Mercedes has undertaken significant upgrades to their W14 Formula 1 car, particularly focusing on the sidepods area, following their decision to abandon the zeropod concept after the Monaco Grand Prix. The team has diligently worked on optimizing the new development direction and introduced several key changes, which are detailed in the FIA technical submission documents.
One noticeable modification is seen in the sidepods region, where the team has removed the eyebrow-style vortex generator that was previously placed atop the SIS fairing. This decision was taken as the generator negatively affected the overall airflow in that area of the car. Additionally, the shape and size of the sidepod inlet have been revised, shifting from a boxier design to a more cylindrical one. This adjustment not only improves engine cooling but also allows for a reduction in the number of louvres needed for a given cooling level.
These changes have significant implications for the airflow’s movement around this part of the car, leading to considerable alterations in the undercut, which, in turn, affects the management of the tire wake generated by the front tire.
Moving to the rear portion of the sidepod, a deeper curvature has been introduced to manage the airflow at the back of the car. This design change contributes to enhancing the flow towards the rear wing, resulting in increased downforce and drag.
Another noticeable alteration is observed in the downwash ramp section of the upper surface, which now exhibits a more abrupt drop-off towards the floor. This is associated with the metal floor support spar, which now intersects the outer wall of the ramp section before reappearing and connecting with the engine cover.
Recognizing the influence of the sidepods on the car’s performance, Mercedes has also made adjustments to the floor’s edge, reducing the number of flow control strakes housed in the scrolled edge wing from three to two.
Furthermore, Mercedes has introduced a new lower downforce rear wing, featuring a redesign of both the mainplane and upper flap. This redesign aims to reduce downforce and drag to better suit the demands of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Overall, Mercedes has made a series of targeted and substantial upgrades to the W14, demonstrating their commitment to improving performance and competitiveness in the ongoing Formula 1 season.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about F1TechUpgrades
What upgrades did Mercedes introduce for the W14 F1 car?
Mercedes introduced major upgrades to the sidepods area of the W14 F1 car. These upgrades focused on optimizing airflow and downforce, involving changes in the sidepod inlet’s shape and size, as well as the removal of the eyebrow-style vortex generator.
How did the changes to the sidepods affect the car’s performance?
The changes to the sidepods had a significant impact on the car’s performance. They altered the airflow’s passage around that portion of the car, leading to considerable modifications in the undercut and influencing how the tire wake generated by the front tire is managed.
What were the modifications in the rear portion of the sidepod?
Mercedes implemented a deeper curvature in the rear portion of the sidepod to manage the airflow at the rear of the car. This design change improved onset flow to the rear of the car, notably enhancing the rear wing’s downforce and drag.
What other adjustments were made to the car’s components?
Alongside the sidepod upgrades, Mercedes also made changes to the floor’s edge, reducing the number of flow control strakes housed in the scrolled edge wing from three to two. Additionally, they introduced a new lower downforce rear wing with redesigned mainplane and upper flap to meet the demands of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
How did the modifications contribute to the car’s performance improvement?
The upgrades and changes introduced by Mercedes aimed to optimize the car’s aerodynamics, resulting in improved airflow, downforce, and reduced drag. These improvements were crucial for enhancing the car’s performance on the track, particularly at the challenging Spa-Francorchamps circuit.