More was hidden beneath the surface of the upgrade than was immediately visible, particularly since Aston Martin was rather reticent when discussing the alterations made in the formal car presentation submission document before the event began.
It’s become common practice, as all teams have grown used to speaking about their car changes at each Grand Prix in broad terms over time.
Initially, when this new F1 era began, in-depth analysis of changes was the norm. Now, most teams prefer a more comprehensive approach to describe modifications made in the various legality zones/boxes, leaving the specifics of the actual changes to be investigated further.
A prime illustration from Aston Martin is the modifications to its sidepods. These changes weren’t noted in its submission documents, yet they’ve clearly been revamped as part of the AMR23’s overall upgrade package.
This omission could be because, unlike Mercedes and Ferrari who recently changed concepts, Aston Martin focused on enhancing existing structures to boost performance.
The most noticeable modification was made to the water slide-style gulley, now narrowed and starting a bit further back, causing a steeper drop into the bodywork’s ramp section.
This adjustment changes the bodywork’s shoulder profile and leads to the rear ramped section being modified where it joins the floor.
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
Simultaneously, the lower part of the sidepod has been refined, the bodywork tightened to create more room in the backfill channel (red arrow, left image, below). This adjustment permits greater airflow to the car’s rear and improves the floor edge, which has also been adjusted.
The primary change here involves the rearward cutout, which has been broadened (yellow double arrows) and allowed the protruding flap in the recess to be expanded.
Noteworthy is the modification made in front of the undercut and backfill channel. Aston Martin borrows from Red Bull’s strategy again, using a bridging panel (blue arrow, right image, below) to fill the previously existing channel where the chassis and floor interface (red arrow, right image, inset, below).
This will clearly affect the airflow over the floor into the undercut area.
However, it also alters the airflow behavior below the chassis and its passage under the floor, where there are certainly many unseen changes.
Also, the outer floor fence has been adjusted, now featuring a double serration on top of the shortened semi-circular transition.
At the car’s rear, the cooling outlet bodywork has been revised, featuring a letterbox-style outlet running down the engine cover’s spine. This has resulted in a change in approach concerning the shark fin, which now stands out from the cooling outlet.
The cooling cannon’s bodywork has also been lifted and widened to enhance its interaction with the new sidepod bodywork and modify the heat rejection in accordance with the new spine outlet.
Photo by: Uncredited
Red Bull, while not having an upgrade package comparable to Aston Martin’s, continued to show its strength by introducing a new front wing design in Canada.
The changes, though, hold no surprises. They’re simply fine-tunings of the current design to better suit the circuit’s demands and synchronize with the necessary balance for their chosen rear and beam wing.
Photo by: Uncredited
There are subtle geometric differences across the flaps’ span. However, the most distinct differences lie at the inboard end, with the fixed sections closest to the nose changed, along with the curvature shape on the upper flap’s leading edge, just outside of the adjuster pivot.
At the Canadian Grand Prix, Haas also introduced several changes for the VF-23, with a new rear wing design being the most significant, changing from a twin to single pillar design.
Interestingly, they chose to run their cars with both configurations during the Grand Prix, with Nico Hulkenberg’s VF-23 maintaining the older design, while Kevin Magnussen’s car was fitted with the new rear wing.
There’s no clear consensus among teams about which design is superior. Mainly, it boils down to a trade-off between weight and aerodynamic efficiency.
The single pillar design, if properly optimized, can offer better airflow management around the wing and can be connected to the DRS pod.
Photo by: Uncredited
However, the single-pillar design is likely to weigh slightly more than the twin-pillar counterpart, as it needs to be sturdier to handle the loads it will encounter.
The pillar’s mounting also needs to be considered. While the twin pillar design will mount on either side of the crash structure, the single pillar must wrap around the exhaust.