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31 Oct 2012
India GP Technical Roundup (Ferrari & Red Bull)


Ferrari have been testing many Front Wings over the last few races so it was no surprise they arrived in India with yet another iteration. 

The main Wing differs only in small details from its predecessors but the Endplates offer an alternative arrangement for the holes.

The team also arrived in India with a new diffuser arrangement featuring a section in the central portion that allows the starter holes airflow to exit higher up.  This is not revolutionary and a more aggressive version has featured on the Mercedes W03 for some time.

Alongside the Diffuser amendment it was presented with a new Gurney Flap.  The Gurney extends down around to the bottom edge of the Diffuser where as the old one stops short and had more of a bulbous section as it curved around the top edge.  (The new Diffuser Gurney is very similar to the one McLaren ran earlier in the season and have since switched to one very similar in design to the outgoing Ferrari one)  As we can see in the picture below they have still opted to use a 2 tier Gurney just as Red Bull are employing.

Above: New Diffuser Gurney extends around the whole of the Diffuser

 Above: Old Diffuser where the Gurney didn't come all the way around the edge

Both drivers did back to back tests with the Diffuser during the practice sessions but as only one was available at the circuit Fernando went on to race it.

An area where the team have stepped back is the cockpit fins, the team have been running for a number of races the foremost fin as part of the Mirror Stalk. In India the team reverted back to old fins under the mirrors.

Red Bull

In India the team once again revised the cars but this time chose to run their drivers with a minor difference.
Mark ran with different Sidepod Airflow Conditioners, unlike the ones on Seb's car and that have been run all season these Conditioners connect to the Sidepod at a lower point whilst Seb's arch over creating an airflow frame much higher up the Sidepod.

The Conditioner's on Seb's car are pretty much the same design used since the start of the season and so it's unsurprising the team would look to develop this area.

I looked back last week at Red Bull's update path over the last few races and chiefly the alterations made to the Front Wing and Nose. I also looked at how the team had revised the length of the Sidepod in order to extract more Exhaust/Aero performance: 

If we were to look back at my comments on the RB8 after Spa and Monza ( we would see that I eluded to the Tunnel concept choking, as too much airflow overwhelmed the area's the Tunnel's were sending airflow to.

In the pictures below from Italy & India we can see the different ethos employed around the outside of the lower engine cover exit.

This airflow is received from the smaller more rearward Tunnel and was initially aimed squarely at the Starter Motor Hole (SMH) With the Starter Motor Hole being overwhelmed by airflow the airflow was causing the SMH to stall affecting the diffuser's performance, meanwhile the airflow that couldn't penetrate the SMH tumbled off causing a more widespread diffuser inefficiency.

Above: Great Illustration of the Red Bull Cross-Under Tunnel by Craig Scarborough the full article pertaining to this diagram can be found here: ScarbsF1 - Red Bull Ducted Sidepod & Blown SMH

With a wider reaching outlet now in employment it allows the SMH to receive airflow but as the floor is scalloped out around the sides of the SMH and Crash Structure a much more laminer and constructed flow pattern emerges which isn't degraded or overwhelmed by an exponential increase in speed. This allows the Exhaust plume to flow between the Driveshaft Cowl / Floor Strakes unimpeded by an erant flow structure leading to an increase in downforce and better overall balance.

As always it must be pointed out that Red Bull are still the only team to have employed the Driveshaft Cowling / Floor Strakes in 2012 in an attempt to control the airflow in this region. Although the team have made many revisions to the design of their Exhaust solution during 2012 this feature has remained constant and plays a large part in the efficiency of Exhaust Plume control for Red Bull.

In this last shot we can see that the team also painted flo-viz around the Exhaust Ramp/Engine cover at some point throughout the weekend. This was probably to assess the effect of the New Vertical Floor Strake position we can see being used in the picture below. The Strake reaches in more towards the ramp aligning with the outer part of the exhaust channel acting as a Vortex Generator at the edge of the floor further helping to 'Seal' the edge of the diffuser. The previous Strake was perpendicular to the outer rear edge of the floor.

