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25 Nov 2012
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The FIA allows engine manufactures the opportunity to supply to a set number of teams. Currently we have 4 suppliers: Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Cosworth with the latter likely to fall by the wayside at the end of the 2013 campaign. Cosworth have reportedly started work on a 2014 specification engine but with them up for sale and their most sought after products in aerospace technology the 2014 Cosworth Engine may never see the light of day.
Ferrari, Mercedes and Renault meanwhile have all invested huge sums in the 2014 engines and associated technology that will form ERS. All of the big three have had their engines on the test bench and are on schedule for the 2014 season.

Of the two Cosworth powered teams HRT are also up for sale and currently their future looks somewhat bleak. This leaves Marussia as the sole Cosworth powered car which would undoubtedly seal Cosworth's F1 fate in regards to further heavy investment in 2014.

This leaves 11 (maybe 12) teams requiring supply on the grid and so lets see where those engines may go:

Constructor Engine

2013 2014
Ferrari Ferrari Ferrari
Sauber Ferrari Ferrari
Toro Rosso Ferrari Renault
Red Bull Renault Renault
Lotus Renault Renault
Williams Renault Renault??
Caterham Renault Renault
Mercedes Mercedes Mercedes
McLaren Mercedes Mercedes
Force India Mercedes ??
Marussia Cosworth ??
HRT Cosworth ??

Force India are apparently in talks to switch supply from Mercedes to Ferrari, meanwhile Williams have had a reasonable amount of success this year with Renault and so switching would most probably be more of a financial one for 2014 if they do indeed move. This still leaves Marussia (and hopefully HRT) to find engine partners, with Marussia's technical tie in with McLaren I would not be surprised to see Mercedes power behind the Russian sponsored team.

The FIA limits the amount of teams an engine supplier can supply to 3 teams (unless the FIA give dispensation as they have for Renault this year who supply 4 teams). When Toro Rosso join Renault in 2014 this would be elevated to 5 if Williams are to stay on board, bringing the Renault reach far beyond that of their counterparts. The original limitation on engine supply was brought in when F1 had the luxury of 7 suppliers and was used to level the marketplace. With only 3/4 suppliers and 11/12 teams to supply the FIA have been asked to revise their stance as the cost of the 2014 engines will then be dramatically reduced for the teams.

Renault may however have decided to take the ball out of the FIA's court and employ another tactic we have seen before in F1: Re-Badged Engines. Renault form a much larger concern when considering the group of manufacturers their aligned with. Red Bull's announcement in Interlagos signals in my opinion their intentions as 2013 Red Bull Racing will be have Infiniti as their title sponsor. This is no coincidence with Infiniti being one of the aforementioned Renault-Nissan groups luxury marques.

This would open the door for RenaultSport to supply upto 6 teams even under the current regulations with both Red Bull teams carrying the Infiniti banner whilst one of the other Renault teams take the other slot (Most probably with a level of support from Renault/Infiniti which to my eyes lends itself well to the currently named Lotus). Caterham will most definitely remain under the RenaultSport banner with their fresh association resurrecting the Alpine brand.

Infiniti has been around the Red Bull team for quite some time but more recently their adoption of Sebastian Vettel in their ad campaigns has cemented their F1 intentions. Utilising the Renault platform in F1 the Infinti brand will quickly emerge as a master stroke used by the group to not only raise it's global profile but maximise Renault's F1 presence in a very cost effective manner.

Seems I wasn't the only one considering this as Autosport have now run this story denying Renault will rebrand their engines:

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24 Nov 2012
Pirelli's 2013 Test Tyre - Brazil / Interlagos

The teams were handed evaluation tyre sets to test in Friday's Free Practice sessions in Brazil so that the teams have some understanding of the tyres dynamics ahead of the 2013 season. Many teams were caught out by not only the degradation level but the tyres aerodynamic influence and loss of contact patch due to the shaping/profile of the tyre (loss of mechanical grip) at the start of 2012, which led to a narrowing of the field.

The front tyre has caused the biggest headache to the teams as the shoulders of the tyre; wear disproportionally to the inner section of tyre. This is due to the design of the tyre and resulted in higher degradation levels as the drivers struggled to get and then keep the tyres within their operating window. As the teams have come to terms with the construction of the tyre they have reduced the air pressures affording a larger contact patch resulting in lower degradation. The lowering of the pressures will allow more of the tyre to sit on the tarmac giving a larger contact patch redistributing the wear laterally across the tyre. One of the other issues we have seen with this is that the tyres have tended to under rotate in the braking phase. This under rotation or locking causes a flat spot on the tyre compounding the drivers issues as he then has to carry a vibration for the rest of the life of the tyre. Although the change of profile won't completely eradicate under rotation/Front Locking it may go some way towards helping the drivers.

