In the round-up: Aston Martin’s technical director expresses his support for latest changes to F1’s aerodynamic rules.
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Fallows had “fun” adapting Aston Martin’s 2023 car to floor rule change
One of Formula 1’s technical rule changes for 2023 is raising the minimum height of cars’ floor edges by 15mm, a move to reduce the porpoising that impacted many teams last season, and it has presented a design challenge for engineers as the greater space around and beneath the car’s floor reduces downforce.
Aston Martin’s technical director Dan Fallows talked about the rule at the launch of his team’s new AMR23 car, and revealed his technical team was enthused by the extra challenge from the regulation change.
“I think it was the right thing to do to try to make a change to the regulations to help out this bouncing,” he said.
“We all know that the teams are tending to want to run the car right up to the limit. So by regulation, allowing some some degree of freedom in there makes an awful lot of sense. It did hurt in terms of the downforce of the car but we went into the development saying ‘well, we wanted to get round that as quickly as possible’, and then to develop further. So that was a big thing for us.”
Aston Martin have already shaken down the AMR23 at Silverstone, and reserve driver Felipe Drugovich will be first to drive the car in official testing due to race driver Lance Stroll being injured. Only then will the team get a true understanding of how successful they have been with their work around the floor edges.
“Interestingly, any time you touch anything particularly that sensitive on the car, it has other effects on the floor and the aerodynamics around the rear of the carin particular,” Fallows added.
“And actually that was quite a fun challenge to try to see how we could sort of take that disadvantage, if you like, and turn it into an advantage. So it was actually quite fun to work with that fact. Any rule changes are usually very good fun.”
McLaren enquires with Red Bull and Honda about their F1 engines
The team is one of Mercedes’ three engine customers. However the manufacturer indicated last year it intends to reduce the number of customer teams it supplies in future.
McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown said the team is “very happy with Mercedes” at present but he and team principal Andrea Stella are considering their options for the future.
“We’re not in a big rush and we are very happy with Mercedes so we’ll see how things play out over the next year or so before we need to make a decision,” he said in response to a question from RaceFans.
Indy Nxt to support NASCAR at Indianapolis
IndyCar’s primary support series Indy Nxt has tweaked its calendar to move its first race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway from May to August.
The May event had been a double-header, so will still include one Indy Nxt race on the track’s road course, and the new date for the race brings it onto NASCAR’s ‘Brickyard Weekend’.
Between the 11th and 13th of August, IndyCar, Indy Nxt, the top-level NASCAR Cup Series and its supporting NASCAR Xfinity Series will now all be in action at IMS.
“To feature Indy Nxt during this elite NASCAR-IndyCar weekend is a tremendous opportunity,” said Indy Nxt’s series director Levi Jones.
“This season, 19 Indy Nxt entries will compete for the 2023 championship – the most since 2009. It is a growing series matching the growing IndyCar paddock and a phenomenal moment to showcase the next generation of stars on a huge stage.”
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