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25 Oct 2012
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The McLaren and Honda story has been doing the rounds for a little while now but is there any substance to the rumour that the car maker may return to F1?
F1 and car manufacturers tend to fall in and out of love with each other, this is a cost vs reward exercise with the manufacturer needing to justify their spend on F1 being worth the global exposure.

Honda's last foray in F1 cost them big, having ploughed huge sums into their own works team (having purchased it from BAR) and really being the major investor in Super Aguri they needed results to satisfy the board. The huge global economic downturn that followed was enough for the Honda board to close the doors at Brackley having already pulled the plug on Super Aguri.

The Honda board knew the team had been striving to create the best car in 09 from a new regulation set outlined by the FIA. The design team in Brackley had abandoned the ill fated RA108 earlier into it's shelf life then normal instead concentrating on the RA109/BGP001 knowing that both a change in aerodynamic rules and a move back to slick tyres could jump the Honda team into contention. This however was not enough to convince the board that they should remain in F1. 
Honda supplied only their own team on the grid with V8's so didn't need to justify their actions outside of their own board rooms. As we all know the team as we know went on to win both Constructors and Drivers titles through the BrawnGP brand with the Double Decked Diffusers causing the controversy of the season an idea that filtered through from the Super Aguri outfit when the team assimilated some of their staff when Honda effectively closed their doors.  This however does not mean that a Honda powered team would have resulted in the same results achieved with Mercedes power.

In terms of F1 engines their V8 was never really a potent force, as Honda suffered under the FIA's homoglation rules having a very peaky performance band. It was widely reported when the Mercedes powerplant was injected into the BGP001 that both drivers felt the Mercedes powerplant offered much greater driveability when compared to the Honda V8 of the year before.

McLaren's breakdown in relationship with Mercedes is intrinsically linked to the story of Honda's exit, as McLaren sought to establish their road car division the ties that had been formed with Mercedes no longer became viable. Mercedes have supported the McLaren outfit with engines since 1995 meaning the team have not needed to pay for their engines. Mercedes also owned around 40% of the McLaren racing division up until the Mercedes board decided to buy the remains of the Honda/BrawnGP outfit at the end of 2009.

At this point a deal was struck that McLaren would re-purchase the shares from Mercedes over a period of 3 years. At the end of this McLaren would then pay Mercedes 8 Million pounds per year for supply of their Engines/KERS units. (This commences from 2013) although it is widely rumoured due to the enlarged costs associated with the new 1.6 V6 Turbo engines this cost will rise significantly in 2014.

McLaren's contract with Mercedes for engine supply runs until 2015 and it is also worth pointing out that Mercedes AMG HPP (High Performance Powertrains) is but an arm of the Mercedes brand. This means that the teams are given parity and the Mercedes works team won't receive a different specification engine to McLaren or Force India. As I discussed in this article: it is however plausible that a team could use their own ERS system in 2014 to leverage an advantage over the other teams using the same engine.

If some media outlets are to be believed McLaren will not use the Mercedes powerplant as early as next year (2013). This in my opinion is not going to happen as the MP4-28 is already in development and has been for some time. It doesn't mean it isn't possible as I believe the Honda V8 is still able to race although the last time it was in use we had the 20,000rpm rev limits and not the 18,000rpm now imposed on the teams. The still born RA109 also had plans in place to run with KERS which BrawnGP abandoned due to packaging issues in comparison to the Mercedes setup. The RA109 was designed to carry the KERS batteries beneath the front nose something that hasn't been attempted by the other teams who locate their batteries beneath the driver for better CoG (Centre of Gravity).

The reverse of the hurdles faced by BrawnGP in 09 would be faced by McLaren if they were to make such a rash decision to run a Honda V8 in 2013 creating its own packaging issues in comparison to it's Mercedes counterpart along with less driveability.

IF McLaren were make an early move to Honda in 2013 it may hamper McLaren in the short term technically but would allow for Honda to ease themselves back into the sport and the hearts of the Japanese car makers board. It may also mean that as Honda undoubtedly have a few of their V8 units kicking around, McLaren could pick them up free as part of a marketing move for Honda.

