Title rivals bring Belgian GP updates while McLaren make most changes to car

2022 Belgian Grand Prix

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All 10 Formula 1 teams have brought updates for their cars to the first race after the summer break.

McLaren has revealed the most extensive upgrade for its car based on information supplier to the FIA. They will test a new rear wing, revised floor and front suspension on their MCL36.

Mercedes will also continue their efforts to steadily improve the competitiveness of their W13. They have brought more changes to the car’s floor as well as the front and rear wings. As is the case for most teams at the high-speed Spa-Francorchamps, the latter is targeted at reducing drag to improve top speed.

Championship contenders Ferrari and Red Bull have also brought new parts for their car. The latter have refined the shape of their rear suspension in order to reduce drag.

F1 teams’ updates for Belgian Grand Prix

Mercedes

Front Wing Endplate

Reason for change: Performance – flow conditioning

Difference: “Reprofiled wing tip elements as they run into the endplate.”

Description: “Improved flow over wing tip by reducing pressure peaks, reducing losses and improving flow to the rear of the car.”

Floor Fences

Reason for change: Performance – local load

Difference: “Floor fence alignment adjustment.”

Description: “Better fence alignment through more conditions, improving the flow that feeds into the floor vortex system and improving local downforce.”

Floor Body

Reason for change: Performance – flow conditioning

Difference: “New reduced chord floor edge wing.”

Description: “Reduced wing chord reduces wing load, this in turn improves flow into the diffuser increasing both floor and diffuser downforce.”

Rear Wing

Reason for change: Performance – drag reduction

Difference: “Reprofiled flap and wing tips.”

Description: “Efficient reduction in wing load which is appropriate for the circuit in Spa where lower drag wing levels are optimum.”

Red Bull

Coke/Engine Cover

Reason for change: Circuit specific – cooling range

Difference: “Mildly re-profiled sidepods.”

Description: “Respecting existing split lines of surrounding parts, the sidepods have been altered to gain cooling range with reduced consequences when opened.”

Rear Suspension

Reason for change: Performance – flow conditioning

Difference: “Rear suspension shroud re-profiled”

Description: “Without any structural alteration, the rear lower wishbone shroud has been re-profiled so as to reduce the local aerodynamic losses downstream.”

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Ferrari

Rear Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “Lower Downforce Top Rear Wing design”

Description: “Depowered Top Rear Wing profiles introduction in order to adapt to Spa-Francorchamps circuit layout peculiarities and aero efficiency requirements”

Beam Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “Lower Downforce Beam Wing design”

Description: “Single element beam wing introduction in order to adapt to Spa-Francorchamps circuit layout peculiarities and aero efficiency requirements”

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McLaren

Diffuser

Reason for change: Performance – local load

Difference: “Modified rearward floor underside shape.”

Description: “The rearward floor shape has been changed to alter the aerodynamic expansion behaviour of the diffuser with the aim of improving aerodynamic performance.”

Rear Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “Lower Drag Rear Wing assembly.”

Description: “A lower Drag Rear Wing assembly has been introduced for this event, suitable to the high efficiency characteristics of this track.”

Beam Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “Lower Drag Beam Wing.”

Description: “The Beam wing geometry has been altered in order to reduce aerodynamic drag, suiting the high efficiency characteristics of this track.”

Rear Corner

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “Lower Drag Rear Corner Geometry.”

Description: “The Rear Brake Duct winglet configuration has been adapted in order to reduce drag, suiting the high efficiency characteristics of this track.”

Coke/Engine Cover

Reason for change: Circuit specific – cooling range

Difference: “Smaller Low cooling Bodywork.”

Description: “Matching the lower cooling demand at this event, a smaller bodywork with reduced cooling capacity and improved aerodynamic performance has been deployed.”

Cooling Louvres

Reason for change: Circuit specific – cooling range

Difference: “Range of louvre blankings to suit low cooling bodywork.”

Description: “Multiple blanking panels to suit the above mentioned lower cooling bodywork to tune cooling mass flow and trade cooling capacity with aerodynamic performance.”

Rear Corner

Reason for change: Performance – local load

Difference: “Additional Rear Corner Winglets.”

Description: “A winglet has been added to the rear corner assembly improving local flow and aerodynamic load, mainly on the wheel assembly itself.”

Front Suspension

Reason for change: Performance – flow conditioning

Difference: “Front suspension track rod fairing.”

Description: “This is a revision to the angle of the track rod fairing, to be aligned better with the local flow.”

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Alpine

Rear Corner

Reason for change: Performance – local load

Difference: “The brake duct inlet has moved outboard of the fence. “

Description: “The new rear brake ducts help to improve the air flow around the rear corner of the car, with subsequent improvements of the flow to the rear wing. “

Floor Fences

Reason for change: Performance – flow conditioning

Difference: “There are several minor changes to the floor fence geometry. “

Description: “The new floor fences will aim to improve flow conditioning by moving the wake more outboard. Therefore improving aero performance further down the car. “

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AlphaTauri

Rear Suspension

Reason for change: Performance – local load

Difference: “The incidence of the lower wishbone shroud has been adjusted.”

Description: “The angle of the wishbone shroud has been adjusted to work better with the change in bodywork on top of the floor that was introduced at race 12.”

Rear Corner

Reason for change: Performance – local load

Difference: “The upper cascade of winglets on the rear brake duct have been reprofiled and the number of elements has been increased. A large additional winglet above the original cascade has also been introduced.”

Description: “The change in winglets has a positive impact on the control of the flow around the rear tyres and provides increased local load.”

Rear Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “The new rear wing is less deep in front view and the elements have less camber.”

Description: “The new rear wing generates less downforce but with less drag. This trade is a better optimum for the characteristics of this track.”

