We’ve been drip fed information from all teams via media outlets for many months that the regulations allow for the strange “anteater” and “tuning fork” front ends that we’re seeing.
The question I have is, how does the “anteater” nose of the Williams (which seems to be a “standard” version that was expected) suppose to assist with the aerodynamics?
In the past we’ve seen many teams, and Ferrari and RBR are the teams that spring to mind try to get the front nose flat and wide as possible, how does this little… erm… appendage, help generate downward thrust?
It doesn’t help generate downforce. The noses are a byproduct of the attempts to improve safety by lowering the front of the car. In 2013, the nose was allowed to be 550mm above the ground; in 2014, it may be no more than 185mm. The teams are unwilling to give up the benefits of a high chassis, and so have effectively built cars with a high chassis and then lowered the nose to fit the regulations.
Still I don’t fully understand. All of Schumacher’s dominating Ferraris had low high noses. The nose of Button’s dominating Brawn was also quite low. McLaren also made quite some competitive cars with low noses the years before 2013. So why is a low nosecone such a big aerodynamic problem in 2014?
Because it’s coupled with a high monocoque – everything behind the axle. Ideally, teams want to get as much air as possible flowing in under the nose so that they can drop it over the front splitter. The problem a low nose presents is that it blocks the ability to get the same amount of air in under the monocoque. That means less air over the splitter, which means less downforce.
A low nose and low monocoque can be successful in its own way, but the trend of late has been towards high monocoques.
I imagine part of the issue is the narrow tracks of the cars and the decreased area of the diffuser – since there is inherently less volume perhaps the trend has gone in such a way to compensate for the loss of downforce due to the simple decrease in diffuser area?
“The nose of Button’s dominating Brawn was also quite low. McLaren also made quite some competitive cars with low noses the years before 2013.”
Yes they did well, but that doesn’t mean their nose was the best solution. Brawn dominated because of their diffuser. And mid way through 2012 McLaren accepted that a high nose would be better for them.