Open top menu
03 October 2015
2015 Japanese GP tech roundup

I've already covered the updates run by Mercedes for the Japanese GP but thought I'd cover a few of the stragglers.

Toro Rosso

The poorer brother of Red Bull continue to impress with how they manage their resources introducing a new set of bargeboards in Japan.
Image left: Sutton Images - Image right: @AlbertFabrega
Toro Rosso introduced slotted bargeboards at this point last year so it's no coincidence that the team have concentrated their efforts in the region again again this year.  The likes of Mercedes and Ferrari have already run this configuration but Toro Rosso join their ranks with there own intepretation. Higlighted in green in Albert's picture is the smaller bargeboard which lies ahead of the larger one, which has also been amended to cater for the change.  You'll note that the main bargeboard now turns more abrubtly inward, with the increased angle of attack margainalised by the injection of airflow provided by the smaller bargeboard.  The upshot should be an improvement in flow around the sidepod, improving flow and downforce downstream.


Having introduced changes in Singapore the team continued to revise their front wing in Japan adding an inboard canard.  
Highlighted in green the additonal inboard canards assist the cascades in directing airflow over and around the front wheel.

Force India

In Japan Force India joined the growing rank of teams adding fences to the leading upper edge of the splitter, like Toro Rosso though their fence numbers 3 each side of the splitter.  These fences may be small but they will have an effect on the airflow, improving matters downstream too.

Read more
01 October 2015
A gateway to more noise?

The WMSC approved changes yesterday in regard to the exhaust layout for 2015 in an effort to increase the noise emitted by the powerunits.

"For 2016, all cars must have a separate exhaust wastegate tailpipe through which all and only wastegate exhaust gases must pass. This measure has been undertaken to increase the noise of the cars and will not have any significant effect on power or emissions."

So, for those that have a problem with the current sound of F1 will it actually make a difference?

Not hugely, no.

So, why bother?

The manufacturers are caught between a rock and a hard place, with Bernie Ecclestone, the circuit promoters, the fans and some of the media being pretty vocal about the lack of noise emitted from the powerunits. Turbo engines are always less raucous than their naturally aspirated brethren as the turbo suppresses the noise the exhaust ordinarily generates.  On top of this the engine doesn't need to be revved as hard in order to attain the power and so the pitch is also shifted to more of a bellow, lest we forget these engines are short of 2 cylinders and 6,000rpm.  Furthermore, noise is just wasted energy and in designing a powerunit that is efficient as possible you inevitably end up with something that sound is a little attenuated.

We have already seen Mercedes trial the ludicrous trumpet exhaust during 2014 perhaps as more of a way of proving to Bernie et al that the exhaust note couldn't easily be changed.  The planned change to a separate wastegate exhaust will change very little in terms of noise either with the wastegate only being used in those transient conditions when the MGU-H isn't able to effectively perform the role of slowing/speeding the turbine.  Don't get me wrong you'll get a little bit of additional noise as the wastegates are in operation but I don't believe it will dramatically increase the volume, just change the type of noise we hear.  I certainly don't see it as the big ticket that F1 is looking for and will likely only further enrage those that crave more noise.

We've been here before

Two outlets were actually prescribed in previous draft of the 2014 regulations

"5.6 Exhaust systems : Engine exhaust systems may incorporate no more than two exits and the final 100mm of any tailpipe must be cylindrical."

"3.8.5 Once the relevant bodywork surfaces are defined in accordance with Article 3.8.4, apertures, any of which may adjoin or overlap each other, may be added for the following purposes only:  - Single apertures either side of the car centre line for the purpose of exhaust exits. These apertures may have a combined area of no more than 50,000mm2 when projected onto the surface itself. No point on an aperture may be more than 350mm from any other point on the aperture."

As you can see this was based on the exhausts being able to exit in a position used by the teams in 2012/13 which led to the rise of the 'coanda' exhausts.

