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I'm Matthew Somerfield, a freelance journalist focused on the technical elements of Formula One. It has been a pleasure to provide content via this site for the last 5 years, which has led me to several paid freelancing jobs along the way. I'm currently plying my trade with Motorsport.com and working alongside the legend that is Giorgio Piola.

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22 Aug 2014


McLaren have arrived in Spa with several updates, looking to increase the performance of the MP4-29, mainly centred around improving the airflow structures at the rear of the car.  As we have seen over the last few races the team have started to move away from the use of their 'wishbone wings' as the concept although sound hasn't produced the type of performance they require.  Furthermore as the design of many components was made to cater for them making widesweeping changes has taken time.




With changes to the 'wishbone wings' and diffuser already mentioned: McLaren MP4-29 - Diffuser - Spa we must now turn our attention to their new rear wing.  Having implemented several design changes to their rear wing in Hockenheim which was used again in Hungary and with a switch from high to medium downforce (with a large emphasis on drag reduction for the long straights) the team introduced another new design.
The top flap retains the leading edge tubercles introduced on the wings predecessor, retaining with it the increased L/D they create.  The mainplane however returns to having a regular trailing edge but has been redesigned with a curved leading edge, as the outer sections curve upwardly to reduce drag but also maximise downforce.  The canards added to the outside of the endplates in the last update have been removed as their purpose was to help unify the airflow structures in the region, which in turn will have a small drag penalty.  Whilst the louvres, used to minimise tip vortices have been reduced from 5 to 3, owing to the reduction in angle of attack of the top flap and mainplane.

Also worth noting is that the team are not running their Y100 Winglet / Monkey Seat this weekend (usually attached to the Y-Lon)


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