Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Technical innovation is what makes Formula 1 so different from any other form of racing. The on track action is as much played out by the engineers and aerodynamicists as it is the drivers. We are here to admire, study, and discuss this beauty that exists on the ragged edge of what we think is possible, or at least what we thought was possible.

For more technical intrigue, be sure to check out this year's pre-season tests.

This post will be updated as the weekend progresses. Discussions and questions are welcomed and encouraged in the comments section below.


Red Bull RB10

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

The Red Bull RB10 chassis is now sporting a hump on the nose, something I didn't see present during pre-season testing.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

What is that?!

UPDATE: As DasWauto points out:

The hump on the nose is related to the the camera mounts. The FIA regulates their location but RBR have been clever and put the mounts on the inside of the nosecone. The hole is obviously exists so that a camera can do its job when installed (not a dummy as they often are).

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

RB10 6-element front wing. Note the minor gurney flap on the uppermost cascade element.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

RB10 bulkhead detail. Their clever S-Duct can be seen wrapping around the suspension arms and sticking out of the chassis. The inlet for the S-Duct is the bottom-most gap, where the turing vanes interestingly comprise the lower carbon wall.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Note the engineer manually cooling an inlet on the RB10 just below the main airbox inlet.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

RB10 brake assembly detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Red Bull brake housing

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Red Bull also have a new Rear wing Endplate, the usual slits are now three inlets below the wing to reduce drag

@ScarbsF1

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Red Bull - Mini diffuser strakes in the central section aid in flow stability due to loss of the blown starter hole

@SomersF1

Mercedes W05

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

W05 on track.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Note the vertical shark-fins on the 2nd cascade element of the front wing; I would previously have thought these were to keep clag (rolled up rubber on track) out of the cascade element slots, but seeing as the two on the right are tilted and the lack of clag on track in the practice sessions, I believe these are to condition the air flowing through the cascade element slots.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

The W05 will try out their new front wing (bottom) this weekend at Melbourne. Note the changes in winglets above the main cascade element.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Mercedes chassis during Thursday build-up.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

W05 bulkhead detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Mercedes are running new cooling inlets just above the main airbox inlet; the last iteration run at the pre-season tests connected the now two inlets.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

W05 brake assembly detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Note the W05's two-into-one carbon wishbone. Also note the Mercedes chassis's slotted turing vanes.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

'Bat Wing' named for obvious aesthetic reasons this is mounted as part of the ride height sensor that sits in this position on all the cars. It utilises and re-purposes the vortices created ahead of it

- Somers F1

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Mercedes W05 T-tray detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Rear shot of the front edge of the floor shows the 2 element Bargeboard that's leading element is also slotted

- Somers F1

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

WOW Mercedes turbo is split with the compressor is in the front of the engine! Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix via owenc93 @f1technical

@ScarbsF1

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Mercedes W05 rear-end detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Note the dual-element vane running along the floor, leading to the tire. With the loss of the blown-exhaust diffuser that used to seal off the diffuser from tire squirt in 2013, teams will be very keen to develop this area of the car.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Note the triangle endplates on the winglet connecting the rear crash structure and the diffuser. These exist to help seal of the air and make the air upwashing from the diffuser in that area more effective.

Mercedes have also blanked out a section of the U portion of their rear diffuser.

Ferrari F14T

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Kimi's Ferrari with the DRS slot open. Note the winglet just above the airbox inlet, in between the camera mounts (below) and the FIA T-shaped roll bar (above).

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Cooling exit on the top of the F14T's engine cover.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Ferrari bulkhead and suspension detail. Ferrari have retained their pull-rod suspension, while McLaren have dumped it in favor of the more popular push-rod suspension.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

F14T brake assembly detail. Ferrari is one of the few teams to continue development of their duct-less brake ducts. The air is inlet between that vertical vane of carbon fiber and the tire sidewall; this allows for more clean air to pass through to the sidepods undisturbed.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

F14T front wing detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

F14T front wing endplate detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

This is the rearwards view of the Ferrari front wing. The vertical strakes are their to guide the air straight and maximize the effect of the low-pressure area underneath the front wing.

