RACING

The consequences of Aston Martin’s radical F1 rear wing design

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While teams have largely followed the intent of the regulations, that doesn’t mean the end of some innovative approaches, as creative designers flex their muscles and interpret the regulations in their own way.

In this regard, Aston Martin entered the conversation just before the summer break, when it introduced a technically fascinating rear wing design. The new end plate design defies established convention in the regulations for which the reversed transition with main plane and flaps was formulated.

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Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing

Photo by: Uncredited

The approach taken by the makers here is both aesthetic and aerodynamic, with the design not only intended to be more appealing to the eye than the more conventional design, it is also one of the measures intended to help reduce complexity and alter the wake profile of a lead car so that a trailing car can follow closer.

The design in question is a reminder of the old regulations, with the front part of the end plate extended above the main plane to create a junction between the two elements and which extends the span of the main plane, without introducing incredibly difficult flow conditions.

The inwardly rolled top edge, which looks like an apostrophe, is more about adhering to the various radius and continuity rules, but was then further optimized to achieve the designers’ overall goals as well.

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing end plate

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing end plate

Photo by: Uncredited

Introducing such a complex design was obviously something that could not be completed overnight, with the team not only having to get the controversial wing to perform as planned, but, as the performance director of the team, Tom McCullough, it had to undergo FIA scrutiny on numerous occasions to ensure it was also compliant.

“It took several months from first contact to full FIA approval,” he said. “And then once you get the approval, we design the manufacturing, and then you submit all the designs the pre-race weekend.

“And again, the FIA ​​needs to make sure they’re still happy with that, which they [did]. And then you get it on the car.

However, even if this new design feature resulted in a quantifiable increase in performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix, that does not mean that we will see the solution every race weekend given the implications of the cost cap and that Aston Martin has already built fenders which they plan to reuse over the next few months.

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing end plate

Aston Martin AMR22 rear wing end plate

Photo by: Uncredited

“So we have a whole suite of wings, which we’ve already made,” McCullough added. “We’ve used a lot of it already across all the different circuit efficiencies. So to go and do them again? It’s just a question of value for money.

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The other interesting question is who will follow in Aston Martin’s footsteps and produce their own version of this solution? Well, this is going to become an interesting narrative because firstly, does the design appeal to other teams and their targets with the rear wing options available to them?

Second, does having run preliminary simulations on the design – which most teams will surely have done – provide the necessary performance boost to justify further optimization and the resources that this entails?

Third, will it fit in the context of the remaining budget, given the challenges of capping costs?

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, will the FIA ​​step in and revise the regulations to ban the design for 2023?

As this will likely have more of an impact on other teams’ decisions as to whether they decide to produce their own releases in the future.

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