Gabriel Polychronis is a motorsport enthusiast, taking a particularly strong interest in Formula One. Gabriel shares his opinion via F1 News & Views Podcast along with his brother, Jacob.
June 26th, 2012 (F1plus / Gabriel Polychronis).- Mercedes GP, Red Bull and Lotus have introduced new modifications to their car to cater for the low downforce street circuit track of Valencia.
Red Bull RB8 – Rear Body Work Overhaul
One of the developments that Adrian Newey conducted for Valencia, was the creation of a ‘double floor.’ This double floor was designed to improve airflow to the rear diffuser, which was done by creating a larger opening in the area beneath the side pods. As a result the tunnels that run underneath the exhaust ramp were also considerably altered.
The inlet was larger and was divided into two sections. One of these sections blows into the starter hole, whereas the second section blows on top of the diffuser.
Adrian Newey also altered the position of the brake calliper so it is fully horizontal to the ground as a pose to the previously, slightly angled calliper. This was designed to reduce the centre of gravity, which reduces weight transfer levels and aids handling.
Other, less significant changes to the RB8 include: new rear-wing endplates and a wider chord plane.
Lotus E20 – Modified Front Wing
Romain Grosjean and Kimi Räikkönen were both using different front wings to each other in Valencia. Räikkönen was using the same wing as he was in Montreal, whereas Grosjean was using a modified version.
He described the modified front wing as ‘exciting.’ On Grosjean’s front wing, the cascade flaps were attached with a round section, rather than the flaps being situated straight against the endplates. This created energised airflow.
Mercedes F1 W03– Low-downforce front wing
During the European Grand Prix, the Mercedes F1 team were using a modified wing to decrease downforce. To achieve this desired effect, the Mercedes team removed the cascading upper flap, which is usually fitted on their regular wings.