The construction of the 2013 tyre to my eye seems to have a more bulbous sidewall which falls in line with the tyre being more forgiving vertically allowing for a more rigid and uniform tyre platform. It seems that Pirelli will likely giveth more contact patch with the new construction but taketh some wear life due to the increase in contact patch. Another words the tyre will give up more mechanical grip due to it's larger footprint but will do so for less time in order to give the teams a further challenge for their 2013 designs. I had wondered if Pirelli had adjusted the compound to further enhance this but Paul Hembrey has confirmed the hard test tyre used in Brazil is the same as 2012 hard compound. This however will change for 2013 with Pirelli adjusting all four of their dry weather compounds and so the test tyre used in Brazil isn't 100% indicative of next years offering.

The tyres weigh around 1kg more than the 2012 spec tyres which will also have an effect on its inertia, this could effect the power curve to the detriment of acceleration. However the regulations do not mandate a weight constraint on the wheels and so the teams will no doubt work with their wheel manufacturers to negate any differences caused by the increased tyre weight. This weight is due to a structural change in the tyre design that allows the tyre to stay flat giving the larger contact patch we have previously mentioned. (Improved Belt Pack rigidity to increase lateral loading whilst reducing their vertical rigidity)

Aerodynamically a change in tyre construction will also lead to a change in the aerodynamic properties of the car. The teams ran Aero rigs throughout the practice sessions in order to evaluate the impact these alterations would have on their current setups. The teams will certainly make alterations to the Front Wings design in 2013 in order to adjust the airflow over and around the Front Wheel with the the largest visual change most likely being the Front Wing Cascades. The aerodynamic impact of the new tyres won't solely be limited to the front of the car and it will be interesting to see how much the rear of the car alters to combat more or less Tyre Squirt, whether more or less teams will adopt the Rear Wing Endplate holes (Like Williams, Force India & Marussia) and also the design layout around the brakes. From a mechanical perspective it will be interesting to see who follows Ferrari down the pull rod front suspension route especially with the revised tyre weight.  Lets remember that the alterations to the 2013 Technical Regulations are limited and so initially Pirelli's aggressive stance could bode well for close quarter racing.

Pirelli are also going to change the Hard tyres marking from Silver as it is widely agreed this is too close to the Medium (White Marked) tyres. Fans and commentators alike have struggled when these two compounds have been used in unison and although the test tyres used in Brazil were marked Orange it's likely the 2013 tyres could bear another colour differentiator.
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22 Nov 2012
16 Nov 2012
8 Nov 2012
Abu Dhabi Young Drivers Test - Day 2

Day 2 of the Young Drivers Test saw Gary Paffett remain in the drivers seat of the McLaren for the morning session whilst Oliver Turvey took the wheel of the MP4-27 during the afternoon session. 
Oliver uses the simulator to give feedback at MTC during race weekends and so should have a decent grasp on the handling characteristics of the '27'. Between them the pair notched up 103 laps which just like day 1 was more than any other team. 
McLaren ran with a new Front Wing in the afternoon session which deleted the usual twin element R Cascades they have used for some time now (White). These were replaced by a Vertical Fin (White), furthermore the Mainplanes curvature near the end of the Wing has been replaced with more curved profiles (Green). The most interesting part for me is they have removed the outer turning blade that divided the Wing Planes from the Endplate allowing more airflow approach for the tier that's connected to the Endplate at the rear (Yellow).

Above: India Spec Front Wing 
Above: Front Wing as used on Day 2 of the test

Antonio Felix Da Costa continued at the helm of the RB8 taking the fastest lap of the day, we shouldn't however concern ourselves too heavily with times as the drivers are collecting data, testing parts etc. Not to be outdone by Lotus, Mercedes & Sauber the team tested their own version of DRD as seen in the pictures below. The pylon resembles the one used in pre season testing when they evaluated having a centralized actuator for DRS.  Unlike Lotus, Mercedes & Sauber I can see no obvious additional Inlet Ducts for their iteration which makes me wonder are they using some of the Tunnel generated airflow or simply utilising air from the Airbox or Sidepod.

