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Formula 1

Miami Grand Prix - Tech Corner

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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 Miami GP including a record TEN McLaren upgrades, a shocking RedBull change, and much more... Find out what makes these upgrades important for the season.

Round 6 brings us to the second of the back to back sprint weekends and the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami. Miami is a circuit that presents quite a challenge set up wise with its twisty corners requiring a car that has a very particular setup but doesn't lose too much time on the long straights. It is sure to test the teams. While a sprint weekend doesn't normally mean lots of updates, the new parc ferme rules mean that this year we are starting to see more updates introduced at sprint weekends... Especially with the midfield teams. With the close battles recently, there the teams are looking to gain any advantage they can to collect some much needed points. 

The update excitement is starting to heat up as that "all important" Imola race appears on the horizon and the start of the European legs. The majority of the teams are set to introduce new packages at Imola, but before we get carried away... Here are the updates that have caught my eye in Miami! (Especially McLaren who have brought a huge update package with them!)


Engine Cover Cooling Louvres

McLaren Miami
Andrew Benson via X

Where do I even start with McLaren- who have no fewer than 10 updates to their car for this weekend. Some are a lot more visible than others, and we will start with the engine cover and the cooling louvres which are one of the most visual changes. The engine cover has been designed to work with the change of airflow that has come about with the introduction of the new sidepod inlets (below). The changes are simple- with the flow of air moving with the updates they have brought, maintaining the efficiency and benefitting the redesigned cover. The cover has been changed to maximize that air flow and ensure it doesn't have the opposite effect - producing drag. McLaren have also used the opportunity to introduce an update to the cooling lourves to help with the airflow. It doesn't suggest that the new lourves will enhance the cooling of the McLaren itself, but improve flow overall.


Sidepod Inlets

McLaren Miami Sidepod
Albert Fabrega via X

One of the biggest visible changes is the new shape of the sidepod inlets with all new parts that McLaren have introduced. The flow of air has been changed meaning that this package needed all of these parts to work in conjunction with each other. The inlets will take the new onset flow of air which the McLaren will now have with these updates. The main purpose of the sidepods is often mistakenly talked about as cooling when in essence the biggest feature it plays is to manage the car’s airflow around the rear wheels. The air moves from the front, down towards the diffuser, and in turn creates downforce to improve the performance of the car - especially the floor.


Front Wing

McLaren Miami Front Wing
Albert Fabrega via X

The final update for McLaren that I want to cover is this brand new, revised front wing. The first point of contact for the airflow - the revised wing - will work with the new suspension, floor, and floor corner to direct the airflow. This has been described by McLaren as a "significant improvement in the flow of air for this package". This is a huge update and looks to be the Imola Package that McLaren brought forward with other changes to the floor body, rear suspension, rear corner and wing corner. The danger for the team is that such a significant update can take a few races to understand. It could actually put McLaren on the back foot for this weekend, especially for the sprint.


Floor Edge

Mercedes Miami
Albert Fabrega via X

The update that Mercedes hope will start to extract performance from the W15 comes in the form of the new revised floor edge. More vanes have been added in a more aggressive look to the car to help with the flow of air towards the rear and the diffuser. It is hoped that the new aggressive edge will increase the load on the floor, therefore, giving it more downforce. This enables the setup to be adjusted better to suit the twisty sectors of Miami. The other interesting Mercedes update is the front suspension - which they are saying is a realignment of the track rod fairing. This could mean that they have changed the fixing point on the chassis that was highlighted at the start of the season in pre season testing - where they had two points they could've attached it... but this hasn't been confirmed yet.

Red Bull

Floor Edge Support (Removal!)

RedBull Miami Floor Edge Support

The current champions have actually gone the other way with their car! In one of the strangest updates I've ever seen... RedBull have actually taken parts of their car! Yep, you heard that right! RedBull have declared that they have removed a support for the floor edge, claiming the removal will not give them any aerodynamic update but will save them weight as they essentially don't need it. They say that the floor is adequately supported with the current support, and they no longer need this one -proving that any weight saving is looked for in these F1 cars.

Other updates

  • Aston Martin has 5 updates but they are track specific - the front wing, engine cover, rear wind, beam wing and the chassis scoop for driver cooling
  • VCARB - Update to the floor body and diffuser
  • Stake F1 - Circuit specific front and rear wings
  • Williams - Small front wing update
  • Haas - Floor body change

That's it for the Miami updates! I'll be back for Imola and what is looking like a bumper edition for there enjoy the race weekend.

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