Matt Somerfield

Matt Somerfield

Latest articles by Matt Somerfield


The ‘flapping’ phenomenon behind F1’s latest flexi wing intrigue

Formula 1 is as much an aero contest as it is a fight between drivers, so it’s no surprise that it has become the focus of the latest Red Bull versus Mercedes battleground.

Why F1's flexi wing tricks are a never-ending problem for the FIA

The FIA's clampdown on Formula 1 teams exploiting clever 'bendy wings' to boost straightline speed is the latest skirmish in a war that has raged for decades.

What is behind McLaren's latest F1 upgrades

McLaren has emerged as the strongest 'best of the rest' team in Formula 1 this year, but it hasn't stopped it pushing on with upgrades.

The aero revamp that Red Bull has unleashed in Portugal

Red Bull has shown no signs of easing off in its Formula 1 development push, as it brought a raft of upgrades to its RB16B for the fight against Mercedes in Portugal.

How Aston Martin is fighting back from its low rake deficit

Aston Martin has spoken openly about how it feels that Formula 1’s new 2021 aero regulations have hurt its low rake car.

What Verstappen's scenic tour revealed about Red Bull's secrets

Formula 1 teams go to great lengths to keep their design ideas secret from rivals, but sometimes events beyond their control end up revealing everything.

How Mercedes has turned the corner on its knife-edge W12

Mercedes arrived at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix after a bruising pre-season Formula 1 test and some warning signs about Red Bull’s potential in the Bahrain race.

Are Z-shaped floors the way to go in F1 2021?

Formula 1 teams appear divided over the best floor solution for the 2021 rules, as a new set of regulations once again resulted in two opposing design trends appearing.

Why F1's 2021 rules hurt low rake Mercedes more

Mercedes' confirmation that it believes its low rake car concept has been hit hardest by Formula 1's 2021 aero rule change has added an interesting dynamic to the title battle.

Aston Martin makes floor changes amid low rake rules hit

Aston Martin has made a number of changes to its AMR21's floor design ahead of the Formula 1 season opener at Bahrain.

Why McLaren's clever F1 diffuser trick is legal

The clever diffuser solution adopted by McLaren was a big talking point of Formula 1's pre-season testing weekend, but just how and why has it opted to chase this development?

Ferrari opts for radical F1 diffuser fin solution

The mounting interest around new floor solutions in Formula 1 has increased in Bahrain, with photos of Ferrari revealing a radical diffuser fin solution to help drive performance gains.

The secrets of Red Bull's RB16B F1 car revealed

After weeks of secrecy the design tricks of Red Bull's new RB16B challenger are slowly being revealed during Formula 1 pre-season testing. Autosport takes a look at the latest discoveries from the Bahrain paddock.

McLaren’s workaround to surpass 2021's F1 diffuser limits

Formula 1’s new aero rules aimed to cut downforce have been a big challenge for teams this winter as they have thrown everything at trying to recover the losses.

What’s behind Alpine's jumbo airbox

Alpine caused a stir on the opening day of Formula 1 testing when it emerged with a rather exaggerated mega airbox and engine cover.

Aston Martin tweaks floor for F1 testing

Aston Martin F1 has rolled out its 2021 challenger with a tweaked floor on the first day of pre-season testing in Bahrain.

Mercedes trick floor revealed as Bahrain F1 testing starts

Mercedes has revealed the trick floor that it wanted to stay hidden from other teams before the start of Formula 1 testing.

How Mercedes created its fastest-ever car

New aero rules introduced to cut down on downforce ahead of 2022's new concept cars mean that Formula 1's 2020 machines will probably go down as the fastest ever

How Mercedes overcame its latest Formula 1 rules threat

Despite new aero rules aimed at slowing Formula 1 cars down, while also improving their ability to race closely, the 2019 Mercedes W10 continued the team's turbo hybrid-era winning streak

How Mercedes finally tamed its "diva" F1 car

After a dominant start to Formula 1's turbo-hybrid era, with Mercedes getting ever stronger, it was inevitable that at some point it would hit its first bump in the road

How Mercedes improved upon its turbo-hybrid F1 titan

Mercedes hit the ground running when Formula 1's turbo-hybrid era began in 2014, as its W05 made perfect use of the best power unit to charge to world title glory

The car that began Mercedes' modern-era F1 success

Mercedes' dominance in Formula 1 has shown no signs of slowing down, as the W11 chassis helped the team to a seventh consecutive title double

How 2022's Formula 1 tech arms race could impact 2021

Formula 1's tech arms race will intensify on 1 January as teams can commence CFD and windtunnel work on their designs for the all-new 2022 regulations

What's new for Formula 1 in 2021?