With the FIA eager to neutralise any exhaust blown diffusers at the inception of the new regulations, changes were later made to centralise the exhaust outlet(s) as we have now.  Latterly it was decided that the wastegate exhaust was actually erroneous and was deleted from the regulations with article 5.8 forming an expansive explanation of how a singular exhaust exit must now be placed an orientated so as that the energy expelled could not be used to seal the edge of the diffuser, as it had in the past.

Of course the teams are still utilising this energy, even from the centre-line position, albeit in a totally different way, mitigating the loss of the beam wing and edge blown diffusers.

The secondary exhaust outlet that will be introduced, powered by the wastegate(s), will likely reside within the same dimensional restraints as the current outlet and although its primary purpose is to increase the engine note I can guarantee there will be some side benefits in terms of aero.  (I suspect there may be some manipulation of the regulations in this regard before the start of next season but we shall have to wait and see)
Furthermore, as the exhaust rear of the Turbine is not part of the homologation matrix it does open up the option of changing the exhaust layout/size/orientation during the season, based on the team and/or circuit characteristics and may lead to some teams (hopefully not only 'works' teams) being able to harness a small advantage from time-to-time, be it PU wise or aerodynamically.

Good news for Honda...

As Craig rightly points out the current design employed by Honda has the wastegates incorporated into the turbines design, in order that they comply with the regulations this would have to change.  As such they should get at least a 2 token free pass as they'd have likely redesigned the turbine in any case.

Could FOM help themselves to some more noise

I've said it before and I may aswell repeat myself here, trackside and in the pitlane the powerunits actually seem louder.  Therefore I question the sound equipment being used by FOM, can they not improve the locale of their microphones? or simply turn up the volume?  In any case I may be in a minority but I like the ability to hear the car scratching the track surface, something that was inaudible with the V8's although it was clearly happening.  However, I'm sure there is a happy medium between hearing engine noise and other car related audible treats.

In Summary

This isn't the silver bullet that most people are hoping for, downsizing ineviatibly leads to less noise, a fact we will have to live with, unless of course you want to follow the path of the automakers and have noise enhancers.
Read more
30 September 2015
Technical image gallery - Suzuka 2015

A selection of the best technical images from Suzuka courtesy of Sutton Images
Williams FW37 rear end detail

Mercedes W06 during build up with radiator / PU exposed

Mercedes W06 rear brake and suspension assembly

Force India VJM08 rear brake assembly

Toro Rosso STR10 front wing as introduced in Singapore

Lotus E23 front wing detail

Force India VJM08 rear wing detail

Ferrari SF15-T front wing detail

Lotus E23 front wing detail

Force India VJM08 front brake duct detail

McLaren MP4-30 rear wing detail, note the bare carbon on the inside of the endplates and flaps

McLaren MP4-30 exhaust detail, note how its tip is tilted upward

McLaren MP4-30 diffuser detail

Ferrari SF15-T rear wing being mounted

Ferrari SF15-T rear brake duct

Williams FW37 front wing detail from behind

Ferrari SF15-T front wing detail

McLaren MP4-30 nose detail, note elongated pylons first used in Singapore

McLaren MP4-30 front wing detail, note inboard canard added for Suzuka

McLaren MP4-30 Sidepod, Bargeboard and Floor detail

Mercedes W06 new rear wing (explained here:

Force India VJM08 front wing, note the upper flaps angle of attack

Red Bull RB11 nose and fron twing detail

Force India VJM08 - note the temperature sensitivity, brake warming blankets over the brake housings whilst the inlets have been blanked off.  A fan is also placed under the nose of the car, likely cooling any electrical components in the vicinity.

Mercedes W06 Y100 winglet

Mercedes W06 front wing detail

Mercedes W06 front wing detail

Mercedes W06 front brake duct detail

Ferrari SF15-T front brake duct detail

Mercedes W06 Bargeboard, fins, sidepod and floor detail

Sauber C34 with flo-viz applied to the sidepods inlet
Mercedes W06 rear end detail
Mercedes W06 foil cover used on the grid to regulate the rear brake temperatures

Read more

Total Pageviews