#F1 Forensics: 2014 – The Shape of Things To Come

Brought to you by TheJudge13 contributor Matthew Somerfield (SomersF1)

I’ve often wondered firstly how it would look but secondly how much it would constrain my analysis if I were to be restricted to print format.  With this in mind and as a handy reference guide to 2014 I present my article in A3 sizing (i.e. how it would be presented over 2 pages in a glossy magazine)

A3 2014 Pullout

Click the image for full size…..

20 responses to “#F1 Forensics: 2014 – The Shape of Things To Come

  1. Hi Somers,

    could you clarify a few things please ?

    Not only is the front wing narrower, but I thought the centre ‘ control ‘ aerofoil section of the wing had also been enlarged as well ?

    If it has – by how much ?

    And if so – how much smaller are the flaps compared to 2013, and therefore how much less downforce do you think they’ll produce compared to 2013 ?


    I’ve seen pics of the Renault & Mercedes engines but none of the Ferrari. Has Ferrari released any ? Or Honda ?

    The Renault & Mercedes engines are fairly bog standard design – exhausts on the outside – inlets inside the V.

    Renault definately one intercooler – Mercedes one or two ? don’t know ?

    Do you think that Ferrari or Honda might copy Audi and put the exhaust inside the V – and have the inlets on the outside of the cylinder banks ?

    I know Audi did this as it was the shortest and most efficient way, with a single turbo on a V engine, to run the inlet piping from turbo to intercoolers ( one on each side ) then to the plenum chambers ( one on each side ).



    • @Manky The mandated central portion of the FW remains the same size (500mm in width) This means the flap size will only be reduced by the 150mm lost by the total dimensional loss.

      Ferrari are being extremely coy about their power unit and you’re right when you say that no-one has seen pictures yet. Honda are also yet to release images but as they won’t feature til 2015 they won’t see a rush to.

      The rules prohibit exhaust inside the V

  2. I can’t put my hands on the specs right now but in back of mind I feel the question asked above re induction/exhaust had been mandated?

  3. With this nose regs we may see again the infamous walrus nose from the ’04 Williams BMW. Definitely one of the best-looking cars in F1 history.

  4. A bad habit, #ForSure.

    Is there any way to ‘clean up’ the turbulent air that comes off of an F1 car?(in relation to the hindrance on the car following.)

    It seems to only measures so far are overall reductions in downforce, and the exhaust capture with the turbo/ERS. (which would presumably make the air cooler for the following car’s engine?)

    If there were the allowance for an extended monkey seat or something of the like, which was mandated to be on the back of cars; could we get back to the level of Close Quarters racing seen in the past?

    Could this be an alternative to DRS?

    Thanks for your time.

    • Hi Aiden

      Thanks for your question, the problem of close quarter racing is quite a difficult one especially as Formula One evolves but the regulations remain fairly rigid throughout a season. The problem for the following car is the wake produced by the leading car is a topic I broached in an article on my blog ‘Fixing’ Formula One – http://somersf1.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/fixing-formula-one.html

      In order not to repeat myself too much and take up huge quantities of space have a look at that article as it explains much of the problem. The major issue however is one that will continue to dog F1 and that’s aero displaced by the tyres, other ‘spec’ Formula that try to circumnavigate that issue will place aero devices ahead of the tyre to manage the wake…

      What we must realise however is that with one action there is a consequential reaction and so changing the landscape of aero in F1 will simply result in the teams finding other ways… Spec open wheel series (ie Indycar, the new FormulaE etc) don’t have the same issues as all of the cars run with the same aero making it much easier to design a car that can follow another. F1 design is firmly skewed further toward creating a quick car (as you want to be at the front) rather than one that can follow another car. This is probably why we have seen Ferrari’s slip streaming attempts at Monza fail miserably the last few years… Imagine filling a bowl with water, a continuous stream from the tap produces less of a ripple than if you stop, start the flow. Now think of how one car following another into a corner then onto a straight and into a corner responds… Laminar airflow is of course a designers dream and that’s the concept he works with in the wind tunnel/CFD to optimise the aero package, much less time is spent studying the effects of following a car. That for the designer is the drivers job 😉

      Hope that explains it a little but please feel free to ask any more questions.

      • Hi Matt, I haven’t had a chance to read your article on fixing F1 yet, but wondered whether there are any thoughts to allowing a bit of underbody development. Indy cars do have some ground effect, although strictly limited, and I remember the CART cars ran a bit with no skirts, which helped with following turbulence. The CART cars ran well on both ovals and road courses, and were able to follow and draft very well – in fact, quite spectacularly at places like the Michigan and California speedways – 240 mph and LOTS of overtaking. They were able to reduce wings to simply balance the cars. Is this a possible approach to solve the problem?

        • Dear SteveH

          you might or might not have seen my previous posts on this subject ?

          The answer is – bring back full ground effect – sliding skirts, active suspension, et al …….

          Simples 🙂

        • Well a good answer to that is to look at what Red Bull did with the RB9 once we returned to the 2012 construction in the second half on 2013. They were able to trim wing/drag on the basis they could simply extract more useable downforce / mech grip under almost all conditions (slow/mid/high speed corners).
          It would be interesting to see another series take on F1 with the focus more on ground effect… Still shocked no-one did FormulaE with their own chassis rather than what will probably be a shocking Dallara chassis… The rules are almost none existent in that series and you could get away with murder in terms of no wings, moveable aero, ground effect etc. I understand the principle concept is to show a low drag car off because of the need to attain low drag for the ‘electric efficiency crowd’ but it’s a race series…

          • I believe the Formula E racers have to use the spec car the first season, after that it is completely open. Might be interesting.

  5. Hi Matt, thanks for follow up.

    I did read your article the other day; was one of the things that led to me asking the question. (that has been on my mind since I got ‘back into’ F1 a couple of years ago.)

    I can understand the Realpolitik of introducing or trying to vote in bits of areo changes to reduce the wake.

    I hadn’t quite realised the percentage of wake that was down to the open tyres.

    So I guess this means that to reduce the wake, fundamental aspects of the formula would have to change? Here was me hoping for a quick fix made possible with some bodywork behind the diffuser!

    By the way, I am pleased with the amount of people calling for ground effect; really does seem like a workaround.

  6. Pingback: #F1 2014 – Powering into the future | thejudge13·

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