Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Technical analysis: Why Force India's nostril nose is legal


Giorgio Piola looks at the major upgrades of the new B-spec Force India introduced at Silverstone, and how the team managed to introduce a unique nose.

Force India's wait for its B-spec car at the British Grand Prix proved to be well worth it, as the package of upgrades left drivers and team chiefs convinced of a strong remainder to the campaign.

While heading into the Silverstone weekend there was an eagerness to play down expectations, by Sunday night, hopes were high that Red Bull could be within its sights.

Nostril nose

Technical analysis: Force India new nose
Technical analysis: Force India new nose

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Nose designs have been a key area of focus for teams this year, as they bid to recover the aerodynamic loss forced on them through a change of regulations.

The fashionable solution has been the short nose concept, first raced by Williams but subsequently copied by Red Bull and McLaren.

After months of work in the Cologne wind tunnel, Force India has elected to do something different with its 'nostril' design, which will not have entailed as tricky a crash test programme as it did for other outfits who elected for the short nose.

The two vents on either side of the nose feed air underneath and in to the floor area of the car.

These 'nostrils' have been the subject of much intrigue ever since the design was first tested at the Austrian Grand Prix, as F1's regulations were supposed to have outlaw holes.

Article 3.7.8 of F1's regulations states: "Only a single section, which must be open, may be contained within any longitudinal vertical cross section taken parallel to the car centre line forward of a point 150mm ahead of the front wheel centre line, less than 250mm from the car centre line and more than 125mm above the reference plane."

Force India has done something clever though with the underside of the nose featuring a spoon shaped lip (see inset), which ensures that when you take a 'longitudinal vertical cross section' there is only one section contained.

To keep the prying eye of rival engineers away, Force India created some carbon covers that were run in the post-Austria test and in practice at Silverstone, but the FIA asked for them to be removed.

Engine bay

While the change to the nose was the most visual from the outside, there were big changes under the skin too.

Force India has done a lot of repackaging – with there being a much narrower carbon airbox, to make things more compact around the Mercedes engine.

Technical analysis: Force India engine details
Technical analysis: Force India engine details

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The changes under the skin have delivered aerodynamic benefits, because they have allowed for much tighter bodywork packaging.

The differences in engine cover can be seen in this photo, with the team needing to introduce a small fin along the top of the engine cover to comply with the regulations.

Technical analysis: Force India engine cover
Technical analysis: Force India engine cover

Photo by: Giorgio Piola


Technical analysis: Force India engine details
Technical analysis: Force India engine details

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Force India had already revised its rear suspension before the British Grand Prix, and its packaging at Silverstone showed where it stores an hydraulic accumulator.

An effective ban on FRIC systems last year meant teams could no longer connect their front and rear suspensions, but Force India is still using an hydraulic system at the rear of the car.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Force India
Article type Analysis
Topic Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis