F-duct may not work at Monza – Renault

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Renault technical director James Allison says the team are ot sure whether their new F-duct will work with the low-downforce set-up they are planning to use for the Italian Grand Prix.

The Monza circuit requires a low-drag configuration because of its many long straights. Allison said:

Monza is very different from all the other circuits and so we have had to prepare a bespoke package that we will not use anywhere else. Monza has such long straights and so few corners that it requires much smaller wings than any other track.

To add further complication, the F-duct is a potential alternative option for Monza. Like several other teams, we too are evaluating whether we can make the device work in the particular, low-downforce environment of Monza.
James Allison

He said the team had now switched much of its focus to 2011 but still had some development parts coming for the R30 this year as part of their effort to beat Mercedes to fourth place in the constructors’ championship:

By this stage of the season any sensible team will be spending most of its time working on next year’s car, and we are no exception. However, we’ve still got a few more upgrades to come before the end of the season, although it’s fair to say they will not be as significant as those we were brining to the car at the start of the year.

We’re currently 23 points behind Mercedes so we’ve got to take four points off them in each of the remaining races. We only managed to take three points out of their lead in Spa, but I’m hopeful that, if we can maintain our current level of competitiveness, we can start finishing ahead of Mercedes with both our cars.

If we can achieve that, and race effectively with no reliability issues, we stand a good chance of catching them by the end of the year.
James Allison

Robert Kubica said the ban on in-season testing means it’s harder for the drivers to get used to driving their cars in low-drag trim:

You have a lot of high-speed sections, like Ascari and Parabolica, plus the low-speed chicanes and it’s difficult to balance these sectors so the car performs well in all of them. It’s the quickest circuit on the calendar, which means we use a very low-downforce, low-drag configuration.

In previous years, we tested at Monza the week before the race so we could get used to the feeling of the car, which is much lighter than normal. Now, we don’t have that test, so it becomes a bit of a tricky weekend.

The other important factor is good mechanical grip for braking stability into the chicanes, and good traction on the exit.

The feeling is so unusual – it’s like being at the wheel of a completely different car. At the start of the weekend, you think that the rear end is very unstable, but in fact that’s how it stays all the time, and you never quite find the grip and stability you’re used to at other circuits.

That makes it a bigger challenge for the drivers, and I also enjoy the fact that there’s a lot of heavy braking, where you approach the braking points at very high speed and need to be extremely precise. It’s not easy to pick them up or to hit the apex of the corners.
Robert Kubica

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    20 comments on “F-duct may not work at Monza – Renault”

    1. maestroninthesky
      6th September 2010, 12:32

      I expect McLaren to have a distinct advantage over the field as their F-Duct was integrated into the car from the original design conception!

      1. But still even they will be evaluating a aero packgage without it for Monza!

      2. A number of Mclaren ppl have come out stating they will not be running the F-Duct at Monza due to the low downforce configuration they will run. They have stated it is an ineffective part of the package when they run a car with significantly less downforce.

        1. Agreed, I’m not expecting the Silver cars to have it easy as the bespoke Monza rear wing won’t be creating much drag in the first place, therefore stalling it will likely have a negligable effect.

      3. Mclaren must be aware. Monza isnt won yet (ferrari thought that spa was won) Monza is a race to lose to mclaren. anyway and being the f-duct useless like obvious i believe that hamilton skill has to be on top form cause the force india and Ferrari seem very good cars without the f-duct

    2. I am not an engineer but I thought that F-Duct should have helped them a lot who don’t have too much power in their engine. I think it’s a challenge for the drivers to what Kubica said, we want them to work hard & show who are the men among the boys.

    3. McLaren have been making noises about removing it though for Monza.

      With my basic understanding of aero and the F-Duct etc I’ve still never understood why you would not use it at Monza. But, of course, the teams know a damn site more than I do on the subject.

      However, Sam Michael at Williams appears to share my view. In more, I would have thought the F-Duct would allow you to run a bit more more wing without penalty and therefore go faster through the chicanes and corners too.

      Please note: this is just my thoughts on a basic understanding of the system, or lack there-of, and by no means represents me pretending to know more than the teams.

      1. It seems the whole thing adds a bit of drag in the first place (more openings, air running to those ducts, bigger front profile, etc.), when compared to a version of the car without it (probably less so for McLaren). So when it’s function would bring about 0.2 secs per lap and having it as such can cost somewhere between 0.15-0.25 it can be close to weigh the pros and contras for each team.

        From what i understood, Red Bull and Ferrari have one that

      2. It’s quite simple, really – what is the point of using something that gets rid of drag, if there is very little drag in the first place.

        1. Because, if it can be balanced right, it would allow them to run a slightly higher downforce setup, negating it with the F-Duct most of the time.

          This would give an advantage in grip when required, without the penalties associated in the straights.

          However, if the system cannot be made low-drag enough, obviously it makes sense to get rid of it. It’s a balancing act just like everything in F1.

          1. I agree Dr, took the words right out of my mouth. :)

          2. The thing is though, do you really need more downforce in Monza? We’re talking chicanes here, I’m unsure if the speed they go through such a turn generates a lot of downforce in the first place.

            1. (basic knowledge here too)

              just Parabolica, Ascari and those 2 corners after the 2nd chicane…

              but a bit more downforce could help in braking

              so, just before braking, the drivers ‘turn off’ the F-duct and gain a bit of stability while braking?

      3. I’m with you on that Dougie. I was under the impression that since the F-Duct has be made with non-mechanical parts, and is only activated by the driver’s knee, elbow, armpit etc, so therefore if you don’t want to use it at any particular circuit, you just don’t use it.
        Or am I missing something obvious?

        1. Yes: the added drag the parts will produce just by being there.

      4. I think it comes down to the way the F-Duct attaches to the rear wing…

        …if you have to run too much angle to allow the duct to attach to the rear wing then it will negate the advantage…

    4. Thats odd, I thought Renault would be as quick at Monza as they were at Spa.

    5. Charles Carroll
      6th September 2010, 15:18

      Williams has said that it is a “no brainer” that the F-duct should be used at Monza. They also stated that anyone who is considering not running it is simply playing games.


      Should be interesting to see who runs it and who does not, and whether all this talk of not running the F-duct was pure baloney.

      1. Or maybe Williams are playing games by saying it might be worth it ;-)

        1. Sounds like typical McLaren headology to me. Keep the other teams guessing.

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