Alpine: beam-wing in stile Red Bull

Alpine: beam-wing in stile Red Bull – Formula 1

Alpine was among the surprises of the Montreal weekend. After numerous qualifying difficulties encountered in previous rounds, in Canada the team from beyond the Alps achieved a double top-10 finish on Saturday, culminating in the front row clawed by Fernando Alonso. The unfortunate display timing of the Virtual Safety Car, a recriminable strategy and a not yet flawless tire management precluded a great result on Sunday, but the double points finish closely follows that of Baku. Alpine has given signals that it can play the role of the fourth forcenow putting McLaren in his sights in the constructors’ standings, first pursuer behind the Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes trio.

Alpine’s progression in the standings, in a grid that at the dawn of a new technical cycle sees the competition grow rapidly in turn, is the result of better tuning of the car and the numerous aerodynamic updates made. In Azerbaijan they debuted the new sides, reached the third specification since the beginning of the championship, which have significantly increased aerodynamic efficiency, as evidenced by the impressive speed peaks. In Canada the team then introduced a new beam-wing, component whose load level is strictly connected to the depression generated in the rear environment, therefore the extractive force of the diffuser is the generation of load from the bottom. The new specification presents the two profiles superimposed one in front of the other, while in the previous version the second flap was below the first.

Any aerodynamic innovations are designed with the aim of increasing load, reducing drag, or both, in which case improving aerodynamic efficiency. Alpine’s new beam wing generates more local and bottom loadingbut it is difficult to determine if it was the bottom itself that required more extractive force from the diffuser or if rather the team went to seek more load from the underbody in order to discharge the upper wing.

Surprising in any case how the new specification strongly recalls the Red Bull beam-wing at the beginning of the championship (above), a team that, however, has pursued a different direction of development. The beam-wing of the RB18 was in fact progressively downloaded, up to the single-profile configuration used in Baku and Montreal. With the update of the Canada Alpine instead went to load the wing, denoting a different philosophy and potentially the limits of a car bottom that needs more attention.

FP | Carlo Platella


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