For the engineers, Silverstone was the third start of the season after Bahrain and Barcelona. Williams even delivered a new car. Alpine, Aston Martin, Red Bull and Mercedes also worked hard.
For some teams the season started a third time. At least on paper. The FIA's "Show and Tell" list of new developments was the second longest after the Spanish GP in Barcelona. It was also the last major round of upgrades for many teams. Now the budget cap is coming up for the ambitious. Or the budget itself. Alfa-Sauber team boss Frédéric Vasseur admits that a planned new front wing has been put on hold for cost reasons. It will only come towards the end of the season as an anticipation of 2023. The front wing is one of the most expensive parts on the car.
Williams completely different
Williams has dug deep into a nearly new car that is exclusively available to Alexander Albon. It looks like a mix of Red Bull and Alpine with long sidepods that ramp down towards the bottom plate. The floor resembles Red Bull in many parts, but not at the front intakes. The baffles are relatively flat and distributed differently.
Aston Martin and Alpine continued their aggressive upgrade course. "Some of the changes were already on hold when the B version debuted in Barcelona, but were not finished in time. The other part arose from insights that we gained in the first races with the B version," explains Chief Technology Officer Andy Green. Alpine put a lot of work into the underbody, sidepods and engine cover. At the rear, the A522 is now a cross between Ferrari and Red Bull.
Mercedes and Red Bull each reported four detail changes. Still spectacular. The RB18's new engine cover grows outwards wide like a tray. A bit similar to the McLaren. This should calm the flow towards the stern. Mercedes has beautifully integrated the pull rod pivot points into the chassis and completely redesigned the edge of the underbody. Lots of little spikes instead of big cutouts.
Here is our rundown of Silverstone's upgrades:
- Front Suspension: The pushrod's pivot point on the chassis has been shrouded to more effectively direct the flow downwards behind it.
- Sidepod Inlet: New baffles to improve flow into the radiators.
- Underbody: Many small slots on the edges over almost the entire length and a redesigned wing over the underbody skid.
- Rear Wing: Cutout in endplate to reduce pressure in mid-downforce version.
- Front brake vents: Better cooling of the brake calipers.
- Engine cover: New profile in the upper area for better cooling.This creates a bulge on the left and right, which directs the airflow backwards towards the lower wing.
- Underbody Edges: New profile to stabilize flow.
- Underbody Deflectors: Small geometry changes.
- Engine cover: Stronger undercut in the area of the base plate.
- Mirror mount: New positioning.
- Rear wing: New flap especially for Silverstone and similar circuits.
- Cooling Fins: Additional cooling fins to gain more clearance depending on the track.
- Front suspension: New pushrod to improve flow.
- Underbody: Completely new profile to create more vacuum.
- Engine cover: The rear outlet is higher so as not to interfere with the underwing. The hollow between the engine cover and side boxes is deeper. The gills have been misplaced. These are clearly borrowings from Ferrari.
- Sidepod Inlet: New geometries and new position.
- Underbody Edges: New geometry to better control the flow.
- Underbody Deflectors: Small changes in shape.
- Rear lower wing: New profile.
- Rear brake vents: New shape to better control the flow around the rear wheels and gain more downforce.
- Front wing: New shape, new flap profiles.
- Front Brake Vents: New vent ducts to improve rearward flow.
- Sidepod intake: new shape, new position. Should be able to cope better with the turbulence caused by the front wheels and improve the flow to the rear.
- Underbody: Changed shape of the edges in the package with the new floor and the new deflectors.
- Underbody Deflectors: The position and shape of the eight deflectors at the beginning of the underbody have been changed.
- Halo: New fins to stabilize the flow towards the rear wing.
- Underbody Edges: Changes to improve airflow and to create additional downforce on the floor and diffuser.
- Diffuser: New shape for more downforce.
- Engine Cover: New shape for better aerodynamics and cooling.
- Cooling outlets: relocation of the gills to match the new engine door cover.
- Rear suspension: Aerodynamically improved wishbone fairings.
- Rear brake vents: New winglets for more downforce.
- Nose: New cooling duct into the cockpit.
- Front Wing Endplate: More curved endplate to improve flow around the front wheels.