In terms of longevity for Honda to re-enter the sport as an engine manufacturer at this stage could be pivotal with; Cosworth up for sale and still early in the throws of their own 2014 engine development and PURE looking like it might not get it's V6 Turbo engine into production with money issues.
This leaves a void for another supplier with Ferrari supplying 3 teams (Ferrari, Sauber & Toro Rosso), Mercedes 3 Teams (Mercedes, McLaren & Force India) and Renault 4 teams (Red Bull Racing, Lotus GP, Williams & Caterham) if Cosworth don't develop a new engine and a new supplier doesn't come along it puts pressure on the others to supply either Marussia and/or HRT.
At 4 teams Renault have already declared themselves at full capacity and won't look to supply any other teams, meanwhile Ferrari and Mercedes could simply pick up the remainder giving parity to all the suppliers in F1. By making a statement of intent to re-enter the sport with McLaren, Honda could not only pick up Marussia and/or HRT but lure one of the other teams away from their current supplier.

Honda as a company are still working their way through the economic downturn that was the catalyst for their original F1 exit but perhaps a return as as supplier could be a shrewd move that gets them the exposure without the cost of a team. This is a lesson that has been employed by Renault who still enjoy the media attention and success of F1 vicariously through Red Bull Racing. The new engine formula for 2014 will interest Honda as they look to move some of their performance road car ranges to turbo's meanwhile ERS shows a more eco conscious element to motorsport which Honda were keen on when last in F1. Aligning their motorsport brand with the road range has always appealed to Honda who currently use WTCC and Indy Car as promotional tools on 4 wheels whilst they apply theirselves to a wide spectrum of 2 wheel motorsport.  I personally would welcome Honda in a return to F1 but it would be foolish to believe that aligned with McLaren they could dominate the sport the way they did in 88 with the MP4/4. 

Even if Honda aren't in the frame for a return McLaren may still be eying other options in order to either cut costs or further galvanize their brand. It could also be argued that McLaren may look to manufacturer their own powerplants but I believe they know only too well that the costs involved are prohibitive and would create a huge drain on their own resources and limit the future success of the brand. The MP4-12C from the road car division features a 3.8l V8 Twin Turbo engine that was developed in partnership with Ricardo taking the original Nissan VRH35 engine as a footprint. This could be seen as a stepping stone to a future which sees a division of McLaren supplying both the race and road departments with engines but it would be a massive stretch whilst the road car business is still in it's infancy to suggest they could fund this.

The only way I see for McLaren to make the large leap into a full scale Chassis and Engine manufacturer in F1 quickly would be part of a deal to buy Cosworth. Cosworth recently placed itself for sale and have both Rolls Royce and GKN eying a deal to buy the company. With Cosworth now split into different divisions neither Rolls Royce or GKN may find themselves interested in the Automotive element but rather be looking at their Aerospace and Defence interests. In terms of the Automotive & Motorsport businesses they may look to sell off these assets. 

Cosworth have already stated they have started work on their 2014 V6 Turbo Engines / ERS systems which could provide a platform for McLaren to work with and also give them an avenue to become their own supplier. The work done by Cosworth within the road car industry also ties off nicely with any long term plans McLaren may have in this field.

All in all there are many ways in which this story could develop and unfold and I for one look forward in interest to see whether McLaren stick with Mercedes, entice Honda back to F1 or forge their own path toward a larger future/brand.
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20 Oct 2012
Red Bull - Recent Development Analysis

Red Bull's development curve has always been rapid and with the team struggling at the start of the season they developed their car rapidly.  Valencia proved to be a landmark in resolving their issues with the Exhaust Ramp/Cross-Under Tunnel configuration and had it not been for the Safety Car period and ensuing Alternator failure for Sebastian Vettel it would have laid the scene for a landslide victory.  Since then the other teams development paths have yo-yo'd the results but Sebastian remained resolute with only Monza as the blip in an otherwise great string of results.  With the 2012 season drawing to a conclusion and Ferrari faltering in their application of upgrades Sebastian once again leads the Drivers Championship & Red Bull the Constructors.  This is in part due to the fantastic job done in Milton Keynes with solid performance upgrades giving the team the best opportunity to flourish.

