Technical analysis - Bahrain



There was no major novelty on the Renault R.S.16 in Bahrain, with the French manufacturer running the revised front wing it had tested in Australia. Besided tweaking the upper flaps, Renault engineers have revamped the area where the wing’s neutral section and main plane meet (compare the black arrows). Pictures taken in Sakhir give us to see the V-shaped front bulkhead when shown in the cross-section view. Autosport’s Craig Scarborough first spotted the distinctive form during pre-season testing in Barcelona.

Comparing the R.S.16 and FW38’s nosecone highlights the specificity of the Enstone design – Lotus introduced the front wing at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. On most other cars, the thumb-tip gets thinner as the nose moves backwards, while its rectangular-shaped base is raised to allow more airflow underneath. But on the Renault, the base of the nosecone is triangular (it’s actually an inverted triangle that extends into the thumb-tip at the summit). This design, which works in conjunction with the twisted front wing mounting pillars helps guide the airflow towards the lower sidepods.