Here is an unusual shot of the Mercedes W12: the image of Giorgio Piola shows us with a front perspective view what can usually be seen from the side. The shot is very interesting because it allows you to follow with a certain accuracy the trend of the flows that are directed towards the outside of the rear wheel thanks to the presence of vortex generators and flow deviators in a very complicated study of aerodynamics.
In the foreground we see the boomerangs that have gradually become bigger: thanks to the four flaps that resemble a dinosaur’s back, the air is conveyed towards the “roller shutters”, that is to say the … shutter of flaps arched upwards which is observed in the trailing edge of the bottom in front of the candlestick which anchors to the central wing.
Under the profile that contains the upper anti-intrusion cone, there is a flow separator that is usually not easy to see: the air that passes inside it is carried towards the rear diffuser, while the external one is destined to be expelled away from the body of the single-seater to limit the negative effect of turbulence created with the front wheel.
The complex barge boards will be swept away next year thanks to the aerodynamic simplification that will be introduced by the 2022 rules. threads that are directed into the “mouth” of the bottom and that feed the rear diffuser.
On the sidewalk you can also appreciate the two groups of specifically shaped flaps (they are different from each other in terms of inclination and size) which modify the flow of the air towards the side slots with a double blowing.
Behind the first bunch of flaps there is a second one near the zeta cut on the bottom. These complex shapes were studied by engineering teams at CFD and then validated in the wind tunnel. It has reached an extreme exasperation of the vortices to move the flow where it is needed.
The photo also shows us the entrance to the radiator mouth surmounted by another wing profile. Looking carefully, it turns out that there is a vertical bulkhead that separates the main outlet from the external one, differentiating the air intended for cooling the M12 power unit. Not even the hole near the body escapes, which serves to bring fresh air to the control electronics which is housed in the lower part of the belly under the radiant masses.
Mercedes W12, detail of the bottom with a curl in the trailing edge
Photo by: Giorgio Piola
The photo above, on the other hand, highlights how the bottom floor shows a small “curl” in the trailing edge in front of the rear wheel. It has the task of directing the flow that comes out of the eye-catching air conveyor consisting of three slots.
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