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

Tech verdict: Analysing the 2019 F1 design trends so far

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Tech verdict: Analysing the 2019 F1 design trends so far
By:
Jun 12, 2019, 6:05 AM

The teams continue to wage a technical war on one another, as a slew of new parts arrived in Canada that they hoped would boost their respective performances. Here, we delve into those changes and see how more often than not they’re mimicking one another’s design direction.

Click through the images below...

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Red Bull RB15 new fins

Red Bull RB15 new fins
1/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull arrived at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve with a design feature that we’ve seen other teams adopt this season - nose horns. These horns sit in an area of the nose transition that has some regulatory freedom and has led to designers using various solutions to better control the direction of airflow in the region.  

Mercedes AMG F1 technical detail

Mercedes AMG F1 technical detail
2/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

It was Mercedes that drew first blood in this latest quest for airflow control where the nose and chassis meet, when in pre-season testing it introduced a pair of dog-leg shaped winglets that helped to draw air down and around the side of the chassis more efficiently.

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 fins

Alfa Romeo Racing C38 fins
3/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alfa was also an early adopter of the solution, taking the design seen over at Mercedes and really ramping things up. It added four fins either side of the chassis that begin to sweep down in order to encourage the airflow’s direction.

Renault F1 Team front detail

Renault F1 Team front detail
4/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Renault arrived in Monaco with a similar solution to the one used by Mercedes since the start of the season, with a simple dog-leg shaped winglet mounted either side of the chassis.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing
5/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Renault continues on its quest to arm their drivers with a car capable of at least running at the front of the midfield pack by introducing a new rear wing in Canada. The design is a developmental iteration of the one used since the start of the season, with the endplate elements in the transitional zone given some much welcomed attention.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing comparison

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing comparison
6/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The design team has changed the shape of the lower element, giving it a more defined tail (red arrow), which will undoubtedly alter the localised flow field. In combination with this, the rearmost of the three upwash wing shaped elements that connect the two vertical surfaces on their respective bounding lines has been deleted (blue arrow). This has opened up space for another strake on the outer bounding line, which is split into two, just as the pre-existing one has.

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing DRS pod comparison Canadian GP

Renault F1 Team R.S.19 rear wing DRS pod comparison Canadian GP
7/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The outside surface of the endplate has also been treated to a modification too, with a pair of upwash strikes used to ease the airflows direction (red arrow). An idea commissioned by Toro Rosso last season, and subsequently used by Ferrari this year, has now found its way onto the RS19. The DRS actuator pod (blue arrow) has been given a tail section, limiting the extension of the flap as it swings upward when DRS is deployed.

Renault F1 Team technical detail

Renault F1 Team technical detail
8/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Renault also jumped on a solution seen elsewhere on the grid, having adopted a finned floor arrangement in Canada. In-line with the fully-enclosed hole solution, it has opted for just a singular fin, rather than multiple fins but it’s clear that they’re pursuing a similar line of enquiry – boosting the floor’s performance ahead of the rear tyre and with it the potency of the diffuser.

Ferrari SF71H floor Azerbaijan GP

Ferrari SF71H floor Azerbaijan GP
9/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The similar finned solution used by Ferrari, which helps to drive the performance of the fully-enclosed holes that lie on the edge of the floor ahead of the rear tyre.

Racing Point RP19 nose

Racing Point RP19 nose
10/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Racing Point is experiencing some growing pains in the attempt to recover from the financial and technical struggles of last season. However, as the season opens up it will have a series of parts available that should help to unlock some of the dormant performance. The first large-scale development effort came in Canada, as the team introduced an add-on solution for the nose that carries the hallmarks of the ‘cape’ solution we saw first used at Mercedes. Draped around the side and under the nose it will use the airflow already taken in by the nose nostrils and further guide it downstream.

Racing Point RP19 nose

Racing Point RP19 nose
11/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The old nose solution did not feature a cape and relied on the contours of the nose surface to dictate flow direction.

Mercedes W08 narrow nose, Spanish GP

Mercedes W08 narrow nose, Spanish GP
12/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes has been using the ‘cape’ solution since 2017, with several other teams since deploying their own version of it.

Williams FW42 suspension and nose cape

Williams FW42 suspension and nose cape
13/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Williams has been utilising the ‘cape’ style under nose solution since the start of 2018, as it too looks to try and unlock the performance that it can offer.

McLaren MCL33 front wing Spanish GP

McLaren MCL33 front wing Spanish GP
14/14

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

McLaren introduced an extremely complex version of the ‘cape’ solution as part of its upgrade for the Spanish GP in 2018. They’ve subsequently made changes to the complexity of the nose, but the ‘cape’ solution remains.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Author Matt Somerfield