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19 Sep 2014


As we know most of the performance accrued by Mercedes against their rivals this season comes from their powerunit.  However the amount of work done of the aero side should not be underestimated either with some very decent concepts in play.  It seems more than perhaps most, Mercedes have focused their efforts on using the waste energy created by the exhaust plume as a further performance advantage.  Over the past few seasons the use of exhaust blowing has primarily been aimed at sealing the edges of the diffuser, reducing the impact of tyre squirt and allowing the teams to run with aggressive rake angles.  The placement of the exhaust along the cars centreline looked to reduce its impact but the teams can't unlearn what they know, in this case that the exhaust plume can offer a source of immense energy.  The use of a turbocharger whilst connected to an MGU-H also quells the ferocity of energy dispatched by the exhaust, but nonetheless it's still something that can be used to levy an advantage.

Furthermore the loss of the beam wing for 2014 means that the teams have had to think a little laterally in terms of achieving aero structures that bind together to increase downforce.  The aim of the game being that the diffuser and rear wing work together to increase downforce for less drag.

Mercedes have already made several changes to their Y100 Winglet / Monkey Seat throughout 2014 (Barcelona, Monaco, Spa) alluding to development in the area and also how they treat specific track characteristics inline with their rear wing design.

The team have once again made a small change to their design for Singapore changing the guide blade that sits astride the upper extension of their ladder winglet.
As we can see from the older configuration (inset) the upper blade has been replaced by twin blades, this alteration may seem small but the way in which it manipulates the airflow will of course have an impact on performance.  The inclusion of the secondary blade is likely done to delay the point at which the exhaust plume (and surrounding airflow it guides) interacts with the upper section of the top flap, meaning the team can run more angle of attack without flow separating, increasing downforce and reducing drag.

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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 Motorsport.com where I'm working with Giorgio Piola.

I'm still doing the technical image gallery for each GP with the continued support of friend of the site Sutton Images. However, as always my time is limited and so this might not be updated as quickly as it once was, so keep checking back.

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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