As we can see in the last picture (Above) The flo-viz is recording some dramatic effects from Red Bull's DRD.

Esteban Gutierrez took the helm of the Sauber C31 for day 2 of the test and has been linked with the remaining seat alongside the confirmed Nico Hulkenberg. The Mexican giving continuity in terms of sponsorship avenues for the team. The Mexican posted the 4th fastest time but completed the most laps of any driver tallying 93 laps behind the wheel. Sauber continued to assess the merits of DRD but more interestingly (missed this on Day One) a new outlet has appeared in the side of the C31's Sidepod. It seems airflow from the frontal region is being dispatched into the airflow along the floor to help with attachment.

Above: I have arrowed the additional inlet ducts that have appeared on top of the C31's Bulkhead

Lotus had Edoardo Mortara behind the wheel of the E20 and re-evaluated both DRD and the high power exhaust outlet. We have already seen proof that the DRD Engine Cover can be fitted with the 'Coanda' exhaust and so perhaps the team will evaluate these in combination on Day 3.

Please Note the Red Bull Images above are copyright
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6 Nov 2012
Abu Dhabi GP - Vettel's Rise, Red Bull's fall? - RB8 Flexi Nose?

The fuel infringement on Sebastian's car from qualifying disqualified him from the qualifying results meaning he would start the race from the back of the grid. As Sebastian's car was in qualifying trim it made sense for the team to take the option of taking the car out of Parc Ferme. By doing this it allows the team to make alterations to the car that wouldn't ordinarily be allowed.
Under Parc Ferme rules, only parts that are damaged can be changed and must be 'like for like' Front Wing angle can be altered but no other characteristics relating to bodywork or suspension are allowed to be altered between Qualifying and the Race.
This means the teams are required to run a half way house setup to allow them to run quick enough in qualifying without sacrificing their ultimate race pace. Red Bull are well known for sacrificing top speed to allow an advantage in slow – medium speed corners part of which is done by their selection of gear ratio's. In order to assist Sebastian in his quest to overtake the field the team chose to change his Gearbox (Which under normal circumstances would have resulted in a 5 place grid penalty) allowing the team to alter the ratio's to a higher set. The team also undoubtedly reduced the Rear Wing's AoA and removed the Monkey Seat that had featured on the car during qualifying.

Before the GP started I questioned whether Red Bull would adopt all out attack at the start and fit the Option Tyre on Sebastian's car.  It turns out though he started on the Prime Tyres looking to clear as many cars as possible and staying out there longer than the runners in front.

His race didn't start too well when trying to overtake Senna on lap 2 he took off the Front Left Endplate and Cascade, unperturbed he re-passed the Brazilian along with Charles Pic the following lap.

Newey meanwhile checked to see what he believed would likely be the effect of such damage (notice he is pinching the part of the Top Flap that is damaged in the image above)

Sebastian continued to ascend through the field upto Ricciardo (12th position) until the Safety Car (Lap 9) was deployed for the incident between Rosberg & Karthikeyan. At the start of the Safety Car period Rocky tells Seb 'Stay Plus, Stay Plus' which means that they wanted him to continue burning fuel. Under Safety Car periods some teams may opt to save fuel rather than having to run a less aggressive map during the race. (Having not applied enough fuel at the start of the race to complete it)
Later on in the Safety Car period Rocky reiterated the point saying 'Sebastian you can burn fuel, burn fuel, low gears, high revs' He followed this with 'We are not worried about the Front Wing damage, data looks good too' to which Seb replied 'Obviously keep and eye on it, maybe we can change it at the pitstop?' 
During the Safety Car period Daniel Ricciardo was slowing and weaving on the straights in order to maintain temperature/pressure in his tyres.  Sebastian behind was caught out by this and ran into the DRS board just off the track in avoidance (Lap 13). The damage that had been sustained in the previous incident with Bruno Senna coupled with the damage from the DRS board forced Vettel to pit for a New Front Wing (Lap 14) whilst still under Safety Car also changing to Option Tyres.

