Michael Schumacher (GER) drives the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W03, Formula One Testing, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain, World Copyright: Jamey Price for F1 Fanatic
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Richard Goodwin said on 21st February 2012, 19:11
That looks nearly totally flat? Is there an aero reason more teams have not taken the Mclaren approach with a more curved, normal looking nose?
Rhys Dadabhoy said on 21st February 2012, 19:15
It is mainly because of rule changes why the noses are stepped but it may have a little to do with aero.
The rules have been changed with the nose being lowered to a max. height of 55cm above the ground. This is because the noses were getting so high off the ground that if a T-Bone crash occurred then we would most likely have a headless driver by the end of the racing weekend. Hope this clears it up for you :)
Richard Goodwin said on 21st February 2012, 19:31
I knew that mate, but the Mclaren has the nice, curved appearance, others look flat? wondered why.
Mike (@mike) said on 21st February 2012, 19:49
Basically, The higher the nose the more air you can get under it. For Aerodynamics, this is a good thing.
The suspension and the cars center of mass are however compromised when doing this.
Mclaren, having already had a low nose last year haven’t felt the need to exploit these rules. Presumably because they had a very solid car at the end of last year anyway.
Richard Goodwin said on 21st February 2012, 20:07
Thanks for that, great answer =]
Rhys Dadabhoy said on 21st February 2012, 19:12
And I thought the Caterham nose was ugly!
Glenn (@glenn) said on 21st February 2012, 20:01
Oh man, This is a bad angle.. MERC should not allow Photogs below the chin. Ouch!
PinkMaggit (@pinkmaggit) said on 22nd February 2012, 9:37
The shape of the top of the nose is much less important than the underside.
It’s all about getting as much air under the car as possible.
That bump will have very little effect.
If the bump was on the underside it would have a drastic effect on where the airflow is directed and therefore the performance of the car.
It’s a very clever and simple solution to the new regulations that demand a maximum height for the chassis and nose.
F1.com has an article with illustrations depicting the maximum height at the different points of the chassis and nose.
Only McLaren have the ‘smooth’, ‘regular’ nose thus far.
They are utilizing a snow plough under the nose which creates downforce and channels the air around the sidepods to the diffusor.
They’ve utilized this concept for a few seasons now and they feel that the lower nose and thus lower suspension points allows them more freedom to play around with their suspension geometry and allows for a better seating
position with more visibility for the driver (not that I believe driver comfort will ever come before aerodynamic gain).
I quite like the new noses – they are completely unique to F1 and I love being surprised by new designs than having to look at similar cars year after year – these clever designs and innovations is what makes F1 so interesting not just on the track but behind the scenes too.
It’s about appreciating the engineering genius that goes into making an F1 car.
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