A On February 18, the F1 winter tests will start again in Barcelona. These are the two most important weeks of the year, especially for technology fans. Everyone is very excited to see what brilliant ideas the engineers will unpack this winter. Standing still means going backwards in the premier class. Anyone who does not think innovatively and takes risks threatens to be overtaken.
Technical tricks thanks to rule loopholes
And so there are separate departments in each team that only deal with the Analyze and interpret the rules. They are always on the hunt for loopholes to gain an edge over the competition. With the tight performance density, it is the duty of all technicians to completely exhaust the limits of what is permitted.
The Ferrari exterior mirrors in 2018 were a good example of a loophole in the regulations The Italian aerodynamicists were the first to discover that the mirror mounts could legally be misused to effectively divert the flow. In this way, air can be directed precisely into certain rear regions in order to generate additional downforce.
The trick was first copied by Toro Rosso and later by Red Bull over the course of the season. And although the regulations on the position and mounting of the mirrors were completely revised by the FIA in winter, the flow through the mirror housings is still not prohibited. Experts therefore assume that the Ferrari idea will find even more imitators in 2019.
Ingenious ideas on the assembly line
Usually the FIA moves quicklywhen the teams get too colorful in exploiting loopholes. For example, the passage of air through the front axle, with which the flow around the car was deflected laterally, will no longer be allowed from the coming season. We will not see the attachment of the mirrors directly to the Halo, as Ferrari 2018 did, in the new season.
Other clever technical tricks have lasted longer. Innovative features, such as the S-slot in the front, the bow wings on the side pods or flexible aero elements that bend in a targeted manner in the air flow, are now part of the standard range on all cars.
Today you often know especially no longer who invented the clever technical tricks. That's why we show you in the gallery some innovative ideas from the past years and of course which team came up with them first