Tech F1i: Keeping cool in Bahrain

© F1i


In Sakhir, Toro Rosso has dented its bargeboard. One can see here further evidence of Mercedes’ segmentation philosophy whereby teams seek to control airflows tightly by multiplying the number of cuts and elements.

Now, the middle element has four slots, which will each produce a mini-vortex. Individually less powerful than the unique vortex generated by the previous bargeboard, the small vortices join up to create a big energetic vortex which is better aimed at cleaning up the dirty wake created by the rotating front wheels.

The new cuts introduced into the flat bottom forced the Toro Rosso aerodynamicists to make legality slots in the horizontal winglet of the deflector (see the yellow arrows).

These slots are mandatory as per the technical regulation, according to which, in certain areas of the car, no bodywork element can be visible when looking at the flat bottom from underneath, as Craig Scarborough explained in a very clear diagram. If the flat bottom is plain, no dent should be made. On the other hand, if a slot is made there, it must be carried over on any element situated above (so that this one does not obstruct the view from below).

The leap forward of the Italian cars, highlighted by the fourth place of Pierre Gasly, is not only due to this evolution, whose gain is estimated to a tenth of a second by the team. It is also explained by a track less bumpy than Melbourne, allowing more regular settings, as well as new ideas of development.