McLaren two different front wing configurations in Sochi

McLaren continue with the aerodynamic development of their MCL32 in Russia as they brought two versions of the front wing in Russia to test them side by side on the Sochi International Street Circuit.

The track in Sochi has medium downforce requirements due to the large number of slow, 90-degree corners with an exceptionally fast third corner beaing an exception and very long straights that require as low an air resistance as possible to allow cars to reach good top speeds

McLaren must pay special attention to their car’s drag due to the Honda large power deficit, and in Russia they have two wing configurations, one adapted to reduce air resistance.

Front wing for lower downforce levels

The wing for lower downforce requirements has a trimmed top element as well as slimmer second flap to reduce air resistance and change the way wing sends the airflow down to the rest of the car.

The front wings used in Bahrain (above and below) have a larger surface of the upper two elements that doesn’t have pronounced cut out.

Both wings have six elements in the section closest to the central, 50 cm wide neutral section, and the edge portions consist of seven elements (highlighted orange in the figure below) that serve to create powerful vortices that help direct the air stream around the turbulent front wheels.

At the very top picture, you can see the endplates viewed from the side with two upwardly directed horizontal flaps which produce some downforce and help direct the airflow above the front wheels.

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