Tech F1i: Ferrari and Red Bull leads upgrades in Barcelona

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Formula 1’s return to the European continent often sees a surge in developments, and this weekend’s round of racing in Barcelona is no different.

Red Bull and Ferrari have introduced significant changes to their contenders as they aim to gain an edge in the ever-tightening championship battle.

But Visa Cash App RB’s car has undergone a massive makeover with numerous new components implemented on its VCARB 01.

Red Bull’s package in Spain is focused on optimizing cooling and downforce for the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya. The team’s engineers have revised the sidepod inlet design. Simulations suggest these changes will allow for more efficient cooling by utilizing higher pressure air, potentially reducing the need for large exit louvres that can create drag.

The engine cover side panels have also been adjusted to match the new sidepod inlet profiles, ensuring smooth airflow. The floor has been altered to accommodate the revised engine cover and sidepod inlet changes.

Finally, an enlarged beam wing with a redesigned endplate and a wider rear wing endplate aim to boost downforce for this weekend’s event.

Ferrari’s extensive list of upgrades includes changes to seven areas of its SF-24 targeting both downforce and overall car performance.

A new rear wing allows the SF-24 to adapt to varying downforce needs for upcoming tracks. The engine cover features a revised undercut to improve airflow over the crucial floor area, potentially generating more downforce.

Additionally, the front floor fences and floor body have been redesigned to optimize airflow towards the rear of the car, further enhancing downforce potential. Finally, the diffuser has been reworked to capitalize on the improved upstream airflow, aiming to extract additional downforce and improve overall car performance.

Visa Cash App RB arrived in Barcelona with a multi-pronged upgrade package aimed at optimizing car performance for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Key changes include a revised front brake cooling system. By utilizing smaller ducts for this race, they can redirect that airflow to generate more downforce in other areas. Additionally, the engine cover and sidepod inlet have been redesigned to improve airflow across the car, ultimately feeding a cleaner flow to the crucial floor and rear wing sections, potentially boosting overall downforce generation.

The team has also addressed the floor itself on its VCARB 01. Modifications to the front floor and fences aim to optimize load distribution and create additional local downforce without compromising downstream airflow.

Finally, a new rear wing specifically designed for medium-high downforce tracks has been introduced. Featuring improved efficiency and targeting a desired drag level, this wing will work in conjunction with a redesigned beam wing to provide the necessary aerodynamic support for the upper wing and diffuser.

Aston Martin has focused on localized aerodynamic improvements for this weekend’s event. They've revised the front suspension fairings and brake duct designs on the AMR24 to optimize airflow interactions and generate more downforce in those areas.

Additionally, adjustments to the rear corner's lower deflector aim to increase load on the device and surrounding areas, potentially improving overall car performance. While these updates might be subtle, they demonstrate Team Silverstone’s dedication to squeezing every bit of performance out of their car for Barcelona.

Sauber targets both downforce and cooling efficiency with their upgrades. A completely redesigned rear wing, including a new pylon, main plane, and detached outboard tips, aims to improve overall aerodynamic efficiency. This update builds upon their previously introduced mono pylon design and signifies a move towards a new generation of rear wings for the team.

Additionally, revised front brake duct exits focus on optimizing airflow while ensuring adequate cooling for the car throughout the race.

In a bid to squeeze out extra performance from its C44 contender, Sauber has added a small winglet to the rear impact structure (RIS). This element aims to create a local upwash effect, which will marginally increase downforce without being a major aerodynamic change.

Mercedes hasn’t listed any upgrades for its silver arrow for this weekend. Nevertheless, it has fitted a lighter floor on its W15 car.

McLaren, Alpine and Williams’ cars remain unchanged for this weekend.

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