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Mugello technology updates: Exhaust remains a hot topic

Mugello technology updates
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D he exhaust question splits the field. Some aim inwards, others outwards. Those who point the tailpipes inwards are aiming for the lower rear wing element. This solution is more stable when braking and when turning in, because the pulsating gas flow does not have such a major influence on the rear wing when the engine is towing.

Red Bull and Ferrari with several exhaust variants

tailpipes that open further out, blow the exhaust gases into the gap between the underbody and the rear wheel. The same principle as with the blown diffuser last year. If the driver is fully on the gas when accelerating, the diffuser gives him extra downforce. In return, the contact pressure in the first part of the curve reacts more sensitively to the fluctuating gas flow. Sebastian Vettel felt the difference in the Red Bull exhaust comparison test in Shanghai.

Red Bull and Ferrari have tried both exhaust versions so far. While Red Bull stuck to the external exhaust, the tailpipes at Ferrari moved inward. On Tuesday there was an attempt with the outside exhaust. On Thursday, a completely new variant with a modified engine cover was shown, with the tailpipes also pointing inwards.

McLaren exhaust as a model

McLaren was the pioneer of the extreme far outside opening tailpipes. These were so cleverly placed in a shaft that the exhaust gases were directed past the rear wheels. There aren't even deflectors on the sub-floor. Red Bull followed suit with the Schacht idea, but made two improvements. In the case of Sauber, the exhaust was also on the outside, but ended in an open Coanda pipe. A shaft modeled on McLaren and Red Bull was presented in Mugello. The Swiss want to give the exhaust gases more intensity.

Williams has so far been part of the conservative camp. In Mugello, Mike Coughlan's team tried out three exhaust variants. One of them is very reminiscent of the Red Bull model. At Force India, too, a solution appeared on Wednesday morning that aims outwards towards the diffuser. The tailpipes are placed in a dent at the end of the side pods, easy to recognize by their black color. A shaft for the tailpipes is let into the dent.

As with McLaren, the pipes have a smaller diameter. This increases the accuracy and the speed of theescaping gases, but costs a lot of engine power. Allegedly up to 20 hp. After seven laps, the Force India disappeared into the pits. When asked, one earned silence. The whole car had to be rebuilt, according to the Indian camp.

More and more teams are following

Caterham and Toro Rosso now also have a Red Bull exhaust. At Caterham the shaft is deeper, but just as angled outwards. At McLaren, the shaft is straight. As with Force India, the new exhaust solution at Caterham is still a makeshift. The surrounding paneling hasn't even been painted. There are heat sensors and protectors everywhere. With its new exhaust, Toro Rosso oriented itself more towards McLaren than its sister team, Red Bull. The exhaust shaft sits at an angle in the side pods, but the Coanda canal is straight.

Lotus and Mercedes want to stay true to the traditional version. James Allison from Lotus reports that wind tunnel tests have not produced satisfactory results. Mercedes is still afraid for the rear tires. Because the exhaust gases have to travel a further distance to their destination this year, they scatter more. That could heat up the tires, and that would be the last thing Mercedes could use at the moment.

In our picture gallery we have gathered the most important updates of the Mugello week for you.


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