In an attempt to slow the cars down, there has of course been changes to the technical rules for 2005, including raising the front wing, bringing the rear wing forward, reducing the diffuser height and cutting back the bodywork in front of the rear wheels. It is estimated that these changes will result in the loss of 20% or more downforce with minimal loss of drag.
The front wing they tested is very similar to the wing used on the 2001 Prost. Here's a close up shot:-
Yes, those intakes on the side-pods are tiny and the side-pods themselves are very narrow. Notice in the picture in Andy's original post how the "floor" extends out at the bottom to the maximum allowed width.
Patience, young man. I don't think that McLaren have actually announced the launch date for their new car yet.
Meanwhile, McLaren's test driver Alexander Wurz finished on top at Jerez yesterday. Driving the MP4-19B car, he set the quickest time of the week with a best lap of 1:16.052, ahead of teammate Juan Pablo Montoya.
I was reading Autosport's technical analysis of the new Toyota last night and smaller sidepod openings were one of the features that came up.
Another change for this year is that the ride height for the bottom of the chassis has been raised. Apparently the changed airflow pattern this brings about aids cooling and hence the sidepod openings can be made smaller.
Pre-season testing and the new car launches always have an amusement value for me with everyone bigging up their chances for the new year. Toyota, for instance, are aiming to be #2 team by the end of the year.
In fact it's only a couple of races in that real form will start to be revealed.
My favorite Brabham quote: "When the flag drops, the b.s. stops."
I think it's fairly safe to assume that the red cars will be at or somewhere near the front though ...
ps: Anyone got any thoughts on the wisdom or otherwise of the management changes at RBR?
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