F1 » Could Mercedes already be one step ahead for 2012?

Mercedes' prospects for the 2012 season look bright amid rumours that it has re-configured F-duct technology in a legal manner, thus giving it a head start over rival teams.

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October 19, 2011 3:23 PM

It may or may not be enough of a step forward, but how close did one of Mercedes new employees Aldo Costa come to this when his (thenl) Ferrari team put a hole in the nosecone of the 2008 Ferrari challenger?

Ptolomy - Unregistered

October 19, 2011 3:49 PM

If we're hearing about it, then I'd say Newey has already made a paper-machet one that works better. But it would be nice to finally see Nico Rosberg with a car that "runs." It would be nice to see Vettel going head to head with the 2 Mercedes boys next year! Maybe Schumey could be champ again?


October 19, 2011 4:52 PM

bglzbub. you are slipping! i brought that slotted nose, yesterday! but to be honest, i dont see the merc idea really working. the amount of air is minimal and if the drawings are to be believed, the air will be exiting below the front wing, and could possibly cause the airflow to stall, which would reduce downforce at the wrong time. still, time will tell. and, mclaren had similar slots in the mainplane of the wing, and they claim these were blocked by marbles!

piercarlogassolini - Unregistered

October 19, 2011 5:01 PM

Merc's only chance of joining the big boys next year is to acquire a 'step ahead' that can't be copied and improved upon by Adrian Newey during his tea-break. So I suggest replacing Michael Schumacher with Paul di Resta.

foo - Unregistered

October 19, 2011 5:18 PM

If I was an F1 designer I would make some fake "development" piece story, spread lies about it's performance, just to send rivals up the wrong paths.

Someone who is clever enough to come up with this NoseDuct would probably not be so stupid as to really show their hand before next March 15th, or at least until the rival 2012 Chassis are homologated. This is what really stuffed the McLaren FDuct copyists, if you remember.

So, either, it is a dummy, or it works, but not that well, or they are just stupid.

nath - Unregistered

October 19, 2011 6:13 PM

thinking about it Schumacher was racing Massa and Lulu and matching there times so hopefully it may be a step forward.. broadcasting it was'nt very smart tho


October 19, 2011 6:32 PM

what seems to have been overlooked is the fact that noses will be totally different next year. this will affect aero considerably as downforce will be increased by the sloping upper surface of the nose cone. this may result in a reduction of wing size and a rethink of how the airflow is managed.

blzbub, re earlier reference to ferrari slotted nose. that wasnt much of a success, was it?


October 19, 2011 7:38 PM

The so called slot/hole in the nose of the front cone (elongated hole) was first introduced by FERRARI at that time they claimed cooling of electronics and cockpit.
Brawn/Mercedes seems to have been the first to have written off 2011 so they should be the once with the biggest lead time for 2012.
As I said many times nobody can tell what is going to happen next year, if one has a good product this year it certainly is a help for the product of next year but it's never a guarantee for next year's product.
The aerodynamics of a car (F1) is made up of many parts of the car the most important (contributor) being the front wing it alone contributes upper of 25 percent of the whole down force but more importantly it influences/configures/shapes all the aerodynamic (airflow) behind it or better say the rest of the airflow.
The rest of my post on the front wing might be of interest and might surprise some, please read on.


October 19, 2011 8:13 PM

F1 designers go to extraordinary lengths to refine the design of the front wing because it has far more effects on the aerodynamics than any other part of the car probably five to ten times more effect, more than the much discussed diffuser including the DDD (I am not talking about a EBD which will not be with us next year and which is a rabbit out of the hat only because it is blown by engine off throttle mapping).
The most important thing of the front wing is called the “outwash” this is because the front wheels are the two parts working the hardest (against) to upset the airflow all over the car and the front wing being directly in front of the wheel controls this effect.
The front tip vortex and front wheel wake are the most important things to control in F1 aerodynamics, 50/60 percent of the aerodynamics of an F1 car is concentrated on this vital area.

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