June 27, 2022

This is due to a series of tracks with medium/low downforce characteristics, so updates should pay off over the next few races.

The most substantial change is to the underbelly of the car, as the team has redesigned the front end of the sidepod. Not only will this impact cooling, given the now squarer intake shape, but it will also have several aerodynamic consequences.

In order to achieve this redesign, the team increased the length of the sidepod, bringing the front section closer to the front wheels.

Increasing the length of the pontoon in this way reduces working space, due to the regulatory bounding boxes that govern the size, position and shape of the body. However, it’s a design scheme we’ve already seen championed by AlphaTauri, Aston Martin and to some extent Red Bull, although the latter’s solution has an open top.

Although the entrance may appear smaller than its letterbox-shaped predecessor, the volume of the frontal section of the entrance will be relatively similar, as the pontoon also swells outward afterwards.

The extra length also has a significant impact on external airflow, with the body being better able to direct the wake generated by the front tire more effectively, particularly in the undercut region, which will likely have an effect. drive on the performance of the floor below too.

Not new, but also worth noting are the two side-mounted winglets of the halo (red arrow, main image) that help correct airflow as it passes.

Alpine A522 rear wing comparison

There was also considerable buzz around the new rear wing specification introduced by Alpine in Baku, as the upper elements clearly took up much less space in the permitted box area, resulting in a wing with a tiny profile. .

Compared to the low downforce rear wing setup previously used in Jeddah and Miami, this wing also has the rear corner endplate cutouts we’ve grown accustomed to, rather than being filled in (inset, arrow red above).

The team also overhauled their beam wing layout, being the first to take inspiration from the stacked layout we’ve seen Red Bull use since the start of the season.

Alpine A522 Beam Wing Comparison

Alpine A522 Beam Wing Comparison


Red Bull gives you more wings…

Speaking of Red Bull, he also made changes to Baku’s rear wing with the aim of reducing drag, without compromising too much downforce needed to be fast in the mid-sector.

This resulted in the use of one of his low downforce offerings, with which he duly endured DRS issues in free practice. But the main change was the use of a single lower element for the beam flange, as the upper elements (red arrows, inset below) were removed.

Red Bull Racing RB18 beam fender comparison

Red Bull Racing RB18 beam fender comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola


…just like Ferrari…

Ferrari also made changes to the F1-75 as it also sought to reduce drag on the 2.2km straight, without compromising performance in the mid-sector.

To achieve this, the Scuderia installed the new rear wing setup that was Miami-ready, but had opted out of racing—they preferred a higher downforce option to preserve the tires there.

The new spec (bottom left) is still a spoon-shaped design, but you’ll notice when comparing the two wing designs how much less wing is in the allowed box section, while the edge flat in the central section of the main plane and the top flap is much wider.

Ferrari F1-75 rear spoiler Azerbaijan GP

Ferrari F1-75 rear spoiler Azerbaijan GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari F1-75 rear wing detail

Ferrari F1-75 rear wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola


Mercedes has battled a straight-line speed problem all season, with the team introducing a new low downforce rear wing in Miami which it used again in Baku.

However, Toto Wolff remarked that his drivers said it was like driving with a parachute strapped to the back of the car, with the W13 dropping up to 20km/h compared to rivals on the line. 2.2 km straight.

Mercedes W13 rear wing

Mercedes W13 rear wing

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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