Tech Corner: McLaren MP4-31 front wing

Date published: July 12 2016

McLaren made some interesting alterations to the front wing used by Fernando Alonso at Silverstone, with Button utilising the previous specification.

Metal inserts were placed into key areas of the wing, places that would ordinarily deform under load. These inserts can be seen at the endplate and mainplane T-junction, the tunnel arc and the juncture between the flapped region and the neutral section.

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Aside from the improved rigidity from the metal inserts, which should improve the aerodynamic consistency of the wing and the aero structures it creates, the surfaces of the wing have been treated to different finishes to improve their effectiveness.

Only the two uppermost flaps are now painted to match the colour of the car, with the edges left bare. A new finish was applied to the trailing edge of the flaps and around the base of various fins and structures in order to improve performance.

These various finishes are micro managing the airflow to determine how well the airflow attaches and detaches from the surfaces.

Matt Somerfield