a red and white logo with a white background
Formula 1

Chinese Grand Prix - Tech Corner

Read the latest F1 news from around the web
Download the app

Learn from F1 Coffee Corner - Terry Widdows - our technical correspondent about all things tech and car upgrades during each Formula 1 weekend!

F1 Coffee Corner's top technical advancements we've seen during the Chinese GP including a new Alpine floor, Mercedes cockpit changes and much more... Find out what makes these upgrades important for the season.

Welcome back to Shanghai and China

We are back in China for the first time since 2019, and, of course, the first of the sprint races - which will be back to back before we head to the first major updates of the year in Imola. 

The unknown variables of not running cars on the Shanghai International Circuit for so long plus the sprint weekend format means that this isn’t really a track for updates, with the list being one of the smallest so far this season. Teams are opting to bring updates only if they are needed because of performance, or because they are seeking to ensure the wind tunnel data is replicated on track before delivering the all important Imola updates. 

So here are my updates from the Pitlane in China for this weekend’s Grand Prix. 


Floor Update

Alpine China
Source: Albert Fabrega via X

The Alpine team is struggling for performance and are in need of an update - they rushed one through for China. They have a floor update to just one of their cars this week which is Estaban Ocon with Pierre Gasly set to receive it in the next race in Miami. The team alternates which driver gets the update first to ensure they have spares should anything happen. The photo shows the new floor edge compared to the older one with the cut out and re-design that has been introduced alongside a new floor body and new floor fence. The updates are designed to work in conjunction with each other to deliver more downforce to the car, help with flow around the rear corner of the Alpine and around the rear tyres, especially. This will of course help with tyre degrading and the overall flow of air from the front to the diffuser to create an increase in overall downforce and area the Alpine has been struggling with. 


Halo Update

Mercedes China
Source: Albert Fabrega via X

Mercedes have brought a very small update to their cars this weekend which is very similar to the small update that was on the Ferrari - it is so easy to miss. The addition is described as a very small flick added to the cockpit either side of the Halo. The aim of this very small addition is to generate small vortices to improve the flow to the rear wing of the W15 by redirecting the cockpit air that is generated as it passes over the halo. This is a small addition but as we have seen with changes to the mirrors and also the small additions on the rear of the Ferrari just a little redirection of the air on these Formula 1 cars can help make a difference in performance and handling to give the drivers a little bit extra in gains. Mercedes are continuing their philosophy of introducing updates for both drivers at the same time rather than bringing them early for just one car. 


New Engine Cover

Haas China

In a last minute change of drivers it seems that Haas have changed who gets the China update. We have been hearing for a number of weeks that Kevin Magnussen was due to receive the new update yet it was Nico Hulkenbergs updated car that was introduced to the waiting media in China. We are unsure if the update has arrived for both or just one driver currently.

What we are sure of is that they have brought a very significant update to China that consists of new floor fences, floor edge, engine cover, mirror’s and the rear corner. The floor update is, as always, to increase the downforce and flow of air to generate more load in the car. The floor edge update has a specific job to improve drivability of the Haas. The mirror’s aim to improve the flow of air around the cockpit with a slimmer housing on them, whilst the engine cover boasts a new slimmer centre exit and a larger cooling louvre layout with the purpose of reducing the energy flow to the rear end of the car to improve performance.

Other updates

  • Visa Cashapp RB have brought a new chassis which includes a re-design to the headrest for both drivers to improve the airflow around the drivers.
  • Williams have a small addition to the Halo.

As I mentioned with Miami also a sprint race we are not expecting this to be a huge update track but I will of course be back to bring you the latest tech corner for Miami in a couple of weeks. 

For all things F1 news and tech throughout the week, join the F1 Coffee Corner base on FanAmp and check out all of F1 Coffee Corner's social channels!

Read all the latest Formula 1 news from around the web in the app
Download the app

Related Articles