Above: Damage to the Right hand side (Closest) is easy to see, over on the Left hand side you can see that the top flap has been damaged around half way along stripping the effects of the top two planes on that side)

This is perhaps a move that went unnoticed by most but remains perhaps the strategy call of the race as the Safety Car made it's way into the pitlane at the end of that lap Sebastian could capitalize. His unscheduled pit stop put him down in last place but whilst the other driver's struggled to maintain the right temperatures/pressures in the their scrubbed tyres behind the Safety Car Sebastian could cruise up behind them with fresh rubber freshly removed from their heating blankets. He also received radio from Rocky telling him 'KERS toggle available for 3 laps, KERS toggle for 3 laps, upto you when you use it' This is a suggestion that Red Bull were allowing further discharge of power than is always available.  This gave Sebastian a huge performance advantage as he quickly carved back through the field with him lapping at the lead drivers pace on his 6th lap of the fresh tyres.

At this point his non qualifying trim is really paying off, with maximum attack and the altered Gear Ratio's giving him around 10KPH more top speed and with the other driver's now around 2/3rd's of the way into their tyre life he begins to ebb closer to the top 10.

Lap 16 he passes Grosjean off the track and has to give the place back, Lap 17 and he goes past Romain again this time keeping the place. The suprising element about this and the ovvertake on Lap 15 of Di Resta is they were on fresher tyres both having had incidents at the start of the race. This really affirms the race pace of the RB8 in this trim.

Above: We can see that Sebastian is clearly out the track limits when he passes Romain

Lap 20 and Hamilton has a fuel pickup failure reminiscent of Jenson's from Monza, promoting Kimi to the lead of the race.  Meanwhile in the following lap Maldonado was starting to suffer with tyre degradation and Fernando capitalized moving upto second.
Pastor continued to suffer with degradation and lost out to Button and was quickly falling backwards, on lap 23 Webber tries to draw alongside the Venezuelan but opts for the outside line.  The problem with that was there wasn't the room for both of them and Webber ended up spinning losing a further 2 places in the process.
Lap 26 Webber hits Massa in a similar move and would have needed to let him re-pass as he went off circuit but Felipe spins allowing Vettel past in the process. Suprisingly to my mind the race stewards decided not to penalize Webber for his part in the collision with Massa that also lead to the spin.

End of Lap 28 and Alonso makes his pit stop meaning both Webber and Vettel jump ahead of the Spaniard. End of Lap 29 and Button pits pushing the Red Bulls further up the field

End of Lap 30 Vettel comes up behind Webber and the team pit Webber to clear the air for Seb who's lapping much quicker even though Mark had already been instructed to let Vettel by if he appeared quicker.

At the end of lap 30 Vettel is now 2nd with Raikonnen 22.993 seconds down the road.

End of Lap 31 Kimi makes his stop and returns to the lead of the race with a gap of 1.3 seconds to Vettel.

Grosjean having pitted due to his front left puncture earlier on in the race is down in 5th position but starting to lose pace to the cars in front. This is an invitation to Red Bull to turn the screw and Vettel ups his pace so that he can jump that group of cars during the pit stop phase.

Vettel pits at the end of lap 38 with the team realising they can bring him out in front of the battle for 5th another great move by the team.

Lap 39 and whilst Perez attempts an overtake on Grosjean around the outside of turn 14 leaving the stricken Lotus of Grosjean on the circuit and Mark's Webbers RB8 that was caught up in the carnage just off the circuit. This releases the safety car once more allowing Seb on fresh tyres to be right in the mix behind Jenson. (Before the Safety Car Vettel is 15 seconds behind Jenson) Radio between Seb and Rocky: 'Safety Car, Safety Car, Stay out, Stay Plus & Stay Out' Rocky simply iterating once again to Sebastian that he needs to burn additional fuel.

Importantly for Seb on lap 47 Fernando started to pull away from Jenson which allowed him to break the DRS stopping Jenson having DRS available. This allowed Sebastian a much greater straight line speed advantage in the DRS zones than was previously available against Jenson. Sebastian still however struggled to pass the McLaren taking til lap 52 to make the pass. Sebastian braked much heavier than on previous laps into turn 8 allowing a bigger tow, along with DRS down the next straight.  Sebastian now out from underneath the McLaren appeared to pick up the pace once more but couldn't catch the Ferrari in front.  The drive from Vettel was reminiscent of the same feat achieved by Jenson Button in Montreal with most already classifying it the race of the season.

I've had several people say to me that Vettel was lucky, he did require a large degree of luck to achieve 3rd. My assessment prior to the race with Sebastian on a race trim rather than his qualifying trim would be a maximum of 7/8th purely due to being caught behind the midfield runners. Although Vettel's race result hinged massively on the Safety Car periods it could also be argued he drove on the limit for around 45 of the 55 laps (with only the Safety Car periods giving him respite).

