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I'm Matthew Somerfield, a freelance journalist focused on the technical elements of Formula One. It has been a pleasure to provide content via this site for the last 5 years, which has led me to several paid freelancing jobs along the way. I'm currently plying my trade with and working alongside the legend that is Giorgio Piola.

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20 Jul 2012

The McLaren team were supposed to bring a large raft of upgrades to their home GP at Silverstone, unfortunately the rain put pay to the majority of testing time during FP1 & FP2 and so they decided to abandon the larger part of their upgrade package. The upgrades / adjustments that were run at Silverstone I mentioned in my roundup:

At Hockenheim the team have their new sidepod, exhaust configuration on show which features a new cooling entry profile at the front and much more tightly packaged slope toward the exhaust channel. The frontal undercut has been smoothed and so is less aggressive whilst at the rear the overhanging bodywork that includes the exhuast channel that overhangs the floor has a more aggressive undercut. Taking a cue from Ferrari the team have also added some shark gills aft of the exhaust channel in the engine cover.

I'm yet to find any pictures of the front brake housing / assembly to see if they have carried over the pit stop adjustable front brake housing from Silverstone. (This was not run during the race)

Above: Hockenheim build up, notice the different sculpting to the underside of the sidepod compared to the previous package below.
Above: For reference here is the previous sculpting for the sidepod undercut which appears to have a more angular cut under the cooling entry.

Above: We can see from the picture above the much more rounded corner profiles of the sidepod cooling entry rather than the angular ones used previously (Flow Viz on the top right corner of the sidepod for evaluation) 

Above: A closer look at the vortex generator fins a 3rd fin has been added to the top of the sidepod to direct the airflow

Above: Jenson at Silverstone as reference to show the more angular sidepod cooling entry

Above: A more detailed look at the sidepod cooling entry at Hockenheim

Above: Great angle across the floor to see how the bodywork in the exhaust channel hangs over the floor

Above: It's clear to see how the bodywork drops away from the frontal edge of the sidepod towards the exhaust channel.  This is has been implemented to aid the downwash toward the exhaust channel.  Aft of the exhaust channel you can also see the addition of the 3 shark gills (similar to Ferrari's design) which will eject some of the airflow from the internal sidepod/engine cover flow.  This helps to condition the airflow in this attracting the flow toward the coke bottle region.

Above: Rear Wing Top plane has been shortened, this will have an effect on both AoA available and also DRS's effectiveness. From this angle it's clear to see the slope that the sidepod now takes toward the exhaust channel

Above: Front Wing as used previously in Silverstone, this wing has vertical dividers around halfway on the wing planes.

Images used are copyright their original owners: Sutton Images &


  1. @kimiraikkonen7920 July 2012 at 23:23

    Good job mate. I hope McLaren have best luck in third practice and qualy than Silverstone, i think this car without this several upgrades could win here in dry track, but i think the several issue is put temerature in pirellis.

    Regards. mate!


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