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GP Week : Issue 159
Valencia is a very particular track. Is a street- based track but its layout is much more similar to Montreal than to Monte Carlo, notwithstanding the similar harbour-side setting. As with the Canadian track, this track features a very twisty section with many rapid direction changes, and a very fast section featuring a very long right hander that acts as a straight in reality. Similar tracks, means similar challenges in terms of set up of the cars, and effectiveness of the aero updates that some teams brought here. This time it was undoubtedly Red Bull the one that was the most active in terms of development. Almost all the rear end of the car was modified, both aerodynamically speaking, with a particular accent to the sidepods and exhaust area, but also mechanically , taking a close look to the rear suspension assembly that now features a completely horizontal positioning of the brake caliper. What visually sttod out most , was a completely redesign of the rear section of the sidepods. Compared to the previous version, it now features an elongated side channel (doubling the length of the previous version) that feeds the rear diffuser, coupled with a long tail channel that extends till the level of the rear wheels, channeling the hot air exiting from the radiators, towards the side sections of the diffuser. This new aero package increases the downforce generated by the diffuser, increasing the traction without increasing the drag on such a particular track. It is also interesting to underline that we count this evolution of the rear end of the RB8, being actually the fourth since the start of the season. Such a deep evolution could well be nicknamed a ‘D’ version of the car from its launch version. Other interesting updates are expected for Silverstone. A team that instead focused more in finding a proper balance of the car, especially trying to enhance its top speed performance was Mercedes. Here in fact the Brackley-based team adopted a low downforce configuration featuring a front wing that was the same as used in Montreal. The usual additional cascade winglet, was in fact removed to provide less downforce but at the same time significantly reducing the drag that this element generates. The configuration adopted here and in Canada, assists of course in the fast section of the track, but at the same time the team found it not too much penalizing in terms of car’s handling in rapid direction changes. The streets of Monaco, the speed of Montreal – that's Valencia, as Tech Editor Paolo Filisetti explains TECHNICAL Monagasque/Canadian combo F1 >>> EUROPE 31 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: