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F1 ANALYSIS: Red Bull floor secrets REVEALED by aero expert

F1 ANALYSIS: Red Bull floor secrets REVEALED by aero expert

F1 News

F1 ANALYSIS: Red Bull floor secrets REVEALED by aero expert

F1 ANALYSIS: Red Bull floor secrets REVEALED by aero expert
Shubham Sangodkar

The Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya is one of the most ideal tracks to test an aero update package.

This is because it is wonderfully packaged with all types of corners, slow-medium-high speed with now a long straight, it’s got it all. Additionally, since before Bahrain all the pre-season testing used to happen in Barcelona, teams have very sophisticated models used for aero correlation on this track.

Let us explore the aero updates that have been brought by multiple teams one by one as this package will be fundamental to how the teams perform for the rest for the season – starting off with what everyone is talking about after Monaco...

Red Bull

Red Bull has brought a further evolution of their floor edge wing. The floor edge is basically an even further cranked gurney to maximise front flow expansion.

Additionally, in the last race, we could see lots of novel details on the Red Bull floor. The diffuser in itself has a Primary kick + flick as pointed out by Vanja Hasnovik on F1 Technical. And the floor has a double kick setup which is completely novel to Red Bull Racing as shown in the pictures below. Other teams would definitely be trying this type of geometry to evaluate what performance it brings to the table.

READ MORE: Marko PLEADS with F1 rivals amid Red Bull dominance


Ferrari have brought upgrades for the Spanish Grand Prix this weekend

Ferrari has brought their biggest update package of the 2023 season. The performance of this package will determine whether they can possibly take the fight to Aston Martin and Red Bull.

The new sidepods bring in a gulley design on the top which is used to manage the cooling losses and the flow coming from the unique duct that Ferrari has beside their chassis. As the losses pass through the gulley they are suppressed by vortices from the winglets on the chassis and the overall bulk circulation caused around the car.

The objective of these gulleys is to minimize the losses and deliver them in a place where they do the least harm.

The Floor Edge wing is possibly the biggest development we can see on the car. In the front the outer most strake has a dual shedding edge which creates outwash on the floor edge promoting floor expansion and also helps in managing lower tyre wheel wake in yaw conditions.

The Gurneys on the side of the front floor edge create local load and suction which helps further promote outwash. This has an upstream effect as this controls the strength of the strake vortex itself.

Further rearwards, we see the floor edge divided into multiple shedding edges and a duct to seep airflow to the diffuser. This would further help to control vorticity and freestream air feeding into the diffuser which is essential to maximise diffuser expansion and thus performance.

Aston Martin

Aston Martin has brought a fully revised front wing which completely changes the front wing aero philosophy. From an Outboard loaded wing, they have moved to an Inboard loaded front wing.

Inboard-loaded front wings are more efficient as they are elliptically loaded and also because their outboard section is offloaded they prevent the front wing tip vortex structures from coming too far inboard, especially in yaw conditions.

This is really important as the front wing tip vortex controls the tyre squish (very lossy region in close proximity of the tyre) and if this vortex is not placed in close proximity to the tyre it results in poor tyre squish management which further results in low energy air entraining the floor resulting in lack of floor performance.

Another important factor for front tyre squish management is the strength of the front wing tip vortex, which is what the new shedding edge on the endplate is aimed at. It helps to control the strength of the final merged front wing tip vortex.

Shubham Sangodkar is a former F1 Aerodynamicist with a Master's in Racing Car Design specialising in F1 Aerodynamics and F1 Data Analysis. He also posts aerodynamics content on his YouTube channel, which can be found here.

READ MORE: Mercedes PORPOISING issues return as Verstappen and Red Bull DOMINATE FP1

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