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McLaren MP4-29 - new front wing 05 April 2014

Bahrain is only round three of the 2014 season and already McLaren have introduced a completely new front wing, wing mounting pillars and nose. When you do all this so rapidly, it takes a little bit of time to catch up with all the small developments that go with it - to dot the i's and cross the t's. Here we can see a small turning vane mounted in the middle of the upper surface of the forward upper wing (previous version without vane inset). This just helps to get the airflow turning around the outside of the front tyre that bit earlier. It is the shape it is because you don't want to force a change on the flow on the wing surface itself, but rather just alter the surrounding flow and then let that influence the flow on the wing surface. To quantify this development, the car will be producing something in the region of 1200kg of downforce at 240km/h. If this component works really well, it will improve that downforce performance by 2kg. It may be a tiny margin, but all these tiny margins add up and 12kg more downforce with no drag penalty is worth around a tenth of a second in improved lap time.