Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Technical analysis: Mercedes adds another aero surprise

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Formula 1 teams are locked in a constant technical battle to keep improving their cars in a bid to deliver success. Here, Giorgio Piola brings you the latest insight in to the innovation and evolution that appeared at the Canadian Grand Prix.

Mercedes has been leading on the Formula 1 track this year, but it also delivered something first in design terms at the Canadian Grand Prix too.

This was the first time it ran with an open brake drum, using a carbon disc with four holes in a row. But the most interesting aspect was how the team used the brake duct as an aerodynamic device.

Teams use the ducts at the back at create extra downforce, where those at the front are all about cleaning up the air flow and increasing efficiency.

 

Mercedes AMG F1 W06 detail
Mercedes AMG F1 W06 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

 

For Canada, Mercedes introduced a vertical long fin – that appears like a turning vane. It is an innovation rather than an evolution – and works well in conjunction with the aerodynamic profiles of the suspension wishbones.

 

Mercedes AMG F1 W06 detail
Mercedes AMG F1 W06 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

 

There were also some less visible changes at Mercedes too. On the engine cover there was a small bulge, which from the outside does not seem so critical.

However, it was important because it showed that underneath was a large cooler for the ERS.

This was in response to the problems the team faced last year, and comes with Canada and Austria being the two toughest tracks for energy recovery.

 

McLaren MP4-30 detail
McLaren MP4-30 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

 

The importance of front wing performance was highlighted again in Canada as teams made minor tweaks to their front wings.

McLaren changed the position of the front wing adjuster to help them fine tune their settings over the race weekend. The top version allows teams to change the top flap only, while the concept at the bottom means tweaks can be made to two sections.

 

Ferrari SF15-T detail
Ferrari SF15-T detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

 

Ferrari also made tweaks to the fins – moving them closer to the centre and with a much bigger curve in a bid to better channel air around the car. The older version is pictured as an inset.

 

Williams FW37 detail
Williams FW37 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

 

Williams and Sauber were the only teams to run with a monkey seat on the rear wing. This was not for added downforce though – it was to help with aerodynamic balance.

In Bahrain, for example, Williams had a problem with the rear wing stalling, so the monkey seat helped it work better.

 

Red Bull Racing RB11 detail
Red Bull Racing RB11 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

 

This image shows Daniil Kvyat's car. It features a triple-section turning vane that is very similar to Toro Rosso and Mercedes. Both drivers tried it on Friday, although only Kvyat raced with it.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Mercedes
Article type Analysis
Tags piola
Topic Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis