F1’s backmarkers fast-track upgrades as FIA reveal full Shanghai array

Michelle Foster
Alpine's Chinese GP upgrades

The FIA revealed Alpine's Chinese GP upgrades

On a weekend where neither Red Bull nor Ferrari have brought updates to the track, Alpine and Haas dominated the stage as they revealed extensive upgrades.

Arriving at the Shanghai International Circuit after a five-year hiatus, many of the teams opted not to introduce anything new on their cars given the unknowns of the weekend, capped by it being the sport’s first Sprint of the season.

F1’s backmarkers fast-track upgrades for China

As such Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, and Aston Martin didn’t bring a single new part, while Mercedes only tweaked the W15’s Halo by adding a small flick on either side of the cockpit behind it to help control airflow to the rear wing assembly.

Further back on the grid, Alpine, languishing in 10th place in the standings after a wretched start to the championship, has brought a new floor – but there’s only one for Esteban Ocon’s A524.

Comprising a new floor, floor fences, and edge, the changes are designed to improve the airflow around the rear tyre, bring more downforce to the car, and hopefully improve the overall performance.

Ocon has underlined the importance of Alpine taking a step forward, saying: “The upgrades we brought to Suzuka were in line with our expectations. And I know that the team is working very hard at the factory to improve the performance of the car in the coming races.”

They, however, aren’t the only team fast-tracking upgrades.

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Haas, who last season didn’t introduce any new parts until Austin’s B-spec VF-24, has also brought an array of new parts to China.

Haas' Chinese GP upgrades

Along with a new floor fence and edge, designed to create more downforce and improve drivability, they also have a new engine cover, rear corner, and mirrors.

The engine cover, which has a slimmer centre exit with a larger cooling louver layout, not only improves cooling but also reduces the lower energy flow impacting the rear end of the car while the rear corner should up the VF-24’s local load.

As for the slimmer mirror mounting, the revised design is smaller at the front which reduces its wake.

RB, meanwhile, has put a new headrest in the car, reshaping the area behind the driver’s helmet to create better flow quality downstream while Williams has tweaked their Halo to improve airflow to the rear wing.

Stake-Sauber didn’t bring any upgrades.

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