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 out this year's pre-season tests and the Australian Gran Prix.

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

Malaysian Gran Prix

Red Bull RB10

RB10 nose detail.

Note the strakes on the underside of the Red Bull's front wing to keep the air in line and support a low-downforce area underneath the wing.

Also note the driver-cooling inlet on the nose tip, and the bubble-shaped bodywork on the underside of the nose.

RB10 brake assembly detail.

RB10 brake duct detail.

RB10 brake assembly detail.

RB10 engine cover. Note the gold liner that helps reflect heat.

...Yes, real gold.

The clean lines of Adrian Newey.

RedBull sidepods, the two pipes connected to the [valves] are the [engine] preheating system


Contrast to @MercedesAMGF1 the @redbullracing sidepod is ful or air-air intercooler and electronics


Mercedes W05

Just giving the safety car a wash.

Mercedes WO5 Front wing, note the vortex generators on the second tier of the mainplane sit ahead of the strakes behind the wing. These disturb the airflow increasing the strakes efficiency

- SomersF1


A rear view of the Mercedes front-wing.

Mercedes FW, the rounded shape twixt wing and endplate shows how the vortex forms and curls around the front tyre


W05 brake detail.

W05 engine cover, splint in 3 pieces.

It looks as though Mercedes have newly shaped sidepods this week in Malaysia. The sidepod airflow conditioners are modified, but retain a similar shape from 2 weeks ago.

Righthand sidepo @MercedesAMGF1 note the oil cooler above the engine fed by the roll hoop ducts


Mercedes WO5 Rear wing, note the oil cooler that sits astride the gearbox and resides within the engine covers central cooling funnel

- SomersF1

Note the nostrils above the main airbox inlet.

W05 turning vane detail.

W05 rear-brake detail.

Mercedes floor that they probably shouldn't have let us see.

Note the slots on the @MercedesAMGF1 bargebaord and the vane next to the T-Tray


Note the U-shaped floor leading to the rear diffuser. I assume that this is a way to vent hot air and increase the speed of the air flowing out of the diffuser though the flow of hot air's use.

W05 rear diffuser detail.

Like most teams the @MercedesAMGF1 wheel is polysil coated & knurled to absorb heat (not reflect as I said yesterday)


Ferrari F14T

Ferrari front wing detail.

Note the NACA ducts on the F14T's nose, as well as the winglet on top of the airbox.

F14T brake and sidepod detail.

Most electronics are stored underneath the sidepods for the lowest center of gravity.

F14T sans engine cover and floor.

The Ferrari has added extra cooling slots on the rear portion of the engine cover.

Temperature sensors on the rear crash structure.

Lotus E22

E22 nose and front wing detail.

E22 front wing detail.

Lotus sporting new Proton sponsorship.

Lotus engineer cutting something. Looks like some sort of duct.

Also note Lotus' interpretation of the ductless brake duct. Most traditional brake ducts have a vertical sheet of carbon separating the tire sidewall and the brake duct. The E22 takes this sheet of carbon and molds it into a duct shape, using the tire sidewall as part of the duct.

Another view.

Lotus E22 front brake duct detail, note the proliferation of winglets on the top edge of the duct whilst the lower section is also treated to curved flow conditioners

- SomersF1

E22 front brake detail.

The E22's sidepods don't look traditional. I am assuming that the radidator(s) are packed inside that carbon box.

Lotus the box with the blue cables and bundle of clear tubes connected to it is for air pressure sensors on the floor

Lotus sidepod, the water radiator dominates the right sidepod, along with its header tank


E22 sidepod detail.

E22 sidepod detail.

Note the near-90-degree angle on the air inlet piping; this provides the E22 with a noticeable difference in how the engine cover appears.

Lotus engine installation, the only water-to-air intercooled Renault, its the box on the floor below the exhaust

Lotus the radiator above cools the water inside (with 161 written on it) the intercooler


McLaren MP4-29

McLaren have a new nose!

This iteration is meant to allow more air underneath the nose and flow back around toward the rear diffuser.

More nasal action.

Note the elongated pylon supports for the front wing.

MP4-29 front wing detail; relatively simple for the Woking team this year.

MP4-29 engine cover.

Note the side crash structures, one above and one belwow; these are now mandated parts by the FIA instead of the teams running a crash test with a team-designed part, like the nose is now.

More McLaren note the unusual radiator angle and the duct feeding the outlet near the cockpit


MP4-29 sidepod detail.

McLaren the right sidepod is all water radiator, above the airbox feeds both the engine via a filter and oil coolers


McLaren getting ready to pitot tube test the airflow approaching their sidepods as a result of their new nose.

Also note the carbon fiber ductwork for heat release.

New turning vanes on the McLaren chassis.

McLaren's not-so-secret rear suspension all alone.

McLaren gearbox detail.

MP4-29 side heat vents in Malaysia, something the Lotus team are also experimenting with.

I'm going to dub these "Silencer Holes", seeing how well my coinage of Shroomspension turned out (hint: it didn't...).

Force India VJM07

VJM07 nose detail.

An inside view of a Force India front wing.

Force India front wing. Now that wing is smaller, teams are having to focus more energy on moving the air out of the tire's outside sidewall.

VJM07 build up.

These are engine compartment cooling outlets on the Force India chassis that lie where the sidepod and the supports for the airbox meet.

Force India where the turbo is air-to-air intercooled and the cooler fills this sidepod


Sauber C33

C33 build up.

This is a perfect display of a ductless brake duct on the C33 chassis. The vertical vane of carbon forms the lefthand side of the duct and the tire sidewall forms the righthand side.

C33 front-wing detail.

Note the stepped chassis on the Sauber.

Sauber, you can appreciate the amount of heat shielding that is required around the new powerplants


Toro Rosso STR9

STR9 front wings.

Toro Rosso have brought both iterations of the front wing to Malaysia: the original (above) and the new one that should allow more air underneath their chassis (below).

STR9 front wing detail.

STR9 front wing detail.

Note the top flap of the rear wing and the split airbox inlet.

On the @ToroRossoSpy the roll hoop feed engine and the oil cooler, note the sidepod inlet is now split


Williams FW36

Williams noses.

Is this one not finished painting?


Williams FW36 "blown wheel".

Martini livery... mmmmhh...

Note the Williams' unique wing mirrors. Also note the vane of carbon stretching from the sidepod to the vertical sidepod airflow conditioner.

Williams FW36 rear diffuser detail.

Williams testing different iterations of a "cannonball-style" heat outlet.

A bigger version.

Marussia MR03

Marussia front wing, sidepods, and engine cover.

Marussia 7 element cascade structure.

A tad bit over done for a back-marker? You be the judge.

Marussia gearbox detail.

Ferrari gearbox on the Marussia, note the relaitvely small rear brake caliper due to the ERS effect on braking


Caterham CT05

CT05 nose detail.

Caterham have brought two very different front wings to Malaysia.

Note the quite large "turning vane" on the CT05's nose.

Caterham build up.

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