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GP Week : Issue 189
Monza, the temple of speed. Every development here is brought to its extreme in terms of low downforce and of course lowest possible drag generated. Three teams kept our attention focused on their respective cars. Ferrari, Monza being their home race, and their endless attempt to catch up the leaders Red Bull, the leading team itself, and of course Lotus, which was expected to trial its long wheelbase version of the E21. The Italian team sported a deeply revised car, with a completely new front wing featuring two vertical fins instead of the usual upper double winglets of the previous version. These new elements are pretty easily identifiable as similar to fins featured on the Lotus front wing for more than a year. This make us think that the effect of James Allison’s recent employments by the Scuderia, directly from the Enstone based team, is already visible in this first development since his arrival in Maranello on September 1. Futhermore, Ferrari adopted a low downforce and low drag-generating rear wing, featuring a small chord main profile and revised endplates. Red Bull on the other hand also sported a one-off configuration, with a new front wing, not featuring the upper winglets attached to the endplates. In this way, it made visible the huge array of 6 slits between the very complex wing profile. This change proved to be very effective in terms of drag reduction and was adopted for qualifying and race after a back-to-back comparison carried on during practice sessions. Last but not the least, Lotus’ long wheelbase version. Since Spa, we were pretty sceptical about the real advantage of the adoption of this relevant change for just one race – even though we got some indication that the long wheelbase could be adopted for other races before the end of the season. The team trialled it just on Raikkonen’s car in practice. The result was considered not satisfying so, for qualifying and race, the team reverted to the standard version of the E21. It is interesting to note that the longer wheelbase version was just noticeable by small details – in particular, the increased length of the nose cone was the easiest way to recognize the long wheelbase version. Monza – the (Lotus) long and short of it ... TECHNICAL PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor 42 GPWEEK.com // 42 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> ITALY