Belgian Grand Prix – Teams have brought various updates to both bodywork and, in McLaren Honda’s case, a radical new engine update along with corresponding bodywork.
Perhaps the most notable update comes from Mercedes with two new updated curved rear wing. The most extreme of the two employs a single central, vertical pillar supporting the main beam, along with a rear mounted monkey seat. The purpose of this wing is presumably to try and channel the exhaust gases upwards towards the upwash behind the rear wing generating more rear downforce that would otherwise be unobtainable. The second wing, which could well be Monza spec, is a much more low drag and less aggressive in curvature than initial one, with the upper element similar to previous Mercedes rear wings. The lower element is slightly more curved but more subtle than it’s aggressive sister. So far this wing has yet to be run with the use of a monkey seat, perhaps due to the centre point of the wing not being low enough to catch and make use of exhaust gases. Both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton ran the more aggressive rear wing in FP1 this morning, although Rosberg also ran the more low drag spec wing earlier in the session too.
Ferrari are running a low drag rear wing which was sent out on Vettel’s car this morning, which again could be sent out for data collection in anticipation of the long high speed straights of Monza. The Maranello outfit are also running incredibly low drag front wings, with a very low angle of attack on the main elements and no cascade elements, revealing what you could call a fairly naked front wing. Both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel ran the revised Monza style front wings in Free Practice one with Raikkonen reverting back to a cascade element version in the latter stages of the session, presumably for data correlation and comparison purposes.