How teams are trying not to pick on the goodwill of F1’s new rules era

The idea was that if there was less turbulent air being tossed around by the cars, this should allow for some closer racing.

Subsequent streamlining of the car’s upper surfaces, with more reliance on the underfloor to generate downforce, appears to have initially achieved some of these goals.

But as teams now have a more nuanced understanding of the fundamentals, they’re starting to prod and touch the regulations a little more, with complex solutions arriving with increasing regularity to try and find gains even if it means more turbulent airflow at the back. .

These solutions undoubtedly reveal some of the original intent set forth first in the new regulations, but it is difficult to stop happening within the wording of the technical regulations.

After all, designers focus on performance and have no obligation to follow the intent of what was written.

In some cases though, the FIA ​​has pushed the regulations back and changed the regulations to ban certain solutions, but not everything is stopped.

Mercedes W13 front wing end plate
Aston Martin AMR22 rear spoiler detail

Front and rear spoiler end solutions, introduced by Mercedes and Aston Martin respectively, are prime examples of this, with regulations being rewritten for 2023 to discourage designers from following this development path.

Mercedes was not held back though by its alternate design which maintained the overall design concept while adhering to the changes made in the regulations.

The solution used by Aston Martin seems to have become inoperable, with no one reinterpreting their concept yet.

But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been some evolution in this area of ​​the car too, with the introduction of a new solution arriving simultaneously on both the Alpine A523 and Aston Martin AMR23 at the Monaco Grand Prix.

This new design scheme sees both teams attempt to separate the hint section from the main level portion of the endboard, albeit with Alpine being more aggressive in its approach.

Alpine A523 rear spoiler side comparison
Rear spoiler end plate end section of the Aston Martin AMR23

The tip section of the A523’s rear wing has been flattened and placed atop the metal support, creating an airfoil profile that also increases wing span, rather than the curvature you’d expect to see based on this set of regulation.

Obviously, this will have an impact on how the different pressure gradients interact and adds another surface as well.

The solution’s arrival in a high-strength setting suggests it may not be a consistent item in the design lexicon going forward, but Alpine has continued to use the solution at both the Spanish and Canadian Grands Prix, which suggests that it works effectively across a range of conditions.

The FIA ​​will undoubtedly monitor the situation. While the solution is clearly within the confines of the regulations, the design is not what is intended.

A concerted effort was made to restrict the design of the junction between the flaps and the end plate, so that it would not add to the turbulence generated and harm the car’s ability to follow – and this clearly succeeded. around.

Alpine A522 rear spoiler
Mercedes W13 rear spoiler comparison

This isn’t the first time Alpine has bucked the trend with its design language in this area either, as it was the first to use a hint section that was integrated into the end panel without a cutout.

The A522 was given the go-ahead as early as last season’s Saudi Grand Prix, with Mercedes sitting down, notified and having their own variant in play by the Belgian Grand Prix.

Alpine was also ahead when it came to design at the lower end of the finish plate as well, featuring the A523 with a trapezoidal top-washer line present on the bodywork roof at the start of the season.

Interestingly, Aston Martin was the other team to unveil its 2023 rival with this feature as well, suggesting they’re going down similar design paths. Williams and AlphaTauri have now added the solution to their arsenal, too.

Aston Martin has stepped its interest in this branch in the development tree a little further than the rest, tweaking the inner face of the AMR23 rear wing endplate for the Monaco Grand Prix and featuring a similar trapeze line. This design should help improve the backwashing effect with the aerodynamic surfaces that surround it.

Aston Martin AMR23 Interior Rear Spoiler Finish Panel

Aston Martin AMR23 Interior Rear Spoiler Finish Panel

Image source: Uncredited

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