The 2021 season might be a transitional yr for Method 1 because of the technical freezes and the upcoming 2022 regulation modifications, that are a radical departure from what we all know now.
For the upcoming F1 season, regardless of the assorted freezes to a lot of the mechanical elements, the FIA has additionally imposed aerodynamic limitations to restrict the downforce, which it believed may attain harmful ranges with out some type of intervention.
Aerodynamic limitations on account of tyres
The primary motivation of the technical modifications for ’21 are to restrict the mechanical stress to which Pirelli’s tyres might be subjected, with the event and improve in efficiency of the vehicles that naturally happen from yr to yr below steady technical laws.
The debut of the 18-inch Pirelli tyres has been postponed to ’22, due to this fact the game will follow the present 13-inch tyres. This similar compound and construction has been used for the earlier two seasons and easily wouldn’t have been capable of take in the forces transmitted by the better downforce.
To this it have to be added that on account of COVID, Pirelli has been unable to adequately work within the first six months of ’20 on a improvement program for ’21 tyres. Within the last a part of final yr the Italian firm took care to strengthen the construction of the tyre and make it appropriate to resist larger stresses.
The second Silverstone race final yr was a transparent instance of simply how a lot stress the tyres should undergo with the present fashionable automobile. A number of vehicles, together with race winner Lewis Hamilton, suffered tyre failures. Hamilton limped throughout the road to take the win with simply three wheels intact. This was on account of excessive tyre put on and blistering on a really tyre intensive circuit.
On November 1, the FIA authorised the Pirelli tyres for the ’21 season, which could have a bigger carcass than these beforehand homologated for the ’19 and ’20 seasons. It’s hoped they are going to be extra environment friendly at dealing with better mechanical forces and endure much less blistering at decrease pressures. Checks had been carried out over the last races of the season, and Pirelli chief Mario Isola stated he was glad that they’d achieved their objective.
The FIA aimed to chop downforce by 10%
Regardless of the intervention on the tyres, the FIA’s Nikolas Tombazis intervened to switch the ’21 aerodynamic laws, with the goal of decreasing the general downforce by about 10 per cent in comparison with ’20. All this clearly had the aim of sustaining a security margin on the tyres for the brand new season.
To restrict the downforce, the FIA initially considered intervening by limiting the downforce generated by the rear wing, which from ’19 has a better space than in earlier seasons. Nevertheless, the FIA’s technicians determined to as an alternative intervene on the flat ground space, decreasing its aerodynamic impression with a diagonal lower in the direction of the rear axle (RWCL).
The lower on the ground will begin precisely from the C-C aircraft, orthogonal to the longitudinal axis of the automobile, which coincides with the rear a part of the body the place the engine mounts are positioned (precisely 1800 mm from the entrance axle as per Article 3.7 of the Technical Rules).
The ground will shrink by a few third in comparison with the ’20 configuration, and that ought to routinely make the assorted difficult slots and air channels disappear which had been to cut back the impression of the air movement on the rear tyre (referred to as tyre squirt). The assorted ducts helped the aerodynamics of the vehicles to create a seal for the air movement, recreating a form of “mini-skirt”, which will increase the bottom impact of the single-seaters, and the effectivity of the rear diffuser.
The discount within the provision, nonetheless, created robust doubts through the numerous technical conferences, because it alone can’t be ample to cut back the general downforce by the focused 10 per cent. The identical technical administrators have expressed robust doubts on the truth that the groups can rapidly get well the efficiency deficit.
The FIA has due to this fact added two different notes within the aerodynamic laws, instantly intervening with limitations to the diffuser and rear brake ducts.
For the diffuser, the laws will impose a limitation on groups within the inner space of the extractor channel, at 250mm of lateral offset from the centreline of the automobile.
In comparison with 2020, the fins (ie the inner drifts of the extractor channel) have to be shorter than 50mm from the reference aircraft of the automobile, which considerably coincides with the central a part of the “stepped” backside. This, along with the diagonal lower of the ground, ought to assist cut back the rear downforce of the ’21 vehicles, limiting the effectivity of the diffuser.
The modifications to the rear brake ducts, alternatively, concern the cantilevered winglets, which make this space of the automobile very complicated within the excessive search by the engineers to know the utmost aerodynamic impact even from the smallest factor of the automobile.
For years now, the brake ducts, each entrance and rear, have now not carried out the one activity of cooling the braking system, however are true aerodynamic parts. On the rear, a collection of cantilevered fins try and transmit the utmost doable load to the rear axle for the very best traction and most grip when cornering. Within the diagram beneath, which represents a rear view of the hub provider, it’s doable to look at how the FIA has restricted the cantilever extension of the winglets to 80mm, below a top of 50mm from the rear wheel axle. The winglets are highlighted in yellow, and protrude behind the brake grip from the brake bell.
How they goal to get well the losses
Already through the ’20 season, a lot of the groups have been working in the direction of ’21, finishing up numerous aerodynamic checks within the free follow of assorted Grands Prix, with pre-configurations of the underside, diffuser and brake ducts, while respecting the constraints of subsequent season.
It’s clear that the downforce handicap on the rear will upset the steadiness of the assorted single-seaters, and the engineers’ first activity might be to stabilise the vehicles, with interventions on the entrance axle.
Groups akin to McLaren, Ferrari, Crimson Bull, Renault and Williams labored onerous through the 2020 season finale, bringing a lower backside and simplified aerodynamics. The primary interpretations of this have already been seen in Abu Dhabi, and amongst these, Crimson Bull and Ferrari stand out. Alternatively, the Mercedes is shocking, which among the many prime groups was the one which virtually didn’t perform any aerodynamic checks on the observe in view of this yr.
Within the illustration beneath we will see the underside launched on the Crimson Bull RB16 in free follow at Yas Marina, the place in entrance of the rear wheel, a vertical extension factor has been added, which acts as a winglet (just like the winglets of an airplane), to cut back the induced drag, and the eddies (vortex turbulence) that will impression the rear tyre.
Alternatively, the structure introduced by Ferrari at Yas Marina may be very attention-grabbing. It was a second model of a lower ground examined on the SF1000 (the primary model was examined in Portugal).
It may be seen that the aerodynamic design is already extra complicated, in an try and get well the lack of efficiency because of the diagonal lower. Word the winglet in entrance of the rear wheel, to which three small 45-degree slots have been added. Three vertical fins have been inserted round about midway by the diagonal lower, which act as a vortex generator to protect the rear wheel from flows.