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BMW Sauber F1.08 - rear suspension detail 06 April 2008

At the start of the season teams are always eager to get a close look at their rivals' cars and discover how their design concepts have been translated into reality. After its blistering start to the year, the BMW's secrets have come in for particular scrutiny. This car is, without doubt, very sophisticated, the result of an intensive aerodynamic study, both in the wind tunnel and using state-of-the-art CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) tools. Here we examine the F1.08's rear suspension, in particular its lower wishbone assembly, which has been cleverly integrated into the side channel of the rear diffuser. In fact, the section close to the pick-up point (where it connects to the gearbox) has a wing-profile shape, which cleverly follows the form of the diffuser itself (red arrow, yellow line). This ensures that airflow passing through this crowded area of the car does not meet any major obstacle, hence improving air extraction from beneath the car and dramatically reducing drag.