Formula 1 may be facing an unprecedented situation with teams carrying over their cars for a second season in 2021, but that does not mean everything is staying the same

How Ferrari’s Imola-spec F1 car shows hit and miss upgrades of SF1000

Ferrari arrived at Formula 1's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix in relatively high spirits given its recent results, having been able to unlock more performance from its SF1000

Mercedes set to test F1 car without DAS in Portuguese GP practice

Mercedes is set to test its car without DAS in Formula 1 practice for the Portuguese Grand Prix, as part of a learning exercise for next year

Ferrari hopeful rear-wing updates can lift "rock bottom" 2020 performance

Ferrari is hopeful that its Russian Grand Prix upgrades are a "small step" that will help it to move away from its "rock bottom" performance in Formula 1 in 2020

Norris to race with new McLaren nose concept at F1 Russian GP

McLaren has committed to running its new nose concept with Lando Norris for Russian Grand Prix qualifying and the race in Sochi

Banned: F1's novel steering solutions

Steering is an area of the car where engineers have tried to probe the limits, with various solutions having been tried - and many of these subsequently getting banned. Here we take a look at some of the most famous examples

Banned: Flexible wings in Formula 1

Formula 1's engineers are at their most ingenious when sidestepping the regulations to find performance - and, in this case, defying load tests to improve the car on-track. In this next edition of our Banned! series, we delve into the world of flexi-wings

Banned: The Coanda-effect exhaust

After an attempted ban on exhaust-blown diffusers for 2012, Formula 1 teams rocked up to the season opener with a workaround solution to get the same effect - the Coanda exhaust. Here's how they came to be, and how they worked

F1 News: FIA adds floor aero changes to 2021 F1 regulations

Formula 1 has made a tweak to the technical regulations governing the floor for 2021, following the FIA's World Motorsport Council meeting on Wednesday

Banned: When exhaust-blown diffusers reigned supreme

In the latest edition of the 'Banned' series, Formula 1's relationship with the exhaust-blown diffuser is explored. Reintroduced by Red Bull at the turn of the 2010s, it began a battle of wits over the next two years which blew hot and cold throughout

Banned: The double diffuser that triggered an F1 development race

After a slew of protests over the legality of double diffusers in early 2009, the FIA declared that they would be permitted. Soon after, every other Formula 1 team had their own designs, opening up a brand new area of development

Banned: When F1 teams cheated the minimum weight rules

In the latest edition of the 'Banned' series, Autosport looks back at some of the attempts made by Formula 1 teams to work around the minimum weight rules

Banned F1 tech: Renault's confidence-inducing damper solution

The 'mass damper' adopted by Renault for its 2005 R25 Formula 1 car was a stability aid that improved front-end downforce before it was outlawed by the FIA

Banned: The Mercedes F1 team's double DRS device

At the start of the drag reduction system's tenure in Formula 1, multiple teams attempted to double its fun with novel and complex solutions. Mercedes' version brought the front wing into play, with mixed success before it was outlawed

Banned: The 2010 Formula 1 season's F-duct

The F-duct device pioneered by McLaren during the 2010 Formula 1 season was a novel way of reducing drag that was swiftly copied and then quickly banned for 2011

Banned: The ingenious twin-chassis Lotus F1 car

The Lotus 88 was Colin Chapman's ingenious attempt to continue Team Lotus' reputation as an avant-garde pioneer in Formula 1, but his twin-chassis solution was banned before it could race

How Mercedes could fit DAS into its Formula 1 suspension layout

Formula 1's stable rules for 2020 were expected to lead to design convergence between the top teams, but there has still been room for divergence among their respective suspension designs

Red Bull's innovative multi-link 2020 F1 front suspension design

While Mercedes' dual-axis steering system turned heads in the Barcelona Formula 1 paddock, Red Bull unveiled a front suspension change it hopes will eradicate its deficit in slow-speed corners

Piola: The key differences between Ferrari's 2019 and 2020 F1 cars

Ferrari was keen to play up the "extreme" concepts it adopted in the development of its 2020 Formula 1 car, suggesting the SF1000 is a radical departure from its predecessor. But how different are the two designs?

