Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

The 2021 design tweaks revealed in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1's opening day of practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was quite a low-key affair in terms of the battle for this weekend.

The 2021 design tweaks revealed in Abu Dhabi

However, a closer look at the cars showed that the focus of many teams was very much on 2021, as there were a host of next year's parts being tried out – including floors, diffusers and brake ducts.

Haas dipped its toe into testing 2021 specification parts for the first time at the Yas Marina circuit, whilst Ferrari, Red Bull and Renault used practice as another opportunity to gather data that can be used to develop their solutions for next season.

2021 brakes fins Race
2021 diffuser central fins rules

The 2021 regulations require teams to cut a triangular shaped section of the floor out ahead of the rear tyre, and also prohibit the use of fully enclosed holes in this area too (main image).

Meanwhile, the rear brake duct winglets in the lower half of the brake duct will have to be 40mm narrower and 50mm has to be lopped off the bottom of the diffuser strakes.

The aim of these changes is to reduce downforce by approximately 10 percent and alleviate some of the stress this causes the tyres when they're fully loaded up.

So, let's take a look at the various solutions that the teams have been evaluating...

Red Bull Racing RB16 floor detail

Red Bull Racing RB16 floor detail

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Having briefly tested 2021 specification parts on its car in Portugal, Red Bull took the opportunity to capture more data in FP1.

Its floor featured the required cut-out ahead of the rear tyre but we can see it is already looking at ways of influencing the airflow. The twisted floor strake (arrowed) helps to move airflow across the tyre face, mitigating some of the effects of tyre squirt that reduce the performance of the diffuser.

Ferrari SF1000 floor detail

Ferrari SF1000 floor detail

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Ferrari arrived in Abu Dhabi with a new 2021 specification floor design, having already tested parts for next season in Portugal.

A vertical strake has now been added on the edge of the floor (circled), rather than the dog-eared edge that featured on the previous floor iteration. Slots also break up the strake in order that the airflow be affected by them.

Furthermore, ahead of this, Ferrari has added three twisted winglets that hope to prime the airflow received by the rear tyre (red arrow).

Ferrari SF1000 floor detail

Ferrari SF1000 floor detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The floor specification tested in Portugal featured a dog-eared edge ahead of the rear tyre

Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas F1 Haas VF-20

Pietro Fittipaldi, Haas F1 Haas VF-20

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Haas fitted Fittipaldi's car with the 2021 specification parts, which included a version of next year's floor that more closely represents the design that the FIA intended when introducing the regulations.

Esteban Ocon, Renault F1 Team R.S.20

Esteban Ocon, Renault F1 Team R.S.20

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Renault also has a simplified version of the floor that we saw it test in Bahrain, but this time it was installed on Ocon's car.

shares
comments

Related video

Williams feels like Russell has "come home" in Abu Dhabi GP

Previous article

Williams feels like Russell has "come home" in Abu Dhabi GP

Next article

2020 F1 Abu Dhabi GP Friday practice results

2020 F1 Abu Dhabi GP Friday practice results
Load comments
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Prime

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't Prime

How Ferrari offered Callum Ilott what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says Oleg Karpov, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Prime

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says Mark Gallagher, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors.

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat Prime

The unexpected benefit of F1's sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap-one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt Prime

The off-track considerations that led to Hamilton/Verstappen F1 shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming.

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
British Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

British Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 British Grand Prix will live long in the memory for the dramatic clash between Formula 1's two title protagonists, which opened the door for other drivers to capitalise. One did so in spectacular fashion, while others fluffed their lines

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021
How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash Prime

How Leclerc almost defied Hamilton after Silverstone clash

A poor start for Valtteri Bottas and the lap one clash between Formula 1's 2021 title protagonists gave Charles Leclerc a surprise lead in the British Grand Prix that he almost held to the end. Here's how the Ferrari driver came close to a famous victory, ultimately denied by a recovering Lewis Hamilton three laps from home

Formula 1
Jul 19, 2021