June 27, 2008

Mclaren Wing Check!

Mclaren showed a further evolution of their front wing at the Silverstone tests this week. We thought it might be cool to take a second and look back at development during the season.....

I know many out there despise the looks of modern aerodynamics but you have to appreciate those who are able to sculpt the air best. It's no coincidence that the designs that are most harmonious are also the fastest. Contrast Mclaren's organic shapes to Honda's.... well, let's leave Honda aside.

The latest Mclaren wing has six distinct elements (at least six visible ones) with two so close you can barely tell there is a gap. They launched the car with a three element wing, though that was never intended for use in a race. Mclaren tested a four element wing with a square-ish top bridge in Valencia and Barcellona but already in Australia a five element wing was on the car.
With minor variations it remained unaltered up until in June the FIA mandated that "bridge" elements must not flex and here the Woking team chose a different path. Where most competitors faced with this isse chose to install a vertical element between the bottom of the bridge wing and the top of the nose cone, Mclaren designed a support from the top of the wing back onto the nose. I'm guessing this is to disturb as little as possible the airflow between the bottom of the bridge and the nose cone.

The Silver Arrows were fast at this week's test and the British GP is a key race in the championship for Mclaren and almost a must win for Lewis Hamilton. It will be great to watch next week end!

Mclaren 2008 evolution slide show


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