Racing Point mirrors

Racing Point reveal aggressive new sidepods, bargeboards and mirrors

F1 technology

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All teams bring a wealth of upgrades to the first race of the year. But Racing Point have had to go a step further for the start of the 2019 F1 season, as they completed testing with just a basic aerodynamic package.

This was due to the team’s winter development period being taken up with modifying their 2018 tub for the intended aero package, which the team held back on introducing until the first race. The aggressive design has now been revealed in Melbourne ahead of this weekend’s Australian Grand Prix.

Under new ownership and with greater investment, the team now known as Racing Point still had to manage their resources to prepare for 2019. The pragmatic option of modifying the 2018 monocoque for the revised front suspension and sidepod package was taken. Then, rather than produce the definitive aero package for testing, it was held back for Melbourne. So, it’s only now we see what Racing Point intended as its response to the new aero rules.

Most of the changes are around the bargeboards and sidepods. The high-mounted front suspension and high-top sidepods were already modified for the Barcelona tests.

Racing Point RP19, 2019
Racing Point RP19 bargeboards, 2019 Australian Grand Prix

The RP19’s bargeboards follow the same basic layout as the testing version, though there is now a boomerang wing fitted above the main boards. New rules for 2019 means this part must be mounted lower than in 2018. It helps push airflow down low around the sidepod.

Detail changes to the slots and spikes forming the upper and lower edges of the bargeboard package have been made, with bigger changes to the vertical vanes to the side of the sidepod inlet.

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Racing Point RP19, 2019
Racing Point RP19 sidepods, 2019 Australian Grand Prix

The sidepod inlet itself still follows a Red Bull-like interpretation of the Ferrari high-top sidepod. This was a design the team were unable to fit into to its 2018 car, as work to incorporate the Halo had to take priority.

Now the inlet is surrounded three large vanes, over the double-vane set up for Barcelona. These will work with the revised bargeboards to push the airflow down along the sides of the car, feeding clean airflow to the floor and pushing the front tyre’s turbulence outboard of the rear tyre.

At this stage the floor edge and diffuser appear to be the same as the Barcelona spec, but will be a key area for subsequent modification.

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Racing Point RP19, 2019
Racing Point RP19 mirrors, 2019 Australian Grand Prix

2019’s main aero loophole is using the revised mirror rules for aero benefit. So the team which used as many as three mirror mounts for aero gain last year have pushed this area as far as it’s likely to remain legal.

Lance Stroll, Racing Point, Circuit de Catalunya, 2019
Simpler testing mirrors have been replaced
New rules demanding no more than one inner and one lower mounting have been stretched with Racing Point’s Melbourne spec. An elongated mirror pod is supported by two large vanes, one enclosing the inner face of the pod and then another dissecting the mirror pod about two thirds along its length. These fulfil the wording of the regulation, but their oversized dimensions suggest that they are not simply for the structural support of the mirror but for aero gain.

Fewer changes appear to be made around the front end of the car, with the ducted nose, front wing and its endplates similar to the testing variants. Although the front brake ducts do show some clever detailing.

Rules that were supposed to clean up the inner face of the brake duct included a loophole that allows vanes to be added. Racing Point have exploited this below the main cooling inlet, where there is a recess that has a vane moulded into it to direct airflow down around the tyre. These vanes, which are exploited in similar ways by many other teams, aren’t as effective as the freer regulations of last season, but with simpler front wings and brake ducts this year, any small add-on is useful.

Racing Point will continue to catch up on its aero programme over the opening flyaway races, through the course of the full season, this small delay to its programme shouldn’t have a significant effect.

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Craig Scarborough
Craig Scarborough is RaceFans' new technical contributor for 2019....

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  • 18 comments on “Racing Point reveal aggressive new sidepods, bargeboards and mirrors”

    1. I haven’t looked at the other cars, but are those mirrors way out there? Aren’t they usually much close to the cockpit?
      Might this make them more effective for the driver?
      Also, for the mirror supports, couldn’t the team argue that at 200 kph, the previous supports did not provide enough stability as can be seen in many videos that should mirrors vibrating at high speed.

      1. Position for mirrors is exactly determined in rules for 2019, so that teams can’t place them wherever they want. It is also mandated that mirrors need to be supported by 2 supports: one on the bottom and the other on the inner bottom part. That’s why almost all (if not all) cars have them connected to the cockpit side with one support and to the sidepod by the other.

