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11 Oct 2014

Updates are particularly thin on the ground in Sochi this weekend, owing to strict customs.  Most teams have openly admitted that they needed to have parts with them in Suzuka for them to make it across to Russia, meaning they may aswell have run them in Suzuka too.
Above: Image courtesy of @McLarenF1

A new front wing has materialized at McLaren (lower wing in the image above) though which outwardly appears very similar to their old design, infact the largest change comes to the mainplanes connection point at Y250 (250mm from the front wings centreline, with the mandated neutral section occupying that area).  The 500mm neutral section of wing has been a playground for teams since its introduction as although it's design is the same for each team, how it interacts with other areas can improve performance.  In previous seasons the teams have also used the camera housings to influence the flow over the neutral section but for 2014 this was eradicated by the introduction of their mandated positioning further upstream on the side of the nosecone.

You'll note that in the case of McLaren's new wing two metal inserts sit either side of the neutral section and are likely being used as a way of controlling how much flex occurs, as the wing deforms under load.  The horseshoe metal inserts are shaped in order to retain how the mainplanes connection with the neutral section creates an elongated vortex.
The team were investigating this in Singapore (above) when they installed a camera on the nose of the MP4-29.  The camera looks across at dots installed in the front wing endplate and measures the amount of movement, indicating where the team are/were losing/gaining performance.

Outbound of the Y250 connection we can also see that the mainplane and how it splits to form the two part flap is also more convex, adjusting how that section of the wing performs with less deformation.  It seems that the team are trying to retain a more stable Y250 vortex assisting the central rearward flow, rather than taking advantage from pivoting/flexing outer elements.


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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