Adrian Newey and the design team at Red Bull are not afraid to carve their own path but after what they considered to be a few average results they reportedly followed McLaren with a Front Wing design that tilted backward at speed.  McLaren had been using this style of Wing since around the same sort of time as the original Flexi Wing debacle but with Red Bull adopting it at Singapore the FIA decided to step in.  For Suzuka the FIA adjusted the Front Wing loading tests at Suzuka. (My Article from the time further explaining it's origins and purpose:

Above: I have added arrows on the image above so you can tell the difference between the new and old Top Flaps

For Singapore Red Bull flew out a new Nosecone/Front Wing which represents a change in philosophy, the Top Flap now separates into two sections making the Wing 4 tiers as opposed to 3. The tips of the Top Flap in combination with the R Cascade in front of it are designed to vorticise the airflow leading to a more energised flow being dispatched along the car.

In Tandem with these Front Wing changes the team also revised the nosecone of the RB8 utilising a 'Pelican' style underbelly to the nose whilst extending the tip of the nose and also placing the FOM Camera's into a more forward and lower position.  Red Bull have adopted the hammerhead camera placement since Belgium tidying up the area between the Front Wing Pylons and allowed for the introduction of the Tilting or Rotating Wing and 'Pelican' underbelly.  Like most teams Red Bull originally used the camera's in a position behind the central section of the Front Wing to attenuate the airflow's characteristics. This is important as the central portion of the Wing is an area subject to specific rulings set out by the FIA in order to the limit the amount of downforce/effect generated here however with a Lower Nose tip and 'Pelican' underbelly the effect has been altered higher up. 

Above: In the image above I've overlayed a picture of the RB8 from Hungary (Right) with an image from Suzuka. The Green arrows depict the placement of the FOM camera's, Yellow arrow's show the difference in the Top Flap and I've lightened the area under the nose on the left and marked it with a Red arrow to show the 'Pelican'. (The image will never give a 100% accurate impression of the as they are taken from different distances/angles and the car is in different stages of inertia but I feel it gives an idea of what you should be looking for)

The 'Pelican' nose augments the airflow in a region that is essential this year as with EBD gone getting airflow under and over the floor in the correct way makes a big difference. As we know this is the primary reason for the 'Step' noses in 2012 as the teams try to drive as much air under the car to the floor as possible.

For Korea the team made revisions to their exhaust package and bodywork in order to further utilise their ramp and tunnel combo. Internally the team went back to an exhaust featuring a resonator chamber and visually it would appear that the size of the resonator chamber has been increased.

This is coupled by the shortening of the Exhaust ramp and re-profiling of the Cross-Under Channels. Sebastian trialled the new configuration on Friday along with Mark but switched to the usual lengthened style claiming the balance wasn't right. However both drivers ran the new configuration for qualifying and the race.
These new bodywork changes were also met with engine cover re-sculpting and rear suspension alterations to further take advantage of the additional downforce being created.

Above: This image from Suzuka depicts the Exhaust Ramp / Tunnel Cross-Under that the team have had in use for quite some time
Above: This is a close up of the RB8 of Sebastian Vettel's as he crosses the line to take victory in Korea.  When compared with the picture above it you can see how much shorter the ramp has been made and how much deeper the forward tunnel engages

The new Exhaust Ramp shortens the Sidepod by around 6 inches in profile and now has the ramp finish ahead of the rear wheel Vertical Floor Strake instead of alongside it. This allows for more 'Coanda' style manipulation of the airflow coming around the Sidepod, aiding in turning the airflow into the Tunnels and any errant airflow converging into the exhaust plume more elegantly.

Above: As an idea of how the airflow is being affected by these Sidepod revisions I've done a very basic overlay. Light Blue is the downwash which is attracted by the exhaust plume and converges with it (marked in red) With the Sidepod now running short of the Vertical Floor Strake it allows some of the airflow that doesn't enter the tunnels to be attracted around into the exhaust plume (marked orange) This cleans up the airflow in front of the tyre (marked Green) reducing the amount of 'Tyre Squirt' that would normally impinge on the diffuser.

