Today we turn our attention on how they have adapted to the new regulations imposed in 2019 and how they’ve met those challenges with their front wing and nose designs.
Ferrari SF1000 front wing
Ferrari has made some subtle changes to its front wing and nose assembly for the 2020 season, with the nose tip being narrowed to allow for more airflow to be captured by the cape which joins it and the wing pillars.
Red Bull Racing RB15 front wing comparison Brazilian GP
Red Bull opted for a loaded front wing design in 2019, having full height flaps from where they extrude upward at their tip all the way to the endplate. Whereas other teams started to cut away large sections of their endplate’s rear corner or cut down the upper flap quite significantly, in order to soften the tip vortex formation, Red Bull was much more subtle.
In order to test its theories and get a head start on 2020, it did trial a new version of its wing at the Brazilian and Abu Dhabi GPs.
This new version featured a totally revised outboard treatment. Starting with the mainplane, all of the flaps exposed the underside of the wing and the guide strakes much more freely. The uppermost flap was also positioned much lower relative to the endplate, softening the tip vortex.
Red Bull has run a vented nose tip since 2018 (inset), the solution allowing airflow to exit straight out of the back of the nose tip and under the nose. However, at some races during 2019 it opted to run a closed version of the nose tip instead, with certain tracks or conditions not conducive to the air flowing through the bodywork.
Red Bull Racing RB 16 front wing comparsion
2020 has seen the team ramp up its efforts when it comes to its overall nose design, with the team following in the footsteps of others that have adopted narrower bodies and the cape solution.
The complexity of the vented section of the nose has also been increased too, with the lower nozzle still allowing airflow to flow straight out under the nose but joined by four new channels - two on the ramped section of the nose tip and two either side of it which feed airflow to the cape.
The upper of the two images shows the guide vanes added on the rear-end of the cape during pre-season testing.
Mercedes W10 front wing endplate comparison
Development continued apace for Mercedes, with another new endplate design appearing at the Chinese GP. Remedial work had to be carried out on the wing though, as the FIA insisted its design was in breach of the regulations, stating that the flaps should not be seen in side view.
Mercedes duly rectified this, trimming the upper flap where it met with the endplate. Subsequent wings fielded by the silver arrows took this into account, with the necessary alterations made.
Mercedes AMG F1 W11 front wing
Mercedes still appears to be the team to chase, with many aspects of its nose design now widely adopted by the other teams. Meanwhile, it has toned down its initial loaded wing preference, softening the shape of the flaps as they meet the endplate, as it looks to improve the shape of the wake shed by the tyre behind.