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

F1 tech race: Giorgio Piola on 2019’s rear wing updates

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F1 tech race: Giorgio Piola on 2019’s rear wing updates
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Co-author: Matthew Somerfield
Aug 26, 2019, 5:57 PM

We are already past the halfway point in the Formula 1 season, and so far we’ve seen plenty of great work done by the teams to improve their performance. As always, Giorgio Piola has kept a close eye on these improvements – so we can take a look through the story so far…

Teams have continued to exploit the transitional bounding box that exists to allow for the curvature of the rear wing endplates for 2019, with all of them using a straked design in one format or another to increase the wing's efficiency.

Click on the arrows to scroll through the photos and captions below.

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Renault R.S.19 rear wing

Renault R.S.19 rear wing
1/8

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Renault began the season with the commonly-used hanging strakes on the outer edge of the bounding box (three in this case). However, they pushed things a stage further, creating a set of upwash winglets from the bodywork that straddles the two vertical surfaces.

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 rear wing

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 rear wing
2/8

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes’ rear wing endplate design is a busy affair and also features three strakes on the outer boundary. It also uses three small strikes on the upper rear quarter to disperse pressure and redirect the flow.

Toro Rosso STR14 rear wing detail

Toro Rosso STR14 rear wing detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

To overcome some of the aerodynamic losses associated with the removal of the louvres from the regulations, Toro Rosso has innovated once more – shaping the upper front corner of the endplate.

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 rear wing detail

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 rear wing detail
4/8

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Taking note of Toro Rosso’s design novelty, Alfa Romeo has since made a change to the upper corner of its endplates too.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing
5/8

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Renault made some changes to its rear wing at the French GP, decoupling the rear strakes from the main body of the endplate and increasing their overall number. It also added some of the upwash strikes we’ve already seen on the Mercedes design.

Ferrari SF90, rear wing end plate

Ferrari SF90, rear wing end plate
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari’s rear wing endplate strake design is a little more expansive than some of the others, with the Scuderia opting to split into seven separate sections. You’ll also note they have the upwash strikes too.

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 rear wing detail

Mercedes AMG F1 W10 rear wing detail
7/8

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes threw another sizeable update package on the W10 in Germany, front and centre of which was an interesting new rear wing endplate design. A sawtooth arrangement now populates the upper rear cutout, whilst another row of upwash strikes have been positioned ahead of the pre-existing row. These changes, along with a reshaping of the entire surface will go a long way to improving the efficiency of the wing and will likely be studied by many others on the grid now too.

Haas F1 Team VF-19 rear wing detail

Haas F1 Team VF-19 rear wing detail
8/8

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The area on the edge of the endplates bounding box reserved for the aforementioned strake designs is clearly one that can be exploited for aerodynamic gain, seeing as everyone has opted to do so, in one form or another, and it’s not stopping there as Haas proved most recently. Its latest design is very different to the approach we’ve seen thus far, as it has opted for three sinuously-shaped inverted louvres instead.

From the editor, also read:

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Series Formula 1
Author Giorgio Piola