Red Bull's RW-DDRS (Rear Wing Double Drag Reduction System) is yet another push by the team to finish the season on top. Secondary use of DRS has been banned by the FIA for 2013 and so most teams were believed to have abandoned it's development this however has not stopped Red Bull and discuss this further here:

Mentioned in the RW-DDRS article above but perhaps worth noting here alongside the other developments is Red Bull's reduction of their Rear Wing Endplate Strakes (Above). These Strakes help not only guide the airflow aft of the car but also help to manipulate the flow ahead of them so their reduction in length indicates how much more airflow is now being exited centrally.

Lastly here is a 3D video created by Giorgio Piola for the AMuS website on some of the alterations I mention above:

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17 Oct 2012
Red Bull RB8 RW-DDRS Plausible Downforce Enhancment & Drag Reduction?

Red Bull managed to test (At Monza) and use at Singapore a DDRS system that went unnoticed by most of the paddock and us technical writers too. It was AMuS the German publication that brought the system to the attention of the world prior to Suzuka.
As always getting the shots of such a system can be elusive but thanks to the brilliance of Sutton Images the purpose of the system becomes a little clearer.

Unlike the DDRS system of Mercedes used since the start of the season it's actions are not linked to the Front Wing and instead manipulate the airflow around the Rear Wing. In my previous article on the Red Bull system I floated the idea of calling the Red Bull system RW-DDRS in order to allay any confusion that fans may have with the original Mercedes system:

Any attempts by other teams to converge on DDRS this late in the season will most likely centre around the Rear Wing (RW-DDRS), as understanding, testing and packaging FW-DDRS (Front Wing Double DRS) is really a lost cause especially as such devices will be banned in 2013.

The obvious signs of Red Bull's RW-DDRS was the thickened Endplates and the enlarged end fences on the top flap (Shown in the feature picture above) 
At Suzuka, Sutton Images got us all the picture we needed to see which is when the Top Flap is activated for DRS hollow sections in the Endplate are exposed.

However in Korea a better shot became available which shows a much smaller hole appears when DRS is active.

So what is the secondary function that DRS is controlling?

As anyone that follows my blog will know I'm a firm believer that when teams use these sorts of devices / systems they aren't simply for Drag Reduction but will also gain downforce. To this end I had/have been looking for proof around the Beam Wing and Mainplane as these would offer the best place to gain from a blown section. I've also gone back through pictures of these area's before the RW-DDRS was installed on the RB8 in order to further ascertain the purpose of it.

The Beam Wing is much more intricate than it's predecessors as it cambers towards the central section which has a hole in order to draw air from the pressure side to the lower pressure region. The Beam Wings AoA (Angle of Attack) is steeper toward the central portion and since Singapore has featured an arc at the top central 15cm portion in order to gain downforce without complicating the area with a Monkey Seat, a small gurney trim has also been added to the top surface.

Above: Shows with red arrows the cambered nature of the Beam Wing, the white arrows depict the area I believe could be hiding tubing running inside the Beam Wing

The Beam Wing's connection to the crash structure has also altered in it's composition with a thickened section having sprouted up which can be seen extending along the Beam Wing's lower portion (Above in White). I think these could be carrying tubing through the Engine Cover to the Beam Wing (much like the Mercedes style of DDRS although to a much smaller degree)

The tubing I believe may be intrinsically built into the Beam Wing leads to the outer extremities of the Beam Wing where it exits through rearward facing ducts (2 on each end of the Beam Wing, one on the underside which is difficult to capture and the one depicted below)

Red Bull have been using a very similar tactic for most of the season but like the central 15cm hole they simply used to place a hole which projected from the high pressure to the low pressure side in order to aid in the Beam Wing's efficiency (Shown Below)

Under normal circumstances (DRS Closed) the air enters the Beam Wing from the Engine cover and exits behind the Beam Wing at the outer extremities through the 4 ducts. By doing this not only does it help the Beam Wing to create more downforce than it normally would (Blowing the outer edges of the Beam Wing will allow for this much steeper AoA that is sustained by this blown effect) but the airflow also attracts the exhaust plume between the Rear Wing Endplates which helps to 'Seal' the diffuser by promoting more flow through between the Rear Wing Endplates.
This may also be the reason why Red Bull have also reduced the length of the Strakes at the rear of the Endplates. Rear Wing Endplate Strakes are used in order to not only manage the rearward airflow but as a by-product will also effect the flow ahead of them. 

