Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech analysis: How Mercedes is responding to the Red Bull threat

With Red Bull closing the gap to Formula 1 pacesetters Mercedes, the Silver Arrows introduced a number of innovations for the Monaco weekend in a bid to stay ahead, as Giorgio Piola and Matt Somerfield explain.

Tech analysis: How Mercedes is responding to the Red Bull threat

Mercedes

Mercedes continues to make alterations to its front brake duct, utilising its sixth iteration in six races. For Monaco, the triangular vane last used in Russia returned to the upper corner of the vertical brake duct fin.

Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 brake duct detail

Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 brake duct detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Meanwhile, the inlet and mesh design first used in Russia was also bought much further forward in order to get the right amount of airflow through to the brakes on the slower streets of the principality.

Although it's not been employed at the last few races, Teflon spray could be found on the upper front corner of the brake duct once more, limiting the amount of debris/rubber that could build up around the inlet and hamper performance.

Mercedes has made numerous changes to its front end during the opening races, with a few detailed in the 2D animation above.

Mercedes AMG F1 W07 detail
Mercedes AMG F1 W07 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

As we have seen in previous seasons at Monaco, the Cobra vane that protrudes from the brake duct was shortened. This changes how the airflow shed from it moves downstream, improving performance of the floor and sidepod undercut.

Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 rear detail
Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 rear detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The bodywork around the intersection with forward leg of the upper wishbone was opened up to cope with the power unit's cooling demands at the low speed street circuit (usual specification inset).

Meanwhile, in the main image it is also worth noting that Mercedes changed the rear brake drums to one that featured several cutouts.

These not only help manage brake temperatures but can be critical to the temperature of the rear tyres too, as the heat generated by the brakes radiates into the wheel rim.

Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 rear detail
Mercedes AMG F1 Team W07 rear detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The monkey seat which had a slot introduced in the upper element in Barcelona had a gurney trim added to the trailing edge (highlighted in green), in order to change the point at which the airflow upwashes underneath the wing, which was also being run at a steeper angle of attack to improve downforce.

Force India

Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 detail
Sahara Force India F1 VJM09 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Force India arrived in Monaco with yet another new floor, having installed a fresh design in Barcelona.

The changes to the floor are once again centred around the control of 'tyre squirt' the phenomenon that see's airflow pushed laterally into the diffusers path as the tyre deforms under load.

The use of slots in the floor ahead of the tyre help to change the shape of the oncoming airflow before it makes its way onto the tyre, therefore changing the shape of the airflow as it passes by the tyre, improving the diffusers performance.

The design employed in Monaco featured 15 straighter slots ahead of a 16th L-shaped slot. This elevated number of slots has become a trend up and down the grid, started by McLaren last season and uses much more of the floor, rather than concentrating efforts on a more controlled region just ahead of the tyre.

The low-speed nature of Monaco means that the point at which airflow is shed by the front aerodynamic structures is changed and so the more forward placement of the slots is indicative of where the air meets with the floors edge.

Williams

It's fair to say that Williams is a little adrift of where it would expect to be this season, primarily because of the Red Bull resurgence, however, it has been suffering some of its own issues along the way.

Having set up a wet weather and low-speed working group last season, it is constantly trying to resolve issues it faced in the past. Based on these past discretions, you'd expect them to have struggled significantly on the wet low speed streets of Monaco, but it seems to have made some progress.

Williams FW38 side vents, Monaco GP
Williams FW38 side vents, Monaco GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In order to change the airflow around the front of the floor and sidepod undercut, a revised layout and geometry of the fins attached to the front brake duct were used.

Meanwhile, in order to mitigate the cooling requirements for the low speed circuit changes were made, adding two slits behind the louvres, allowing more heat to be rejected.

Williams FW38 monkey seat detail
Williams FW38 monkey seat detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

At the rear of the FW38, a new monkey seat was employed to help change the point at which the exhaust plume and surrounding airflow upwashes under the wing, improving stability and increasing downforce.

The monkey seat was reminiscent of the one used on the FW37 but rather than being mounted on the crash structure it was hung from the rear wing support pylon from a central spar, primarily because of the placement of the two wastegate exhausts which run either side of the main exhaust this season.

Manor Racing

Manor Racing MRT05 rear detail
Manor Racing MRT05 rear detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Manor arrived with a new, more complex monkey seat in Monaco, changing the point at which the airflow and exhaust plume it manipulates is received by the rear wing, which itself is being run with more angle of attack to improve downforce.

Considering its relatively low budget, it's impressive that Manor has also changed its rear wing mounting pylon to one that intersects with the exhaust in a similar fashion to several other teams on the grid (Toro Rosso - see below, Ferrari, Sauber, Haas and McLaren).

The rear wing of the Toro Rosso STR10 support pylon on the STR10 intersects with the exhaust
The rear wing of the Toro Rosso STR10 support pylon on the STR10 intersects with the exhaust

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The intersecting pylon will bring a marginal weight advantage over the Y-Lon design previously used but also have an aerodynamic effect. The pylon will straighten the exhaust plume as it exits, changing its effect on the surrounding airflow.

shares
comments
Ericsson keen to “clear the air” with Nasr after Monaco clash
Previous article

Ericsson keen to “clear the air” with Nasr after Monaco clash

Next article

Magnussen says Kvyat "lost his mind" in Monaco

Magnussen says Kvyat "lost his mind" in Monaco
Load comments
Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1 Prime

Why newly-retired Kimi Raikkonen won't miss F1

After 349 grand prix starts, 46 fastest laps, 21 wins and one world championship, Kimi Raikkonen has finally called time on his F1 career. In an exclusive interview with Motorsport.com on the eve of his final race, he explains his loathing of paddock politics and reflects on how motorsport has changed over the past two decades.

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up Prime

Unpacking the technical changes behind F1 2022's rules shake-up

Formula 1 cars will look very different this year as the long-awaited fresh rules finally arrive with the stated aim of improving its quality of racing. We break down what the return of 'ground effect' aerodynamics - and a flurry of other changes besides - means for the teams, and what fans can expect

Formula 1
Jan 21, 2022
Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems Prime

Why F1's new era is still dogged by its old world problems

OPINION: The 2022 Formula 1 season is just weeks away from getting underway, but instead of focusing on what is to come, the attention still remains on what has been – not least the Abu Dhabi title decider controversy. That, plus other key talking points, must be resolved to allow the series to warmly welcome in its new era

Formula 1
Jan 20, 2022
The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022 Prime

The Schumacher trait that will give Haas hope in F1 2022

Mick Schumacher’s knack of improving during his second season in a championship was a trademark of his junior formula career, so his progress during his rookie Formula 1 campaign with Haas was encouraging. His target now will be to turn that improvement into results as the team hopes to reap the rewards of sacrificing development in 2021

Formula 1
Jan 19, 2022
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022