Tech F1i: Baku's low downforce mods and tweaks

© F1i


Not happy with just shaping the main plane of the rear wing, Enstone’s aerodynamicists also cut the endplate in several places.

The leading edge slot was lengthened, while five cuts (see the red arrows) were made in the endplate. Although less radical than that of the MCL33, the concept is clearly inspired by McLaren.

The way this part of the wing works exactly is not easy to grasp. Indeed, elongated curved winglets direct the airflow inward, and not outward (as is the case with the slats at the base of the endplate, which are part of the expansion of the diffuser effect).

One possible explanation is that the vanes channel high-pressure air to the inside of the wing’s, to the lower-pressure area under the main plane. This would have the effect of reducing the downforce and, especially, the drag by weakening the vortex generated at the joint area of the endplate and the wing tip.

Reducing drag is a favoured option with teams which lack straight-line speed. The curvature of the winglets could help level the pressure, which would in turn minimise the loss of downforce while still reducing drag.