Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Bahrain GP: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Join us as we delve into the latest technical developments from the opening round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship in Bahrain, courtesy of Giorgio Piola and Sutton Images.

Bahrain GP: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Click on the arrows on the images to scroll through them…

Mercedes W12 inlet plenum comparison

Mercedes W12 inlet plenum comparison
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A look under the skin of the Mercedes W12 reveals a larger inlet plenum (highlighted in green) on this year's power unit has resulted in the engine cover’s bodywork bulge.

Mercedes W12 detail

Mercedes W12 detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes front suspension and brake duct detail, which without the brake drum attached you can see the pipework used to duct the airflow out through the assembly and influence the airflow as it passes by the front wheel.

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A closeup view of the bodywork panel that makes up the front section of the sidepod and is attached to the side of the chassis. Note the smaller inlet beneath the side-impact spar that feeds cool air into the lower section of the sidepod where the electronics are housed.

Williams FW43B rear detail

Williams FW43B rear detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The Williams FW43B sans rear bodywork gives us some insight into how the Mercedes power unit is packaged and the team's other decisions on cooling. Note also the trio of winglets on the edge of the floor ahead of the rear wheel, whilst the twisted vanes on the brake drum will manipulate the flow in the void between it and the wheel rim.

Ferrari SF21 front brake drum detail

Ferrari SF21 front brake drum detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari’s front brake duct has a much squarer inlet for 2021.

Mercedes W12 cooling detail

Mercedes W12 cooling detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes has a large cooling outlet present on the W12 as it prepares the car for scrutineering. Also note the fin mounted between the airbox and halo, which is used to just tease the airflow in the right direction.

Ferrari SF21 S-duct detail

Ferrari SF21 S-duct detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari’s new nose solution for 2021 with the front wing pillars narrowed in order to free up space for a side-mounted cape. Highlighted and arrowed is the ‘S’-duct inlet.

Alfa Romeo Racing C41 floor detail

Alfa Romeo Racing C41 floor detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The detail on the edge of the Alfa Romeo C41’s floor, with a pair of detached Gurney flaps mounted above the scrolled section of floor and the two fins outwardly angled to help encourage the airflow's transit.

Mercedes W12 without bodywork

Mercedes W12 without bodywork
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Photo by: Uncredited

Another wider angle shot of the Mercedes W12 with the bodywork off, enabling us to see the layout of the power unit and its ancillaries.

Mercedes W12 detail

Mercedes W12 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The new front brake duct arrangement on the W12 sees the inlet inverted and the wider section now placed at the bottom. In doing this the team has been able to remove the ancillary inlets that were in the face of the fence last season, which means the winglets housed in the bottom half of the fence can now be larger and/or see their number increased.

Mercedes W12 diffuser

Mercedes W12 diffuser
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Photo by: Uncredited

A sideways shot of the Mercedes W12’s diffuser which has seen the inner strakes cut down by 50mm to comply with the 2021 regulations.

Red Bull RB16B bodywork off

Red Bull RB16B bodywork off
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Photo by: Uncredited

The Red Bull RB16B with the covers off allows us to see how the sidepods are packaged and that it’s once again using a saddle-style cooler arrangement above the power unit.

Mercedes W12 rear wing endplate

Mercedes W12 rear wing endplate
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Photo by: Uncredited

This shot of the Mercedes W12 rear wing endplate shows off the contours used to open up more space for the wing elements and how that fashions a route to the serrated cutout in the upper rear corner.

Williams FW43B sidepods detail

Williams FW43B sidepods detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A side view of the Williams FW43B gives us a clearer picture of the route the airflow must take around the sidepod, with the team opting for a healthy undercut that’s assisted by another vertical flow generator mounted between the sidepod and deflector array.

Mercedes W12 floor detail

Mercedes W12 floor detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A closeup of the wavy floor arrangement on the W12, with the sizable flap mounted above it to help tune the flow through that section.

McLaren MCL35M detail

McLaren MCL35M detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

A close up of the McLaren MCL35M and the inboard suspension arrangement.

