Devil still in the detail despite F1 downwash convergence

Since the current regulations were introduced in 2022, teams have gravitated towards the downwashing concept, following the lead of pacesetters Red Bull.

However, Egginton says that taking that route comes with no guarantees and that teams have to understand how to fully exploit it.

“People do converge in any regulation,” he told Autosport. “And Red Bull and McLaren and a few of the teams have shown some really interesting development directions, and everyone’s looking at what everyone’s doing.

“And at top level, our concept is a downwashing concept, not dissimilar to a number of other teams.

“But the devil is in the detail. There are cars that are not scoring podiums every weekend that have got some really nice features on them.

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“We’re always looking at what people are doing, and it’s about bringing all that together and understanding it, you got to understand that.

“The downwashing concept, we can all sit there and draw it, it’s not a problem. But the devil is the detail, and we’re moving ourselves forward with lots of small detail on the car.”

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Daniel Ricciardo, AlphaTauri AT04

Egginton stressed that the main target for all F1 teams is to have a car that works effectively on different types of tracks.

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“There’s lots of carrots and things to look for,” he said. “But you’ve got to make sure that the car’s got a good operating envelope, and it’s driveable.

“As the regulations mature, that becomes more and more important, to not fall into a trap of being too attracted to a certain way, and missing out on a certain handling characteristic.

“We want a big operating envelope so that the drivers can make use of the aero performance for various different circuit types.

“If you want to win a championship or be very strong, you’ve got to be consistent, and one thing we learned from 2019, ‘20 to ‘21, was the importance of that.”

Egginton suggested that McLaren’s 2023 performance leap provided some inspiration: “The McLaren is the obvious one that really shows you what you can do once you’ve got your head around the detail.”

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