On Friday in Malaysia they briefly trialled an interesting development obviously aimed at next season - and one never seen before. Shown above, this new front wing looks unremarkable at first glance. Look closer and you will see the endplate is totally separate to the main plane (red arrow, yellow highlight). Not dissimilar concepts have been used before on rear wings - Toro Rosso introduced open gills at the top of their rear endplates, an idea then copied by Sauber, and seen at Sepang on the McLaren. However, at the front it is far more difficult, with huge implications for stiffness and flexibility - something that is rigorously checked with a specific FIA deflection test. The advantages will come from the solution’s sophistication in controlling the airflow vortices on the side of the wing.
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Tech insight - Mercedes test a first in front wing development
01 Oct 2016