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10 Mar 2014

Mercedes have the luxury of bringing aerodynamic refining parts at the last test with the team having covered significant ground in the previous two tests.

As part of these refinements we find new bargeboards ahead of the Sidepod, bargeboards have long been an essential way of managing the airflow dispatched from the front wing toward the sidepod. Over the years the FIA have done their best to curtail the size and placing of these devices as the teams came up with more inventive solutions. Last year we saw both Red Bull and Lotus using slotted bargeboards which leads to more efficiency in the region.

Mercedes have however taken this one step further with the introduction of a two element bargeboard. The stepped arrangement will allow airflow that isn't fully contained when it passes between the splitter/chassis to the front of the sidepod to join up with it further downstream. This injection of airflow further downstream should help to enhance to flow around the sidepod. Furthermore the Bargeboard is used in order to generate longitudinal vortices that's intent is to aid the Diffuser downstream. The splitting of this element therefore alludes to the team wanting to create another set of vortices to feed the floor/diffuser. The aim of the game as always is efficiency and so it comes as no surprise to me that this area is under close scrutiny with it able to yield some favourable results over a wide speed range.

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Whilst I'm trying to keep atop of the blog you may have noticed of late that there is less content appearing. For those of you that haven't realised, most of my work has now been moved over to where I'm working with Giorgio Piola.

As some of you may have found out already I'm also working with the Missed Apex crew on their podcast from time-to-time, either doing race reviews or dedicated 'Tech Time' shows.

I've embedded the latest version of the podcast below and will update this a frequently as I appear. However, please head over to Itunes if you want it to appear in your player when episodes are available. The show is great to work on and has a great lineup of 'regulars' but has also enticed some bigger names recently too, with Will Buxton and Bradley Philpot on shows during the summer break.

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