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Bahrain GP: Tech images from the F1 pitlane explained

Join us as we delve into the Formula 1 technical features on display as the teams prepare their cars for the Bahrain Grand Prix, courtesy of Giorgio Piola and Sutton Images.

Ferrari SF-24 detail

Uncredited

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Giorgio Piola is the preeminent Formula 1 technical journalist. Born in Genoa, Italy, Giorgio has covered the F1 World Championship since 1969, producing thousands of illustrations that have been reproduced in the world’s most prestigious motor racing publications.

There’s nowhere to hide for Formula 1’s teams as they gear up for this weekend’s track action, which starts a day earlier than usual.

Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

With the bodywork off, we’re able to see how Red Bull has laid out the components within the RB20’s sidepods, with the radiators and coolers being slanted and offset from one another in a v-shaped configuration. Above this we can also see the outlets for the upper halo intake cooler arrangement.


Mercedes F1 W15 detail

Mercedes F1 W15 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The Mercedes W15 as it’s being prepared for action, which affords us a view of the internal ducting used to cool the front brake caliper, while the radiator layout is also visible in the background.


Ferrari SF-24 detail

Ferrari SF-24 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A close-up view, looking inside the Ferrari SF-24’s sidepods as the car is prepared for action. Note, the new lower position for the lowermost side impact spar (SIS), whilst a top baffle is also mounted above the radiator and cooler stack to help route the airflow.


McLaren MCL38 detail

McLaren MCL38 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A close up of the McLaren MCL38 as it’s worked on in the garage, with the bib damper visible, while we’re also able to better appreciate the size and shape of the sidepod inlet without the rearward bodywork in place. Also note the intake wing which sits ahead of the inlet and offers a variably shaped leading edge, twisting down over the inlet but is pitched upwards in the outer wing section.


Aston Martin AMR24 detail

Aston Martin AMR24 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The Aston Martin AMR24, with the transport bungs still in place, gives a great visual of how shallow its sidepod inlet is this season.


Aston Martin AMR24 detail

Aston Martin AMR24 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A close up of Aston’s front brake duct assembly without the main outer drum in place shows how many different channels are being used to move airflow to the various components and make best use of the airflow to control temperatures transferred to the wheel rim and tyre.


Aston Martin AMR24 detail

Aston Martin AMR24 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The AMR24’s nose and front wing assembly, with a driver cooling inlet in the tip of the lower assembly, while the team has the upper one covered.


Mercedes F1 W15 detail

Mercedes F1 W15 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes has the W15 set up with the rear leg of the upper wishbone located in the higher position initially (white arrow).


Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The RB20’s floor is laid on the garage floor awaiting fitment, which gives us a fantastic view of the floor fences, the shape of the central body which will be pushed up around the chassis and power unit and the shape of the diffuser’s roof, which like in 2023 features a distinct central ramp and heavy contouring around it.


Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The internal setup of the Red Bull RB20’s ductwork builds on the arrangement used in 2023, as there’s now a window within the disc fairing to help release some of the heat being generated in order it can pass into the drum more easily. This heat transference is important in terms of how it then interacts with the wheel rim and tyre.


Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

On the other side of the vertical fence is the inlet and outlet, which is a design that Red Bull has carried over and optimised from the RB19, with a segmented b-shaped inlet reaching back to the rear exit in a tulip shape to help guide the internal and external airflow.


Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The Red Bull RB20 continues the trend set by its predecessors of having a V-shaped chassis, which improves flow to important areas downstream. Also note the snorkel mounted above the brake fluid reservoir, which connects to the inlet scoop in the nose tip to deliver cool air to the driver.


Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The RB20’s rear brake arrangement is similar to its predecessor’s but, the team has optimised the disc fairing’s shape and added a coating to help with temperature management.


Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Red Bull Racing RB20 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

In this image we’re able to stare down the halo intake, which provides an additional route for the airflow to aid in cooling the power unit and its ancillaries.


Mercedes W15 detail

Mercedes W15 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A close up of the DRS mechanism on the Mercedes W15, as the cover has been removed.


