Many Formula 1 teams have brought low downforce wings for the Belgian Grand Prix in an effort to increase their straight line performance and top speed.
Spa-Francorchamps is traditionally one of the low downforce circuits of the year, eclipsed only by Monza, often requiring a bespoke aero package to get the most out of the car along the litany of straights.
Spa, however, has lower speed sections, which require a bit more downforce than Monza for the entire lap.
This means that the aero packages for the nestled Ardennes circuit are generally a scaled-down version of the setups seen at Silverstone, another high-speed circuit.
The Haas team took this to the extreme and the American group’s VF-20 car was spotted in its garage on Thursday with an ultra-low rear spoiler.
The top element features Haas’ traditional V-shaped cutouts at quarter and three-quarter points along the wing, but overall it features a much shorter string length to create a very subtle element.
This is coupled to the main plane of the wing.
which has been moved upwards to reduce the total area of the wing, eliminating much of the drag produced.
Haas appears to have retained the Gurney flap on the rear edge of the wing, in an attempt to regain some of the downforce lost by reducing the size of the wing.
McLaren made some modest changes to the wing seen in Barcelona.
lifting the main aircraft to eliminate some of the overall drag produced by the wing geometry.
The wing also seems ready to go with a much shorter Gurney flap – the black coating on the wing’s trailing edge – to compensate for some of the drag produced without totally losing the downforce generated by the flap.
At the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
McLaren used a completely different wing, with the main aircraft being lifted over the edges of the outboard to reduce drag on the less efficient parts of the wing while retaining l essential support.
This is a direction Alfa Romeo took for one of its Belgian GP wing designs, adding a separate spoon section in the center of the wing to make the most of the area generating the most downforce. .
The wing trailing edge remains in a relatively normal configuration, with the V-shaped section in the center to eliminate any turbulence produced by the DRS actuator housing.
But the leading edge is noticeably curved, sweeping the ends of the outboard motor to create a weaker downforce specification on either side of the center third of the wing.
This offers the best of both worlds to compensate for downforce and aerodynamic drag, and the two different approaches of Haas and Alfa Romeo appear to be two ways of dealing with the lack of power expected by the Ferrari engine in the lines. straight.