Formula 1
Formula 1
26 Sep
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29 Sep
Event finished
10 Oct
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13 Oct
Event finished
24 Oct
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27 Oct
Event finished
01 Nov
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03 Nov
Event finished
14 Nov
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17 Nov
Event finished
Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Technical analysis: F1's midfield fighters keep the updates coming

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Technical analysis: F1's midfield fighters keep the updates coming
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Co-author: Matt Somerfield
May 23, 2016, 4:27 PM

The fight in F1's midfield is especially tough this year, with so many teams battling it out to grab some points. That is why it is important for the likes of Haas, Renault and Manor to drive forward with developments

Haas

Haas has made an unprecedented start to its F1 career, unfortunately Esteban Gutierrez has had some bad luck but he can take solace in Romain Grosjean's solid performances in the opening rounds.

However, China and Russia proved more challenging, not only because the mandated tyre pressures issued by Pirelli took its toll but set-up choices made to chase performance at the front-limited Shanghai circuit also sent them down a difficult cul-de-sac.

Undeterred by these issues, changes made to the VF16's front wing in the last few races have been matched at the rear of the car in Barcelona.

Rear wing

Haas F1 Team VF-16 rear wing detail
Haas F1 Team VF-16 rear wing detail

Photo by: XPB Images

The new rear wing isn't demonstrably different to the previous specification but should provide some additional balance to their current setup.

An additional gradient slot can be found in the endplate (circled, yellow), providing additional airflow to the interior to make up for the additional angle of attack being used.

At the base of the endplate the strakes which are used to assist the diffuser have been amended too, with three small strakes (highlighted in green) added at the front of the endplate to enhance the performance of those after them.

Haas F1 Team VF-16 monkey seat detail
Haas F1 Team VF-16 monkey seat detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

This is supplemented by a revised Monkey Seat during some of the free practice sessions.

The new design was being tested for its Monaco set-up and has several new horizontal control blades added, whilst its endplates are elongated, both of which help guide the exhaust plume more effectively as it upwashes under the rear wing.

Renault

Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 rear wing comparison

Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 rear wing comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A new rear wing was available in Spain which featured a revised mainplane design (highlighted in green, inset), with the previous design something that the team had been using since the Lotus days.

The new design features a much shallower leading edge, with just a small kink toward the central slot gap separator.

The change also triggered a redesign of the mounting pylon, which now has a straight leading edge.

Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 rear detail
Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 rear detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

To assist in the upwash of the exhaust plume and surrounding airflow a monkey seat was also employed by Renault.

Its design varies from many on the grid, with particularly long endplates. This is primarily because of the wastegate exhaust layout used by Renault, which only has a singular outlet, whilst the trend elsewhere is two outlets.

The monkey seat should provide additional balance for the driver as without it airflow could be unstable on the rear wing owing to the angle of attack.

Manor

For Spain several updates were available on the MRT05, which has already seen small design changes in the opening rounds.

Turning vanes

Manor Racing MRT05 turning vanes detail
Manor Racing MRT05 turning vanes detail

Photo by: XPB Images

Maximising the airflow that moves under the front of the car the turning vanes were revised, changing the shape from a straight leading edge to more of a bellmouth, which was continued with the other sections. This changes the shape and pressure of the airflow moving downstream.

Bargeboards

Manor Racing MRT05 bargeboard comparison
Manor Racing MRT05 bargeboard comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In line with the changes to the turning vanes and more promising airflow structure created by them, the bargeboards were also altered to take advantage.

A slot could be found on the upper edge of the foremost section, whilst a slot was also made at the rear of the bargeboard.

These slots allow airflow to move from one pressure zone into another, improving efficiency and flow downstream.

Rear Wing and Monkey Seat

Manor Racing MRT05 detail
Manor Racing MRT05 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Several changes were made to the MRT05's rear wing to deal with the characteristics of the Circuit de Catalunya.

The mainplane shape was revised (highlighted in green), with the upturned central section increased in order to leverage more downforce.

To marginalise any additional drag this may cause the upper flap was treated to a V groove (highlighted in red).

Meanwhile, to overcome the more extreme angle of attack, the monkey seat was revised, to assist in the upwash of the exhaust plume and surrounding airflow.

The endplate (highlighted in blue) was expanded, whilst an additional flap could be found above the usual two flaps (highlighted in yellow).

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