Mercedes W15 detail

Mercedes W15 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Work goes on beneath the W15, but without the sidepod bodywork in place we’re able to see more of the cooling layout, the internal stays used to prevent the floor from flexing and the location of the lower SIS.


Ferrari SF-24 detail

Ferrari SF-24 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The view from beneath the SF-24’s chassis without the bodywork in place reveals some of the packaging work done to house the electronics, while we’re also treated to a view of the bib damper.


Aston Martin AMR24 detail

Aston Martin AMR24 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin’s internal rear brake duct pipework features a row of strakes on its surface to help direct the airflow’s passage between it and the outer drum. This is not a new feature, having already been seen on last year’s machine but noteworthy nonetheless.


Williams FW46 brake and technical detail

Williams FW46 brake and technical detail

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The Williams FW46’s rear brake disc donut fairing isn’t fully installed here but we’re also able to see the internal cone that surrounds the axle and the fin design that sits on the flank of their caliper.


Alpine A524 detail

Alpine A524 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Alpine has retained its forward and vertical mounting location for the brake caliper on the A524, with teardrop-shaped outlets allowing heat to flow between the assembly and the brake drum.


Alpine A524 detail

Alpine A524 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Here’s the A524’s setup with the carbon fibre shroud in place that helps cool the caliper.


VCARB RB01 detail

VCARB RB01 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A great view of the RB01’s floor fence arrangement, which shows how each of the fences have a very different geometry, height and spacing.


VCARB RB01 detail

VCARB RB01 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

The RB01 also features a more V-ed shape in the lower section but not as aggressive as the one seen on the sister team’s RB20.


Williams FW46 technical detail

Williams FW46 technical detail

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Williams has also joined the semi-detached tip section brigade with its rear wing design this season but this has to cater for how aggressive designers have been with the shape of the endplate below, especially how the corner section has been wound where it meets with the mainplane.


Ferrari SF-24 detail

Ferrari SF-24 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Ferrari’s rear wing featuring the semi-detached tip section in Bahrain. Also note how far the end fence is displaced from the rear brake drum, with spars used to reduce the ingress of debris between it and the tyre’s sidewall.


McLaren MCL38 detail

McLaren MCL38 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

McLaren also has a rear wing with the semi-detached tip section in Bahrain, while it’s opted for the bi-plane beam wing arrangement. Also note the design of the metal support that bridges the exhaust outlet.


McLaren MCL38 detail

McLaren MCL38 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

An overview of the MCL38 without its bodywork in place, notably we can see the radiator and intake layout but there’s also a baffle on the upper surface of the radiator.


Alpine A524 detail

Alpine A524 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The Alpine A524 set up with the maximum engine cover cooling configuration, with 20 gills opened in the louvred panel.


Alpine A524 detail

Alpine A524 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A look at the front suspension detail on the Alpine A524, which doesn’t feature some of the more aggressive angles we see used by their rivals.


Alpine A524 detail

Alpine A524 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

At the rear of the car, the team are once again using their fin-less engine cover, with raised outlets along the spine instead. Also note the semi-detached rear wing endplate design, which originated with Alpine and has since been copied by many of their rivals.


Mercedes F1 W15 detail

Mercedes F1 W15 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Plenty to look at in this image, from the intake and radiator layout, to the internal stays being used to increase floor stiffness and the inboard pull rod suspension arrangement.


McLaren MCL38 detail

McLaren MCL38 detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The front brake caliper on the MCL38 features the small pins we’ve seen last season, albeit likely more optimised, these help to save weight while also improving cooling.


Ferrari SF-24 detail

Ferrari SF-24 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A close up of the Ferrari SF-24 nose tip with a Naca-shaped inlet duct present, also note the upper flaps have yet to be installed.


Ferrari SF-24 detail

Ferrari SF-24 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A mechanic works on the front left corner of the SF-24, which without the drum in place we’re able to see some of the internal ductwork used to channel airflow to the caliper.


McLaren MCL38 detail

McLaren MCL38 detail

Photo by: Uncredited

A close up of the front brake assembly on the MCL38 as the car is prepared for action, note that the disc and caliper are not yet in place though.

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