How Force India is trying to solve tech problems with 2018 F1 car

Force India has admitted it has missed its performance targets with its 2018 Formula 1 car, but continued to make progress during the Spanish Grand Prix weekend and post-race test

How Force India is trying to solve tech problems with 2018 F1 car

The team mounted numerous airflow sensors to the sidepod during free practice to help identify any problems that may be appearing in the real world that do not show up in CFD and windtunnel simulations.

In one of these tests, the kiel problems were mounted in a line following the curvature of the bodywork (right hand inset, red arrows).

In the subsequent tests only the lower two probes remained (inset).

This followed the introduction of a small triangular flap in the undercut gutter (white arrow) as the team looked to create a pressure gradient to improve flow around the sidepod in the opening races.

Force India also introduced a new floor in Spain as it worked on improving rear downforce consistency.

The longitudinal holes are a concept first seen on the McLaren this year and have subsequently featured elsewhere.

These not only drive the performance of the outer section of the floor, but also change the flow characteristics of the tyre squirt slots behind.

This should help with the fluctuating rear load and difficulty in managing the rear tyres that the team has been experiencing.

Force India also ran a programme at the post-race test to evaluate any rear wing problems.

The rig, which resembles another wing element mounted behind, is loaded with sensors to produced baseline performance figures.

The central section has heat reflective tape and temperature strips affixed to it, as the team analyses how the exhaust gasses influence that area.

Force India's problems have delayed the introduction of the team's new front wing concept.

The wing first rolled out in Bahrain has been left on the sidelines until the team is happy with the balance of the car.

"We are still very confident that the front wing does what we wanted of it," said technical director Andy Green earlier this season.

"But it was designed to go with a car that generates more rear load. Once that load appears and you put the wing on, that generates even more rear load so it is a double whammy.

"That is why we are very keen to break into it."

With set-up and tyre confidence growing allied to the introduction of the new pars, the team re-evaluated the front wing specification during Friday's free practice sessions at Barcelona.

It returned to the previous specification for the rest of the weekend, but ran the front wing again in the test.

Front wing comparison

By Gary Anderson

The older version of the front wing has a very quick change of section between what are classed as the downforce-producing components (pink section) and the outer parts, which are doing their best to turn the airflow around and over the front tyres.

With this abrupt change of section, it is very easy to get transverse airflow in this area - which will also be influenced as the wing gets closer to the ground at high-speed and/or with a bit of roll mid-corner.

The new version, with its increased tunnel (arrowed) allows those two areas to work more independently.

But this will affect the front wing's mid-corner characteristics, especially through long, fast ones such as Barcelona's Turn 3.

This new wing probably works more effectively in this type of corner, but that can lead to mid-corner oversteer so the post-race test would have been useful to look into this.

Technical director Andrew Green is confident the front wing will be raced soon.

"It still needs a little bit of work, but it will become the wing of choice very shortly," he said.

shares
comments
Why Williams can't compete with F1's big boys
Previous article

Why Williams can't compete with F1's big boys

Next article

Renault Q3 weakness puts Red Bull drivers under 'too much pressure'

Renault Q3 weakness puts Red Bull drivers under 'too much pressure'
The pioneering pair who brought a new glory era to an F1 heavyweight  Plus

The pioneering pair who brought a new glory era to an F1 heavyweight 

With the team’s founder now retired and a new boss at the helm, change was coming to Brabham – change that would shape the future of Formula 1. In the third part of our four-part history of Brabham, DAMIEN SMITH examines the effect Bernie Ecclestone had on the team

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best" Plus

The combination behind the Silverstone racing battles Hamilton called "F1 at its best"

OPINION: The late battling in the British Grand Prix wowed Formula 1 fans and surely represents the best racing action of the season so far. And there was a cocktail of factors that created the action, from which Carlos Sainz emerged as a popular new winner

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine Plus

How Ferrari’s Monaco headache became its Silverstone migraine

OPINION: Ferrari won the British Grand Prix with Carlos Sainz, but it ultimately cost Charles Leclerc a chance to make a bigger dent in Max Verstappen's title lead by leaving the Monegasque out on old tyres towards the end. Like Monaco, indecision over strategy proved to be the Scuderia's biggest issue - and if the team doesn't reflect, the headache can only intensify

Formula 1
Jul 5, 2022
The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost Plus

The five factors behind Sainz winning a British GP he’d twice lost

Formula 1 has a newest race winner, in a grand prix the victor appeared to have lost twice, only to charge back to headline a sensational and dramatic British Grand Prix. From a massive start crash to a late sprint finish, here’s how five factors saw Carlos Sainz take his maiden grand prix win

Formula 1
Jul 4, 2022
Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga Plus

Why there was no case to answer in Aston’s latest F1 copycat saga

The appearance of a revised Aston Martin in Spain caused controversy but PAT SYMONDS explains why the FIA investigation found the Silverstone team had no case to answer

Formula 1
Jul 3, 2022
Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone Plus

Why it's Red Bull that really leads a three-way fight so far at Silverstone

After a slow start to Friday at Silverstone, all the Formula 1 teams had to effectively cram in a day’s worth of practice into one hour. But there was still plenty to learn and while Ferrari topped the times, a three-way battle is brewing ahead of the British Grand Prix

Formula 1
Jul 2, 2022
Why the future is bright for the British GP Plus

Why the future is bright for the British GP

It wasn’t so long ago the situation looked bleak at Silverstone with the future of the British Grand Prix under threat. But a transformation has seen it restored to one of the most important races on the Formula 1 calendar, with bigger and better to come

Formula 1
Jul 1, 2022
Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone? Plus

Could mixed fortunes for F1's leading Brits turn around at Silverstone?

For the first time in many years, none of the local racers starts among the favourites for the British Grand Prix. But George Russell, Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris could have reasons for optimism

Formula 1
Jun 30, 2022