F1 technical update: Mercedes, Ferrari, Racing Point & Red Bull

Giorgio Piola
·3-min read

Teams arrived at the British GP knowing that the track posed a very different challenge compared with the opening three rounds. With the top four teams showing varying degrees of strengths and weaknesses, we saw an array of downforce levels chosen at Silverstone.

Mercedes

Mercedes F1 W11 rear wing detail British GP

Mercedes F1 W11 rear wing detail British GP<span class="copyright">Giorgio Piola</span>
Mercedes F1 W11 rear wing detail British GPGiorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

Mercedes AMG F1 W11 rear wing

Mercedes AMG F1 W11 rear wing<span class="copyright">Giorgio Piola</span>
Mercedes AMG F1 W11 rear wingGiorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

The superior level of downforce that the W11 possesses compared with its predecessor had already seen Mercedes taking less wing angle, relative to last year, in the opening few races. And it’s a trend that’s continued for Silverstone (above left) – it ran less wing angle than earlier this season (above right), while also stripping the Gurney tab from the trailing edge of the upper flap.

It’s also worth noting that this lower downforce design also features the single-mounting pillar tested at the last pre-season test and featured in the revised wing that the team used at the Styrian GP. 

Ferrari SF1000 rear wing detail British GP

Ferrari SF1000 rear wing detail British GP<span class="copyright">Giorgio Piola</span>
Ferrari SF1000 rear wing detail British GPGiorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

Ferrari continues to struggle with a top-speed deficit to its rivals, due to the changes that have been forced upon the power unit, resulting in a deficit of around 40bhp to Mercedes, who found extra performance for 2020.

Racing Point RP20 rear wing detail British GP

Racing Point RP20 rear wing detail British GP<span class="copyright">Giorgio Piola</span>
Racing Point RP20 rear wing detail British GPGiorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

At the other end of the spectrum to Ferrari was Racing Point, who not only decided to run with a much more substantially sized rear wing – akin to what we’ve seen in the opening rounds – it also continued to utilize a T-Wing too.

This extra downforce undoubtedly made the car much more stable through the high-speed corners than its rivals, which came at the cost of a higher drag penalty that undoubtedly had an impact on straightline speed.

Red Bull Racing RB16 rear wing detail British GP

Red Bull Racing RB16 rear wing detail British GP<span class="copyright">Giorgio Piola</span>
Red Bull Racing RB16 rear wing detail British GPGiorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

Red Bull Racing RB16 rear wing endplate comparison

Red Bull Racing RB16 rear wing endplate comparison<span class="copyright">Giorgio Piola</span>
Red Bull Racing RB16 rear wing endplate comparisonGiorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

Red Bull was another team to try a new rear wing for the British GP, as it too hoped to shed some drag and improve straightline speed. This is the third rear wing configuration we’ve seen the team use in four races, with yet more new features and the return of some old ones too. 

The wing featured the curved spoon-shaped mainplane that we’re accustomed to seeing teams use to retain downforce and stability but also cut back on some of the drag. 

Red Bull Racing RB16 front wing Austrian GP

Red Bull Racing RB16 front wing Austrian GP<span class="copyright">Giorgio Piola</span>
Red Bull Racing RB16 front wing Austrian GPGiorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola

Interestingly, having flip-flopped between both drivers since they introduced it in Austria, both drivers raced a different nose design for the first time at Silverstone. The new version carries the core DNA of the original design but rather than have two inlet in the ramped section of the nose it has the single inlet like the secondary design used by Red Bull (inset).

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