B is now we've only heard good things about the 2017 cars. They should be wider, better proportioned, and look more aggressive. Many engineers are already talking about a return to the best vintages in the premier class. But most cars will have one flaw. Probably all of them.
The airboxes are getting a powerful sword again. As it was first seen in 2009 and then driven to perfection in 2010. The WEC cars have to carry this fin from the roof to the rear wing for safety reasons. In Formula 1 it has more aerodynamic reasons. Unfortunately with side effects. When viewed from the side, the cars look like a hatchback station wagon. Elegance looks different.
The problem is the deeper rear wing
The reason for the return of the swords is the new rear wing regulations. In 2017, the rear wing was only 80 instead of 95 centimeters above the reference plane. And it is 95 instead of 75 centimeters wide. That means that in this position he gets all the turbulent air from the front axle. With the current wings, the bad air flows through under the wing.
Cars with strong employment like the Red Bull, Force India and McLaren have less of a problem than a Mercedes, Renault or Sauber, which only have half as much are employed strongly from front to back. This is due to the fact that, depending on the angle of attack, the swirled air arrives further back relative to the rear wing at a different height. At 1.9 degrees the wing is higher over the road than at exactly one degree. This makes it easier to press the turbulence under the wing as before.
Airbox swords are intended to direct turbulence away from the wing
The airbox sail helps to keep the turbulence away from the rear wing when cornering. We hear from team circles that practically all teams show up with this station wagon version in 2017. In any case, the cars that do not drive with as much engagement as Red Bull. Because the problem is known to everyone, Red Bull tried at a meeting of the technical working group to persuade the FIA to ban the sails for aesthetic reasons. That was just an excuse, of course. In Milton Keynes they knew exactly that such a ban would damage most of their main rivals Mercedes.
It must be assumed that Mercedes wants to keep its previous aerodynamic concept. Because you have experience with it. Switching to the other extreme is risky together with completely new regulations. Because you have to readjust the wind tunnel with the route. It took Force India over a year for this process.
Another detail in the regulations helps the concept of strong employment. Thanks to the new freedom in the baffles in front of the side pods, it is easy to create artificial eddies that then seal the floor sideways from the street. This is exactly a problem for cars that stand up in the back. Now Red Bull and Co. have sufficient aids to raise the rear of the cars even higher.
In our photo show we show you the airbox sails from 2009 and 2010 and solutions from other racing series.