Matt Somerfield

The five striking aero solutions of F1 2022

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Design restrictions this season have fueled fears about F1 cars recognizable only by the shape of their sidepods. However, fans could see several interesting solutions on either side of the grid. So let’s go over some of the key areas of the car that the teams were able to flower their concepts on.

The nose

The new rules were written not only to try to make the races more competitive but also to prevent the cars from looking ugly. The nose is an area that has been plagued with questionable shapes in recent years, with teams taking drastic measures to try and get around the constraints placed on them.

The desire to increase the volume of airflow under the central axis of the car has given rise to interpretations as inventive as they are unexpected in recent years, from the stairs of the 2012 season to the double nose of Lotus in 2014 .

Click on the arrows or use those on your keyboard to move from one photo to another.

Ferrari F2012 front wing (2012)

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In the period since the 2009 rule change, teams have continued to look for ways to raise their noses. In order to limit this phenomenon, the FIA ​​made changes for 2012, which led to the unsightly solution of the “stepped nose”.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull RB8 front wing (2012)

Red Bull RB8 front wing (2012)

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Red Bull also had a staircase in 2012, but the nose of the RB8 also had a letterbox-shaped opening to cool the rider using the airflow rushing through it.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The S-duct of the Sauber C31 (2012)

The S-duct of the Sauber C31 (2012)

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At Sauber, the S-duct was making a comeback, with the Swiss team having harnessed the airflow passing under the nose to route it, via an S-shaped pipe, to the top of the chassis and thus reduce the aerodynamic impact. “broken” nose.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The atypical front wing of the Lotus E22 (2014)

The atypical front wing of the Lotus E22 (2014)

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The Lotus E22’s nose is an extreme example of how a team can interpret a rule. With one end longer than the other, the team was able to move the tip of their nose and create a passage in the center to help the airflow through.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The front wing of the Force India VJM07 (2014)

The front wing of the Force India VJM07 (2014)

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While Lotus found a way to dig their nose in 2014, many other teams opted for a less aesthetically flattering solution with a long extension to comply with the rules while still allowing airflow. to drive under the center section of the car.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The 2022 rules, however, have been designed to put these aesthetically unpleasant shapes on the shelf, even if the teams can always surprise us. As for the current design, its shape depends on how the team wants the element to interact with the front wing, specifically connecting it to the mainplane or the second flap.

In this regard, several teams have opted for modular designs, which gives them the possibility of making changes if they find more performance with another solution without having to revise the whole assembly and pass new crash tests. For example, as seen below with Ferrari and Red Bull, the internal structure of the nose is shorter than the bodywork that envelops it, so it can be modified easily.

Ferrari F1-75 nose
Red Bull Racing RB18 front nose

The bib wing

Another solution that has quickly gained popularity on the grid, having been seen on the Aston Martin AMR22 when it was presented, is the “bib wing”: a fin located on both sides of the keel. It was quickly adopted by Ferrari, which took only a week between the launch of the AMR22 and its car to do all the necessary simulations and produce its own version.

And although the other teams reacted later, Red Bull, Mercedes and Alpine all ended up modifying their keel to maximize aerodynamic efficiency. Paradoxically, Aston Martin judged that its bib wing did not make its new concept (unveiled at the Spanish GP) more efficient and therefore withdrew it for the moment.

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The keel of the Red Bull Racing RB18

The keel of the Red Bull Racing RB18

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The adoption of the bib wing on the RB18 also coincided with the tapering of the keel, so the team could sport larger fins.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Zoom on the Alpine A522

Zoom on the Alpine A522

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Beneath the chassis and behind the most advanced floor elements is the Alpine A522’s wing bib.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Brawn BGP001, Williams FW32 and McLaren MP4-31 splitters

Brawn BGP001, Williams FW32 and McLaren MP4-31 splitters

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The bib wing is not new. While the 2009 Brawn is best known for its dual diffuser, it also had a similar bib wing arrangement under the chassis to form a vortex. Williams used a similar solution in 2010, before McLaren’s “bat” arrived in 2016.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari SF16-H wing comparison at Malaysian GP and Japanese GP

Ferrari SF16-H wing comparison at Malaysian GP and Japanese GP

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In 2016, Ferrari tested different elements in this same region. They were not connected to the keel or the splitter however.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Around the cockpit

Another area where we saw different choices in the design is the cockpit, especially the mirrors and the Halo. Indeed, the addition of fins, or the modification of the surfaces, makes it possible to obtain an aerodynamic advantage. The teams introduced various solutions, some having disliked, others having simply been copied.

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Mercedes W13

Mercedes W13

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Mercedes’ rear-view mirror mount caused a stir when it was first seen in pre-season testing. But since the regulations allow such a solution, the star brand did not have to worry. Recently, the team added an additional support, connected to the SIPS fairing (red arrow).

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alpha Tauri AT03

Alpha Tauri AT03

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Although Mercedes’ solution got all the attention, the AlphaTauri AT03 also has a segmented mirror mount.

Photo by: Mark Sutton/Motorsport Images

Red Bull RB18

Red Bull RB18

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In line with what was done in 2021, Red Bull has this season small fins on the side of the Halo.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alpine A522

Alpine A522

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Same thing for the Alpine A522.

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Aston Martin AMR22

Aston Martin AMR22

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Aston Martin has tried several fin layouts on the Halo: from horns (purple arrow) at the start of the season, to vanes (blue arrow). A vertical fin has also been added to the edges of the Halo to redirect the airflow path (red arrow).

Picture from: Uncredited

Ferrari F1-75

Ferrari F1-75

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Ferrari also features a similar fin, which is curved to further influence airflow. Also note the other fin mounted on Halo, a little further forward.

McLaren MCL36

McLaren MCL36

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Like other teams on the grid, McLaren also has a fin placed near the cockpit. In the case of the British stable, it coincides with the position of the cooling grid.

cooling racks

Since the FIA ​​has announced the return of the cooling grids, the teams have had a field day to evacuate the heat from the internal components by placing them at the top of the sidepods. But Haas and Alpine have also used grilles at the bottom of the engine cover. It’s not a great first in F1 but the design remains interesting.

As for Alpine, its design is similar to the solution used on the 2021 A521, with a small part of the engine cover fin detached, under which there are three grilles to control how heat is rejected. The solution used on the Haas VF-22 is to detach a larger portion of the engine cover fin, exposing 12 grids and the wastegate exhaust.

Alpine A522 rear detail
Haas VF-22 engine cover detail

The beam wing

Absent since 2014, the beam wing is back this season. Designers can now use up to two elements to provide structural and aerodynamic support to the rear wing.

However, while most teams have taken what could be considered the conventional approach, Red Bull has gone its own way by piling one strand on top of the other. This solution was recently adopted by Alpine.

It’s also worth noting that in order to reduce drag, Red Bull has removed the top element in recent races.

Red Bull Racing RB18 new beam wing comparison
Alpine A522 beam wing comparison
Read also:

#striking #aero #solutions


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