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GP Week : Issue 193
Fascinating India increased its mysterious beauty thanks to some foggy, or smoggy, weather. Jokes aside, even if the Buddh Circuit doesn’t offer all the technicalities of suzuka, it was interesting for many technical ingredients put on the cars. In Formula 1 even small details matter, and while at this stage of the season it is pretty unlikely to see huge changes on the cars, there are still some interesting developments here and there. Pace- setters Red Bull and Mercedes were the most prolific in this way, adopting revised packages introduced in the latest races, and modified in very small details. On the RB9 it was interesting to see an evolution of the front wing introduced in Japan. The two small fins that were introduced on top of the main flap at Suzuka, are now no longer straight – instead they sport an inclined profile, capable of diverting in a more sharp way the portion of the airflow that instead would hit the front tyres. Not a big change of course, but it is just one of the many that Red Bull used this weekend. It was interesting to note during practice, the experiment of adopting smaller brakes compared to the usual discs at the rear. This was done to evaluate the impact that ERS will have on brakes next year, in terms of brake distance, and balance between front and rear. Next season’s rules will allow the use of an electronic brake balance that would balance the excess of brake torque generated by the increased engine brake generated by the introduction of the ERS system, compared to the current KERS. It was pretty astonishing to see the leading team of this season looking to develop and test 2014 parts on the current car, with the title still to be clinched as it was on Friday ... a clear demonstration of strength on one side and unstoppable development on the other one. Mercedes looked pretty active in its development efforts, here in India. Many small element s of their cars were completely redefined and, as for Red Bull, some of these were a preview of some parts of the 2014 car. In particular, as in Korea, the area of the stepped bottom close to the rear wheels was put under the spotlight. Now, its rearmost edge has a metal lip that completely seals the gap between the tyre and the floor, to generate a continuous surface that ends with the rear diffuser. It seems clear that this helps in better channeling the airflow guided by the Coanda effect generated by the exhaust gases. This section of the car, will remain a crucial one next season, notwithstanding the completely different position of the single central exhaust on 2014 cars. It is very likely that most of the design staff of the teams will try to find a way to generate the sort of Gulf stream effect around the bodywork elements in this area, to continue feeding the diffuser, hence still generating an amount of downforce, that would recover most of the efficiency that, in theory, the new rules would produce. It is likely that, in a week’s time, in Abu Dhabi, more and more 2014 testing will continue. India – small details ... and 2014 testing TeCHNICAL PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor 42 GPWEEK.com // 42 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> INDIA