Loophole in the F1 rules: the new S-shaft trick

Stefan Baldauf
Loophole in the F1 rules
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D he S-slot is an old invention. In 2008, Ferrari was the first team to have a sluice through their nose to accelerate the air that flows over the cockpit. But in 2014 the FIA ​​put a stop to the S-bay. Holes in the nose were forbidden. Not just like that, of course. Engineers and lawyers put that into a complicated text in Article 3.7.8. Composed.

The decisive factor is the first paragraph, which we will allow you here in the original English version: 'Only a single section, which must be open, may be contained with any longitudinal vertical cross section taken parallel to the car center line to the car forward of a point 150 mm ahead of the front wheel center line, less than 250 mm from the car center line and more than 125 mm above the reference plane '

Erste S- Schacht versions adhered to the prohibition

All right? We translate what is not that easy due to the complicated sentence order: 'Only a single open section may be within a vertical longitudinal cross-section parallel to the center line of the car before a point 150 mm from the center line of the front wheel, less than 250 mm from the center line of the car and 125 mm above the reference level. '

The first S-slot versions in modern times adhered to the supposed prohibition of holes in the nose. The air inlet below the chassis was placed at the earliest possible point, where the nose merges into the chassis. This meant that the duct was quite steep upwards because the air had to exit a good bit in front of the cockpit in order to achieve the desired effect.

Toro Rosso and Mercedes with two separate shafts

But then the engineers began to read the rules more closely. Force India was the initial spark with its nostrils. Regardless of which side you look straight at the holes, you can never see through them. They are twisted so cleverly that there is no open section in the nose. Toro Rosso and Mercedes are now using the same approach with their S-ducts.

They have placed the air inlet far forward, i.e. in the forbidden zone. Toro Rosso on the lower side edges. Mercedes has provided the nose with a lower lip that looks like an open shark mouth from the side. Based on the Force India model, both have two separate shafts that are later located in theCombine 'green zone' into one.

These two shafts inside the nose are so artfully twisted in the critical section 150 millimeters in front of the front wheel center axis that you would not see 2 openings anywhere if you were to insert the nose Cut lengthways into slices and then look straight at it from the front. This is not possible with a shaft. You need two that lead diagonally from front to back. And what does the early air intake bring? It is easier and more efficient to get the air up into your nose.

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