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GP Week : Issue 190
singapore, is probably the most atypical track of the season. By atypical we mean that it is twisty, a common feature to most of the semi- permanent tracks, but is at the same time as long as a permanent track, hence providing few overtaking spots, and requiring particular attention at least to two elements – brakes and tyres. This circuit is undoubtedly the most demanding on brakes due to the fact that the close series of corners prevent discs and pads cooling properly in the short straights, hence putting an additional stress, and increment of wear ratio of these elements. Apart of these particular features, this race in Singapore was very interesting from a technical point of view for two reasons. On one side it was interesting to check how Ferrari, after Monza, tried to catch the Red Bull, and at the same time as we anticipated in our last analysis, we wanted to look closely at the revised rear diffuser of the Red Bull that made its debut in Italy two weeks ago. Ferrari, brought a revised aero package here that was an updated version of the package introduced at Budapest. In particular, the rear wing was the same with just small changes to the flap chord, a revised version of under tray coupled to the rear diffuser used in Budapest. This element in fact sported an upper additional lip throughout all its width and a ‘finger’ in its side horizontal section, to better channel the airflow diverted by means of the hot exhaust gases. The most relevant change was introduced at the front. A new front wing was tested on Friday FP1 and then kept by Alonso for the remainder of the weekend. Massa instead opted for the standard package, derived from the Hungarian one. The new wing sports additional slits on the main profile, and also a different position of these features. In particular, a long slit is placed not as close as the entry adage of the wing as on the Hungarian specs wing – instead it is placed at the level of the wing pillars. A shorter slit is placed on the main profile close to the entry edge and to the endplate. The new version determines a different management of the airflow directed under the car. In particular, the longer slit and the additional one provides an increased quantity of airflow underneath the car, hence feeding the diffuser. This solution generates more aero pressure instability when the car passes from high to low speed, hence generating a sort of nervous behavior especially at the rear of the car. Choosing this configuration was just a matter of driving style preference of the driver. Talking about the phenomenal RB9 is not an easy task. It is certainly complex finding all the plusses of this car that are performance generators, As we anticipated in Monza, we were struck by the adoption of a deeply revised diffuser, exactly as at the Italian GP, hence we wanted to take a closer look here at this device. In detail what impressed us most was the side section of the diffuser featuring an outwardly diverted side edge. This, in a few words, makes the diffuser look like a sort of bell-shaped element. In particular, the rear-most section of the diffuser is wider than its section close to the stepped bottom of the car. This makes visible a proper Venturi channel section of the diffuser, just interrupted by vertical fins placed in a way to generate two separate (and with different cross sections), channels at the side of the central one. The clean design of this device instead hides the complexity of its action in terms of air extraction. This diffuser in fact now works in perfect symbiosis with the exhaust pipes whose angle and shape channel the air-flow to feed it. Such important masterpieces of aerodynamics makes us think that the technical challenge for the Red Bull opponents has become harder and harder if not already ‘mission impossible’ ... Singapore – a complex test TeCHNICAL PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor 46 GPWEEK.com // 46 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> SINGAPORE