In the final part of this F1 technical round up we take a look at the remainder of the teams on the grid.
Sauber F1 Team
The 2012 Sauber C31 was a very good car. It was very kind to the tyres and it had very good race pace. This season’s C32 is not as quick as the car from the previous season and they have been struggling for pace. They’ve been bringing new developments to each race to try and get the car back on pace. The team are making slow progress and with their recent financial issues all sorted out now, they should be able to continue development on the 2013 car.
Sauber have been regularly changing the nose of the car. At the Spanish Grand Prix they had a front wing with the FOM camera mounted at the tip of the nose, giving it a hammerhead shark-like appearance.
At the next race in Canada there was a bulge (like a pelican beak) on the underside of the nose cone with the FOM cameras moved slightly back. The front wing itself has been pretty much unchanged since Spain with only slight changes made to the front wing cascade.
This configuration allowed them to run a little less aggressive angle of attack while still maintaining down force.
At the Spanish Grand Prix, the team brought a more conventional straight wing and have stuck with that configuration since.
The Williams F1 team have really been struggling with their 2013 car. The car is nowhere near the pace of their 2012 car. They had tremendous qualifying pace last season, yet this season they struggle to make it through to Q2 in some qualifying sessions.
They haven’t been able to stick to one front wing design. At the German Grand Prix they tested two different types of front wing designs. While this is normal for any team, they have not yet been able to find a design that works for them. Each configuration has a different cascade and is often missing the inverted “L” cascade near the center of the wing.
They’ve also changed the nose of car. The front pillars were similar to that of Ferrari’s at the Spanish Grand Prix, where the pillars extend from the tip of the nose to the wing. At the British Grand Prix they introduced a nose with a bit of a bulge on the underside with the pillars joining further back.
Around the side of the car they’ve added four vertical vortex generators to help the airflow to the exhaust.
At the rear of the car they’ve been running their boomerang wing which bends upwards from the main plane.
Like Force India, Toro Rosso have had a rather good start to the season. In the last few races they’ve shown that they can be competitive with Daniel Ricciardo finishing in the points.
The big change came to the car at the Spanish Grand Prix where they implemented a cross-under tunnel layout similar to their big brother team, Red Bull. Unlike the Red Bull solution where the cross-tunnel is totally closed off, Toro Rosso’s is only partially closed off.
This does not mean that it’s less effective though. The Red Bull has a Renault engine and the Toro Rosso runs Ferrari engines. They both have very different characteristics when they’re off throttle, on the throttle etc. This is probably why the Toro Rosso solution differs slightly.
They also have their own version of a low down force rear wing which is similar to the wing that Sauber was running at the start of the season. They returned to a straight rear wing set up at the British Grand Prix.
It does look like the team have found a good balance between speed down the straights and speed around the corners. It will be interesting to see how they get on in the remainder of the season.
They re-profiled the whole nose cone. The new spec used a vanity panel and featured a bulge on the underside. The front wing was also changed with new cascades.
The side pods featured twin element air flow conditioners with the rear element curving over the top of the side pods. Very similar to what Ferrari tested.
The rear wing was improved to make it more efficient and horizontal strakes were added to the endplate to direct airflow.
That rounds up our look at F1 technical upgrades and updates that the teams have made to their cars throughout the season so far. It is going to be very interesting to see who can up their game for the remainder of the season, and which teams will be left behind. We’ll bring you all the F1 technical updates we can throughout the rest of the season. But now, on to Hungary!