Beam Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “The new beam wing only has a single element along with a gurney.”

Description: “The new beam wing generates less downforce but with less drag. This trade is a better optimum for the characteristics of this track.”

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Aston Martin

Front Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – balance range

Difference: “For this event we have a new front wing flap which reduces the chord of the final element with associated re-profiling.”

Description: “This component is to reduce front wing load to achieve lower aero balances with a smaller rear wing.”

Rear Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “The new rear wing has a shorter chord flap compared to the previous low-drag version.”

Description: “The geometric changes reduce rear wing load and hence drag to allow the car setup to be optimised for the characteristics of this circuit.”

Williams

Front Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – balance range

Difference: “Optional trim to the front wing flap trailing edge”

Description: “Making this change reduces the front downforce in order to compliment the lower rear downforce options and is specific to this circuit”

Beam Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “Optional smaller single element beam wing”

Description: “This is another circuit specific option which offers us the opportunity of lowering the downforce and drag to suit the circuit characteristics”

Rear Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “Optional trims to the flap element of the upper rear wing”

Description: “Lowers the downforce and drag to suit the circuit characteristics. Can be used independently of, or in conjunction with, the single element beam wing”

Alfa Romeo

Front Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “New, reprofiled flaps of the front wing”

Description: “An updated front wing, with reprofiled flaps, will allow us to be able to rebalance the low drag rear wing level.”

Rear Wing

Reason for change: Circuit specific – drag range

Difference: “Redesigned rear wing (flap and endplates)”

Description: “A redesigned rear wing, featuring low-profile flaps and reprofiled endplates, will provide a low- drag option that should produce the best performance on this circuit.”

Haas

Rear Corner

Reason for change: Performance – drag reduction

Difference: “Trimmed brake duct winglets”

Description: “Reducing span and chord of the brake duct winglets has a measurable effect on reducing drag for this high speed circuit”

Beam Wing

Reason for change: Performance – drag reduction

Difference: “Trimmed beam wing flap”

Description: “Reducing chord of the baseline beam wing flap has a measurable effect on reducing drag for this high speed circuit in a cost efficient manner”

This articled will be updated.

2022 Belgian Grand Prix

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Author information

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...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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12 comments on “Title rivals bring Belgian GP updates while McLaren make most changes to car”

  1. @keithcollantine Thank you for the details on the updates you are posting this year. I enjoy looking at the subtle differences that are made and this really helps.

  2. A shame they don’t have to show pictures with “before – after”, arrows pointing to what changed etc. The explanations of why things have changed are as little specific as they are able to get away with under the rules!

    Then again, good to see that they at least have to tell us this.

  3. Quite surprised that Red Bull has been the team to get most question marks regarding ‘where are they bringing their updates from, surely they must be over the budgetcap’, when McLaren, Alpine, Aston Martin and Mercedes have been bringing contstant, big changes to their package since day 1….

    Especially the latter two, who have brought entirely new cars and a range of different floors, wings etc. These articles (and the ones over at AMuS) show a perfect insight as to which team brought what, with the on-track racing showing how extensive an update has been. I have no doubt that Red Bull and Ferrari are spending every single penny they have, but I’d be more interested in Astons’ books at the end of the season….

    1. @duuxdeluxe – There is no doubt Red Bull will be spending every penny they have but I wonder if instead of bringing lots of updates, they are happy with their position and are investing lots of money into next year’s car. Mercedes need to work on this year’s car to get it up to speed whereas Red Bull and Ferrari are already quick – they don’t need to bring lots of new parts but it doesn’t mean they aren’t doing a huge amount of work behind the scenes.

  4. Love these articles you’ve been doing this year on the different updates teams are bringing to races, it’s a good ‘companion guide’ to have when watching the practice sessions!

  5. Also interesting to ses how many/few teams have brought anti-porpoising “Floor” updates….

    1. Proesterchen_nli
      26th August 2022, 12:27

      Yup, especially with Mercedes changing their floor while neither Red Bull nor Ferrari did.

      Was Toto projecting again?

      1. Teams that have been bending the rules (pun intended) are not likely to highlight that they are changing their design because they’ve been found out, especially if they’ve previously denied it. Even if they’re not changing the outward design, they could have altered the construction to reduce the flexibility.

        No-one, except the teams themselves, will ever know. Or at least not until someone retires and writes a book.

    2. Seems Red Bull didn’t had a update on their floor but i thought there was a weight reducing on the chasis planned or doesn’t the FIA don’t know that before the race?

      1. @macleod
        They cannot bring a new chassis without having passed the crash test. It is suggested that RBR have already passed the crash test and brought this new lighter chassis in Spa. Why it is not declared as an upgrade, I have no idea…

  6. Ferrari and RBR didn’t bring floor upgrades which suggests that their floors – given they complete this race scrutineering -are already compliant. Toto has already lobbied hard to get this change implemented and didn’t refrain publicly from accusing both RBR and Ferrari from bending the rules.

    I’m by default suspicious of everything coming from him and the Mercedes camp in general and the way Mercedes brought a complete new floor coincidentally in Spa where the new TD will be enforced when they have nothing to fight for. I think it’s clear that the changes implemented on safety basis are based on the W13 optimum working range window for the sole purpose to bring them in contention.

  7. Question …regarding the above list.
    As per the 2022 regulations, the teams need to list and detail any changes (upgrades) they have applied to the car. This is done on the Thursday.
    Is this listing merely the PR output of the teams.? Their mandated listing of what and why.
    Phrases like, “circuit specific, aerodynamic loading, drag reduction, cooling circuit specific etc. would lead one to think so.
    In which case, most of this could be written up weeks ahead of the actual event. Why bother.? Not saying it is of no value, but it is a bit lame.

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