That also doesn't go to say that Vettel himself was flawless having destroyed the Front Left Endplate & Cascade in the contact early on with Bruno Senna.  Fortunately for Sebastian due to the Front Wing designs being employed by teams during this 2012 season he was still able to continue. The reason for this is the Endplates aren't as essential as they used to be with the Wings actually forming their own smaller Endplate as they curve from the Footplate region over. The Endplate is now more important in it's control of the airflow inbound and outbound of the Front Wheel.

Since Singapore I've been pondering the re-design of the RB8's Nose / Front Wing and we have seen the fluttering that occurs when the RB8 rides the Kerbs. It's widely believed that Red Bull simply emulated McLaren with their titlting Wing that arches backwards under speed in order to relieve the Front Wing of some drag.
The damage caused to Sebastian's Front Wing however firmly put it under the spotlight as many paid attention to the movement of the Wing under load. If we firstly pay attention to the .GIF below of Mark Webber's car as it rides the kerb's we can see that not only the Wing elements move but the whole frontal section is oscilating (Pay attention to the pylon on the right of the picture). The design of the Nose, Pylons and Mainplane allow for movement not only up and down but also side to side.

This image affirms my original thoughts behind the design of the Nose/Front Wing with Red Bull possibly replicating a Mass Damper type effect. The Mass Damper used in 05 season was banned just as other teams started to chase development of the then Renault teams design. The Mass Damper was installed in the nosecone in order to reduce Tyre bounce and retrieve an area of Contact Patch lost as the tyre bounces under load. Ferrari found that they were unable to effectively replicate Renaults advantage in 05/06 due to their differing uses of the Michelin & Bridgestone tyres respectively.  Red Bull were also Michelin shod during that time frame and are believed to have also looked into implementing their own Mass Damper.  This would give Red Bull some experience in which to work from.  In terms of the original Mass Damper it was believed that the resonance could be tested with the 7 post rig used back in the factory and so testing a flexible Nose could be relatively simple. 

Moving back to current rules and Red Bull it's more than plausible that Red Bull would look to re-invent a form of mass damping to assist in the tyre process. Having a mass damper on board a Pirelli Shod car may help the front tyres heat up quicker, whilst staying in an operating window for longer with less degradation. This will happen as the tyre moves around less due to stability being increased. In terms of an aerodynamic platform utilising the Nose/Front Wing in this way should allow for the rest of the car to stay more stable making the aerodymanic platform more consistent. With the loss of EBD this season having a more stable platform would also enhance any effect the exhaust plume has, giving a more consistent result and a net downforce gain.

The .GIF below shows when Sebastian took his pitstop under the first Safety Car from this we can gather that the frontal area of the Nosecone is plyable and prone to flexing. I do feel that the effect shown here with the mechanic manipulating the nose could be exaggerated over it's normal performance by the damage sustained by hitting the DRS board and was probably the catalyst for Sebastian's pitstop rather than the damaged Wing flap on the right side.  The nosecone being flexible allows the Nose/Wing to dive as the suspension travels up and when the suspension dives the Nose/Wing rises.  The weight of the Wing is sufficient enough to act on the pylons which in turn motion on the Nose itself and provide the necessary tyre damping.  The Weight (0.6KG's each) and positioning of the Camera's are critical in the whole process providing the distribution to the rest of the Wing along with the Aero characteristics provided by the units in this position rather than between the central pylons.  Many teams are pushing the boundaries of Aero Elasticity and this is a prime example of such an effect, the Nose/Front Wing on the Red Bull will not only be providing better stability during cornering (dampened effect) but provide a more co-efficient aero platform as the Wing tilts under load shedding drag.

What is for certain is this is all totally legal under the current regulations as the load tests apply in an area unaffected by the elasticity.  I expect the other teams will be querying the RB8's design once again with the FIA but it may take much longer than the last two races of the season to decide how to re-design the flexibility tests in order to outlaw it's use.

All in all I think that it was a great drive by Sebastian to get on the podium having started from the back of the grid but could Red Bull have shown us their hand being too eager to grind a result at the end of a hard fought season?

