Analysis: Formula 1's 2015 nose rules change a headache for teams

The push to rid Formula 1 of ugly noses in 2015 may have been done for simple aesthetics, but it has caused complications for design teams

Analysis: Formula 1's 2015 nose rules change a headache for teams

After a raft of criticisms about the look of last year's cars - which left fans and team bosses up in arms - the FIA moved to outlaw the extended nose tips for 2015.

A tweak to F1's technical regulations stipulating strict dimensional criteria to outlaw the extended noses nipped the problem in the bud, and no longer will F1 cars be compared to proboscis monkeys or anteaters.

But although the tweak to the noses may seem minor, the impact it has had on influencing design evolution for 2015 has been relatively big.

The reason for that is fairly simple: because the nose is the first part of the car to hit the air, it has an impact on how the airflow works over everything behind it.

Force India technical director Andy Green told AUTOSPORT: "Everything downstream from the front wing sets up everything else. So a change in that area makes a big difference to how you develop the car.

"The car is tuned around a certain set of circumstances at the front of the car.

"So it required a lot of aerodynamic reconfiguring to try to recover what was, to start with, quite a significant loss from where we were with the high nose.

"To go down to a very low nose took a lot of change. We're there now, but it took quite a while."

Green thinks that the tight wording of Article 15.4.3 of the technical regulations will ensure that most noses look the same, with a design similar to Ferrari's 2014 car likely, but the key will be how well each team can finetune its design for maximum aerodynamic benefit.

"I think there's probably as much performance in it eventually as there was with the conventional nose," he said.

"It just takes time to extract it. We've been forced down a route and we've got to extract new performance."

AERO WAR BACK ON

Although the influence of the engine is far greater now than it has been for years, Green has no doubts that the importance of aerodynamics cannot be underestimated.

That is why getting the nose design right - and ensuring the rest of the car responds in the right way - is essential.

"When I look at the lap time deltas that we have to Mercedes and I look at some of their speeds through the high-speed corners, that's pure aerodynamics," he said.

"They've got some significant advantages over us in pure aerodynamics. So yes, there's still a lot to be had in aero.

"Even comparing it to the teams that traditionally had good aerodynamics, like Red Bull, Mercedes are still significantly quicker. We've got a lot to learn from them.

"Not only have they done a good job with the power unit, they've done a very, very good job aerodynamically."

Illustration by CRAIG SCARBOROUGH

For a full analysis of the impact of the 2015 Formula 1 car changes see this week's AUTOSPORT, which is available in newsagents and online on Thursday

shares
comments
Pat Symonds says Williams F1 team now needs bigger budget
Previous article

Pat Symonds says Williams F1 team now needs bigger budget

Next article

Romain Grosjean says current F1 cars require new driving style

Romain Grosjean says current F1 cars require new driving style
Load comments
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021
How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage Plus

How Hamilton dominated in Qatar despite missing a key Mercedes advantage

There was simply no stopping Lewis Hamilton on Formula 1's first visit to Qatar. The Mercedes driver eased to pole position and led every lap to secure an utterly dominant victory - even without a key Mercedes weapon in his arsenal to increase the heat on Red Bull heading into the final two races of the gripping 2021 title race

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021