The main floor trends in F1 2022 cars
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The bottom and diffuser of the new generation of ground effect cars have meant very different design challenges compared to the past and as such the learning curve remains quite steep.
With the pontoons (pontoons), these two areas have the greatest freedom to design new technical rules, and this is the main reason why we see so many variations.
However, as Grands Prix progresses, it’s understandable that we’re starting to see some convergence, especially if teams find “shortcuts” to extract more potential from their current designs before they start developing solutions. more mature.
We’ve also seen instances where some teams developed new parts that were discontinued earlier than expected, either because they realized they didn’t deliver the same performance on the track as they did in the simulator, or because they have found solutions that seem to be more promising.
An example of this would be Red Bull’s attempt to follow in the footsteps of Ferrari, which applied a cut to the edge of the ground just in front of the rear tire and added an extension that protruded below the ground during the British Grand Prix.
This solution was used again at the Austrian Grand Prix. However, during the French Grand Prix it was dropped when the team made further changes to the top which likely negated its need.
Red Bull it was the only team to combine a solution with two winglets on the outermost floor earlier in the season, which changed when Aston Martin unveiled its own redesign of the RB18’s overall concept. However, at Paul Ricard, the kit took a more classic approach with a single outer wing and three inner baffles.
In the meantime we have seen Ferrari going back and forth when it comes to its floor design, opting to follow a McLaren-like solution at first, with an L-shaped spoiler lip design that caught everyone’s eye during the pre-season testing .
Later, they switched to the “ice skating” solution which Red Bull had set up on the ground of the RB18 and which have since been copied by other teams, such as Alpine.
This interpretation, which is quite different, is mounted in the lower part of the ground and not only helps to define the passage of the air flow in this area, but also serves to limit the path from the bottom to the asphalt, which this year caused the pain porpoising.
At the same time, the Scuderia also adopted a “thorn” type design seen on both the RB18 as in the MCL36 . Although Ferrari opted for a single wedge or bump, while rivals preferred a three wedge approach.
It is hoped that this design could generate useful vortices to help feed the diffuser, but its function will likely be more to improve flow stability at a given height of the car, as the wedges will smooth out airflow and distribution pressure.
However, the latest version of the F1-75 floor has significantly minimized flanges, its designers betting on another feature seen on the Red Bullin which the lower front part of the floor is sculpted to function harmoniously.
Meanwhile, Mercedes have worked hard on the top surface of the pitch since the start of the season, unlike the vast majority of their rivals.
This involved not only constant changes in the aerodynamic aspect that presides over the edge of the floor as such, but also in the rigidity and/or flexibility of the different sections of the floor.
The German team were the first to install a metal reinforcement in the rear section of the floor to help reduce bottom flex during pre-season testing, and were likely relieved when the FIA introduced rule changes allowing all teams to use these reinforcements on the first race of the course.
The wavy floor edge is a feature we’ve seen before in mercedes before, but it was not kept for long, since the team changed it to a simpler solution.
At first Brackley’s men seemed reluctant to fit the type of fender lip allowed by the regulations and found on many other cars, perhaps preferring to fix the other problems he was facing at the time. .
However, as performance improved, a scythe-shaped edge spoiler was introduced, along with changes to the floor geometry in front and behind (illustrations below).
The changes that will be introduced in 2023 will no doubt have a direct impact on the tough development battle in the second half of the season as teams change their approach and have to consider other strands of development.
That doesn’t mean the research teams do for next season can’t yield their results this course, as they continue to be a different way of looking at a similar challenge.
Teams usually find transferable performances in these conditions, so it will be necessary to monitor the development of the final races of 2022.
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