McLaren tested its new front wing in first practice for this weekend’s India GP. The new front wing is a hybrid of the current wing and a revised main plane. McLaren has been alone in running a main plane with two distinct sections; the geometry of the wing is split between the span which sits ahead of the wheel and the inner span which sits in clearer air. This split wing has been run since Singapore 2010 (shown inset on the illustration).
The new wing has a straight mainplane profile, the old wing was split into two section (inset)The new front wing maintains a consistent profile across each span, making the wing appear far simpler. Whatever gain the team found from the split design has been won over by the gains from a wider single profile. Perhaps the wake structure of the old split wing worked at the expense of peak downforce, as the new wing clearly has a larger working area as there isn’t the need for the complex join midway across its span.
Although the main plane is new, the wing retains its endplate arrangement, with the wing curving down to form the lower part of the endplate, which is near standard practice for this year. The upper part of the endplate is formed by a vane which also mounts the outer cascade winglet. Both the cascade elements have been retained – the ‘r’-shaped double element vane now mounts directly to the wing rather than to the complex metal section joining the two different wing spans.
Thanks to Andrew Biddle (firstname.lastname@example.org) for his assistance as Copy Editor