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14 May 2014

Saubers season has got off to a poor start with even the team admitting they were too conservative with their initial design. For Barcelona the team have made a raft of changes that they hope will return them to challenging the rest of the midfield pack, with the reduction of around 15kg's of weight from the chassis being perhaps the largest.

One of the key elements in the upgrade package was a new front wing, featuring a new canard/winglet attached to the outside of the endplate and a revised cascade arrangement. The principle behind these revisions is the redirection of airflow around and over the front tyre. With the regulations for 2014 reducing the overall width of the front wing by 150mm (75mm either side) it has put a further onus on the way the airflow is guided by the wing, especially as this also has an affect on the front tyres wake. Controlling the wake is critical to improving flow around the sidepods and to the performance of the floor, something that is further compounded by the loss of exhaust blowing this season.

The canard/winglet creates an area of low pressure just behind it which helps carrel the airflow inbound of the endplate to turn around the front tyre. Furthermore the new cascade is orientated outward to entice the airflow around and over the front tyre too. The wing remains relatively unchanged with the exception being the upper flaps most outbound section, which on the old wing stands slightly proud of the flap.

I must also point out that although Adrian Sutil continued to use the new front wing throughout the weekend, Esteban Gutierrez switched back to the old configuration for qualifying and the race.



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