A unique bowtie-shaped device, positioned neatly beneath the rear crash structure, has stirred up the Formula One landscape. This innovative technology has been thrust into an area that has not seen prior exploitation by any racing teams. The concept behind this design was to have it function hand in hand with the latest floor upgrades.
The location chosen for this device is the exact spot from where the rear of the car is lifted during pit stops. This necessitated a complete overhaul of the jack by Aston Martin to prevent the possibility of any damage to the newfound component.
However, the device started to show signs of strain with visible cracks during the practice session last Friday. The decision was taken to remove it from the car for the remainder of the weekend to avoid any potential on-track accidents.
Aston Martin‘s Performance Director, Tom McCullough, offered insights about this unexpected turn of events. In his words, “It was just an experiment really to see from an aero side whether it was producing the suction that it should have been producing in that area. Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite reliable enough out on track. So we decided just as a precautionary thing to remove it for the moment. But it’s still something we’re looking into. I don’t think it’s been done by teams up and down the pitlane that I’ve seen.”
McCullough elaborated on the device’s complications and said, “It was cracking. So we elected to take it off. It was more a test item, part of the update package, so just trying to exploit all the little areas in the rules that allow you to sneak as much performance in as you can do. We’re going to look at a more robust solution.”
McCullough also shed light on the device’s inception. “This idea was actually something that the aero design team came up with several months ago. The reason it’s taken so long to get to the track has really been down to developing a rear jack that allows you to jack the car up. We had a lot of practice to make sure we can still jack the car without damaging it or slowing down the pit stop. In the end, ultimately out on track, it wasn’t quite robust enough, but it’s something we’ve not given up on.”
The newly designed floor package made its debut in the cars at Zandvoort over the weekend after Fernando Alonso vigorously tested both the old and new versions with pleasing outcomes.
“The updates we’ve been bringing to the car really are focused around the floor. So the whole floor is actually different, subtle changes throughout the floor, just a continuation of the updates we’ve been bringing in recent events, the whole package working together. Some brake duct changes, too. It’s just small iterations, all part of the continual development phase of this car,” McCullough added.