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F1 development for 2017: a car with a long wheelbase

Stefan Baldauf
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D The Formula 1 designers agree: “The 2017 Formula 1 cars look great.” A trick: They know their wind tunnel models. We'll have to wait until the 2017 winter test drives to see what's going on in the design offices. But some information is already leaking out. And that sounds exciting.

The first concepts of the 2017 cars were created in the belief that the halo is coming. Therefore, the teams informed the FIA ​​that the wheelbases would increase dramatically. Mainly for reasons of weight distribution.

From the point of view of the designers, the 7 kg titanium bar is too far back. So they wanted to stretch the car because even with the new minimum weight of 722 kilograms, only one percent of ballast is available as play mass.

An F1 team is planning 2017 with a long wheelbase

But that Halo has now been postponed to 2018. This has defused the issue of weight distribution. However, the FIA ​​needs to know how long the cars will be next year so that they can still fit on the measuring platform.

Allegedly, almost all teams have reduced their wheelbases again. Apparently only one team still wants to drive an extremely long car. We're talking about a difference of 20 centimeters to the rest of the field.

Now the competition is wondering why you need such a long car if not for the best possible weight distribution. And that's where the new rules come in.

Force India Technical Director Andy Green explains: “The most interesting area is the space between the front wheel and the side box. Because the rules give the guide plates more space and more creative freedom. The biggest development race will take place there next year. ”

Force India will therefore extend its wheelbase compared to 2016. Which is not surprising because the VJM09 is currently the shortest car in the field.

Aero upgrades at every race

Green predicts that the top teams will have aerodynamics in every race next year - Forward upgrades. But the small teams are also increasing their pace. “We'll react every two or three races. The field is so new that there will always be new ideas. ”

The baffles determine the flow towards the stern. Since the engineers are much less restricted in size and shape than they are now, constructions will arise in this area that will create the desired vortexproduce to seal the sub-floor or others to deflect unwanted turbulence.

HaasF1 team boss Guenther Steiner reports: “You can't imagine what's going on in that area. The result is the craziest and most complicated constructions you can think of. ”

And now a long wheelbase makes sense again. Because it increases the space to play with the baffles. The question that remains is who is the one team that wants to build an extra-long car? The paddock radio thinks it's Mercedes.

In our gallery we tell you which car is on the road with the longest wheelbase this year.


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