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Tech insight - 3 key updates seen in Spielberg

03 Jul 2016

After the unknowns of Baku, the teams are back on familiar territory in Austria. Here's just a few of the latest developments that have been brought to the Red Bull Ring...

Force India VJM09 - new front wing

In Austria Force India have introduced this front wing, based on the new-generation design first seen in Spain. The main difference is the shorter last two flaps, a change made in order to reduce front downforce to better suit the demands of the Red Bull Ring. The yellow highlight shows how much longer the flaps were previously.

Haas VF-16 - blown front axle

Blown axles are a not uncommon feature in F1 racing - this season teams including Haas, Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Force India and Toro Rosso have used them. Passing air through the axle helps engineers to modulate brake, wheel, and thus tyre temperatures. However, the solution also creates extra drag and at some circuits - such as Spielberg - that is undesirable, hence Haas's move here to cover off the opening (red arrow).

McLaren MP4-31 - new rear wing

On Friday morning in Austria Fernando Alonso tested this new rear wing. Its radical looking endplates feature extremely long vertical slots towards the rear, with further slots at the front to help manage the airflow passing between them. To stiffen the assembly, three horizontal strakes have been added across the width of the endplate. However, it seems that wasn’t enough to guarantee a constant level of downforce, hence the wing wasn’t used for qualifying or race. It’s possible, though, that we may see a modified version at Silverstone next week.