SportF1Why the news from Alpine should work in the...

Why the news from Alpine should work in the short term

This aerodynamic change to the Alpine is due to the arrival of a number of circuits with medium/low downforce characteristics, so the updates are expected to bear fruit over the course of the next few races.

The most substantial change has been in the central part of the car, as the team has redesigned the front section of the sidepod. Not only will this have an impact on cooling, given that the shape of the air intake is now more square, but it also has several aerodynamic consequences.

To achieve this redesign, the team has increased the length of said sidepod, bringing the front section closer to the front wheels.

Increasing the pontoon length in this way means you have less room to work with, due to regulatory limits on body size, position and shape. However, it is a design scheme that has already been championed by AlphaTauri, Aston Martin and to some extent Red Bull, although the latter’s solution has an opening at the top.

Although the air intake may appear smaller than its predecessor, which was wider but also less tall, the volume of the front section will be relatively similar, as the side pillar also flares outwards.

The extra length also has a significant impact on outboard airflow, as the bodywork can better direct the wake generated by the front tire, especially in the underbody area, which will also likely have a knock-on effect on off-road performance. It is located under the pontoon.

Not new, but also worth noting, are the two small winglets mounted on the side of the Halo (red arrow, main article image), which help correct airflow as it passes.

Alpine A522 rear wing comparison

Alpine A522 rear wing comparison

There has also been considerable buzz around the new rear wing specification introduced by Alpine in Baku, as the upper elements clearly took up less space within the permitted area, resulting in a wing with a tiny profile.

Compared to the lower downforce rear wing setup previously used at Jeddah and Miami, this wing also has the rear endplate cutouts we’ve grown accustomed to, rather than being infilled (top photo, red arrow) .

The team has also revised the rear wing layout, being the first to take inspiration from the stacked layout we’ve seen Red Bull use since the start of the season.

Alpine A522 beam wing comparison

Alpine A522 beam wing comparison

Red Bull gives you more wings… Red Bull improvements in Baku

As for Red Bull, the Austrian team also made changes to the rear wing for Baku in an attempt to reduce drag, without compromising too much on the downforce needed to be quick in the second sector.

This led to the use of one of his lower downforce formulas, with which he again had DRS problems during free practice. But the main change was the use of a single lower element for the beam wing, since they removed the upper elements (red arrows, bottom inset).

Red Bull RB18 beam wing comparison

Red Bull RB18 beam wing comparison

…but there are more wings at Ferrari… Changes to the F1-75 in Baku

Ferrari also made changes to the F1-75 , as, like the other teams, it was looking to reduce aerodynamic drag on the 2.2km straight, but trying not to compromise performance in the central sector.

To achieve this, the Scuderia fitted their new rear wing setup which was prepared for Miami, but which they had chosen not to use there, preferring a higher downforce option to preserve the tires on the new track.

The new spec (lower left) is still a scoop design, but comparing the two wing designs shows that there is much less wing in the allowed area, while the flat edge in the center section of the mainplane and the upper flap is much wider.

Ferrari F1-75 rear wing Azerbaijan GP

Rear wing of the Ferrari F1-75 of the Azerbaijan GP

Ferrari F1-75 rear wing detail

Ferrari F1-75 rear wing detail

…and in Mercedes. W13 improvements in Baku

Mercedes has been battling a speed problem on the straights all season, and the team introduced a new, lower downforce rear wing in Miami, which it used again in Baku, to try and fix it.

However, Toto Wolff , the boss of the Brackley team, commented that his drivers had said that it was like driving with a parachute attached to the back of the car, since the W13 had up to 20 km/h less top speed compared to the car. his rivals on the 2.2 km straight.

Mercedes W13 rear wing

Mercedes W13 rear wing

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