F1 | Baku Grand Prix | Tech Updates

Baku Grand Prix Tech Updates

With the longest full throttle distance on the calendar (2,010m), the only way to be fast around the streets of Baku is to reduce drag. Therefore, teams arrive with lower downforce packages than what they ran in China, and although these aren’t quite Monza-spec (some downforce is still beneficial around slow speed corners) these packages achieve medium levels of downforce – similar to what the teams run at Spa and Montreal. 

Additional challenges include managing brake temps and tyre temperatures with the long straights cooling the front axle while hard acceleration out of the slow speed corners heats up the rear tyres. So then, there are plenty of tech updates for us to get our teeth into…

The most noticeable change was once again on the Mercedes W10. Although the angle in the below images is slightly different, the two main elements on the W10’s lower downforce wing (top) are clearly much narrower than the higher downforce package run at China (bottom). 

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Rear wing comparison of the Mercedes W10 between the Baku GP (top) and the Chinese GP (bottom)

Furthermore, the centre of the main top element is much flatter, compared to the aggressive dip seen on the higher downforce wing (highlighted in blue). Also, the bottom element has an unusual serrated top edge. 

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Mercedes W10 lower downforce rear wing with a serrated top edge on the lower element

Again, although the images below have been taken at slightly different angles, we can clearly see that the frontal area has reduced drastically on the rear wing at Baku. This reduces drag, but also downforce as well. Also note how because the rear wing elements are much narrower, the DRS actuator is much shorter because it has less work to do to open the top flap and its smaller area will minimise drag as well. 

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Rear wing comparison of the Mercedes W10 between the Baku GP (top) and the Chinese GP (bottom)

Another modification to the rear of the Mercedes W10 for Baku is the T wing. This now only features a single element, compared to the two tiers seen at China. Again this could be in an effort to reduce overall drag. 

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T wing comparison of the Mercedes W10 between the Baku GP (top) and the Chinese GP (bottom)

Another lower downforce wing can be seen on the Renault RS19. As highlighted below, the lower element is narrower and flatter then what was run at China. Consequently, this has again helped to reduce the height of the DRS actuator.

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Rear wing comparison of the Renault RS19 at the Baku GP (top) and the Chinese GP (bottom)

 

The rear wing endplates on the RS19 have also changed. Instead of the three elements at the bottom of the top section of the endplate the update in Baku features one single piece, as highlighted in blue below. 

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Rear wing comparison of the Renault RS19 at the Baku GP (left) and the Chinese GP (right)

Here is a rare shot of the inner workings of the Mercedes W10 nose. We can see that there are two outlets at the top of the nose in between the mounting points, which are fed by two channels. 

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Mercedes W10 nose

As we can see in the image below, the nose joins to the main chassis just before the S-duct outlet. Therefore, we can assume that the two channels inside the top of the nose are guiding air from the front of the car, up through the nose and out of the outlet highlighted by the blue arrows below. This is known as the S-duct and is a way of extracting turbulent air from the front of the car and emitting it towards the cockpit where it will create less aerodynamic loss then if it were allowed to travel to the underfloor and diffuser. 

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Mercedes W10 nose

Ferrari had several modifications to the SF90‘s bargeboard area. These included an additional winglet under the main turning vanes (highlighted in blue below) as well as a different array of smaller turning vanes towards the front.  

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Bargeboard companions of the Ferrari SF90 between the Baku GP (top) and the Chinese GP (bottom)

Although the images below are facing opposite directions, we can see that the element at the very front of the bargeboard area is now a single piece as opposed to the series of three elements that was seen at the Chinese GP. Just behind this there now lies a series of four thinner elements, followed by two more and then finally a larger, single element. 

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Bargeboard companions of the Ferrari SF90 between the Baku GP (top) and the Chinese GP (bottom)

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