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GP Week : Issue 153
Barcelona being as usual the first race of the European leg of the Championship, represents a venue where all the teams put a big effort into the development of their cars. Last week’s test held in Mugello was in fact the venue at which most teams tried new parts before coming here even though teams decided to partially ‘hide’ their true development, as was the case for McLaren. The Woking based team in fact brought a clear change to their nose configuration, sporting a higher nose almost completely flat on the top and abruptly raising in its lower edge. This solution seems to provide a greater amount of airflow towards the bottom of the car increasing the downforce level, without disrupting the efficiency, keeping a low drag. This solution coupled with others smaller changes improved the aero balance of the car. On the other hand Ferrari was the most active, bringing to Spain all the changes that were introduced the previous week at Mugello, Starting with a deeply revised front wing, with converging vertical pillars, and revised winglets. There is also a new floor, and a deep revision of the sidepod package (above left), resulting in a narrower and lower rear section. The position of the exhausts now changed, with the pipes now blowing straight, parallel to the car’s centre line, with a salami cut exit. This provides an increased amount of downforce and at the same time a reduced drag that results in higher top speed – as it was possible to see during the whole weekend. Lotus was on the other hand one of the less active teams in introducing a vast package of changes. A new front wing that is a clear evolution of the one seen in Bahrain was revealed (above). Now the winglets placed on the top of the main profile sport a sinuous profile and are directly connected to the innermost section of the endplates, becoming an integral part of those. The benefit from this change is further perfecting the already almost perfect balance, as already seen in the previous races. The only negative of this car is a lack of top speed. The next race, in Monaco, might be a real opportunity for the Enstone-based team to grab their maiden victory this season. Let’s wait and see in a fortnight ... Back in Europe, many teams rolled out significant revised aero, which appears to have changed the pecking order, and how! Tech Editor Paolo Filisetti loooks at some of the developments TECHNICAL Bring on the updates 32 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> SPAIN