Top five pre-season technical innovations

Every year, Formula 1 car launches are eagerly anticipated events. But the hype was even greater this season, with the sport’s latest regulation overhaul coming into force. After the trio of tests, technical guru Matt Somerfield has put together a top five list of 2014’s technical innovations to date.

1. McLaren ‘Wishbone Wings’

McLaren made some intrinsic errors in the design of last year’s car and were eager to make up ground so abandoned development of the MP4-28 early in order to concentrate on their 2014 machine. There had been for some time talk that McLaren would utilise a ‘revolutionary’ rear suspension on the MP4-29 but when it was unveiled ahead of pre-season testing back at the MTC in Woking, bar a slightly offset upper rear wishbone, the car didn’t seem to sport said ‘revolutionary’ suspension.

However, once the team arrived at Jerez it was clear that the wishbone arrangement was what the team had been working on, with larger appendages featuring on the suspension elements. Offsetting and doglegging the rear suspension elements has meant that they are placed more rearward, in a location more indicative of the outgoing Beam Wing. McLaren, therefore, are trying to replicate the airflow structures that were generated by the Beam Wing in the past, with a low pressure zone created behind the ‘Wishbone Wings’, helping the Diffuser and Rear Wing to work together (upwash).

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