F1 – Sauber Utilizing McLaren Style “Snorkel”

I have already commented this year that i think the 2010 F1 cars look a million times better than that of the 2009 model. There was also some new innovation on the cars like 50 winglet front ends and new rear diffusers. The diffusers have already stirred up some controversy, but so has a certain McLaren “snorkel” device that now Sauber is ready to test and other teams are close to their own design.

The piece in question is a vent mounted on the top of the nose. This vent allows air to move through the car, and with the control of the drivers knee, the air then “stalls” the rear wing allowing for a higher top end speed on straight aways. The device itself has been some what controversial as some call it a moveable aero device. Regardless of our opinion on the system, it has been deemed legal by the FiA. With that in mind, Sauber is said to be very close to their own version which could be fitted as soon as this weekend for Melbourne. Other teams like Ferrari and Mercedes GP are also working on a similar system, but it is not known when the “snorkel” could be fitted to the cars.

I think that regardless of the legality or opinion of the event, it does show that there still is some innovation going on in F1 and as long as the FiA don’t turn around and make it illegal half way through the year. The other teams have jumped on board it would appear and I look forward to watching Sauber use the device and even more interested in seeing what kind of advantage it gives them against their meed pack peers.

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11 Thoughts to “F1 – Sauber Utilizing McLaren Style “Snorkel”

  1. Its neat to see teams try innovations like this, but doesn’t an adjustable vent flap equate to a movable aero element? …and I believe those are expressly prohibited.

  2. The only thing I can say is that the wing does not move. The air may cease to move but the air is the only thing being manipulated…not the wing or vent itself. I really don’t have the technological know how to explain myself but the flap does move but the wing and vent itself do not. Tough call but the FiA says ok….but then again I have seen this before.

  3. Mmmm… I’m not so sure that its that tough of a decision. Its a movable element that alters the aerodynamics of the vehicle. Regardless, it sounds like we’re probably headed back to the WMSC this season. 🙁 …didn’t F1 used to be about racing?

  4. I took a glance at the 2010 technical regs and can understand the reason why they are interpreted so crazy….but anyways, I didn’t see anything in there that would disallow this device. They indicate that the “bodywork” cannot move unless like 6 degrees and controlled by the driver in the cockpit no more than twice a lap. I am not sure if this is the section that addresses our little device in question, but regardless the “bodywork” is not moving with the use of this device. I could see a flexing or moving wing because it is part of the “bodywork” but this “snorkel” and flap are not pieces of the “bodywork” (Ferrari’s 2008 or 2009 wing that actually split open). As much as I hate to defend McLaren, I think this thing is actually ok. Renault is on your side however and they are appalled by the device.

  5. It’s a moveable aero device! If the mass damper in the renault was banned on the grounds that it was moveable aero, there is no ground for the FIA to stand on.

  6. Thank you, Mike! The flap moves, changing the aerodynamic characteristics of the vehicle. Therefore, its a moveable aero device!! Whether its inside or outside the car is irrelevant. Its still part of they body work, not part of the chassis or engine.

  7. Doug,

    You will enjoy this weeks podcast, if you haven’t listened to it yet…..

    But, regardless of whether it is movable aero or not, the FIA has opened an all new can of worms. Just wait until later in the season and next year when all kinds of new interpretations of this snorkel are implemented on the cars….

  8. I listened to it this morning. Fun stuff! …and I still say we’re headed to the WMSC before all this snorkel business is done.

  9. Tthere is no flap or movable aero element. The driver is just closing a hole with his knee…. which avoids that the airflow gets into the cockpit but leads it to the rear wing… that’s the trick… no part is moving at all… smart, lowtech, but…. effective!? Hamilton would have been more likely in the top 10 rather than having a snorkel…

  10. It means that the air duct closed from the drivers knee with its low cross-section alone is not able to produce the stall. They also provide in another way more/other air to the tail, which is also not able to achieve the stall itself. Only when the additional air through the F-slot is provided by the driver by closing that hole, the air on the wing stalls.

    Greetings from the cradle of the automobile, Benz-Town (Stuttgart) Germany.
    Come here and see the new Mercedes and Porsche museums!

    Racing regards!



  11. Malte,

    genius…thank you for the explanation! I thought there was a movable flap but if it is only the drivers knee plugging a hole in the gap, legal it is!

    Also, thank you for the links! I have made a plan on my bucket list to come and see those museums along with Ferrari! Germany’s contributions to motorsport are unmatched in my opinion and it has a whole lot to do with those brands! Welcome to the paddock and we hope to hear a whole lot more from the fans out of Germany!

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