The devel­op­ment war

Mercedes and Fer­rari waged an in­tense devel­op­ment war through­out the 2018 sea­son. Gior­gio Pi­ola was there to cap­ture ev­ery ma­jor devel­op­ment as they ap­peared

Autosport (UK) - - F1 SEASON REVIEW | MERCEDES V FERRARI - Gior­gio Pi­ola and Gary An­der­son

Rear sus­pen­sion

Mercedes was the only team to raise the pick-up point of its rear up­per wish­bone in 2018, a move that im­proves both the down­force level of the car and the con­sis­tency with which it is de­liv­ered. Mercedes has gone for a more-in­board and higher pick-up point. The pull­rod pick-up ap­pears to be just be­low the wish­bone pick-up, al­low­ing bet­ter sys­tem stiff­ness with­out adding weight. This al­lowed Mercedes to move the lower wish­bone higher and away from the dif­fuser up­per sur­face, creat­ing bet­ter air­flow over the top of the dif­fuser. This, in turn, helps to get more air­flow out of the dif­fuser it­self and im­proves over­all un­der­floor per­for­mance. More im­por­tantly, it re­moves the block­age of the out­board end of the wish­bone and moves the pull­rod in­board and up­ward that lit­tle bit, al­low­ing Mercedes space to use rear brake ducts with more turn­ing vanes. These im­prove the per­for­mance of the out­board area of the dif­fuser and also pro­duce down­force in their own right. This load goes di­rectly onto the tyre con­tact patch, so there is no time lag in the grip this pro­duces as the sus­pen­sion moves up and down over kerbs and bumps. Also, un­der brak­ing, when the rear of the car starts to rise and semi-un­loads the rear con­tact patch, this load, di­rectly onto the wheel and tyre, is more con­sis­tent and im­proves the re­li­a­bil­ity of the rear grip and cor­ner en­try.

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