Technical Analysis: Japan



Splitters appeared in Formula One a couple of decades ago in order to comply with the flat bottom regulations following the introduction of raised noses. While it used to be merely a decoy to make the car legal, the device has gradually evolved into a genuinely essential aerodynamic element. Basically, the splitter is more or less profiled to direct the airflow underneath the car, as well as on each flank.

The Force India VJM08 used to have a single vertical winglet on each side of its splitter. This has been replaced with a three-element design similar to the one Toro Rosso débuted during the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. As shown on the pictures above, McLaren engineers and aerodynamicists went down another path and introduced a radical solution in Belgium, while Mercedes’ splitter concept remains fairly conventional.