Technical analysis - Bahrain

F1-technical-analysis-Force-India-blown axle-1


Force India introduced blown front axles on its VJM09 in Bahrain. How does the system work? The brake duct, which has been entirely re-designed, captures the airflow and splits it into two streams: one is used to cool down the carbon brake disc, while the other is channelled towards the hollowed-out wheel nut. This second stream actually creates a low-pressure zone which sucks up the wake coming off the rotating front wheels and makes sure the dirty air does not go in between the rear wheels and chassis where it could hinder the efficiency of the diffuser. The blown front axles actually complement the twisted front wing outward endplates, which already generate a powerful airflow that diverts the turbulence.

In order for the concept to work at its best, brake ducts need to be more compartmentalised. Instead of having one single main inlet on the outer surface of the ducts (see orange arrows) supplemented by three orifices, there are now seven holes featuring all on the inner surface (see green arrows). The Force India design is more similar to the McLaren and Toro Rosso concepts than to Ferrari’s brake duct solution, which has kept an outside air inlet.