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GP Week : Issue 186
42 GPWEEK.com // 42 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> GERMANY Just one week after the terrific race at silverstone, where tyres repeatedly exploded and obviously were the leading theme in the press, an incredible effort from Pirelli to bring to Nurburgring, about 1000 new tyres, brought the situation back to normal. This race saw a lot of new car developments. Some in reality were developments already brought to other races by some teams – in particular Lotus tried again in practice the passive DRS System seen one week ago in Silverstone. This kind of device was also tested here, for the first time also, by Mercedes, with a view to introducing it in future races. The system was clearly visible due to the different profile of the engine cover of the F1 W04, which sported an additional air intake on its top and a different tail, not shark-finned as was the latest standard version seen in Canada, very similar to the profile of the Ferrari one. Mercedes sported also another evident change, to the front. In particular the nose has been deeply modified in the pillars connecting it to the front wing. The pillars are not any longer but almost straight and making the tip of the nosecone much squared in a similar fashion to the one introduced by Ferrari in Canada. The new nose appeared to work well, managing in a more efficient way the airflow passing underneath, providing additional downforce to the car especially in its central section, improving balance. No big changes, subtle ones instead for Red Bull. The relevant area is the flat bottom in front of the rear wheels and the bodywork around the exhaust pipes. The two areas work together in terms of using the Coanda effect, to divert the airflow by means of the exhaust gases. The section of the exhaust is lightly changed in terms of angle of the terminal pipes; furthermore an array of two vertical tabs coupled with three horizontal slits play the double role of feeding the rear diffuser and generate vortices close to the rear wheels, to avoid any interference due to the rotation of the wheels with the channeled airflow underneath the car. Last but not the least, Ferrari. The Italian squad brought here a huge range of development parts, but few worked properly, so reducing the rear extent of the modification introduced and race here on the F138. One of the elements that was in fact kept on the cars throughout the weekend was the rear wing, that was an evolution of the one seen in Monaco – in fact on top of the beam wing it sported as in the Principality. This element, which produces additional downforce especially useful in the twisty section of this track, had the purpose of improving the traction of the car at the exit of the slow corners of this track. We have to say that the target seemed to be partially reached. In fact, looking at the race it was quite easy to note that traction at low speed seems still being a weak spot for the F138. The endplates were instead a mix between the original Monaco version sporting four slits on top, but coupled with the vertical slits adopted at Silverstone. Germany – roll out the changes TeCHNICAL PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor