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GP Week : Issue 163
33 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Hockenheim is a very particular track. From a technical point of view it is very tricky, as it includes in its layout fast corners, long straight, a hairpin, and some slow-speed corners as well. It is a track where straight-line speed is important and must be kept as a paramount element in almost two of the three sections of the track, but rhythm and consistency of pace are the secrets to succeess on this track. Traction plays a relevant role as well, coupled with, or let’s even say helped by, aero efficiency and especially downforce at medium speed. One of the teams that was expected to introduce a revised aero package here, was McLaren. In fact the Woking based team brought a deeply revised layout of the car’s sidepods. These (above) feature a very low rear section, where the exhaust pipes are placed, with a very steep profile of the bodywork from this point to the foremost section. The result is that area right in front of the rear wheels is very neat, with the exhaust pipes blowing towards the outer side of the wheels, generating a low pressure area ahead of them, improving the efficiency of the side section of the diffuser. Vertical gills are placed close to the suspension pick up points, and are fed by the airflow that diverted towards the inside, helps in terms of gearbox cooling, and hot air extraction towards the rear. Ferrari on the other end seemingly didn’t bring significant changes, instead continuing the refinement of the package they introduced few races ago. The sidepod (above) sported the rear end featuring vertical slits in the area close to the exhaust pipes, so to improve the hot air extraction, while a small refinement of this section of the bodywork was also noticeable at a closer look. A new version of bargeboard was also introduced (right). Now they sport in their rear section an array of sinuous vertical fins, (three in total), whose function is to improve the management of the airflow directed towards the rear end of the car. This change helps In terms of reducing turbulence around the lower section of the sidepod, that other wise would disrupt the airflow that feeds the diffuser central section. It is a small detail that produces an advantage in terms of quality of the airflow in that crowded and crucial area of the car. Hockenheim, in its new form, requires a combination of many elements, as Tech Editor Paolo Filisetti explains TECHNICAL Best of everything ... F1 >>> HOCKENHEIM