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

Bahrain test: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

Join us as we delve into the latest technical developments from the third day of pre-season testing in Bahrain courtesy of Giorgio Piola and Sutton Images.

Bahrain test: Latest F1 2021 technical developments

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

Haas VF-21 diffuser detail

Haas VF-21 diffuser detail
1/23

Photo by: Uncredited

The VF21 also has a new diffuser layout in the outer section (highlighted in white) which features a notched overlap for the main section.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B
2/23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The RB16B driven by Sergio Perez with a large kiel probe rake mounted to the car ahead of the rear wheels, as the team looks to capture data regarding the airflow's movement in that region.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF21
3/23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

A pitot tube can be seen mounted in the central section of the SF21’s front wing to collect airflow data as Charles Leclerc circulated out on track in the morning session.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02
4/23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The AlphaTauri AT02 with a pair of kiel probe rakes mounted behind the front wing and another rake behind the car, as the team collect data on the airflow from the front to the back of the car.

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C41

Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo Racing C41
5/23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The kiel probe rake mounted behind the front wheels on the Alfa Romeo C41 doesn’t have the usual grid makeup you’d expect to see, with care taken to place the kiel probes in areas where they can capture the most information without disturbing the airflow around the rig unnecessarily (although they can model their results for this).

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21

Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-21
6/23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Haas installed a new front wing on the VF21 for the last day of pre-season testing, which in addition to the new cape and turning vanes installed under their nose and chassis on day two, should help improve the aerodynamic performance at the front end of the car.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521
7/23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The kiel probe rake mounted behind the Alpine A521 is angled, in order to better align with the flow out of the diffuser and off the rear of the car.

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02

Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri AT02
8/23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

A dash of green on the AlphaTauri AT02 as the team sprayed flo-viz along the cars flanks, this oil based paint will have streamlines created in it by the passing airflow that the teams can then study to assess whether the real world results correlate with their simulations tools back at the factory.

Ferrari SF21 detail

Ferrari SF21 detail
9/23

Photo by: Uncredited

A trio of fins line the edge of the Ferrari SF21’s floor and diffuser in order to protect flow over that section from the turbulence created by the tyre.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL35M
10/23

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The McLaren MCL35M with flo-viz sprayed over the body of the nose and surrounding aerodynamic surfaces.

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12
11/23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A look at the rear end of the Mercedes W12…

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB16B
12/23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

…And for comparison the Red Bull RB16B’s rear end, which has a notably higher waisted cooling outlet that’s framed by the equally high-mounted rear suspension elements that have been altered for 2021.

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521

Esteban Ocon, Alpine A521
13/23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

On brand, the Alpine team has been using blue flo-viz during this test, which was sprayed over the floor of the A521 during the morning session with the team having installed several new features to help redistribute the flow over it.

Ferrari SF21 rear detail

Ferrari SF21 rear detail
14/23

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Rear end shot of the Ferrari SF21 which, although tidied up compared with its predecessor in many ways, we can see how it is still forced to use a much larger cooling outlet than some rivals.

Red Bull Racing RB16B rear detail

Red Bull Racing RB16B rear detail
15/23

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

As a comparison, the much more tightly-packaged RB16B – but also note the work done by the team to raise the outlet above the line of the lower wishbone.

Mercedes W12 rear detail

Mercedes W12 rear detail
16/23

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes with a similarly small cooling outlet, albeit a very different shape, with both the hip section raised into the coke bottle section increasing and a scalloped section found on the upper surface.

Aston Martin AMR21 rear detail

Aston Martin AMR21 rear detail
17/23

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The Aston Martin AMR21 with a similarly small rear cooling outlet, albeit wider and shallower than the Mercedes.

McLaren MCL35M bargeboard detail

McLaren MCL35M bargeboard detail
18/23

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

An overview of the bargeboard cluster and sidepod deflector on the McLaren MCL35M, note how the longer lower venetian blind-style flaps twist on their axis in order to adjust the airflow passing by them. This is not a design decision that’s unique to McLaren but one that’s certainly quite apparent.

McLaren MCL35M diffuser detail

McLaren MCL35M diffuser detail
19/23

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Another angle of the McLaren MCL35M diffuser and those central strakes which start their journey as part of the floor transition.

Ferrari SF21 suspension detail

Ferrari SF21 suspension detail
20/23

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Plenty to see in this picture of the Ferrari SF21, with a horizontal flap deployed between the floor strakes ahead of the rear tyre, the first two of a trio of fins can be seen on the edge of floor/diffuser and the new for 2021 L-shaped brake duct fence reaching out in front of the lower wishbone. Also note the shape and depth of the floor channel which essentially increases the space available in the coke bottle region.

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521 pit stop

Fernando Alonso, Alpine A521 pit stop
21/23

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

The Alpine A521 returns to the pits with the diffuser doused in blue flo-viz paint that will be evaluated to make sure the airflow is behaving as predicted.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W12
22/23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The Mercedes W12 with its usual grey/blue colour mixture for the flo-viz on their car which now seems a little out of step when applied to a black car rather than a silver one, as it makes it easier for us to see the flow structures that are created in the paint.

Red Bull Racing RB16B nose detail

Red Bull Racing RB16B nose detail
23/23

Photo by: Uncredited

The lighting in this image gives us a good idea of the parts of the nose that are structural and those that serve more of a regulatory or aerodynamic purpose.

 


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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Bahrain March testing
Author Giorgio Piola
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