Little or nothing has been said about the effectiveness of McLaren’s U-Shaped side pods over the last 2 weeks which is quite strange considering their blistering performance.
I assume this is because McLaren were written off in testing and everybody (like me) is still in shock and can’t quite believe their turn in fortunes. The Red Bull still leads the way of course…they can claim its because of the Rake the car runs but we have all seen the footage of the front wing, either way they have something others don’t and desperately want to copy.
But what is it that is powering the McLaren? I’ve herd other say their front wing moves like Red Bulls but I keep watching in hope and I’m yet to be convinced they have cracked the technology behind it. Their EBD (created in 10 days if we are to believe what we are told) clearly works but I doubt that it is as efficient as Red Bulls.
Looking at the stats from Sepang Lewis’s McLaren doesn’t appear to have a straight line speed advantage either and the McLaren seems to be matching the Red Bull sector for sector…the obvious question few seem to be asking is HOW?
I for one am wondering if McLaren’s side-pods are Answer and I’m wondering more when the rest of the field will realise that maybe their not just gimmicky. What I am sure about is that if you want to keep a secret in F1, clearly bad testing form is the way to go.
The front wings are generally designed to make air go around the tyres and feed into the coke-bottle zone, but you’d imagine it’s a little turbulent. Instead, on the McLaren the air is going into the cooling systems whereas the air being directed to the diffuser is pretty “clean” as the “alleys” are exposed directly to the wind. Then there’s their extra pipe in the roll bar that feeds more air in and the other little bits of course. I’m probably wrong but to me that seems the most logical benefit of sidepods that are the wrong way up.
My impression is that the McLaren is inherently a fast aerodynamic car.
The idea regarding the OctoPipes EBD fell apart during testing but the scope of innovation and improvement up for grabs for them is considerable. Seems to me it’s actually more than anyone else’s on the grid.
What’s remarkable is that they stuck a diffuser on the back that looks like a shovel and the car up and worked out of the box in AUS. If that diffuser isn’t optimised then it makes you wonder what an optimised diffuser could really do for them.
All of this seems to be possible due to McLaren’s uPod aerodynamics.
Dunno about you, but I’m looking forward to the 19 remaining battles! :)