 Above: RB8 from Hockenheim showing the Rear Wing Endplate Strakes

When DRS is active instead of airflow being sent to the rear of Beam Wing it instead passes by the 2 Beam Wing Ducts and draws up the Endplate and exits from the uncovered hole that DRS has exposed. Not only does it reduce downforce as the Beam Wing can no longer sustain it's AoA it also reduces drag in the region. As a by-product normal service is resumed in the case of the exhaust plume and so the diffuser too loses some of it's effectiveness.

This is once again my assessment based on the perceived performance gain from Red Bull not only in qualifying trim but also throughout the races RW-DDRS has been used.  We also have to remember that RW-DDRS is not the singular Silver Bullet and Red Bull have revised many area's including a more complex Front Wing and made Geometry changes to the Rear Suspension.

The interesting thing from a 2013 point of view is if I'm right in my assessment of the system the lower section of the system will still be perfectly viable, as only the secondary function of DRS is banned.  This would mean it's rear downforce enhancement could be carried across to the RB9's design ethos too.

In a quest for balance please also read Craig Scarborough's piece on Red Bull's DDRS as Craig believes the system is far less complex than I do:
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12 Oct 2012
10 Oct 2012
Lotus E20 - 'Coanda' Exhaust to be trialled in Korea - What this means

Since the start of the season McLaren have lead the way with their exhaust idea, with most of the field converging on a similar solution.  The 'Coanda' Exhaust as it has been coined uses the Coanda effect to draw airflow into the important 'Coke Bottle Region' situated above the floor of the car.  This helps to speed up the process of the diffuser resulting in more rear end downforce.

The 'Coanda effect' is an aerodynamic effect named after the pioneering aerodynamicist Henri Coanda.  Henri realised that by introducing a jet stream (in our case the exhaust plume) nearby airflow is attracted to the neighboring surfaces.

McLaren realised this and their original and newer iteration (introduced in Hockenheim) both use the principle in order to manipulate/guide the airflow over the diffuser.  In McLaren's newer iteration pictured below the team added shark gills aft of the exhaust to further influence the behavior of the airflow toward the Coke Bottle Region.

As teams have further understood how to use the 'Coanda Effect' to their advantage they have changed the profiles of their sidepods forward of the exhaust outlet in order to further draw more air around and over the sidepod towards the Coke Bottle Region.  Most of the teams with the 'Coanda' Exhaust have Vortex Genorator's atop of the Sidepods in order to speed up the airflow and reduce the boundary layer toward the exhaust channel.  The exception being McLaren & Sauber who have Sidepod Wings.

Above: McLaren's Original Vortex Generators were supplemented with a 3rd VG before they moved to the Sauber style 'Wing' arrangement (Below)
Above: McLaren's Sidepod Wings as used in Suzuka

The last 2 larger teams left without the 'Coanda' Exhaust were Mercedes and Lotus, with Mercedes testing it in Magny Cours and implementing it since Singapore the Lotus team who have had such a design the back burner have now announced they'll bring theirs to Korea. 

The Lotus E20's design ethos has very much been centered around great internal aerodynamics and so with Lotus introducing the 'Coanda' exhaust we should see a remarkably refined package introduced in Korea.  It will require upgrades to the frontal portion of the sidepod along with the downwash section of the sidepod being resculpted, a new floor, diffuser and maybe even a repositioning/re-design of the beam wing.  Mercedes neglected to implement such radical changes to the WO3 when they introduced theirs in Singapore and this could be part of the reason they are still struggling to get the performance leap from it they expected.  Both Lotus & Mercedes opted to stay away from the 'Coanda' Exhaust until such point they fully understood the concept in CFD and the Wind Tunnel knowing that implementing it in haste could be time and resources wasted.  With Focus now switching to 2013 designs having time on track with this exhaust system could prove crucial to next years campaign.

