As we already know you cannot simply take a component from one car, tack it onto another and expect it to work. However, for an irreverent look at the development race of 2015 I thought I'd do just that, taking my favourite aspects of the 2015 cars and mashing them into the SomersGP-001.
|The enlarged 'funnel' was introduced in the team in China, the intent of which was to better manage how airflow moved around the front tyre.|
|The VJM08 nose from behind, marked in green is the outlet for the 'nostrils' which also mean that when you look directly above the nose you cannot see the ground below.|
|The Manor MR03B - I've highlighted the nose box in light blue, the chassis spacer in green and the vanity panel in yellow|
The camera housings used up and down the paddock for decades now are designed to be as aero neutral as possible. However, if used in the right positions they can provide an aero advantage in favour of another component. Up until 2014, when the regulations moved the camera housings to the side of the nose, the teams used them in varying positions, mainly to influence the other supposed neutral section: The Y250 central section of the front wing mainplane.
|Red Bull RB8|
Red Bull and McLaren were perhaps the most proficient of users, changing their positions throughout the season based on how much they wanted to influence the mainplane. During 2014 Red Bull neutralised their camera mountings entirely placing a peep hole in the transition panel between the chassis and the nose. The FIA ruled this out in 2015 along with an attempt to eradicate the stalk mounted nose appendages the likes of Mercedes used on the W05.
|Ferrari introduced a new slimmer version of the camera stalks at Silverstone alongside some other aero changes, like a new front wing (not pictured)|
What we ended up with was essentially the same, albeit the stalk dimensions were minimised, as the teams wanted to retain the camera mounts in those positions to assist the flow structures downstream.
|The Red Bull 'Gull-Wing' highlighted in green|
The vanes we find hanging under the nose/chassis of the cars help to control the movement of air under the nose, whilst shielding it and re-using the airflow dispatched by the front tyre. Mercedes introduced a 'Bat-Wing' on the W05 and retained it on the W06, whilst Ferrari's developments led them to use an almost identical appendage. Meanwhile, Red Bull who've always paid particular attention to this area of the car continued to develop their turning vanes, alongside a shorter nose iteration and a 'Gull-Wing'. The 'Gull-Wing' works in much the same way that the Mercedes and Ferrari 'Bat-Wing' does but, instead of being sat astride the ride height sensor structurally independent of the turning vanes, it mounts to them. This frames the aero structure in a horizontal sense as well previously just the vertical one.
Pre-2014 the teams had less to concern themselves with in terms of packaging whilst in the hybrid era the teams have had to consider how to cool the inlet charge too. Mercedes works team and the Ferrari powered teams use a liquid-air cooler whilst most of the field use air-to-air coolers, which are usually lighter but require more physical space. These coolers all reject heat which require more or less cooling apertures to disperse the heat at the rear of the car depending on the circuit. The larger the cooling outlet, the larger the impact it has on the aero of the car, meaning teams often run very borderline, often to the detriment of performance.
Ferrari opted to engage a different philosophy for 2015 (above), which allowed them not only to increase the physical size of the coolers within the sidepods but run with the bare minimum in terms of cooling outlets. The cooler (illustrated in blue) sat flatter and cantered inside the sidepod, allowing the outer shape of the sidepod to follow suit. In order to allow airflow to reach the furthest, lowest point of the radiator at the same velocity as the forward most point they utilsed internal winglets (illustrated in green), which traversed the sidepod inlet. On top of the radiator another appendage was used (illustrated in yellow) to funnel the rejected air to the rear of the car.
What was particularly impressive about Ferrari's adoption of this layout was that when the team arrived in Barcelona their new aero package consisted of a large chunk of the sidepods shoulder being removed, completely radicalising the look of the SF15-T compared with the rest of the field.
Used by both Ferrari and Williams, the airbox winglet cleans up the airflow ahead of the rear wing improving its efficiency.
The floor ahead of the rear tyre of a Formula One car has become an ever more complex section over the last few seasons. Controlling how airflow spills off the rear tyre into the diffusers path (tyre squirt) is crucial in providing additional downforce, especially in transient conditions.
Unable to simply put a hole ahead of the rear tyre (cleared up by the stewards post Monaco 2012) the teams use almost imperceptible slots from the floors edge instead.
I have to go with McLaren for this one as the practice of adding slots may have gone a bit nuts over at Woking. Their later design featured 11(!) slots ahead of 2 more dog-legged slots giving your cheese grater a good run for its money.
We can't talk about McLaren without including what Ron Dennis kept refering to as their size-zero rear end. An uncompromising cooling option only made viable by the tight packaging of the Honda powerunit. It's a rear end that even Adrian Newey would be proud of....
One of the major design coups of 2014 was Mercedes lower front conjoined wishbone, something which was copied by several teams in 2015. In Austria, Toro Rosso took a similar approach at the rear of the STR10, increasing and reshaping the outboard bulk.
I'm also fascinated to see if Mercedes or any of the other teams try using a trip strip in 2016, like Mercedes trialled in Abu Dhabi (above)
Red Bull's dazzle livery was supposed to hide many of the design details of the RB11 during testing. However, if you know what you're looking for it doesn't really hide too much. Even so, I illustrated the car without the dazzle livery (below) to highlight just how the RB11 really looked.
As a parting shot I present you with a naked shot of Max Verstappen's STR10, having not secured the engine cover properly it made its run for freedom, laying bare the Renault powerunit for all to see. Please tell me why someone hasn't forsaken their livery and issued a clear engine cover before....
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