Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

How Red Bull struck an early tech blow against Mercedes

A wheel has yet to be turned in the Formula 1 World Championship but tensions are already high in Melbourne, as the teams begin to jockey for position and dispute the legality of each other’s machines.

Ferrari’s 2019 power unit, Mercedes’ DAS and Racing Point’s ‘Pink Merc’ are all hot topics, but one unheralded key battle in the technical war has already been won, as a request by Red Bull has forced the FIA to clarify its position on a solution used by Mercedes in 2019 and which it intended to use again this season.

The rear brake duct and suspension upright seen on both the W10 and 2020’s W11 features what the team believed to be a clever interpretation of the regulations. It’s a design that leans on the suspension upright to create an additional inlet above the main brake duct (red arrow, below), which then feeds airflow into a void on the top of the brake drum. 

Mercedes AMG F1 W10, rear duct

Mercedes AMG F1 W10, rear duct

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

This provides a cooling benefit that aids in tyre management, as it reduces heat transfer between the brakes and wheel rim, a trait that would ordinarily heat the tyre.

The issue that Red Bull raised relates to a section within article 5.1 of the technical regulations:

Air ducts around the rear brakes will be considered part of the braking system and shall not protrude beyond:

  1. a) A plane parallel to the ground situated at a distance of 160mm above the horizontal centre line of the wheel.

The inlet formed by the uprights design clearly sits above this 160mm measurement and so the FIA has confirmed that teams using this solution will have to make adjustments.

Read Also:

Time to adapt

As the affected teams have little time to remedy the affected components ahead of the race this weekend, it’s customary for the FIA to offer an alternative solution. As such, the FIA has suggested a similarly-sized outlet can be made at the rear of the upright for airflow to pass straight through, or the inlet can be closed-off entirely. The second of these solutions can only be run for the first two events, with the FIA requiring a fully-compliant version thereafter.

Racing Point RP20 rear suspension brakes

Racing Point RP20 rear suspension brakes

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

While Mercedes has been the primary target of this ‘attack’, Racing Point may also find itself pegged back in Australia too, as it carried the design across to the RP20 (above).

Read Also:

shares
comments
Australian GP: All the winners since 1985
Previous article

Australian GP: All the winners since 1985

Next article

Verstappen demands "level playing field" amid Ferrari row

Verstappen demands "level playing field" amid Ferrari row
Load comments
The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice Prime

The danger for Red Bull in its Barcelona F1 team orders choice

OPINION: Red Bull walked into a team orders saga on its way to taking a Spanish Grand Prix 1-2 last weekend, where it took the lead of the 2022 Formula 1 world championships for the first time. But its decisions have added an element of risk to later races.

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed Prime

Why Mercedes' Spanish GP gains aren't as grand as they seemed

Mercedes' strong showing in last weekend's Spanish Grand Prix prompted team boss Toto Wolff to say it had halved its deficit to the leaders and its Formula 1 title chances were back on after a rocky start to the 2022 campaign. But a closer inspection of the team's performance suggests its gains aren't as grand as they first appeared

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy? Prime

What's next for the Green Red Bull controversy?

From the 'pink Mercedes' to the 'Green Red Bull', the Silverstone-based team has received suspicious glares from up and down the Formula 1 paddock over its car design exploits. But after being cleared by the FIA over its Spanish Grand Prix updates amid a backdrop of cries of foul play, what's next in this saga?

Formula 1
May 24, 2022
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

In an unusually hectic Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix, Charles Leclerc was denied a dominant performance by his Ferrari engine letting go which allowed Max Verstappen to pick up the pieces. But numerous flashpoints kept the race twisting and turning throughout, with one perfect score from an emerging contender

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain Prime

How Verstappen overcame his and Red Bull’s errors to win in Spain

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari engine disaster offered an open goal for Max Verstappen and Red Bull to strike, but the reigning Formula 1 world champion still had to solve multiple errors and profit from a begrudged assist from team-mate Sergio Perez, which created an unexpectedly eventful Spanish Grand Prix

Formula 1
May 23, 2022
Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari Prime

Why Red Bull can win a Spanish GP that looked perfect for Ferrari

Formula 1's return to Spain on Friday ended with Ferrari leading the way from Mercedes, while Red Bull could only manage third fastest overall courtesy of Max Verstappen. But its chances of victory are far from remote with a deeper dig into the times despite Ferrari's strong start...

Formula 1
May 20, 2022
The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries Prime

The key aspects of Porsche and Audi's planned F1 entries

The VW Group’s German superpowers of sportscar racing have all but confirmed they are coming to F1 when the next set of engine rules come into force in 2026. Here's why both manufacturers are all set to take the plunge, and crucially how it might work

Formula 1
May 19, 2022
How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup Prime

How Vegas went from byword for F1 indifference to grand Liberty coup

Holding a race in Las Vegas – party central, a city of dreams and decadence and, yes, more than a smattering of tackiness – has been on Liberty Media’s most-wanted list since it acquired Formula 1’s commercial rights. But, as LUKE SMITH explains, F1 has been here before and the relationship didn’t work out

Formula 1
May 18, 2022