In Mercedes made a mistake with the concept of the front wing?February 25, 2019
At the end of the first week of tests in Barcelona, many believe that the advantage of Ferrari, partly recognized it even in the championship team. It is possible that Mercedes chose an erroneous concept when creating a new car, and they will have to redesign the W10 to correct the situation. Given how much time is needed for this, it is unlikely that the “B-version”, if the work on it starts, will be ready before the Spanish Grand Prix.
Auto Motor und Sport notes that among the features of Mercedes, in addition to the long wheelbase and a small rail (tilt angle of the car body), is different from other teams, primarily from Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, the design of the front wing. Among the visible differences – end plates are bent inward, and the rest of the teams – outward.
In theory, the Mercedes wing produces more downforce, which relates to its advantages, but it also has a serious drawback – the oncoming air flow does not completely go around the front wheels, creating in front of them disturbance zones.
The design of the front wing of the Ferrari (and Alfa Romeo, which, as rivals believe, is simply copied from Scuderia) allows air flow to completely round the front wheels and more effectively direct it along the body of the car, providing greater downforce in the rear wing.
The unusual design of the front wing of Mercedes caused surprise at the rivals, including the team manager of Alfa Romeo Beata Zendder: “Our engineers from the very beginning chose this concept of the front wing, and we assumed that all the teams will follow this path. When we saw the photos from the presentation of the Mercedes, we thought that it was just a red herring. We were sure that they would bring the same solution to the tests as we do. ”
Racing Point technical director Andy Green explained why the Mercedes front-wing concept is bad: “If there are disturbed air zones in front of the front wheels, then they go into disturbance zones that need to be controlled on other elements of the car body, which complicates the task. Ideally, the swirls should remain only at the inner edges of the flaps.
We have already learned so well to control these twists that we use them to accelerate the air flow along the machine. The shape of the end plates defines air perturbation zones. Of course, you are trying to get rid of these zones, so in recent years there has been a tendency to divert all the air disturbances created by the front wing profile, away from the car.
Mercedes has a lot of work to optimize the front wing, but the team is so large and experienced that it can do it in the foreseeable future. ”
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