McLaren MCL35M detail

McLaren MCL35M detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The McLaren MLC35M’s front brake assembly without the drum fitted reveals how some of the airflow is ducted to the bottom of the assembly to feed cool air to the brake caliper.

McLaren MCL35M detail

McLaren MCL35M detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

Another shot of the McLaren MCL35M’s front brake assembly but also note in the background that the team is using a saddle style cooler arrangement.

Mercedes W12 detail

Mercedes W12 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

A look at the Mercedes W12’s rear end with the covers removed shows just how narrow the gearbox carrier is and how it has packaged their rear suspension elements for maximum aerodynamic gain.

Haas VF-21 detail

Haas VF-21 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The front wing of the Haas VF-21: Note how the wing arches quite aggressively as it meets with the neutral section, which will help to tune the Y250 vortex shed from here.

Alpine A521 rear suspension and brakes

Alpine A521 rear suspension and brakes
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Photo by: Uncredited

The Alpine A521’s rear brake duct assembly and new raised rear suspension upright.

Mercedes W12 bargeboards and sidepod deflectors

Mercedes W12 bargeboards and sidepod deflectors
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Photo by: Uncredited

The Mercedes W12’s bargeboard and sidepod deflector arrangement, which remains the same as it was in testing.

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The Aston Martin AMR21 being prepared for action which you’ll note has the gearbox carrier and rear suspension arrangement used on the Mercedes last season.

Ferrari SF21 detail

Ferrari SF21 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

Ferrari continue to use the unloaded approach with their front wing design, as the flaps flatten out at the endplate end. The tips are tightly wound over to help shape the vortex shed from the Y250 region.

Mercedes W12 detail

Mercedes W12 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The DAS-less steering assembly on the Mercedes W12 and a look at some of the inboard elements of the front suspension.

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The front wing of the Aston Martin for comparison is not as unloaded as its Ferrari counterpart but the team has slowly edged closer to that concept from its more-loaded starting position.

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The front view of the AMR21’s front wing shows how the outboard section of the wing sweeps down to meet the endplate, whilst the adjustable flap section is set with a low angle of attack.

Alpine A521 detail

Alpine A521 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The Alpine A521 with the bodywork off shows how the team is flanking its saddle cooler with more pipework that’s led to the bloated appearance when the bodywork is attached.

Aston Martin AMR21 detail

Aston Martin AMR21 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The front brake assembly on the Aston Martin AMR21, note the holes in the brake bell which allows air collected by the main inlet to escape out of the wheel face.

AlphaTauri AT02 detail

AlphaTauri AT02 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The AlphaTauri AT02 with the covers off shows the saddle style cooler arrangement above the power unit that’s fed by the airbox

AlphaTauri AT02 detail

AlphaTauri AT02 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

A close up of the AlphaTauri AT02 bulkhead which now includes a crevice where the steering assembly / arms used to reside, whereas now they are housed inside like sister team Red Bull.

Alpine A521 detail

Alpine A521 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The front brake duct assembly during preparation on the Alpine A521, note the lower ductwork which takes air collected by the main inlet and passes it out through the wheel face.

Alfa Romeo Racing C41 detail

Alfa Romeo Racing C41 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The front brake duct arrangement on the Alfa Romeo C41 which has a hat beside the brake disc to help manage the airflow running through the centre of the assembly and between it and the drum when it’s installed.

AlphaTauri AT02 detail

AlphaTauri AT02 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

Another look at the AlphaTauri AT02’s front end, with the inboard suspension elements all worth noting too.

Williams FW43B detail

Williams FW43B detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

The brake drum on the Williams FW43B has a large removable panel in order that the team can make quick changes without the need to totally disassemble the entire structure.

AlphaTauri AT02 detail

AlphaTauri AT02 detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

An uncovered view of the front brake assembly on the AlphaTauri AT02, with the splitter and its stay also revealed in the background.

Williams FW43B detail

Williams FW43B detail
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Photo by: Uncredited

Here’s what’s going on inside the FW43B’s front brake assembly.

 


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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Bahrain GP
Author Giorgio Piola
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