Mercedes and Haas Grand Prix Upgrades: Astounding Developments Unveiled
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Prepare to be amazed by the jaw-dropping upgrades brought by Mercedes and Haas to the United States Grand Prix! These teams have set the bar high by introducing significant improvements at the Circuit of the Americas.
Leading the way, the Silver Arrows have gone all out with their latest modification – a brand new floor. Lewis Hamilton, the seven-time F1 champion, described it as the final “large upgrade” for 2023. Hamilton expressed his excitement, stating, “It’s been a huge amount of work back at the factory, and I’m really excited to see how it feels. Hopefully, this kind of tips the needle a little bit and helps us in the right direction for next year.”
The key feature of the revised floor is its raised leading edge, which enhances the loading distribution on the outer fence and improves rear downforce. Additionally, Mercedes has expanded the high-cambered forward section of the floor edge wing to increase local and forward floor load.
Hamilton is eager to experience the overall global improvement brought by the new floor design. He emphasized, “I don’t know exactly all the different parts of the circuit that I’ll feel it, but hopefully, it puts us a little bit closer to the guys ahead.”
Meanwhile, Haas has been biding its time in anticipation of the US Grand Prix update. Driver Kevin Magnussen referred to it as an “exciting one” due to its uniqueness. According to Magnussen, the upgrade does not primarily aim to generate more downforce. Instead, it introduces a fresh concept that the team plans to carry over to next year’s car.
The extensive Haas upgrade encompasses various areas of the VF-23, including the floor, sidepods, and engine cover. The team optimized the expansion and contraction of the floor body to reduce aero sensitivity with changes in the car’s state. The new design also bolsters its resistance to strong side winds.
The reshaped floor edges ensure a more efficient flow path driven by the underfloor, resulting in enhanced aerodynamic efficiency. Haas also modified the shape of the sidepod inlet to improve airflow around the sidepod while maintaining the same cooling feeding system as before. Additionally, the engine cover underwent changes for increased cooling exit. The team even introduced new louvre panels and created different blankings to set varying cooling levels based on the circuit and conditions.
Haas went the extra mile by updating the front brake duct inboard exit with small geometric changes to manage wake and improve aerodynamic load. These improvements have proven to be instrumental in achieving good efficiency and aero load.
While Mercedes and Aston Martin have hogged the limelight, they are not the only teams unveiling extensive updates in Austin. Aston Martin brings a suite of changes including a new diffuser, modified floor edge, new engine cover, and a different beam wing. These adjustments aim to increase floor loading by modifying the local flow conditions underneath.
AlphaTauri also joins the party with a new floor, featuring changes to the floor body, fences, and floor edges. These alterations primarily target the improvement of local load, ensuring that the outermost fence keeps front-wheel wake losses at bay. By generating higher static pressure, the energy of the flow field to the forward floor increases, consequently boosting local load.
To complement the modified floor design, AlphaTauri increased the camber of the floor edges. Doing so lowers static pressure, drawing in more mass flow under the forward floor between the fences. The team has also introduced a new engine cover for improved cooling and revised rear brake ducts at the Circuit of the Americas.
Shifting our attention to Alfa Romeo, they have honed in on the floor yet again. The Hinwil-based outfit implemented changes to the rear floor edges of the C43, aiming to further amp up downforce. These updates align with the package of upgrades introduced during the Singapore Grand Prix.
In this thrilling race for upgrades, it’s important to note that teams such as Red Bull, Ferrari, Alpine, McLaren, and Williams have chosen not to unveil any new modifications at this stage of the campaign. However, with the current intensity of development, who knows what surprises await in the future?