Lotus are also eyeing 4th place and now only need 24 points to overhaul Ferrari, this would not only be a substantial scalp in sporting terms but would provide the Genii Capital owned team with a significant financial boost from FOM prize money.

Ferrari have also stated they were looking to bring a large upgrade package to Korea and so with exhaust manipulation invariably offering the largest gain they too may look to further enhance their exhaust package.  Ferrari already have their own interpretation of the 'Coanda' exhaust however like Sauber did in Singapore they may revert to a more ramped style exhaust to gain performance as both these teams have their radiators in the vertical position.  Red Bull albeit with their tunnel system also run a more downwash ramp design than the 'Coanda' exhaust of McLaren etc.

EDIT 11/10/12

Thanks to Sutton Images here are the first images showing the 'Coanda' style exhaust on the Lotus E20

Above: Rearward shot of the E20 sporting two different configurations (But still in build up) you can see the new 'Coanda' exhaust on the right along with some shark gills aft of that on the engine cover. On the left the exhaust cover hasn't been placed but the arrangement looks similar to their higher mounted exhaust. Also worth noting from this picture is the DRD engine cover has been flown out so could still feature in their test plans. On the left Rear Wing Endplate we can see the 3 flow conditioners added to influence the airflow (These have been tested in previous GP's)

Above: More Neutral design in the 'Coanda' position as alluded to in the description above on the left hand sidepod

Above: Image of the floor changes in order to further use the influence of the new exhaust package
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9 Oct 2012
Red Bull (Possibly McLaren) Rear Wing DDRS (Double DRS) RWDDRS

Firstly I'm going to start this post by trying to alleviate some confusion surrounding the terms  Double DRS, DDRS & DRD.

I think with the emergence of this new form of DDRS on the Red Bull it may be pertinent to re-phrase the original Mercedes DDRS as FW-DDRS (Front Wing Double DRS).  This is due to the fact that the secondary function (Double) within their system allows the Front Wing to shed downforce/drag when DRS is activated utilising pipework that runs the length of the car.

The systems being employed by Red Bull (and possibly McLaren) can then be RW-DDRS (Rear Wing Double DRS) as their secondary function is to further enhance the properties of the rear wing region.

Lastly we have DRD (Drag Reduction Device) this is the passive system that both Lotus and Mercedes have been working on over the last few races and is now being coined as such by the mainstream media after myself and Craig Scarborough lobbied them to:


Above: Image of the New Rear Wing Top Flap with a large end fence covering an aperture in the Endplate below:

Above: When DRS is active an aperture is revealed in the Endplate activating another area of bodywork via tubing in the thickened Endplate (In the latest image, which is the lower of the 2 it's clear that the duct is much smaller than originally thought so is more likely the fluid switch in a larger system)

Giorgio Piola's initial assessment of the Red Bull DDRS on is a little flimsy claiming when DRS is active the airflow is sent down through the endplates and exits in the central portion of the beam wing augmenting the diffuser flow.  Mark Hughes has now also added fuel to this in his article:

It's worth pointing out at this stage that although the prime function that is mentioned here is drag reduction but intrinsically in these cases downforce is actually increased too.  This is done by blowing a specified area in combination with an increased AoA (Angle of Attack) of the bodywork in that region.  When the airflow is moved away (DRS activated) the AoA is too steep and the region stalls (downforce is reduced along with drag = Drag Reduction)

Several avenues of enquiry are available as possible reasons to use DRS as a secondary function including the one described by Giorgio and Mark above and illustrated here by Mario Keszeli

The problem I have with this however is that stalling a normal configuration beam wing won't release a huge chunk of drag. However if you were to run more AoA on the beam wing and blow it with air from the engine cover it would create more downforce. Activating DRS would draw the air usually dispensed in this area past and up the Rear Wing Endplates and out of the hole revealed by the top flap rotating reducing drag by stalling the Beam Wing.  

