May 26, 2024

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F1's latest technical modifications have nowhere to hide in the Bahrain test

F1’s latest technical modifications have nowhere to hide in the Bahrain test

Day two of Formula 1 pre-season testing in Bahrain is in the books, and with nowhere for the cars to hide, there are plenty of interesting details for us to uncover.

There was plenty of early door-to-door action, just as there was on day one, with teams taking advantage of that time right as the session kicked off to do some steady pace runs before getting into the thick of the action.

Mercedes W14

Photo from: Giorgio Piola

McLaren MCL60 details

Photo from: Giorgio Piola

The paddles used carry an array of kiel sensors that measure pressure in the ambient flow field, and data from them can be used to verify correlations between the teams’ real-world environment and simulation tools.

You see, like car designs, the same aerodynamics serve different purposes. Mercedes, for example, had the pistons mounted in front of the rear wheels and the coke bottle area of ​​the W14, with all the kiel sensors placed in a uniform fashion.

The McLaren pistons were, at least in this case, slightly wider and set in the diaphragm of the car, around the sidepods and airbox, while the scoop itself also had its own features that set it apart.

Alpine A523 rear spoiler detail

Photo from: Giorgio Piola

Alpine has made major changes to the rear of its car as the season approaches, with the switch to push-rod rear suspension having a knock-on effect on packaging options and aerodynamics.

This angle allows us to see some of the suspension details mounted above the bumper structure and inside the rear cooling outlet, while also providing a wide view of the bi-plane wing-bar arrangement and tightly radiated diffuser angles.

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Also note that the Y-Lon backing thermal strips installed in the rear spoiler will help the team monitor temperatures in that area.

Sergio Pérez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photography: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Pictures

Red Bull Racing’s RB19, with float paint applied to the front suspension arms, along the chassis side and side ends, is where the team looks for visual confirmation that the airflow is behaving as intended.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Photography: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Pictures

Ferrari opted for a similar approach, albeit spraying float paint on the rear suspension, floor and coke bottle area (above).

Ferrari SF-23 brake detail

Photo from: Giorgio Piola

The SF-23 is also equipped with a solution that many of Ferrari’s competitors have already embraced through the 2022 model year, as the disc brakes now sport their own housing inside the brake master cylinder to help control the passage of heat and airflow around the assembly more succinctly.

Alfa Romeo C43 detail

Photo from: Giorgio Piola

The Alfa Romeo C43 without the sidewall and hood in place not only demonstrates the work done to populate the interior components—such as radiators, coolers and electronics—it’s also a visual lesson in how teams don’t shrink components in all the places they might have in the past.

The void that can be seen behind the radiators has to do with heat rejection, airflow rate and perhaps most importantly, the ability to mold to the exoskeleton structure for aerodynamic reasons.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG

Photography: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Pictures

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This shot of the Mercedes W14 allows us to appreciate many aspects of the car’s design, including the wedge-shaped structure applied to the chassis around the front suspension, which helps wash airflow to the rear surfaces of it, while the squared-off side inlet but top line can also be noted. wider to the lateral side.

That front section of the sidecar now blends with the car’s wider, sloping side body, while the rack-like hood, complete with gulley, is a feature that Mercedes has overdone in 2023.

Interestingly, the amount of enclosed lines in the W14’s bodywork suggests a high level of modularity, which means that any changes that may be imminent will be relatively easy to achieve.

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