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Tech insight - key aero updates in Belgium

28 Aug 2016

With this weekend's 2016 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix experiencing unusually hot conditions, balancing downforce, tyre temperatures and tyre wear has been even harder than normal. Here's a handful of changes that teams have brought to Spa-Francorchamps in their bid to find that magic formula...

Sauber C35 - new nose and front wing

With the recent purchase of the team finally freeing up much-needed development funds, Sauber debuted what almost amounted to a B-spec car in Belgium, starting with this totally revised front wing. While the shape of the nose (1) is unchanged, the pillars (2) are very similar to those on the McLaren, with a vertical tail in their lower section. The wing itself features six full-length flaps, following Red Bull’s design philosophy, while the upper flaps (3) are again closer in shape to those seen previously on the McLaren. Finally, the large step at the base of the endplate (4) apes the shape used by Mercedes.

Toro Rosso STR11 - updated front wing

Toro Rosso brought two front wings to Belgium, both based on the new design introduced at the last race at Hockenheim. The key differences are the last flap, which features a reduced chord (inset) and one cut-off element (rearmost in main drawing) that was used for qualifying and the race.

Ferrari SF16-H - rear wing configurations

Friday in Belgium saw Ferrari using a low-downforce rear wing as seen in Baku (left drawing). But for qualifying and race they opted for more downforce, with a wing (right drawing) featuring four gills on the top of endplates, and bigger wing elements and flaps, with a greater angle of incidence. It proved a good solution on Saturday, but its real value could be over Sunday’s race distance when the team want to place less stress on their tyres.