Technical Analysis: Japan

F1i technical expert Nicolas Carpentiers provides you with images and explanations of the upgrades on display at Suzuka... as well as a quick catch-up session from Singapore. 



Over the past few grands prix, championship leader Mercedes has sampled several specs of rear wing endplates by alternating the shape and number of their vertical slots. Indeed, the W06 Hybrid sported a double edge on its rear wing at Monza, while it only donned a single, short slit at Singapore, and one long slot at Suzuka (compare yellow outlines).

Mercedes also modified the notches at the bottom of the endplates (see white arrows), with the design introduced in Japan sharing similarities to the one Red Bull has been using all season.

These slots allow dirty high-pressure air coming off the rotating wheels to go through the endplates and towards a low-pressure zone without disrupting the brake ducts and diffuser.

However, these kind of openings tend to remain fairly narrow, as aerodynamicists do not want to see too much air circulate through the endplates and trouble the low-pressure area under the wing's main board.