McLaren alter car to meet new floor test

McLaren say they have made changes to the front floor of their car to ensure they meet the new load test that will be applied by the FIA this weekend at Monza.

Speaking in the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes Phone-in Tim Goss, the chief engineer for the MP4-25, said:

We haven’t had to make any modifications to the front wings in terms of bodywork flexibility. So those front wing options we have – of which we have a dedicated solution for Monza – those are all as we’ve run so far this season.

As far as the bib is concerned then the new offset load test is a little challenging and we’ve had to make some minor modifications to make sure we’re well inside the deflection limit that the FIA are going to set on that.

We’ve modified our bib and taken the opportunity to roll it up into a minor performance upgrade as well.
Tim Goss

Goss added he expects other teams will have to make changes to their cars as well:

As far as the offset bib test is concerned then I would expect most teams will probably have to make changes to comply with that.

As far as articulated planks are concerned there are a number of teams that run floor skids in multiple pieces and the FIA have tightened up on that to ban articulated skid blocks and I would imagine other teams have had modifications for that.

As far as the wings are concerned the evidence from Spa was, you’d have to say, was fewer cars running more flexible wings, although it’s very subjective.
Tim Goss

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19 comments on McLaren alter car to meet new floor test

  1. The “bib”? What’s that supposed to be?

  2. have a look at this link:
    http://www.formula1.com/news/technical/2010/836/783.html

    this shows exactly where the bib and load test is situated. It effectively acts a splitter much in the same way it works on a touring car, but obviously as it is well behind the front wing it regulates the airflow instead of disrupting it.

  3. antonyob said on 8th September 2010, 12:29

    that reminds me, in this months Racecar Engineering theres two pics of the RBR with its endplates raised and the 2nd pic with them scuffing the track but its the bib that intrigued me, it too looked substantially lower which makes me think the RBR is running the whole of the front of the car lower under downforce. The endplates themselves deflecting wouldnt give you a second a lap according to an engineer they interview

    • Yes it seems that is a big part of where they were getting the awesome downforce from.

      They and Ferrari and quite some other teams will almost certainly have to make their own “minor changes” with differing scopes of how far stretched the minor is for each team.

  4. Sparkyj23 said on 8th September 2010, 13:31

    I was re-watching the In car footage from Spa and i noticed with the Ferrari the whole front nose moves up and down – do we think the new test will stop this behaviour? If so they suddenly become less competitive.

  5. DGR-F1 said on 8th September 2010, 13:35

    It looks like I’ve missed out on a whole spec change somewhere, since I thought F1 cars were not allowed any ‘ground-effect’ aerodynamics at all, and had to have completely flat floors.
    Now it appears that they have been allowed after all, and no wonder the superteams have been taking advantage of it, since it looks like the FIA haven’t really being paying much attention to it either.
    So the talk of allowing full ‘ground-effect’ packages in later years isn’t so far-fetched after all. The FIA might as well just allow for the full thing from next year, since thats where the cars are going…….

    • Bernard said on 8th September 2010, 14:52

      Ground effect cannot be avoided in a vehicle that travels along the ground. ;)

      The regulations simply try to limit the amount they can generate from the airflow under the car. The stepped floor and plank wear inspections go a long way to enforcing the rule but the lower the car runs the better – just as long as it doesn’t touch the track and cause a significant loss of downforce where it is most needed (Senna at Tamburello).

      F1 cars already produce around half of the total downforce from the airflow under the car. It is not unreasonable to suggest increasing this portion will put less emphasis on wings and hopefully increase overtaking opportunities.

    • 100% of the purpose of the diffuser is to create ground effect. The floor is only flat between the wheels, ahead and behind it’s free. The flat floor only reduces the amount of ground effect generated, it never stopped it. Current cars are actually generating more ground effect downforce than the ‘ground effect era’…. thats progress for you.

  6. xtophe said on 8th September 2010, 13:49

    Does anyone see the irony of this? Surely other teams might have to make larger ‘minor changes’ than McLaren, but it’s somewhat strange to see one of the champions of sturdiness having to make even minor changes to pass a more stringent test that is an (in)direct outcome of their own remarks concerning the flexible wings.

    • John H said on 8th September 2010, 13:55

      As long as they have to modify less than their competitors, they won’t really care.

      ‘Minor’ changes relative to what is another question!

    • Ron in Michigan said on 8th September 2010, 14:27

      I know. I had the same thought.

    • Also, VMM are reacting to the off-set nature of the test. If the theory is that RBR have come up with a hinge-free flip up floor that allows them to dive the front of the car lower than others, what McLaren need to do and what RBR need to do may not be the same thing, or have the same performance effect.

  7. In Autosport they that it has managed to turn the change into a performance upgrade:

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/86474

  8. This is yet more rule-tinkering that detracts from more essential defining and maturing a competitive sport.

    Pointless.

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