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28 Feb 2013
F1 - 2nd Pre Season test at Barcelona - Day 1 - Technical Image Gallery

Above: Toro Rosso STR8 - New Rear Wing Endplates complete with leading edge hole similar to the ones previously seen on the Williams, Marussia and Force India

Above: Williams FW35 - The central aperture used to blow air from has been shaped differently for this test

Above: Lotus E21 - A new Monkey Seat was tested today, with a similar design ethos to the DRD style one we have seen the team run for a while this seat is taller and sports a horizontal vane around 2/3rd's the way down the seat

Above: Lotus E21 - The car has the DRD 'Ears' uncovered but doesn't feature the full DRD system with the Periscope absent

McLaren MP4-28 - New Sidepod Slats featured on the car today as the slats don't bend down toward the Sidepod's edge (outer section)

 Ferrari F138 - New Nosecone features strakes that run longitudinally along the nosecone

 Ferrari F138 - Nice shot of the underside of the nose shows the large cooling duct

 Caterham CT-03 - Nothing new here just a nice shot of the rear of the car

 Caterham CT-03 - Again nothing new but a nice side on shot of the car

 Red Bull RB9 - Nothing new here on the car, just a good rearward look at the RB9

Ferrari F138 - Nice shot showing the 3 Vertical Floor Strakes used to direct the airflow at the rear of the car along with the gangsta Monkey Seat (lean back) which is being used to help with Rear Wing flow attachment
Force India VJM06 - Nice rearward shot of the car

Ferrari F138 - Another good view of the Ferrari Monkey Seat and rear end arrangement

Red Bull RB9 - Front Wing from above shows the complexity of the 6 Tier Wing and multiple cascades

Ferrari F138 - Nice shot of the rear of the car with Flo-Viz applied to the rear Brake Ducts and Rear Wing Endplates

Red Bull RB9 - Another great shot of the RB9's Front Wing

Toro Rosso - STR8 - Great shot of the car's diffuser and Rear Wing Endplate Strakes

Mercedes W04 - Rear End detail, nothing new just a good shot of the Diffuser and Gurney (Note still no Rear Wing Endplate Strakes for Mercedes)

Williams FW35 - Another shot of the revised layout inside the blown axle

Williams FW35 - Rear End detail

Sauber C32 - Rear end detail, good shot of Saubers 'Spoon' Rear Wing

Lotus E21 - In the last few laps of the day the team placed on their new configuration DRD (Drag Reduction Device) which utilises the shorter Periscope (Doesn't meet with the bottom of the mainplane)

Lotus E21 - Rearward shot of the car fitted with DRD (Drag Reduction Device)
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26 Feb 2013
The #TechF1Show - First Barcelona Test

In this episode I look at the goings on at the 2nd pre-season test in Barcelona

Above: Is a close up of the Lotus Airbox mentioned in the video as it's been mentioned it's difficult to make out
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23 Feb 2013
F1 - Slats & Vortex Generators

Cockpit Vortex Generator Fins / Wing Mirror Mounts / Sidepod Leading Edge Slats / Sidepod Vortex Generators / Trailing Edge Slats

The frontal section of the Sidepod is an area of the car of particular interest to the designers this season with the need to further enhance the airflow received by the designers favoured 'Coanda' exhaust solutions. We saw teams sporting these devices throughout 2012 but several teams have adapted new approaches when catering them for their 2013 designs.  In a related topic I'll also look at Ferrari's adaptation of Rear Wing Trailing Edge Slats.

Cockpit Vortex Generator Fins / Wing Mirror Mounts

A trend started by Ferrari, these fins are placed horizontally and longitudinally between the Wing Mirror Stalk and the leading edge of the Sidepod. These fins vorticise the airflow as it moves over the Sidepod increasing downwash and reduce the boundary layer as it builds up over the length of the Engine Cover / Sidepod consequently increasing the Sidepods efficiency.

Another way of achieving this is the design of the Wing Mirror Mounts or Stalks, McLaren have this season designed their stalks in order to achieve a wing profile helping to manipulate the airflow in the region just as the combination of fins above are designed to do.

