MERCEDES FRONT WING

Autosport (UK) - - JAPANESE GP TECH - GARY ANDERSON

The air­flow struc­ture of the car is all set up by the front wing. It’s vi­tally im­por­tant that you min­imise changes to this area, since there may be un­in­tended con­se­quences for the per­for­mance of ev­ery com­po­nent down­stream.

Com­par­ing the Mercedes front wing from a very low-down­force track such as Monza (inset) to Suzuka shows how small those changes re­ally are. De­tails on the turn­ing vanes at the trail­ing top edge of the end­plate change it from a sin­gle el­e­ment to a dou­ble el­e­ment. This al­lows this com­po­nent to work harder and be more con­sis­tent.

The other small change for Suzuka was a slightly longer chord on the trail­ing flap (with Petronas logo). You can see the outer cor­ner now cuts back into the black part of the wing.

Nor­mally, to get an aero­dy­namic balance with vary­ing lev­els of rear wing, the easy way is to ad­just the front-wing an­gle. But that changes how the rest of the car works, so with these small front-wing al­ter­ations the team will have to have some other way of al­ter­ing the car’s balance. A slightly higher front ride height will cost front down­force but not al­ter any­thing else too dra­mat­i­cally.

MONZA SUZUKA CHANGES

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