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GP Week : Issue 179
34 GPWEEK.com // 34 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Last week we ended this column by inviting you, our readers to stay connected, as here in Malaysia some interesting development would take place. This happened – did it what – due to the particular features of this track, with the weather and temperature also playing their part. The hot and damp air is part of the usual scenario at Sepang, and here the teams have to cope with increased cooling requirements, that could partially disrupt the aero balance of the cars, or at least reduce the efficiency of certain areas. As we explored the trend related to Coanda exhaust in Australia, it was interesting here to note how the exhaust layout developed in this direction was also used to improve the hot air extraction from the sidepods. An example of how cooling requirements could be satisfied without disrupting the original layout of the rear bodywork too much was Ferrari. The F138 in fact sported an air vent close to the side of the exhaust exit, that via the blowing exhaust gases, allowed a portion of hot air to being extracted by the sidepods through it. This side vent was an addition to the normal layout with the big rounded vent just under the upper rear suspension wishbone. Another interesting change was related to the front end of many cars – where it was possible to see the detail of them closely during Thursday scrutineering. What struck us was the similarity of the current nose cone and front wing of the RB9 to one of the latest versions of the same elements adopted on last year’s car. In fact, in India the RB8 sported an elongated nose cone we called the ‘Pelican’ look-alike that was a pre-configuration of the current one In particular looking at the layout of Sepang, compared to the Buddh circuit, we found some similarities that In fact were present on the layout and set-up of the current front wing of the RB9. In particular not just the big increased-size pillars , but also the front wing, which complies exactly with the needs of top speed and at the same time high downforce levels, obtained through a proper sequence of winglets placed on top of the main profile, and slits dividing the main flap, in a way to adjust just the side section of it, leaving the central one unchanged. The similarity we noticed is not at all casual. In fact the top teams had already started development of elements of the current cars well back in last season, as this year’s development process will be partially reduced during the second half of the season due to the design resources needs for 2014 cars. One week on, and the parameters are different F1 >>> MALAYSIA TECHNICAL PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor