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Monaco 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 at Monaco including RedBull, Ferrari, VCARB, and many more circuit-specific upgrades... Find out what makes these upgrades important for the season.

The streets of Monte Carlo bring us round 8 and the Monaco Grand Prix. The car updates for the teams are a little special around here - just like the track - in the sense that they are designed with this specific track in mind. In fact, some are brought just to be able to race modern F1 cars around here - many upgrades are  what's known as 'circuit specific updates' rather than performance-based ones.

So with that in mind let's take a look at some of the updates the teams have for Monaco.

Red Bull

Circuit Specific Rear Wing

Circuit Specific Rear Wing
Source: Albert Fabrega via X

Red Bull, like many of the teams, have selected a circuit specific rear wing on the RB20 for this weekend, designed to increase the downforce. The team has an enlarged upper rear wing in the chord area - which is the upper part of the rear wing that protrudes up. This area is normally gives us a visual of the changes the teams make and also allows the FIA to quickly see as well.  The chord is increased around Monaco to produce a high downforce to maximize the aerodynamic efficiency in those, all important, slow corners in Monaco. The team have described it as a steeper and deeper rear wing fulfilling the permitted volume to extract most load for a given air speed. 

The other interesting update that Red Bull have made is a reliability fix to the front corner, which is needed at Monaco due to the amount of lock needed to steer around the corners. They introduced a fairing notch to be able to gain enough lock to turn the car especially in the hairpin.

Mercedes

Floor Body Update

Floor Body Update
Source Xavigazquez via X

In a stunning close-up image of the Mercedes the floor area as they continue tweaking the W15, you may notice that the floor body has an update that's not circuit specific but performance related. It is a slight tweak to the new floor that's been introduced over the last few races. This update is to generate more load or downforce and is crucial. These are the first parts of the car that receive the air to the floor - meaning the slightest variation can change the handling of the car and the tyre wear, so whilst its an inexpensive small update, its value to the W15 could be a lot more.

Ferrari

Circuit Specific Rear Wing

Circuit Specific Rear Wing Ferrari Monaco
Source nicolasF1i via x

This is the new maximum downforce rear wing that Ferrari have brought with them after starting the year before Imola with old spec wings. Those older wings were obviously designed to save budget. You will see from this angle just how aggressive that chord and camber is to ensure maximum downforce. It is a circuit specific update to cover the low aerodynamic efficiency requirements around Monaco. You will also notice that the new rear wing is missing the v-shaped notch in the central section. Instead the team chose to increase the surface area on the rear wing, with the belief will bring more benefit to the updated SF-24.

Visa CashApp RB (VCARB)

Front Suspension

Front Suspension
Source: FIA Official Documents

This change from Visa CashApp RB, like the Mercedes, is a performance update and involves the front suspension. The update states that the profiles of the members have been modified and adjusted due to upwash and separation issues. Upwash on an F1 car is caused by wing movement through the air due to the flexibility they have; the leading edge divides the air and part of it goes up and over the front wing towards that suspension area. Now, what you don't want, - and this was happening for the team- is a barrier to that air by the arms of the suspension. That not only affects performance, but lap-after-lap increases the strain on those suspension arms leading to separation. So this update is to move out of the way of this upwash giving the car a clear path through, reducing stress and not losing any performance at the same time.

Haas

Break Duct and Front Suspension

Haas Break Duct and Front Suspension Monaco
FIA Official Documents

Two updates from Haas which relate to the uniqueness of the track are located on the front suspension and brake ducts. The first is to the suspension arms. Now, this is a modification to the track rod similar in idea to the Red Bull update. It is needed to give the Haas the necessary lock to be able to turn the corners (that need more lock than other circuits). The second update is seen on a few of the cars and it's that the front brake ducts have been adjusted on the Haas. This has been done by removing the exit scoop conditioner and widening the duct and is due to the higher brake cooling level that the cars need around Monaco to avoid them catching fire. Around Monaco they're in use for a lot more of the lap and don't have those long straights to cool the brakes back down.

Other updates

  • McLaren - Circuit specific Rear Wing and Beam Wing.
  • Aston Martin - Performance update to Rear Wing and Beam Wing.
  • Alpine - Circuit specific Front Wing, Front Suspension for steering lock, Rear Wing, and Beam Wing. AND a performance update to the halo. 
  • Williams - Circuit specific Rear Wing, Beam Wing, and Brake Ducts similar to Haas. 
  • Stake - Circuit specific Rear Wing, Rear Wing Endplate, Beam Wing, Front Suspension, and Front Corner with the brakes as per most of the teams. 

That's it for the tech corner hope you've enjoyed the updates and it will of course be back in a couple of weeks for the next round in Canada!

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