F1 2009-13 part three: the f-duct
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F1 2009-13 part three: the f-duct

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In the latest of our series on the 2009-13 F1 regulations, EDD STRAW explains how McLaren caught its rivals on the hop with the ingenius f-duct in 2010

When the 2010 McLaren MP4-26 broke cover pre-season, rival teams' attention was immediately drawn to the letterbox intake on the top of the front of the chassis. This was the first glimpse of the f-duct, which became the big technical topic of discussion that season and played a part in the introduction of the DRS in 2011.

The concept of the f-duct was elegantly simple. The intake was used to channel air through the car and directed to the rear wing. But when a hole in the cockpit was covered - in the case of the McLaren by the driver's elbow - this airflow was used to blow across the upper element of the rear wing to stall it, slashing drag.

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