      2. This year, the mirrors indeed have been a bit further outboard, and have to be wider, to make them more effective as mirrors @mtlracer

        1. @bosyber I’m interested to see how this works out because I remember that when they were placing the mirrors more outboard in the past the drivers complained that they were outside of there peripheral vision which is why the FIA mandated that they be moved inboard part way through 2010.
          With them closer to the cockpit & in the drivers peripheral vision they were able to catch a glimpse of a car pulling out to move alongside. But when they were more outboard they complained that they had no warning of a car getting alongside them unless they actually turned to glance over at the mirror which was causing some silly looking accidents, Especially at the start.

          GP2 also tried running the outboard mirrors in 2009 but very quickly moved them back inboard for the same reason.

          1. yeah, but weren’t those outboard as in on the outside edge of the sidepod? (hm, but that was likely 20cm inward from where they’d be now, right?)

          2. @SrefMeister
            True, they did that. But in 2010 rear wings were much higher and narrower that what they are now, so mirrors placed tightly next to cockpit were ok. In 2017 there were some incidents in which drivers claimed that they couldn’t see the driver behind, and if I am not mistaken that was what Grosjean (or was it Magnussen) said after his incident with Leclerc in Suzuka last year. So FIA decided to put them further outboard so that they are not blocked by larger wings and have mandated 2 mounting points so that teams can’t do weird stuff like what Ferrari did last year

    2. No pics of the brake ducts? :(

    3. Aggressive mirrors so Lance can see whose overtaking him and quickly get out of the way.

    4. It’s time to begin using cameras instead.

      1. @melthom I agree the use of cameras would improve the driver visibility and aero as you could get rid of the mirrors.

      2. My observation of cameras on the side of a vehicle is there’s a slight delay between what you see in the real wing mirror and what you see via the camera, maybe 1/3 of a second.

      3. I think cameras should be the way forward but you have two issues. One is the shape of the cockpit. For cameras you’d need screens and the screens need to be placed in such place where they are unaffected by glare while also being in the vision of the driver without obstructing the vision ahead. Chances are the screens would end up near where the mirrors would be anyways so there may not be any increased clarity with aero rules for example. Or even increased visibility.

        The second issue is the weight. As heavy as the cars are currently adding screens and the extra battery for them adds an extra kilogram or two quite easily. If f1 goes with some kind of camera/screen system then I think it would be ideal for that part to be a standard part. Doesn’t really make sense for the teams to design their own cameras and screens although the rest of the system could just as well be left free for the teams to decide. Whether f1 should record the mirror cameras for stewards is another question. I wonder if the existing tv onboard cameras could be used for mirrors if you have couple more of them pointing backwards?

    5. If that wasn’t a Stroll team, I’d absolutely be rooting for them. That’s a seriously sexy car.

      1. @hahostolze, What do you have against a Stroll team, F1 needs billionaire’s support, do you prefer the ethics of the previous owner?

        1. I can’t say much for Vijay Mallya, except he never placed either an Indian driver or his son in his team.
          Lawrence Stroll does.

          I hate the cold, hard fact of pay drivers. I will never support one, but I can accept that many if not all current F1 drivers are in F1 at least partly due to some benefactor.
          But Lance Stroll is of a calibre we haven’t seen in a long time. His father literally bought a 300+ person F1 team so his son got to race.
          You may well say, good, at least the team survives.
          Me, I see a death spiral. And complete lack of principles.

          1. Todd (@braketurnaccelerate)
            14th March 2019, 22:43

            The real question is, what happens to RP when Lance or Lawrence are “done” with it? How long will Lawrence support it if his kid is constantly out of the points and has no chance to make a top-tier team’s roster? Or is Lawerence planning to spend $300m/yr and hire a ton of people to get there?

      2. i find myself in the same position.

        unfortunately the Netflix series didn’t do him any favours either. without Old Man Stroll’s involvement, it is categorically clear that young Lance wouldn’t have an F1 drive. his results in the lesser categories weren’t what you would call ‘impressive’, and his F1 career to date (the podium was more luck than a good drive) has been lacklustre at best.

        Personally for Lance this year, it should be a case of deliver or go away.

    6. Those mirrors…. how long before there’s a protest about their legality? Look a whole lot like an aero device to me.

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