McLaren top upgrade list at French Grand Prix
McLaren have fitted seven new upgrades to the MCL36 ahead of the French Grand Prix, more than any other team on the grid.
From this season, teams have been required to disclose, as well as explain the logic behind, the changes they make to the car ahead of a grand prix.
With the French Grand Prix this weekend, a number of constructors have made some substantial changes to the car including McLaren who have made a total of seven modifications.
Some of the changes by the teams are specific to the Paul Ricard circuit while other upgrades are with a longer future in mind.
Here is what every team has done ahead of the grand prix weekend:
Just one change for Alfa with a modified rear drum mandatory lower deflector. The team describe it as a “minor” modification which they hope will improve flow management in the region and prove a performance gain.
The Italian team have been busy with five upgrades coming to the car, the majority of which are focused on the floor including changes to the floor body, fences and edge.
AlphaTauri hope this will improve performance from the vorticity generated by the forward floor fences, the interaction and management of the front wheel wake and the performance of the floor edge vortex to derive more load from the rear of the floor and the diffuser.
Elsewhere, a more aft camber has been added to the trailing edge of the diffuser and the cut out in the sidewall has been removed which allows the diffuser to take advantage of the improvements in flow from upstream as a result of changes to the bodywork.
The final upgrade is the OB shoulder which has been made taller and moved wider to improve the quality of the flow to the rear of the car.
Alpine have made just two changes to their car with a revised underfloor stroke which proves better flow conditioning underneath the floor and edges.
The second upgrade is to the floor fences which brings an improvement to the flow conditioning which will provide better flow to the rear of the car.
Aston Martin have made just one change to the car with a gurney flap added to the forward edge of the cut out in the floor edge. The team say this works by locally loading the floor in this region by increasing the extraction from the lower surface.
Ferrari have made just one change which comes to the floor body. They have updated the front/mid floor and diffuser geometries to improve the overall aerodynamic performance through the entire car operating envelope.
Haas have made no changes to the car.
The busiest team on the grid have fitted a total of seven new upgrades to the car. Among them is a modified rear wing endplate which aims to avoid a reliability concern. The sidepods’ shape has also been changed with the goal of improving overall load on both axles.
Two changes have been made to the rear corner with new internal ducts being fitted on the rear brake ducts to vary cooling mass flow on the brakes as well as a brake duct scoop widget which is acting as a test item to see if flow conditions on the scoop can be improved.
A modification to the floor geometry and a new diffuser is part of a larger package looking to improve overall load on both axles by redistributing the local suction around the floor.
There has also been a consideration of the recent warm weather that Europe has been experiencing with a trim to the sidepods engine covers to ensure reliable running of the power unit.
An additional cooling louvre panel has also been brought to the grand prix with the intent of allowing more freedom in trading cooling and aerodynamic performance on the new sidepod.
The reigning Constructors’ champions have made one change to the floor edge with a new rear reduced curvature floor edge ahead of the rear tyre. They say this will reduce floor load and improve flow into the diffuser.
The second and final change is to the front corner with the addition of internal louvres local to the front brake duct exit which they say is specific to the Paul Ricard circuit. This will improve how the brake disc cooling flow exits the front caketin and increases cooling.
Red Bull have revised the floor fences geometries by extending them to the floor edge which will redistribute local pressure to improve load whilst maintaining the flow stability.
Another change is to the upper wing cascade which looks to gain local load without disruption to the lower wing cascade or the adjacent brake duct exit.
The constructors’ backmarkers have made one change to the front floor support which is an update to the mounting. The team say this will allow more deflection of the area when it strikes a kerb and is intended to limit the damage that occurs.