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

Tech analysis: How F1 finds drag reduction through waved wings

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Tech analysis: How F1 finds drag reduction through waved wings
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Co-author: Matt Somerfield
Sep 11, 2016, 5:38 PM

Newcomers Haas used a spectacular-looking rear wing at the Italian Grand Prix, in order to deal with the demands of the Autodromo Nazionale Monza circuit. But it's not the first team to try this approach...

The wing features several geometric surface changes that fulfill both downforce and drag reduction roles. In a similar vein to Mercedes' ‘Spoon’ wing, it has a deeper-dished central section - but, rather than going out to a shorter chord as the flaps go out to the endplate, it sweeps back to a taller chord again.

Both designs are achieving similar goals but going about it in differing ways, with Haas retaining the usual endplate configuration to displace and lessen the tip vortex.

Renault R30 and R31 rear wings comparison
Renault R30 and R31 rear wings comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Perhaps the closest solution to the one run by Haas is Renault’s from 2010, when the R30 was also outfitted with a similar ‘double-wave’-style arrangement.

Renault may have run it for much longer into that season too, if it wasn't for the huge commitment put into the F-Duct system (lower-right, inset), which, it could be argued, was one of the best in the field by the end of the season.

With the F-Duct banned and DRS introduced for 2011, the team ran a similar wing on the R31 in free practice at Montreal (lower-left, inset) but didn’t get the desired result and chose to run the standard configuration instead.

This got us thinking - down the years we've seen numerous ‘Monza specials’ and, certainly in the past, teams have courted interesting solutions for circuits like Montreal and Spa, where drag reduction is paramount to overall laptime, but downforce cannot be fully conceded.

As such, we delved through the recent archive to show you the likes of Honda’s RA108 rear wing, which also featured the double-wave design, and created the following video.

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Series Formula 1
Author Giorgio Piola