Lotus E22

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

E22 chassis detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Lotus E22 asymmetric exhaust outlet and centerline rear wing support.

Also, it looks like somebody had an off...

McLaren MP4-29

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

New paint on the McLaren MP4-29; reminds me of the West livery.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

MP4-29 front wing. Note the horizontal (when it's attached) vanes on the underside of the front wing.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

McLaren MP4-29 front brake detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

An exposed shot of the McLaren's rear Wishbone Wings (or Shroomspension, as I like to call them) and rear brake assembly.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

McLaren Y75 winglet (aka. Monkey Seat) detail; the supports are relatively minimal compared to other teams who have used elongated struts of carbon from the crash structure, or hang their Monkey Seat from the centerline rear wing supports.

Force India VJM07

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

VJM07 front-wing detail. Note all of the elements on the outer side of the wing aiming to shove the air to the right of the tire.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Force India brake detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Closer view of those AP brakes calipers and the front bulkhead on the @clubforce

@ScarbsF1

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

VJM07 bulkhead detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

The VJM07 rear-end detail. Note how the Y75 winglet and the centerline rear wing supports are mounted to the rear crash structure.

The Force India chassis also had a dual element Y75 winglet: one element at the top of the supporting pylons, and another at the base near the crash structure.

Sauber C33

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

C33 front-wing detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Note the stepped chassis on the C33.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Sauber are also running a ductless set of front brake ducts.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

The @OfficialSF1Team having its gearbox fitted, the SECU under the sidepod is cooled by that large duct

@ScarbsF1

Also note the large protrusion of carbon fiber sticking out just atop the sidepod inlet; this is the side impact crash structure.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Sauber C33 front brake detail. It looks like Sauber are one of the only teams to keep with the duct-less front brake ducts.

Toro Rosso STR9

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Toro Rosso STR9 front-wing detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Toro Rosso have brought both iiterations of their front wings to Melbourne. The newest front wing that allows more air underneath the chassis is on top, while the launch spec front wing rests below.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

STR9 nose detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

STR9 bulkhead detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Toro Rosso brake detail.

Williams FW36

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Williams sporting a relatively simplistic steering wheel.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Williams seen suited-up with the new Martini re-branding.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Williams FW36 bulkhead detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

FW36 rear brake assembly.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Here's the Williams gearbox exposed, note its taller due to the higher crankshaft on the engine for this year

@ScarbsF1

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

The four exposed threaded inserts on the bottom of the chassis are for a spade-like T-Tray splitter mount

Note the aero shaped wing mirror mount

@ScarbsF1

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Williams FW36 rear end detail. Note the cloth surrounding the exhaust outlet; this is most likely there to cool the outlet.

Marussia MR03

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

A triad of Marussia front wings.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

MR03 front-wing detail.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

MR03 nose and 7-element front-wing detail. The Marussia and the Red Bull solutions to the 2014 nose regulations are staggeringly similar.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

MR03 front brake detail.

Caterham CT05

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Caterham have come to Melbourne with a matte black finished nose and front wing.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

...and here it is briefly on track.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Note the stepped chassis front and pull rod front suspension

On the @CaterhamF1 nose, the diagonal tie bar & gold levers work the torsion bars in roll, so may be no antiroll bar?

@ScarbsF1

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Kamui's CT05 after the turn 1 crash.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

As you can see, the crash structure continues all the way to the bulkhead, and the green section of the nose is more-or-less a vanity panel.

Technically Formula 1 - Australian Gran Prix

Caterham suspension after the turn 1 incident.


More images will be added throughout the Gran Prix weekend. Stay Tuned!

[Select images from SomersF1, F1technical.net, @SomersF1, and @ScarbsF1]