March 11, 2010

Mclaren's Blower Wing Explained.

Mclaren's rear wing passed tech today in Bahrein and is now legal, look for other teams to follow suit if it proves successful.

This video from Gazzetta Dello Sport explains the basic concept. The "shark fin" encloses a hollow section channeling air from the intake to narrow slits along the top element of the wing. In the very fast sections this flow reaches a critical speed at which the turbulence created detaches the air from the wing causing it to stall and lose downforce and therefore, drag. On a track like Bahrain which with the new added sections is essentially long straights joined by a go kart track, you can see the benefits of such a solution.

There was some suspicion that the flow in this channel could be controlled by the driver and that it would therefore constitute a movable device not allowed by the regulations (as opposed to the front flaps). It's not clear if that is the case or not but whatever it is, it's legal, at least for this first race.

UPDATE: the snorkel mentioned in the comments appears to be true making this explanation even more simplistic! ...amazing, add another duty for the drivers now they have to play, as mentioned, a formula 1 flute!

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  1. According to James Allen it is driver controlled - just not through any physically moving device

    "It is controlled by the driver’s body. When he moves his left leg in a certain way, it allows air flow through, which shoots into the slot on the back of the wing and separates the airflow underneath the wing, causing it to shed drag, so the car goes faster down the straight."

  2. well but that would only make sense if there is a secondary inlet ahead of the driver, not just the split in the intake box. I saw pictures of various snorkles bit I would imagine that would be too obvious... Let's keep an eye on hamiltons incar shots

  3. Its conceivable that the air intake inlet is controlled by the driver moving his head. Lean left down the straight to stall the wing. Lot of junior formula guys do this to get more air into the engine and this could just be an offshoot of that.

    Either way if it is actually controlled by the driver moving his body it is a brilliant way to get around the movable aero regulations.

  4. I wonder how the turbulence affects a chasing cars handling/downforce?

    It is a little more complex than shown in the video, it also feeds the rear diffusers upper element!

    Roll on friday practice.



  5. could be a long tube running from the inlet on the tip of the nose of the car (which they all have, I assume to keep the driver cool) which the driver can block with his knee, directing air up into the snorkel above the engine? Nothing would have to be movable. It would be like a giant flute.

  6. Fuller description on autosport:

    Apparently the air is vented from the nose and passes through the cockpit


    this maybe the special inlet

  8. F1 development never ceases to impress


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