Sergio Perez, Force India, Bahrain International Circuit, 2018

Force India expects “double whammy” from new front wing

2018 F1 season

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Force India expects its front wing upgrade will bring a “double whammy” performance benefit once it is able to make it work as designed.

The Silverstone-based team ran its new wing in practice at the Bahrain Grand Prix but has not raced it yet. The wing will not appear on the car until they have solved a fundamental problem with the balance of their VJM11.

Technical director Andrew Green said the car lacks rear downforce and is unstable when turning in to corners. A substantial, visibly different upgrade package is planned for the Spanish Grand Prix.

Green said the difficulties the team has experienced with the car is not related to the updates they have tried to introduce.

“We’re still very confident that front wing does exactly what we want of it,” he explained. “It was designed to go with a car that generates more rear load which we don’t have at the moment.

“Once that load appears, we can put the wing on, that generates even more rear load, that’s a double whammy, a positive circle.”

The team has changed its development priorities since discovering the VJM11’s shortcomings and has brought different updates for it than they originally planned to. They only began to realise the extent of their problems after pre-season testing.

“It started probably between Barcelona tests and Melbourme,” said Green.

“First of all we were a bit dubious about the data we were receiving, whether it was real or not. We needed to perform more tests on the car, put some additional logging instrumentation to check whether it was acutally a real phenomenon or not. And everythingh we’ve seen so far suggests it is real so we’ve been attacking it to try and instigate a change. As of yet we’re yet to make any real inroads into it.”

“It’s not a [wind] tunnel issue. It’s a full-size issue,” Green added. “It doesn’t match [wind] tunnel or CFD. The tunnel and CFD match [each other], unfortunately they don’t match reality.”

Although the car is an evolution of the team’s 2017 design, Green says it is different enough to make pinpointing the cause of their problems a challenge.

“It may look the same but every part of the car is different. So therefore which part of the car did we cange that fundamentally upset the car? It’s a very subtle change, it just goes to show how much of a knife-edge we work on.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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11 comments on “Force India expects “double whammy” from new front wing”

  1. Looking forward to Spain to see the McLaren and Force India 2018 cars.

    1. @vjanik Technically, we’ve seen them already, though, LOL.

  2. The development race between the teams in the “second division” is going to be really interesting to watch as the seven teams are remarkably closely matched at the moment. A good new part here or there could mean the difference between 7th and 20th at some tracks.

    Would a team like Williams consider dropping out of the battle for this year and focus entirely on 2019? Or is a good year next year reliant on not finishing last this year?

    I’m as enthralled by the battle for 4th in the WCC this year as I am for the race at the front.

    1. @ben-n – The only shame is that even in this second division, the finances that Force India and Williams can bring to bear are going to be lesser than their competitors who have higher aspirations, namely Renault and McLaren. The only advantage they have is that it’s a Mercedes PU vs. Renault PU, which might redress that balance to an extent.

      That said, I’m happy that Force India seem to have a clear understanding of their issue and the solution, so I do hope to see them moving up to a general position they’ve often occupied in recent years.

    2. @ben-n – I am not sure they can focus on next year as they need constructors this year for money for next.

      People whinge about pay drivers and the like. My last post gave young Lance some support when some dont. I have met him and his Dad 2 or 3 times each over the past two years and they give a firm hand shake, look you in the eye and say hello- they seem to be a nice family.

      Lawrence is a nice bloke hey- you don’t think you are talking to a billionaire, just one of the lads. He told me how nervous Lance was before his first start last year.

      My point being the guy just wants his lad to race F1. And this of course is a man has privilege. If not for Lawrence Stroll Williams F1 may not be in F1 in the next few years.

      A better distribution of income is more preferable than family money. Ferrari don’t deserve it and don’t spend it well anyway IMHO.

    3. I don’t think Williams can afford to do that for two reasons.

      If they drop out now, they’ll just get further behind and have way too much to make up in 2019.
      More importantly, there’s a fair likelihood that the regulations for 2019 are going to have some big changes, particularly related to front wings etc – until they are an absolute known, there’s no point in starting any development for 2019.

  3. petebaldwin (@)
    24th April 2018, 21:52

    @phylyp – They have a clear understanding that there is an issue but they don’t seem know what is causing it at the moment. I hope they can sort it out quickly but Green’s comment that “as of yet we’re yet to make any real inroads into it” doesn’t fill me with confidence….

    1. Ouch, that’s not too promising, @petebaldwin

  4. bennie johnston
    24th April 2018, 21:57

    Oi @keith
    You have some spam add popping up and blocking mobile viewers and users. Seriously full on red screen of spam.

    1. There is no spam.

Comments are closed.