GP SOCHI: Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams updates

Yes, it’s that time again, it’s time for the Sochi Tech Review. In this article we’ll take a look at few updates that were brought in Russia specifically by Ferrari, Mercedes and finally Williams.

We’ll start from the red car. Ferrari didn’t bring any major update, but, as we are now used to see, just a couple of tweaks. It’s clear that the common thread in these updates, is the will to reduce the frontal section, and in turn enhance aero drag. So, in Sochi we saw a new rear wing spec, which is one of the components that generates the most significant drag on an F1 car. The men in Maranello, opted to reduce the overall downforce generate by this single component, by decreasing AoA (angle of attack), chord and frontal section. 

To  compensate the lack of drag, Ferrari has maintained the innovative monkey seat which we first saw in Bahrain. This element is basically a drag free downforce generator, since it doesn’t influence the frontal section. 

Moving on, Mercedes in Russia decided to sacrifice some Quali performance in order to solve some of the problems that they’ve had in the first stint of all races so far. They’ve opted to reduce some of the weight on the rear axle, to reduce the deficit caused by the excessive overall weight of the car itself. In doing so, Mercedes has had a harder time trying to warm up the tyres, but they haven’t encountered any overheating issues on the rears. It seems like they are starting to figure out the 2017 Pirellis. 

As some other teams have done, Mercedes also brought a less aggressive rear wing to Russia while still maintaining the spoon shape. 

Very minor tweak in the crash structure where the serrated edge surrounding the light pod has been swapped out for a more traditional one.

Last but not least, we’ll take a look at Williams. The main update concerns, as you might have guessed by now, the rear wing. In fact a new vertical slot was added on the rear wing end plates, indicated in green in the picture below. This is an evolution of the concept we’ve already seen the Williams, in fact, the slat indicated by the yellow arrow has been there for a few races now.

Finally, in Free Practice, Williams very briefly tested a monkey seat which we may see in High DownForce tracks like Monaco or Barcelona.

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