EDIT: 08/11/12 - After reading comments in several forums/twitter etc I will once again iterate (as I said above) that I believe the flexing of the Nose camera's as pictured above during the ptstop is greatly exaggerated by the damage incurred when Seb hit the DRS board.  This however does not explain the movement of both the nose and the oscillation of the pylons in the .GIF of Webber's car further up the page.
AMuS have moved to dispel the rumour of a flexible nose on the RB8 saying: The front 150mm of the nose-cone is always built slightly softer not to exceed max. deceleration 10G during FIA ​​crash test. Noses are made of just 1-3 carbon layers at the tip to pass crash tests.  However they also go onto say at least one opponent has asked the FIA for their opinion on Red Bull's flexible nose-cone.
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Abu Dhabi Young Drivers Test – Day 1

Whilst some of the teams elected to carry out their Young Drivers Tests earlier in the season we have Red Bull, McLaren, Lotus, Sauber, Toro Rosso & Caterham all taking part in a 3 day test after the Abu Dhabi GP.

Although the Test carries the 'Young Drivers' title teams can use their experienced testers behind the wheel as long as they haven't competed in a GP weekend. This is why we find Gary Paffett (31) and Nicolas Prost (31) behind the wheel of the McLaren and Lotus respectively. These drivers are used due to their technical nous and relative time spent in the simulator. Meanwhile Red Bull, Sauber, Toro Rosso & Caterham (latterly followed by McLaren with Magnussen) are happy to try out the new breed of drivers.

The test days provide not only the opportunity to assess future talent but also offers the teams time to look at setups and aerodynamic components that may not be able to be covered in the usual Free Practice programme.

In Sauber's assault towards Mercedes for fourth in the constructors it's been important that the team score regular points and so less risk is taken in testing new components throughout their Free Practice time. The team decided to debut their own version of a DRD (Drag Reduction Device) with Frijns on the first day of testing in Abu Dhabi to assess the devices potential for integration into their 2013 challenger.

The Device bears more resemblance to the Mercedes counterpart (of which Mercedes have continued to test during FP1 at the last few GP, the team are however coy on it's usage, stating that it's unlikely it will feature in the W04's design)
Unlike the Mercedes & Lotus DRD's Sauber haven't added inlets around the roll hoop but instead it would seem two periscope ducts have appeared on top on the bulkhead. (Credit @F1Talks) It seems Sauber may be using these 2 ducts to feed the airflow channel encased within the Engine Cover that leads to the Periscope.

Like Mercedes we can see that Sauber's version doesn't meet with the underside of the Mainplane most likely to distribute the airflow it creates over a larger surface area. As I discuss in my DRD article the Mercedes and now Sauber devices are more likely keyed to produce more downforce from the Rear Wing by making the Mainplane more efficient at higher AoA's (Angle of Attack)

Red Bull have the impressive Antonio Felix Da Costa behind the wheel of the RB8 for the first 2 days of the test. Da Costa, I believe could be the next big name to break through as part of the Red Bull young driver programme and think it could happen as early as late next season if either of the Toro Rosso drivers fail to impress. The young Portuguese driver who has showed his talents in both GP3 and WSR this season completed the most laps on day 1 racking up 79 laps in the RB8. His fastest lap was merely 0.066 from the fastest lap of the day recorded by Magnussen in the MP4-27 but as we can see from the pictures below the team were using a Pitot Tube Test Device on the car for some of his running.

Luiz Razia is no stranger to Young Driver's tests having done the same for Virgin Racing in 2010 and Team Lotus in 2011. He was also signed as a test driver for Team Lotus during 2011 whilst continuing to compete in GP2. With his 2nd place finish in the GP2 Series for 2012 the young Brazilian is looking for a place in an F1 team for 2013. With Toro Rosso having already named their lineup for 2013 the opportunity to drive their car simply puts him on the radar for other teams with the driver completing 67 laps.  The Toro Rosso did feature their HUGE 'Monkey' Seat which I'm now going to start calling a 'Gorilla' Seat (below)

Giedo Van Der Garde piloted the CT-01 on Day 1 with the team continuing to evaluate parts taken to Abu Dhabi but seemingly didn't work as planned.  In the pic below we can see the team using a test rig in front of the Sidepod to evaluate the airflow.

McLaren ran 2 driver's in their day 1 lineup both of which have already been mentioned, unlike some of the other teams it would appear that McLaren were simply looking to establish track time on day 1 with both Paffett and Magnussen covering 84 laps combined. They did however use their diffuser test rig during some of that test phase along with their Front Nose/Wing test rig.

Lotus also used a test rig that attached above the diffuser in the gap between the Wheel & Rear Wing Endplates to assess their new 'Coanda' Style exhaust.
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2 Nov 2012

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