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GP Week : Issue 45
BEING the first European race of the season, Spain represents one venue where all the teams bring their first big development step on the cars, after the first four flyways races. Ferrari was expected to show most change, but in fact there was a huge array of development parts up and down the grid. We will concentrate on the more significant ones: 1 – Ferrari F60 new diffuser Ferrari introduced its first attempt at a double-decker diffuser. In detail the new diffuser features two wide holes in the side walls of the central channel. These holes make the airflow pass through and then exit over the top edge of the diffuser. In this way the diffuser itself becomes a double-decker one, with an upper airflow passing over it and just under the rear crushable structure, while a lower portion of the airflow passes through the three sections of the diffuser, divided in three sections by just two main fences, compared to the previous version’s five smaller sections. 2 – F60 engine cover slits Part of the redesign of the rear bodywork, that features new small covers for the exhaust pipes and a lower height of this area, is the present of two long slits in the engine cover. This new feature allows efficient engine cooling, notwithstanding the fact that all the rear end is now more tightly packaged compared to the previous version. These slits were initially adopted only on Raikkonen’s car, and then adopted also 12 Technical Update: Round 1 on Massa’s car from Saturday onwards. 3 – F60 revised front wing Ferrari has also introduced Brawn-style front wing endplates, with a second vertical element placed on the edge of an arch-shaped, knife- edge profile to manage the airflow around the front wheels better. They have kept the small fin introduced in Bahrain, and there is also an additional slot, similar to that on the Toyota. The wing’s main profile is also different, higher from the ground in the area close to the endplates 4 – Brawn revised exhaust packaging Brawn hugely revised its car, even if not so physically noticeably as other teams. A weight-reduction of 7 kilos is significant. The championship leaders introduced a new aero package, with a revised bodywork section around the exhausts. This is now more tightly covered than before so to improve airflow to the rear wing. 5 – McLaren MP4/24 revised diffuser Not big changes on this car, instead more sublte ones, especially in the rear end, where the changes introduced resulted in more efficiency compared to the ones related to the front wing. The car sported an updated diffuser, featuring a twin central section, that is similar the design of the top section of the Renault diffuser. A triangular extended tab helps in terms of reduction of the turbulence generated by the rotation of the rear wheels. 3