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27 February 2015
Bite Size Tech: Mercedes W06 new diffuser and Y100 Gurneys





Mercedes have introduced a new diffuser for the last test here in Barcelona, with changes made to the central boat tail.  I've highlighted the contour changes on the diffuser in the inset above, which provide a different angle of attack to their previous, flatter configuration (below), likely in an effort to give better balance.  You'll also note that the team have made changes to the Y100 region around the crash structure, changing both the ladder winglets and removing the longitudinal triangular strakes.  Like the diffuser below the winglet and gurney are contoured to match the diffusers surface changes, whilst you'll note the upper of the ladder winglets also extends back over the floor section to further capture and use the airflow migrating under the crash structure.

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Bite Size Tech: Toro Rosso STR10(B) (3rd pre-season test)

James Key was eager to attest to the widesweeping changes that can be seen on the STR10 here in Barcelona as he admitted the initial car was just a banker to get mileage under both the new drivers belts.

As part of this almost B spec car the STR10 is sporting a new nose, as their original longer nose was easier to get through the crash tests.  The shorter 'thumb' style nose is similar in design to Red Bull and Williams and should allow more airflow to travel under the nose.  The team had originally used camera stalks, in a similar vein to those used by Mercedes, Ferrari and latterly Red Bull last season.  With all the teams having received a technical directive from Charlie Whiting in regard to their legality, Toro Rosso have abandoned them in their latest design, opting for a simple side mounting.
The change in nose has also prompted a rethink on the chassis, as pectoral fins have sprouted on the upper surfaces periphery.  These will help guide the airflow, spilling vortices that will assist in the sidepods performance.

The STR10's front wing (right, below) is now a 5 flap, 6 outer tier configuration and more than ever resembles the sort of layout you'd see on the Red Bull car.  Changes have also been made to the cascades, with a smaller arrangement now hung from the main cascade.


Toro Rosso had been deliberately cautious with the STR10's cooling as they always tend to be, at this final pre-season test the team have deleted the oil cooler snorkels though (upper left inset, below), with the job likely taken care of by the the main airbox.
A new vertical strake has been added to the STR10 in the tyre deck region (below), helping to control how tyre squirt impinges on the diffusers performance.  The shorter triangular strake that's been added is also curved in toward the sidepod, rolling the airflow it receives.

The team have also changed their rear wing support pylon, previously the pylon attached to the lower forward edge of the mainplane (left inset, below), whilst the new support is a swan-neck style pylon, connecting to the DRS actuator above the mainplane.  This will help reduce separation on the underside of the mainplane, especially in yaw as it affords the mainplane more freestream airflow.

The team have changed their Y100 winglet (monkey seat), which now bears some resemblance to the one the team used initially in 2014.  I'm rather sad to see their previous (leaf) iteration go as it looked so elegant but this one obviously has been designed to interact with the other structures more efficiently.  It has three main elements, joined to curved endplates.  These curved elements are reminiscent of the ones used by Mercedes on the W05's winglet and look to manipulate the exhaust plume.
The team have made widesweeping changes to the STR10's rear wing endplates, the new ones (right,below) feature twin leading edge tyre wake slots, an array of strakes which promote the upwash of the airflow, whilst the louvres have been reshaped too.
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26 February 2015
Bite Size Tech: Williams FW37 sidepod airflow conditioners (3rd pre-season test)

Williams have a plethora of new parts at the final pre-season test in Barcelona, as they look to extract further performance from the FW37.  Part of that upgrade package is a new set of airflow conditioners, which rather than simply being vertical elements now arch over to meet with the sidepods shoulder.  The airflow conditioners have also been splayed outward from their leading edge, something we have seen Red Bull do for some time now.  Their intent as ever is to protect the airflow that feeds around the sidepods undercut from the front wheel tyre wake, splaying them shows more surface area to the wake.  The added arch provides further protection to the flow over the sidepods from the upper tyre wake, increasing efficiency across the sidepod.  As the arch now falls on top of the previous vortex generators location (see below) a fresh vortex generator has been added slightly inbound of this (marked in yellow, above).
Several people have commented to me, that they couldn't understand why the Williams doesn't appear to have such a large undercut as some of its rivals.  This is true but only because their whole sidepod is narrower, if you look at the image above you'll see that the crash structure (standard across the grid) protrudes from the sidepod, looking like a blister.  This blister is retained with the new setup but no longer has the smaller connecting rod to the sidepod airflow conditioner.


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Bite Size Tech: Williams FW37 New rear wing (3rd pre-season test)

Williams had up until now been the exception to the rule on the grid, as their rear wing remained pylon-less up until this test.  The team have a totally re-designed rear wing here in Barcelona though, as many of the features that meant it didn't run a pylon can be traded off in the re-design.  The pylon is an inverted Y-Lon, mounted to the crash structure it adds rigidity to the rear wing, whilst circling the exhaust.  The exhaust plume will likely interact with this section and pull airflow through it (like an aspirator) assisting in cooling the rear of the FW37.  The upper section of the Y-Lon has a swan neck style design, which connects with the DRS actuator pod, leaving the underside of the mainplane less affected by its wake.

The rigidity added by the Y-Lon means the team no longer need to run the floor level wing they ran during 2014 (above, yellow), giving them more scope in terms of diffuser design.

As we can see in the inset above, the team have either opted to change the length of the endplates and/or the suspension layout, as the lower rear suspension elements now pass through the endplate.
The teams overall change in tact to change the rigidity of the rear wing will mean that they can make shape/geometry/weight changes to the endplates going forward, that may not have been possible with their previous specification.
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Bite Size Tech: Williams FW37 serrated bargeboards (3rd pre-season test)

Williams have an array of updates to assess at this 3rd test one of which is a new set of bargeboards.  As we can see in the inset, the team have serrated their bargeboards in a similar way to what we have seen Red Bull, Toro Rosso, Lotus and Mercedes do before.  The serrations inject airflow from one side of the bargeboard to the other, energising the region and widening their operating window.  This is of particular use at lower speeds as flow tends to become detached, as it cannot overcome the angle of attack and/or surface length as effectively.  The changes to the bargeboards come at the same time as other components around the sidepod are altered.
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