Engineers suggest to F1 Flow.com that the source of this superiority stems from the balance of drag produced by the RB19’s rear and beam wings.
The vehicle uses a larger rear wing surface to augment drag, resulting in a heightened DRS advantage when the flap is opened.
Red Bull mitigates the effects of this increased surface by implementing a considerably lower drag – occasionally utilizing a single element at tracks not requiring utmost downforce – beam wing.
This specific beam wing allows the team to preserve straight-line efficacy, notwithstanding the larger rear wing surface.
McLaren seems to be attempting to duplicate this strategy through adjustments made to its MCL60 for Spa. Although still relying on a dual-element beam wing, a fresh offloaded design will shift load from the beam wing to the rear wing mainplane, thereby diminishing aerodynamic load and drag.
McLaren MCL60 technical specifics
Photo by: Matt Kew
Furthermore, the team has crafted a revised rear wing endplate to further alleviate the mainplane’s loading. They have also added two different trims to the trailing edge of the rear wing flap element to aid in reducing drag and load further.
The focus of the remaining grid, apart from Mercedes’ more comprehensive upgrades and reshaped sidepods, has been on implementing new wings to better acclimate to high-speed Spa.
Conversely, Alpine has made efforts to introduce a revamped floor along with its low-downforce front wing. The new floor features, ‘canoe ramps’, and a smoother diffuser wall are expected to enhance load.
In a similar vein, Aston Martin has slightly adjusted the floor edge of its AMR23, aiming to boost the airflow and its interaction with the rest of the floor.
Alfa Romeo has downsized both its rear wing and beam wing – shifting to a single lower element – and reshaped the front wing flaps to enhance its straight-line performance.
Red Bull’s sister team, AlphaTauri, has modified the dimension of its rear wing tips by expanding the cut-outs, leading to “an efficient increase in local load of the upper wing assembly by increasing the tip loading”.
Williams, soon to announce the hiring of Alpine’s Pat Fry as its new chief technical officer, has designed the rear corner to meet the Belgian circuit’s demands.
Alpine A523 specifics
Photo by: Uncredited
New, truncated winglets on the rear brake ducts will interact with the rear wing to optimize the downforce and drag range of the car.
Additionally, the front wing’s rearmost element can now be trimmed to provide a shorter chord length, thereby decreasing loading and accommodating the lower-drag rear wing configuration.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Spa F1 upgrades
What advantage does Red Bull have in qualifying?
Red Bull consistently exhibits an upper hand during qualifying with a top speed advantage of up to 5mph when drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez engage their Drag Reduction System (DRS) on the main straights.
What strategy is McLaren trying to replicate from Red Bull?
McLaren is striving to duplicate Red Bull’s strategy of balancing the drag produced by the rear and beam wings. They’ve made adjustments to their MCL60, including an offloaded design to shift load from the beam wing to the rear wing mainplane, thereby reducing aerodynamic load and drag.
What specific modifications has McLaren made to its MCL60 for Spa?
McLaren has crafted a revised rear wing endplate to alleviate the mainplane’s loading. They have also added two different trims to the trailing edge of the rear wing flap element to help in reducing drag and load further.
What changes have other teams made for high-speed Spa?
Apart from Mercedes’ comprehensive upgrades, teams like Alpine, Aston Martin, Alfa Romeo, and AlphaTauri have introduced unique aerodynamic adaptations, including implementing new wings, revamping floors, and adjusting wing flaps, to better acclimate to high-speed Spa.
Who is expected to join Williams as the new chief technical officer?
Williams is expected to announce the hiring of Alpine’s Pat Fry as its new chief technical officer.