As anticipated, McLaren and Alpine have introduced notable updates to their front wings for the British Grand Prix. The focus of these modifications lies primarily in the outer section, aiming to enhance the outwash effect by altering the interaction between the flaps and endplate.
Alpine’s approach involves increasing the chord length of the mainplane while reducing the chord length of the three subsequent flaps. This adjustment effectively narrows the gap between each flap at the endplate connection, resulting in a more tightly configured wing.
Moreover, Alpine has made changes to the diveplane, elevating it to a higher position and refining its profile to suit the new conditions. Additionally, the pod housing the infra-red tyre monitoring camera has been relocated lower with an upward angle, likely to improve its aerodynamic impact rather than its perspective.
Moving inward, McLaren has widened the movable sections of the upper flap, while the non-moveable section has been narrowed. Consequently, the shape of the flaps has been adjusted accordingly. The leading edge of the mainplane and second flap have also been re-contoured to account for these modifications and facilitate smooth airflow around the wing and nose area.
Following their impressive update package at the Austrian Grand Prix, which only Lando Norris had the opportunity to test, McLaren introduces their new front wing and modified nose at the British Grand Prix. The changes implemented at the outer end of the wing align with the development direction observed in Mercedes under the new regulations. Here, the flaps are semi-detached from the endplate, with metal spars bridging the gap between the two. This design provides three additional shedding surfaces in a critical wing region, allowing the airflow to be directed outwardly and improve outwash performance.
Both teams have clearly focused on optimizing local performance with these updates. However, a transition to an outwash-oriented front wing design often leads to downstream improvements due to the interconnected nature of flow structures. Alpine and McLaren have been actively making changes in these areas in recent races.
While Aston Martin has also made adjustments to their front wing for the British Grand Prix, they are comparatively less extensive than those of their rival teams. The upper two flaps have been tailored to better suit the demands of the Silverstone circuit. Consequently, new flaps have been installed, deviating from merely trimming down the existing design introduced at the Spanish Grand Prix.
For more information on Friday F1 practice at the British GP, read our coverage on:
- Insights from the practice sessions
- Hamilton’s observations on the Mercedes F1 car at Silverstone
- Williams’ unexpected pace in British GP practice
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about front wing upgrades
What changes have McLaren and Alpine made to their front wings at the British GP?
McLaren and Alpine have made several modifications to their front wings. Alpine increased the chord length of the mainplane and reduced the chord length of the flaps, while McLaren widened the movable sections of the upper flap and narrowed the non-moveable section. Both teams focused on improving the outwash effect and optimizing local performance.
Why did Alpine relocate the pod housing the infra-red tyre monitoring camera?
Alpine moved the pod to a lower position with an upward angle, primarily for its aerodynamic impact rather than for the view it provides. The new position likely enhances the aerodynamic properties of the pod in that location.
How have the front wing updates of McLaren and Alpine benefited them?
The front wing updates aim to improve the outwash effect and overall performance. By altering the interaction between the flaps and endplate, and utilizing semi-detached flaps with metal spars, both teams can direct airflow outwardly and enhance the flow structures. These changes can lead to improvements downstream in the car’s aerodynamics.
What changes has Aston Martin made to its front wing?
Aston Martin has made adjustments to its front wing for the British GP, although they are not as extensive as those made by McLaren and Alpine. The upper two flaps have been customized to better suit the demands of the Silverstone circuit. This has required the installation of new flaps, rather than using trimmed-down variants from a previous race.