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GP Week : Issue 196
Here we are, at the end of a journey that lasted nine months and touched four continents. Flyaways, jet legs, car rentals, and all the ancillaries necessary for our job to be done, are now behind us. Here in Brazil the concluding race is not the only thing mind – 2014 is much closer than it appears, and development of the last component to be fitted on the cars that will be built in January, is hugely time-consuming. As we wrote in our previous tech review from Austin, most of the teams have already introduced elements of their future challengers on the current cars, during practice. It was interesting to note how far advanced the state of final developments of multiple solutions that will be part of next year’s cars is already. Ferrari, as it did at Austin, continued its testing of some solutions that are definitely part of 2014 project. One of these elements is something we already noted in Abu Dhabi, so in reality not something we can consider a brand new item, but now we have the certainty that is an element that will be kept on the 2014 Ferrari. We are talking about the bridge barge-boards, that in fact were tested many times, included at Austin and then removed for the race. This time, they were kept on both cars: their final tuning seemed to provide the results expected by the team and it seems certain they will be kept on the 2014 car as they help in terms of management of the airflow passing just over the upper entry lip of the sidepods and improve the quality of the airflow that passes through the crowded area of the rear end where, next year, along the centerline of the car, the high single exhaust will blow. Even though these may appear small details, they have an inestimable importance in determining the precise layout of the rear end bodywork that will work together with them in airflow management. Another interesting element that we spotted here was the flat bottom in front of the rear wheels of the Lotus. This team followed almost the same path as the Red Bull in Austin, in terms of development of the exhaust area of the car. In a few words, their concept in terms of exploiting the benefits of the hot gases blowing to generate the famous ‘Gulf stream’ effect, is the same. Here we had, once more, the confirmation that the airflow management of both cars (both Renault- powered) follows the same design principles. As with the RB, the E21 sports a final metal plate featuring an array of 3 slits to help divert outwardly the vortices generated by the rear wheels. This small development was carried out in conjunction with the adoption of the engine exhaust blowing straight backwards, instead of outwards. Being the last race of the season it is also time to say thank you to all of you who demonstrated interest in reading these tech reports, giving huge motivation to us and me personally to continue and give you even better info and insight next season. For us tech- heads, GPWEEK-2014 has already started! Brazil – 2014 is already well-advanced TeCHNICAL PAOLO FILISETTI Technical Editor 40 GPWEEK.com // 40 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: F1 >>> BRAZIL