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.
This post will be updated as the weekend progresses. Discussions and questions are welcomed and encouraged in the comments section below.
Chinese Gran Prix
Red Bull RB10
RB10 front wing detail.
RB10 front wing detail. This is the section of the wing that creates the Y25o vortex, which can be seen this weekend due to the colder temperatures and relatively high humidity.
RB10 nose detail. Note the bulge on the underside to create a low pressure zone beneath/behind.
RB10 chassis detail.
RB10 bulkhead detail. Because the chassis is a single piece to enhance its strength, the designers have to incorporate access holes. Two of these holes can be seen on the top to give access to working on the suspension.
RB10 brake duct detail. You can also make out Red Bull's carbon S-duct that rests just in front of the bulkhead.
RB10 engine cover.
RB10 floor. I do not know for sure what the blue tape is; perhaps temperature measurement.
The starter hole can be seen sticking up through the floor at the leading edge of the diffuser (annotated).
Mercedes have brought a new nose to Shanghai that allows more air to flow underneath.
A close up.
W05 antenna or air speed sensor, not quite sure.
CAPTION COMPETITION #1
Dat pole position
CAPTION COMPETITION #2
Winner will be quoted on the next update.
F14T blown wheel inlet duct.
F14T blown wheel nut.
Ferrari have been running ductless front brake ducts for the first three races, but since introducing a blown wheel nut they have had to create a duct (seen on the left of the brake assembly) to funnel this air.
There is a strange carbon "garden hose" type of structure inside the F14T's blown wheel nut, perhaps to direct the outflow.
Special wheel nut gun to accommodate the new blown wheel nut.
F14T exhaust manifold.
Ferrari rear wing detail.
Ferrari rear floor detail.
Let me rephrase that: Rich Maldonado...
E22 front wing sans the nose wing, at least for the moment.
I am assuming the wood and metal contraptions are for shipping purposes.
What looks like a gurney flap on the outer 2/3 of the E22's front wing.
E22 front wing detail.
From the air's point of view.
Lotus ductless front brake.
E22 shark fin. Teams are legally mandated to have bodywork in this area, hence the flat plane of carbon at the team's disuse of it.
Note the asymmetric exhaust and rear wing support pylon.
Lotus flow-vis testing the E22's rear diffuser.
MP4-29 front wing detail.
MP4-29 front wing endplate detail.
MP4-29 chassis detail.
The MP4-29 with one wishbone wing. At the Bahrain 2-day test a week ago, McLaren were testing their chassis with 0, 1, and 2 wishbone wings (they've run 2 at every race in 2014, so far).
The MP4-29 with two wishbone wings.
Force India VJM07
VJM07 front wing detail.
VJM07 front wing detail.
Underside of the Force India front wing.
VJM07 chassis detail.
Force India have come to Shanghai with an interesting sidepod configuration.
A closer view.
For most teams, the main sidepod airflow conditioner (the vertical strake that changse the airflow near the sidepod's front inlet on the side) is mounted down by the floor, but the Force India chassis in Shanghai have brought an interesting setup where the vertical vane is attached to the middle of the sidepod.
Frontal view of the sidepod. I am eager to see this with the floor.
VJM07 rear brake and suspension detail.
Force India are running a FRIC style suspension system in Shanghai this weekend. For a better understanding of what a FRIC suspension is, here is an article by the esteemed Craig Scarborough.
Force India without the top DRS-moveable flap section of the rear wing. The STR9 is also running new rear wing endplates (seen here) in Shanghai.
VJM07 sans engine cover.
C33 front wing detail.
C33 rear wing detail.
Sauber looks to have brought a new rear wing to Shanghai.
C33 rear wing and diffuser detail.
CAPTION COMPETITION #3
She must not know how many races I've won...
Toro Rosso STR9
STR9 front wing detail.
A rearward view of the STR9's front wing. The underside of a front wing is as much responsible for generating downforce as the the top side; where the top creates a high pressure zone that presses the wing down, the bottom creates a low pressure zone that pulls the front wing down.
Toro Rosso have fitted new vortex generators on top of their sidepods for Shanghai.
Inlet on the leading face of the SRT9's T-tray. Not certain where this leads, but it may have the benefit of reducing the air going underneath the chassis floor, thereby iincreasing downforce when the lower pressure air reaches the rear diffuser.
STR9 gearbox/chassis detail.
STR9 floor detail.
Toro Rosso with an inwards sloping rear wing.
Then capped off with a gurney flap.
FW36 front wing detail.
This could either be for cooling the sidepod area, or for conditioning air entering air through the sidepod inlet; will update when I see the front view.
FW26 chassis detail.
FW36 rear wing detail.
FW36 rear end detail.
Williams were testing a cannon-style cooling exit on the rear of the FW36, but it is absent here in Shanghai, in place is what looks like the FW35's rear end bodywork.
MR03 engine compartment.
Marussia gearbox detail.
Marussia gearbox detail.
Note the horizontal vane of carbon attached to the trailing edge of the black section of the CT05's nose.
CT05 front wing detail.
CT05 steering wheel detail.
Caterham with a new monkey seat and support.
The most important side of the monkey seat in 2014 is the underside because it conditions the exhaust gasses to upwash, hence the top-side mounting.
CT05 rear diffuser and rear wing endplate detail.