I'm unable to reconcile the above with the pictures available as no holes or slots are apparent in this region (at least in the images available)

If we are considering the Beam Wing as a plausible area to stall then we must also consider stalling the outer region of the Beam Wing (Near the endplates) as illustrated by Mario below:

In the pictures below we will see that at the moment there are no plausible area's that are being blown in order to create downforce and then reduce drag when DRS is activated:

In this last picture I've added lighting effects to this last picture in order to evaluate the underside of the beam wing for additional holes or slots none of which can be seen. (The small hole toward the edge of the beam wing / endplate has been included in the RB8 design process for some time)

Before we get to my idea's, an idea put forward by Petr Hlawiczka was that airflow is ejected laterally from the Endplate beside the Mainplane as he showed us in this picture and illustrated by Mario:
Having looked into this theory more closely it would appear that the appearance of holes next to the mainplane aren't consistent with the design. The paint is applied to an separator that divides the mainplane from the 15mm outer exclusion zone.  However what can't be seen from the angle above is a small hole behind the separator shown in the images below:

Lastly I have two idea's of my own both of which come from my own thoughts on how to use DDRS and my investigations into the possible application that McLaren have been using since Spa

I floated the idea after Spa of McLaren using a form of rear wing DDRS with their Top Flap having hollow sections allowing air to be re distributed when DRS is activated to uncover the holes in the endplates. At that point I had no further proof as to what McLaren were stalling/moving air to/away from in unison with DRS but it was also apparent there was a slot on the trailing edge of the top flap.


Blowing the trailing edge will speed up the flow on both the front and rear surfaces of the plane enabling them to run a higher AoA which in turn creates more downforce and a more efficient wing. You'll notice they have large gurney tabs on the Top Flap to accentuate the effect of the trailing edge blowing.

This is done using a hollow wing, if we look at the picture below it shows a cross section of how I propose the wing is made.

Working along a similar vein as the original F duct system this makes the Rear Wings top plane more efficient with airflow from the engine cover running internally through the Beam Wing and up the endplates to the hollowed top plane where the air is ejected. McLaren's trailing edge slot features a wider section at the tips of the plane which I believe blows more to further reduce wing tip vortices.

When DRS is activated the blown effect is simply ejected laterally from the Endplate joining the free stream that feeds between the gap opened by DRS.  It may also be possible to use dynamic stall within the wings design here in order to increase downforce momentarily before the vortex that's been shed reaches the trailing edge.  This would enable DRS to be opened momentarily in advance of it's usual operation window = more planted/stabilized car when DRS is activated and a quicker qualifying lap.

I have insufficient pictures of the RB8's Rear Wing from Singapore and Suzuka to see if they have a similar slot on the trailing edge of the Top Flap to ascertain if they are too running a similar design.

Lastly we all know that the manipulation of exhaust gasses is the best way to increase rear downforce and will contribute to much better rear tyre life/degradation and so using a system to control the exhaust plume would be hugely beneficial.  Once again I have looked through many pictures of both the MP4-27 since Spa and the RB8 since Singapore and can't find the definitive answer (But based on Piola & Hughes articles neither have they)

In this last and possibly the most intriguing idea I believe they could channel air from the Engine Cover through the Beam Wing across to the Endplate and blow the air out of the side/rear of the endplate.  The idea behind this is either to create an air dam forcing the exhaust plume to follow the contour of the coke bottle over the top of the diffuser.  Or use the Coanda effect to manipulate it's flow inbound. This will make the diffuser more efficient and bring rise to a style of EBD the teams lost under the 2012 design regulation changes.

Above: RB8 possible placement of rearward blowhole consistent with the team reducing the size of the endplate strakes when the new wing arrived in Singapore (This hole does seem to appear on other photo's too but it could also be a light reflection) The lower image is from Korea.

One things for sure the appearance of RW-DDRS on the RB8 has raised more questions than answers for me but I'm fascinated to see how the RW-DDRS uses both the additional downforce and drag reduction it has been designed for.  The question also remains with only 5 races left and the title about to go to the wire does anyone else have a RW-DDRS up their sleeve?

EDIT 17/10/12 - Today I have added a new article on Red Bull's DDRS:
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