Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

How Red Bull bucked the Monza F1 trend to win the Italian GP

Formula 1 teams have always revelled in the aerodynamic challenges posed by Monza, with its high-speed nature warranting a bespoke wing package.

How Red Bull bucked the Monza F1 trend to win the Italian GP

However, against the backdrop of the cost cap and the arrival of a regulation set that’s delivered a vastly different car, there was a sense that teams might have to redraw their battle plans for 2022.

In the end, there was a split approach for how teams opted to attack the Italian Grand Prix – and it was interesting that the eventual winner had perhaps the most conservative design.

Red Bull, like many others, bucked the usual trend in coming up with a Monza package. Instead it opted to use the lower downforce wing used at the likes of Baku and Spa.

Red Bull Racing RB18 beam wing comparison

Red Bull Racing RB18 beam wing comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

As it also did at those races, it also opted to reduce its downforce levels by running with just the one beam wing element.

Red Bull did at least trial a drag-reducing option though, as Sergio Perez was tasked with testing the same wing, albeit with the trailing edge of the upper flap trimmed back (main image, yellow highlight).

The solution was quickly discarded though as the DRS oscillation issues that dogged the squad throughout the back end of 2021 once again reared their head.

As the team went into qualifying, the extra downforce it was carrying might have been perceived as a penalty around Monza. However, this proved not to be an issue for Red Bull, as the RB18 has not only proved to be quick in a straightline all season, even when carrying more wing than rivals, it has been able to make up time in the traction zones too.

The team had also decided to set Max Verstappen’s car up with the race in mind, rather than qualifying, knowing it had to account for a power unit penalty.

Running with more wing not only helped it protect the tyres and extend its first stint, it also provided it with a larger DRS delta when it did need to pass its competitors, while also being beneficial for qualifying.

Ferrari F1-75 rear wing detail

Ferrari F1-75 rear wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari F1-75 diffuser with flow-vis paint

Ferrari F1-75 diffuser with flow-vis paint

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A one-off livery was not the only trick that Ferrari had up its sleeve for its home race, with the Scuderia employing a low downforce rear wing that we’d already seen tested at Spa.

What wasn’t trialled, even though it was available at the time, was the single beam wing element that the team installed to help reduce downforce and drag for the challenges posed by Monza.

The wing itself is a simple development of the design used by Ferrari throughout the course of 2022, with the spoon-shaped mainplane being flattened out more and more with each iteration.

The wing elements also take up less and less of the available box region as the designers targeted a downforce and drag reduction.

Ferrari F1-75 front wing detail

Ferrari F1-75 front wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Revisions also had to be made to the F1-75’s front wing (above) to accommodate the changes made to the rear wing and beam wing, with the upper flap trimmed back to help balance the car front-to-rear.

Mercedes W13 rear wing, Italian GP

Mercedes W13 rear wing, Italian GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Mercedes has struggled with straightline speed this season, yet it didn’t feel the need to introduce a bespoke rear wing design to help reduce drag. Instead, it was a case of tweaking the W13’s lowest downforce configuration wing to help reduce the deficit.

This included the use of the full endplate wingtip design again, which is interchangeable with the more traditional cutout owing to the wing’s construction (inset).

From an historic perspective, this design is an unusual approach but, given the regulation changes that have been made and the impact that the rolled endplates play in the design efficiency of the wing, there’s going to be numerous new solutions that arise.

The design has also been used by Alpine this season and will alter the vortex that’s shed from the wingtip. The trailing edge of the upper flap was also cut back significantly, with a Gurney flap added that was used on Friday before the team sought a further reduction in drag.

In order to reduce drag further still, the wing assembly was configured with a new, single element, beam wing (below).

Mercedes W13 beam wing

Mercedes W13 beam wing

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alfa Romeo C42 rear wing detail

Alfa Romeo C42 rear wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Alfa Romeo continued to use the low downforce rear wing that it introduced at the Belgian GP and which features the unique cross-cut wingtip. However, in an effort to reduce downforce, the trailing edge of the upper flap was trimmed back (yellow highlight).

In order to achieve this, and retain the DRS mechanism's position on the flap, the central section of the wing had to remain intact though.

AlphaTauri AT03 rear wing detail

AlphaTauri AT03 rear wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

AlphaTauri AT03 rear wing, Italian GP

AlphaTauri AT03 rear wing, Italian GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

AlphaTauri didn’t have a bespoke rear wing option available for Monza, instead opting to make changes to the low downforce solution it introduced at the Belgian Grand Prix.

This came in the form of two changes, with the trailing edge of the upper flap trimmed back (above) and just a single element beam wing employed (below).

AlphaTauri AT03 rear detail

AlphaTauri AT03 rear detail

Photo by: Uncredited

Aston Martin had already given us a glimpse of the rear wing that it was set to use at Monza just a few weeks ago at the Belgian Grand Prix.

The design is by far the most extreme of those presented, with the complex shape reminiscent of some of the wings used at Monza under the previous regulations. A reduction in the wing’s angle of incidence is also paramount in the designer’s attempts to reduce downforce and drag.

Unlike some of its rivals, the team didn’t opt to reduce the number of elements in its beam wing setup though, retaining the two-element configuration.

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing detail

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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