How the Mercedes F1 team's 2020 sidepod design is set to evolve

On the eve of a new Formula 1 season, Mercedes will feel the weight of expectation like no other team, having achieved an uninterrupted sequence of six double world championships

2019 Haas F1 design hints at double-stacked Ferrari exhaust system

Ferrari is likely to adopt a double-stacked exhaust system with its 2019 Formula 1 car, judging by the first images of customer team Haas's new design

The latest tweaks to Mercedes' F1 wheel spacer design

Mercedes has not raced with its controversial wheel spacer design for the past few Formula 1 races, but it has not stopped developing the idea as the latest updates used in Brazil show

Toro Rosso's Formula 1 tech experiments continue ahead of 2019

Toro Rosso's STR13 Formula 1 car has become a sort of mobile laboratory for Red Bull and Honda in the final part of the 2018 season

How Formula 1 teams coped with Mexico's unique tech demands

Mexico City's high-altitude Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez circuit is an outlier on the Formula 1 calendar that requires a totally different technical approach for teams

Formula 1 teams' new fashion for floor fins explained

Formula 1 cars' floors are the latest area where teams have been exploring unique technical concepts

Why Mercedes' wheel rims have become F1's latest tech controversy

The fierce battle between Mercedes and Ferrari means incremental gains have been incredibly important in swinging momentum one way or the other in Formula 1's 2018 title fight

The upgrades Ferrari got right and wrong in recent F1 races

Ferrari's return to form at the United States Grand Prix owed a lot to its realisation that some upgrades introduced since the Singapore Grand Prix had not worked as hoped

The McLaren Formula 1 concept that inspired Mercedes and Ferrari

McLaren's Formula 1 design team's concepts are often found on other cars up and down the grid

Tech secrets of Sauber's 2018 Formula 1 surge

Sauber's development rate in the 2018 Formula 1 season has transformed the team from a backmarker into a midfield challenger

Ferrari's latest F1 technical updates to help halt its dip in form

While Ferrari's Formula 1 world championship hopes may have been derailed by strategic and operational failures, on the technical front the team continues to push hard to close down Mercedes

How Mercedes turned the tables on Ferrari in F1 2018 tech battle

Mercedes has gone from fighting a rearguard action against a faster Ferrari to take charge of the 2018 Formula 1 season. These technical changes have been key to that swing

The new tech concept Ferrari's 2018 F1 title hopes now rest on

Ferrari now needs a dramatic turnaround to beat Mercedes to the 2018 Formula 1 world championship, and is counting on the major upgrade it introduced during the Russian Grand Prix

Singapore GP dramas disguised Force India's bold new F1 update

Force India left Singapore without points, but its pace over the weekend was boosted by a major upgrade it hopes can help its charge up Formula 1's constructors' championship table

Ferrari becomes latest F1 team to copy McLaren's rear wing idea

Ferrari might not have won the Singapore Grand Prix, but it arrived with another significant Formula 1 update to make sure its car was suited to the low-speed street circuit

How Formula 1's top teams tackled Monza tech headaches

Monza's long flat-out straights force Formula 1 teams to think more about drag levels and trimming downforce at the Italian Grand Prix than elsewhere

Toro Rosso's DRS innovation for top speed in Formula 1

The Italian Grand Prix highlighted a design lead the Toro Rosso-Honda Formula 1 team has pursued to help its straightline speed

Why the Haas F1 car floor was ruled illegal in Italian Grand Prix

Despite the complexity of Formula 1's rulebook, and the intense battle between teams, it is quite rare for post-race protests to take place these days