Leading Edge Sidepod Slats

Sauber employed these last season and when McLaren changed the Sidepod configuration from Hockenheim onwards they too ran some (albeit integrated into their Vertical Sidepod Airflow Conditioner) Just like the Vortex Generators mentioned above these devices are utilised in order to extract additional performance from the Sidepod itself. If we were to look at the Sidepod from the side it's shape is reminiscent of an airplane wing and is the reason you hear Gary Anderson (BBC) refer to the region creating lift. The Leading Edge Sidepod slats we see McLaren using this season are used in order to alter the characteristics of the Sidepod to reduce this lift. The Slat enables a more efficient Sidepod by energizing the Boundary Layer whilst allowing the Sidepod to operate with a larger Angle of Attack.  Without the Slat the Boundary Layer may allow the airflow to separate resulting in the lift Gary refers to.

Vortex Generators (VG's) - (Placed on top the Sidepod's leading edge)

Just like the elements previously mentioned, Vortex Generator's are used in order to trip up the airflow so as to disturb the trailing airflow. Their height usually indicates the height of the Boundary Layer which they are trying to trip up and so each version will differ to the characteristics of that teams Sidepod. A team may also employ several VG's in order to affect a wider portion of the Sidepod or indeed if the length exceeds the height ratio of less VG's.

Combination of the above

Mercedes have placed both Cockpit Vortex Generators and VG's on top of the Sidepod in order to control the downwash toward their exhaust.

Rear Wing Trailing Edge Slats - Ferrari F138

This is an interesting concept and one I have been meaning to talk about since Ferrari first launched the F138. I'm also refraining from calling them flaps (as used in aviation) as they are fixed elements. 
I may be making the wrong connection here but with Ferrari adopting Pull Rod Front Suspension last year and now these Trailing Edge Slats this year I have to question if Ferrari have some ex Minardi staff on their payroll. Front Pull Rod was last seen on the PS-01 and a similar Rear Wing Slat concept was used on the PS-05.

As these Slats are serving a few purposes in terms of the F138's overall design I have decided to break it down into several elements whilst explaining the function of certain elements too:

Endplate extension: The Endplate acts as an extension of the Mainplane, Top Flap and Beam Wing that sit between them, by increasing the size of the Endplate you can increase a wing's effective aspect ratio leading to more downforce and less induced drag. The size of Endplates in F1 is controlled by the regulations and so Ferrari have thought outside the box. By using Slats at the trailing edge of the Endplate they are therefore increasing the efficiency of the same area (allowing airflow to move from one side of the slat to the other) in much the same way we have seen teams use the Louvres at the front of the Endplate for many years now. This gives the Endplate a larger aspect ratio impacting on the Wing profiles between them.

Wing Tip Vortices: When we see cars operating in damp conditions it's easy to see the drag at work on the Rear Wing. Tip Vortices are the spiralling air we see expelled from the edge of the top flap where it meets with the Endplate (Air moving from the high pressure to low pressure side causes the air to rotate (Vortice). In the case of the Slatted F138 images from Jerez captured the wing tip vortices in a strange position much further outbound. This to me donates the fact that the increased aspect ratio of the Endplate (as mentioned above) has also resulted in the reduction of drag. (The farther a vortex is shed from the wing the less influence it has on it)

Attachment Issues: Gary Anderson spoke on several occasions last season in regard to Ferrari suffering re-attachment issues when using DRS. This is when the airflow takes too long to re-attach to the wing. This is a complex scenario bought on by the team trading off their DRS delta for a high speed gain resulting in an instability when the DRS is closed by the driver. The team looked to offset the time differential last season by operating DRS with a foot pedal rather than using a steering wheel button. The movement from the foot pedal DRS button onto the brake pedal would start the process of the top flap moving into a closed position before the brakes were applied gifting the team a little more leeway. This however didn't seem to be enough to overcome their problems and left them with 2 choices, suffer the consequences of a little lateral movement in the braking phase or adjust their DRS delta by adjusting the size of the Mainplane / Top Flap combination. It's a cat and mouse scenario where neither really directly solve the problem of trying to force a better lap time for qualifying and then have a balanced car during the race. The problem didn't hurt Ferrari as badly during the race as DRS usage was limited and so the re-attachment issue only occurred when trying to overtake someone.

Cause and Effect: By making this area more efficient the slats have to be splayed at an outward angle, acting like a perforated Gurney flap. This means the airflow that would ordinarily be travelling along the outside of the Endplate will have to find a way outward and as these slats sit behind the wheel the expelled air is pushed into the region behind the wheel. The Endplate Slats and Strakes become vertically shorter the further back they reach inline with the expansion of the Diffuser.

Overall the Rear Wing Endplate Slats are a neat solution to overcome a problem that the F138's predecessor suffered whilst also increasing the operating window the Rear Wing operates within. We may see other teams adopting similar solutions throughout the season as teams search for more downforce.
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