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GP Week : Issue 47
Technical Update: Round Monaco is usually a track where there is a lot of technical stuff related to the particular features of this circuit, that requires an incredibly high downforce load, as the teams try to adapt their cars. This year the situation was slightly different, in that some teams have introduced changes on their cars, not just due to the aforementioned needs, but instead more related to their planned longer-term development. In any case the changes seen on the cars were many, and here we look at a selection of the most interesting. 1 – Brawn BGP 001 chassis fins The leading car of the moment didn’t bring many changes in the Principality – although the diffuser was slightly changed, featuring two side slits to increase the efficiency of its central section. A small array of subtle changes were visible. Of particular interest, was the introduction of a horizontal fin placed just over the small barge boards placed on side of the chassis in front of the sidepods. These fins, shaped as a wing profile, slightly curved, help in terms of splitting the airflow in two parts, so to divert a portion of it in the highly-paced sidepod inlet, to feed the radiators. The lower portion of the airflow is diverted underneath the car, increasing the extraction of the rear diffuser. 2 – Redbull RB5 diffuser update The RB5 featured a deeply revised diffuser from first practice, that follows the same principle of the Brawn one. This is itself interesting due to the fact that the rear end of the RB5 originally wouldn’t be able to fit with such kind of diffuser, because the design of the rear end features a very low section with the upper wishbone of the rear suspension placed over the top of the gearbox case in one single element. The new diffuser, therefore meant requiring considerable modifications, starting with the gearbox case. Red Bull brought two new carbon-fibre gearboxes instead of the single one used by Webber in Spain, but apart from this the changes required to fit the new diffuser were really minimal. The diffuser is, in fact, pushed slightly backwards compared to the old one, but this didn’t require a particular redesign of 12 the rear end. The double-decker diffuser is clearly recognisable by the presence of the upper channel (contoured in yellow). This new feature should increase the downforce generated in this area by the bottom of the car, especially when F1 returns to higher-speed circuits. 3 – F60 revised front wing As part of a complete package of changes on the F60, Ferrari has modified their Brawn-style front wing endplates introduced in Spain. The second vertical element – placed on the edge of an arch-shaped knife edge profile to manage in a better way the airflow around the front wheels – has been increased in height, compared to the version seen in Spain (inset). In this way the turbulence generated by the front wheels is further reduced, so improving the efficiency of the front wing at slow speed. This, understandably is particularly useful here. 4 – BMW nose and front / rear wing A huge development package was introduced in Spain and retained for Monaco, with new nose , front wing, revised sidepods, revised engine cover, and a completely new rear wing. The car also underwent a weight reduction of around 7 kilos. All these changes were aimed at finding decent pace for the F109. This was partially reached in Barcelona, but not here where the same package was kept unvaried. In particular the new higher nose, now completely horizontal on its top side, aimed at increasing the airflow passing underneath, to increase the downforce generated by the bottom of the car and rear diffuser. Under the new nose appeared two series of small vertical fences, whose function was that of managing airflow in a better way towards the sidepods. At the rear, together with a slimmer engine cover in particular in the area of the exhaust pipes, it is interesting to note the introduction of a completely new rear wing, sporting an additional double profile in the central 15cm free section.