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GP Week : Issue 194
The Yas Marina Circuit can’t be considered the pinnacle of technical tracks on the calendar, nevertheless it remains a demanding track for car set-up and the best use of tyres. Coming just one week after India, we didn’t expect many changes on the cars, even though more than a few teams , as we discussed last week, introduced some interesting changes to mimic the effect of next year’s rules. In particular some teams, Williams among them, reverted their exhaust pipes to an old-fashioned style, in order to simulate the effect of downforce loss caused by the exhaust not blowing towards the bottom of the cars, exploiting the famous Coanda effect. Williams used also a front wing from its 2012 car to implement even more the reduced downforce effect. Those experiments apart, Mercedes briefly tried its double DRS again, while other teams were more into small detail refinements. This was in fact the case for Ferrari. The Italian team brought a revised version of their bridge link of the turning vanes placed on the front of the sidepods, to connect them to the top of these ones. In particular, it is an evolution of the solution briefly tested in Spain and then discarded. Here, it didn’t prove to be beneficial to the competiveness of the F138 in a back- to-back comparison between the two cars, so it was discarded in favor of the standard connection between sidepods and turning vanes. Another interesting experiment was carried on the front wing of the F138. The wing now featured a different endplate, featuring a new, wider horizontal slit connecting the lowest profile of the vertical shield to the horizontal section, that featured two slits of increased cross section. These changes had the purpose of improving the efficiency of the wing in its outermost area close to the front wing. This area is particularly turbulent, generating negative vortices that impact negatively on the airflow directed to the bottom of the car. All these changes seen on the Ferrari cant be considered a preview of their 2014 challenger, as the team insists it is still important to improve the current car, instead of trying new parts for next season. For sure there will be some other refinements for Austin, but they will be just as marginal as the ones shown so far. At Maranello, they expect it will be enough for them to cement second position in the Constructors Championship as well to retain the same position in the drivers’ standings for Alonso Yas Marina – refinements and 2014 testing TeCHNICAL PaOLO FILISettI Technical Editor 45 GPWEEK.com // 45 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> ABU DHABI