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7 Oct 2015

Mercedes made a small alteration to their front wing in Japan which should provide some additional balance for the driver.  The change was made aware to me by Allen Lopez via Twitter with tubercles added to the trailing edge of the one but last flap.  If you're unfamiliar with the term, tubercles were used by McLaren from Germany last year and applied to both the mainplane and top flap of their rear wing:

The application of these by Mercedes on the front wing will be similar to those applied by McLaren, with the 'teeth' helping to overcome a steeper angle of attack.  The pointed trailing edge means that the airflow leaves it at differing intervals, creating a small vortex as the airflow intertwines.  In the following image I've illustrated how this would occur, but please bear in mind this is not accurate more a means to explain the process.

Ordinarily steeper angles of attack mean that supplying airflow to the trailing egde of the flap becomes critical, if the flow seperates early it can destroy the entire wings efficiency, reducing performance at the transition point for medium speed corners.  These small vortices created by the tubercles are used in order to delay seperation, widening the flaps operating window.


  1. Ingenious. Prevents stalling I guess. Thanks Matt

  2. Ingenious. Prevents stalling I guess. Thanks Matt


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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