wing detail

Ferrari SF90 rear wing detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari’s wing seems to be a simple, lower-downforce interpretation of its usual design, retaining the same endplates and shifting the leading edge of the mainplane further up, using a short-chord top element to increase that effect. In addition, the team has brought the same front wing construction it used in Canada, with a short-chord top element to further enhance the low-drag properties of the wing.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19, rear wing

Renault F1 Team R.S.19, rear wing
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Renault has done the same with its rear wing elements, but has taken another step by amending the endplates. So far this season, the team has run with a number of serrations to more aggressively manage the airflow emerging from the rear of the car, but has opted for a Red Bull-style overhang without splitting it into strakes. This retains the expansion of airflow at the rear to boost diffuser suction, without generating quite as much turbulence – the car loses some further downforce, but inhibits a healthy portion of drag.

Toro Rosso STR14, rear wing detail

Toro Rosso STR14, rear wing detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Toro Rosso has a similar approach to Ferrari, in that it appears to be a lower-downforce version of its usual wing concept, retaining the same endplates and the deeper central section.

Racing Point RP19 rear detail

Racing Point RP19 rear detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Racing Point has also been spotted with a low-downforce wing, using a distinctly short top flap chord to ensure the team runs as little wing as possible.


Overall, these wing configurations may cost a small amount of performance on the sector from Les Combes to Pouhon, but the benefits on offer from optimising acceleration and straight-line speed largely outweigh them.

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