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Analysis - Monaco tech updates

29 May 2016

The low-speed, low-downforce nature of Monte Carlo’s street circuit places some very specific demands on a Formula One car. Here is how some of the teams are coping with those demands this weekend, with drawings from renowned technical illustrator Giorgio Piola...
McLaren MP4-31 - brake duct set-up

With very little time between braking events at Monaco, brake cooling is a big concern. McLaren have kept their new generation of brake duct (main drawing), with a more conventional big ‘paddle’, rather than the previously seen S-shape design (large inset), and with an external ear immediately behind the duct’s inlet to guide the airflow, rather than the previous design where the ear was combined with the inlet (small inset).

Ferrari SF16-H - sidepod openings

Perhaps surprisingly given Monaco’s cooling demands, Ferrari have kept the new, smaller openings in their sidepods, as introduced last time out in Spain (previous, larger version inset). The yellow highlights show how much higher the new inlet is from the ground.

Toro Rosso STR11 - front suspension fin

This clever Toro Rosso update could set a trend. The rules prevent the use of aero devices on suspension arms, but this fin (red arrow) on the front of the STR11 gets around this - it is attached to a cover around the lower wishbone, and that cover is actually part of the brake duct. Hence it complies with regulations in wording, if perhaps not in spirit. The primary function of the brake duct assembly should be cooling rather aerodynamics.

Ferrari SF16-H - front wheel rim heating

To accelerate the warm-up of their front tyres, for the first time the Ferrari wheel rims have these vertical openings (see red arrows) to direct hot air inside the rim itself.

Mercedes F1 W07 Hybrid - brake duct refinements

Mercedes introduced their season’s fifth set of brake duct refinements in Monaco, at the front of the car. The larger top duct can be seen in the main drawing, while the inset shows the solution - with a smaller duct - introduced for Russia and retained for Spain, where the team also debuted sophisticated front-wing endplates with three vertical slots, as well as new turning vanes under the chassis. On Thursday in Monte Carlo, however, both drivers used the wing with the previous endplates.