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 the previous Bahrain Gran Prix, Malaysian Gran Prix, and Australian Gran Prix.


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

Bahrain In-Season Testing

Day 1 - Unofficial Times

PositionConstructorDriverBest LapLaps
1.MercedesNico Rosberg1m 35.697s121
2.Force IndiaNico Hulkenberg1m 36.064s69
3.FerrariFernando Alonso1m 36.626s69
4.McLarenKevin Magnussen1m 36.634s102
5.WilliamsValtteri Bottas1m 37.305s28
6.MarussiaMax Chilton1m 37.678s60
7.Red BullDaniel Ricciardo1m 38.326s91
8.SauberSergey Sirotkin1m 39.023s76
9.CaterhamRobin Frijns1m 40.027s63
10.LotusPastor Maldonado1m 40.183s16
11.Toro RossoDaniil Kvyat1m 40.452s67

Day 2 - Unofficial Times

PositionConstructorDriverBest LapLaps
1.MercedesLewis Hamilton1m 34.136s120
2.Toro RossoJean-Eric Vergne1m 35.557s64
3.McLarenKevin Magnussen1m 36.203s26
4.Force IndiaSergio Perez1m 36.586s63
5.Red BullDaniel Ricciardo1m 37.310s67
6.MarussiaJules Bianchi1m 37.316s93
7.SauberGiedo van der Garde1m 37.623s77
8.FerrariFernando Alonso1m 37.912s12
9.CaterhamMarcus Ericsson1m 39.263s66
10.WilliamsFelipe Nasr1m 39.879s64
11.LotusRomain Grosjean1m 43.732s16


Red Bull RB10

Notice the bubble on the underside of the nose, just behind the driver cooling inlet and mandated protrusion; this bulge is meant to create a low pressure zone behind it and underneath the nose.

RB10 front end detail.

RB10 rear end detail.

Top: normal rear wing with gurney flap, tapered down toward the centerline

Middle: rear wing with section removed, no gurney flap, tapered up toward the centerline.

Bottom: rear wing with section removed, added gurney flap, no taper.

RB10 rear diffuser detail.

Note the tiny vertical strakes on the underside of the RB10's rear diffuser on the centerline. Also note the tiny hole on the corners/sides of the diffuser.

Mercedes W05

Mercedes appear to be aero mapping and trialling different cooling options


The various pitot tube arrays that the teams run to test the airflow wake off the front tire and into the sidepod usually are supported by the nose. Some of these pitot tube arrays can even adjust position while the cars are running laps; this has the advantage of not disturbing the airflow to a larger degree than necessary.

Mercedes playing with smaller snorkel ducts on either side of the airbox inlet.

Mercedes experimenting with a slotted windscreen.

Cockpit view of the W05. Note the cutouts in the bodywork so the driver can keep his hands on the wheel as it spins.

W05 rear end detail.

Minimal cooling outlets on this iteration, as opposed to the cannon-ball style outlet run at the first 2 races.

W05 diffuser detail.

Nicole Sscherzinger (left) and Lewis Hamilton split up and get back together more than Ross and Rachel.

Ferrari F14T

For part of the test Ferrari blanked off the duct inside the front axle


F14T rear wing endplate detail. The slots on the leading edge of the endplate exists to manage tire wake and control the turbulent air, sending it from the outside of the endplates to the inside.

Two simultaneous pitot tube arrangements.

F14T rear end detail.

Ferrari running to pitot tube arrays simultaneously; one between the front tire and sidepod, and the other just before the rear tire.

Ferrari have used the Bahrain test to trial a blown wheelnut design


For this blown wheelnut design, Ferrari have also had to install brake ducts that interfere with the airflow approaching the sidepods (as opposed to the design below).

F14T ductless brake ducts.

F14T rear diffuser detail.

Lotus E22

Quite large pitot tube array on the E22.

Side view of Lotus' nose wing.

Lotus E22 rear end with larger cooling outlets.

E22 rear diffuser detail.

McLaren MP4-29

McLaren still running the 2nd generation nose that allows more air underneath the nose and back round to the coke-bottle zone.

McLaren have been [running] with and without the mushroom rear suspension


McLaren seen on day 1 of the 2 day test without their clever suspension.

McLaren MP4-29 from the rear we can see the team have applied flo-viz (blue paint) in order to assess the airflow without the 'Wishbone Wings' covering the suspension

- SomersF1

Here is the MP4-29 running with only one wishbone.

And finally, on the second day, McLaren reinstated their Shroomspension.

We can only guess on the McLaren suspension's installation at the next race; will they even run it at Monza?

MP4-29 rear diffuser detail. Note the extra carbon filling the gap between the Shroomspension and rear crash structure.

Force India VJM07

No sponsorship/livery on the VJM07's sidepods; perhaps they are testing new bodywork.

Force India VJM07 the team have made a minor change adding some small winglets either side of the crash structure to aid in the upwash of the airflow. This is similar to solutions we have already seen McLaren and Mercedes adopt.

- SomersF1

VJM07 rear diffuser detail.

Sauber C33

Sauber run a stepped chassis (like the stepped front noses of 2012-2013) on the C33. You can make out the vanity panel between the nose and the driver-filled cockpit of the chassis.


Teams are doing this in order to get the highest angle on their push-rod suspension arm (seen as the highest carbon strut in the picture spanning the gap between the tire and the chassis), and subsequently a better transfer of energy from the tire to the chassis.

C33 steering wheel detail.

C33 pitot tube testing.

Sauber C33 - The team are utilising a pitot tube array in order assess the impact of the tyres wake on the components (Sidepod, Airflow Conditioner, Bargeboard, Floor etc) downstream. The rig is moveable (vertically) and so the team can do many more measurements out on track without having to come in to reset the rig.

- SomersF1

Rear view of Sauber pitot tube array.

C33 bulkhead detail.

C33 rear diffuser detail.

Toro Rosso STR9

Toro Rosso are running an STR9 absent of a rear wing support on the centerline.

The STR9 can be seen with flow-vis paint on the ductless brake duct's horizontal vane of carbon.

STR9 rear end detail. Again, note the absence of a rear wing support on the centerline.

STR9 rear diffuser detail.

Williams FW36

FW36 rear diffuser detail.

Marussia MR03

Marussia running ductless brake ducts.

Marrusia engineers in all their glory.

Marussia testing the diffuser flow, rear tire wake, and possible the interaction of the two.

MR03 rear diffuser detail. You may have noticed a piece of bodywork spanning the gap between the rear diffuser and the rear crash structure; this exists to expand the underside of the diffuser and produce more of an effect.

Quite interesting rear diffuser detail from Marussia that I would expect to see on a Red Bull.

Caterham CT05

The CT05 is rumored to implement a Lotus-style twin tusk nose in the near future; perhaps it will make an appearance at this test.

Note the wires on the CT05 from the pitot array into the chassis where they can be sent back to pit wall.

CT05 rear diffuser detail.

[Select images from Auto Motor und Sport, SomersF1,, @SomersF1, and @ScarbsF1]