Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

F1 technical update: Mercedes, McLaren, AlphaTauri & Racing Point

In the ongoing development war between Formula 1’s teams, keep up to date with what’s new with our regular technical updates. Today, let’s look at four outfits at the Hungarian GP – Mercedes, McLaren, AlphaTauri and Racing Point.

F1 technical update: Mercedes, McLaren, AlphaTauri & Racing Point
Listen to this article

Mercedes

The reliability gremlins that Mercedes faced in the first race of the season in Austria, caused by the vibrations from the kerbs, now seem like a distant memory after a flawless performance in Hungary.

The team was able to react positively and make changes for the Styrian GP that reduced the possibility of any failures going forward. The issues that plagued the first race weekend were a consequence of the new rear suspension geometry, with the front leg of the lower wishbone placed higher than before and the rear leg (red arrow, main image above) placed much further back than usual. 

The loads, vibrations and oscillations put through this novel arrangement is believed to have created ‘noise’ that interfered with the gearbox sensors.

To prevent a repeat of the situation the team made numerous alterations, including adding shielding and moving the wiring looms that were affected.

Read Also:


McLaren

McLaren arrived at the Hungarian GP with a batch of updates (see video above) that it hoped would increase rear downforce and improve cooling. The parts, which had already been run during the pre-season test and during Free Practice in Austria, included a two-tier T-Wing and flaps above the cooling outlets respectively.

The T-Wings are connected to each other at the outboard end by a metal stay, which prevents them from moving around independently of one another and causing an aerodynamic flutter that would be damaging to the downforce and vortices they produce. The flap above the cooling outlet at the rear of the car acts much like a Gurney flap and will not only produce localized downforce but also help with extracting heat from the engine cover cooling outlet.

The team chose not to press another solution trialled at the Styrian GP into action. The flap, inset, mounted just above the floor and ahead of the rear tyre is similar to a solution we’ve seen Ferrari use this season, with both teams opting to mount the flap to the vertical strake alongside.

Read Also:


AlphaTauri

AlphaTauri AT01 t-wing

AlphaTauri AT01 t-wing

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

AlphaTauri continues to look for pockets of performance rather than follow the crowd, and at the rear of the AT01 it has a single rear wing support pillar and T-Wing.

Aside from Mercedes, which has two rear wing mounting variants, AlphaTauri is the only team to run with just the single pillar configuration. This is a decision that not only has an impact on weight but also aerodynamic performance. It has also allowed the option of a winglet above the exhaust too.


Racing Point

Racing Point RP20 front brake drum

Racing Point RP20 front brake drum

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes AMG F1 W10, front brake

Mercedes AMG F1 W10, front brake

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

As Formula 1 heads for Silverstone the debate regarding the design of this year’s Racing Point rages on. As expected, Renault protested the result of the Hungarian GP, so if RP is found guilty of infringing the technical and sporting regulations it will lose the points accrued during those races.

The crux of Renault’s protest is not of the entire car, although everyone has drawn conclusions on how similar it is to last year’s Mercedes, it is instead focused on the Racing Point’s brake ducts (above left), which are a listed part for 2020. Mercedes' 2019 design is shown above right.

Again, the contention is not only based on the similarity of the external features of the two, which as you can see from the illustrations are extremely similar, it’s also about how closely aligned their internal makeup might (or might not) be.

shares
comments

Related video

Andretti: Hamilton creating “problem that doesn’t exist”
Previous article

Andretti: Hamilton creating “problem that doesn’t exist”

Next article

Hungarian Grand Prix - Driver Ratings

Hungarian Grand Prix - Driver Ratings
Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull Prime

Why Mercedes believes it can make the step F1 needs to fight Red Bull

The 2022 Formula 1 season was Mercedes' leanest for a decade, achieving just a solitary pole and grand prix win. Yet the team is confident it has got the tools it needs to cast that disappointment aside and return to the front of the field again next year.

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history Prime

How BRM's one-off F1 double defied its rollercoaster history

It’s 60 years since BRM achieved its goal and Graham Hill led the team to a world title double. But that was just part of the remarkable story of a unique team that at times overstretched its resources and had its fair share of disappointments.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever Prime

The bold F1 DRS experiment that could end the debate forever

OPINION: The effectiveness of DRS in Formula 1 remains a topic of debate as the winter break gives a chance for reflection on the racing we saw in 2022. For all of its detractors, perhaps an experiment where DRS is cast aside and the impact this has on racing is in order to truly understand its merits in modern F1.

Formula 1
Dec 8, 2022
The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche Prime

The sliding doors moment that saved Red Bull and Porsche

OPINION: Everything looked set for Red Bull and Porsche to join forces for the 2026 season, before the marriage between both parties was called off. While at the time it looked like a major coup for Formula 1 in gaining both VW Group powerhouses Audi and Porsche for 2026, Red Bull and Porsche have really been spared a potentially fractious relationship.

Formula 1
Dec 7, 2022
How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive Prime

How Tyrrell’s post-Stewart era descended into a fight to survive

Glory days for Tyrrell became increasingly infrequent
 after Jackie Stewart’s retirement. But in the latest instalment of his history of the team for Autosport's sister title GP Racing, 
MAURICE HAMILTON recalls how Ken Tyrrell’s plucky and defiantly small team stayed bold enough to innovate – springing a surprise with F1’s first six-wheeled car

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2022
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Prime

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Motorsport.com in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi.

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Prime

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Prime

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022