The current ruleset for F1, introduced in 2022, fostered a rather prescriptive process for constructing the rear wing. The common design trend resulted in a curved fusion between the top component and the mainplane with the rear wing’s endplate.
This design innovation aimed to lessen the aerodynamic disturbances created by the rear wing. By having fewer exposed edges, the wing was less likely to generate tip vortices – an element that aerodynamic experts can incorporate into the car’s trailing airflow to augment downforce generation. The blending of the wing vortices and the diffuser exit created a sizable low-pressure zone behind the car, enhancing underbody airflow acceleration and consequently, more downforce.
However, the 2022 rules aimed to curb this, although they failed to hinder the ingenuity of engineers seeking to enhance wing performance.
AlphaTauri’s newly-designed wing appears to be the most aggressive adaptation yet. The top flap has been almost entirely disconnected from the endplate to reveal the wing tips. The connection points to the mainplane have been subtly repositioned inwards to maintain this exposure, triggering vortices as the high-pressure air above attempts to transition to the lower-pressure zone below.
Aston Martin AMR23 and Alfa Romeo C43 Rear Wing Comparison
Photo by: Jake Boxall-Legge
This modification will enable it to harness more downforce from the rear wing setup, connecting it to the beam wing and diffuser’s effectiveness. The Hungaroring’s reputation for requiring high downforce, similar to Monaco, underscores the importance of this upgrade.
Other teams have also experimented with altering the attachment points in a bid to expose the wing tips to the maximum extent and pursue additional performance.
Aston Martin’s rear wing design bears the closest resemblance to the AlphaTauri model, although the top flap’s front corner is not left exposed as it blends into the wing body.
Alfa Romeo’s rear wing includes a small bolstered attachment point with a metallic insert. However, the wing tip has been extended downwards to create a marginally more exposed tip, generating a comparable effect.
The FIA regulations stipulate that “once the Rear Wing Endplate Body and Rear Wing Tip are fully defined, they must be joined to create one unified volume with no remaining overlapping surfaces.”
In its pre-race technical documents, AlphaTauri asserted that “the rear wing tip changes result in an efficient increase in loading of the wing elements.”
The car also boasts other enhancements, such as a slightly elevated nose and a new front wing, while the floor has been redesigned underneath the car to endow the AT04 with increased downforce.
AlphaTauri AT04 Technical Detail
Photo by: Jake Boxall-Legge
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about AlphaTauri Rear Wing Design
What is the change in AlphaTauri’s new rear wing design?
AlphaTauri’s new rear wing design features a more detached top flap from the endplate, which exposes the wing tips. The attachment points to the mainplane have been moved slightly inwards, aiming to generate vortices and enhance downforce.
What was the purpose of the 2022 rules regarding the F1 rear wing design?
The 2022 rules intended to regulate the rear wing design to reduce the turbulence produced by the rear wing. It aimed to limit the creation of tip vortices and consequently control downforce generation. However, these rules failed to limit the creativity of engineers looking for more performance from the wing.
What modifications have other teams like Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo made to their rear wings?
Aston Martin’s rear wing design is the closest to AlphaTauri’s. However, unlike AlphaTauri, the front corner of their top flap is not exposed. Alfa Romeo’s rear wing, on the other hand, features a small bolstered attachment point with a metallic insert and an extended downwards wing tip to create a marginally more exposed tip.
What is the significance of the new design changes in relation to the Hungaroring?
The Hungaroring is a circuit that requires high downforce, similar to Monaco. The radical design changes made by AlphaTauri aim to extract more downforce, highlighting the importance of these modifications for circuits like the Hungaroring.
What are the additional modifications on the AlphaTauri car?
Apart from the rear wing, AlphaTauri’s car also features a slightly raised nose, a new front wing, and a redefined floor underneath the car, all aiming to increase the downforce of the vehicle.