This will be the big update for Alonso’s car in Imola

lThe key is in the sides and the floor, to try to gain downforce and general efficiency in the current F1 cars, according to the engineers. Aston Martin arrives in Italy this weekend with its first major update package, after minor adjustments made in Japan and Miami. Now, as is the case with Ferrari, They have a redesign of the sidepods and the floor, in addition to possible changes to the front of the car, as is being leaked on the eve of the car passing FIA verifications on Imola Thursday.

These types of improvements, which are made with the data taken on the track in the first rounds of the year, do not have the same impact for everyone.. In the case of Ferrari it could be the boost to get closer to less than two tenths of Red Bull and start fighting for victories from now on, but in the case of Aston, the distance at which it is located could help them surpass Mercedes and get somewhat closer to McLaren, which already had its update in Miami, with evident success and including victory for Lando Norris.

Precisely, from the Woking team, its sports director, Andrea Stella, commented: “Whoever says that the interaction between the body and the sides has no effect on the current regulations is lying. Every aerodynamicist knows perfectly well that the two macrocomponents that work together. “We all converge towards wide bellies because they favor the suction of the butt and act almost like an aerodynamic miniskirt,” he explained about this tendency to excavate as much as possible the area between the ground and the side pontoons, as Ferrari is going to do, as it turned out. in the test carried out in Fiorano last Friday.

In Carlos Sainz’s SF-24, in addition to those new sides, there are an optimization of the cooling system, with a new exit tunnel that appears on the top of the pontoons near the engine cover, which seems to want to better take advantage of the outlet of dirty and turbulent air that comes from the radiators and use that air to redirect it to the rear in a much cleaner way, a of Newey’s obsessions in his Red Bull.

The McLaren tunnel does work

While waiting to see what Aston Martin has prepared, it should be noted that for McLaren the difference may lie in its own wind tunnel, a facility renovated and inaugurated in October 2023 and that seems to be giving optimal performance in what is billed from there.

The one from Mercedes, the same one that Aston Martin uses for rent, does not seem as updated as that of its direct rival and this is revealed by the star’s team, where they recognize that it has certain difficulties in achieving a good correlation between the tunnel data and the track.

“With this generation of cars It is very difficult to find the right balance. This is because much of aerodynamics depends on the small gap between the road surface and the asphalt and it has become more complicated to predict what will happen. The behavior of the car on the track is no longer so easy to reproduce exactly in the simulator and precisely for this reason it is more difficult to have a perfect correlation compared to the previous generation of cars,” he points out. Andrew Shovlin Mercedes development engineer.

The complication is that the tunnel reproduces speeds of up to 180 km/h and that problems such as rebound or the ideal height to the ground cannot be reproduced in all ranges of real speeds and that is where it is necessary to fine-tune so that the pieces have the desired incidence. , something that Mercedes has not achieved since 2022. Aston will have its new tunnel from 2025 and with this new tool they can make the expected leap in quality. For now, they must hope that they have hit the mark with the limitations they are dealing with.

 
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