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On the face of it, the AMR22 looks dissimilar in all the right places from last year’s FOM show car to give us a feel that it is a big departure in concept.
However, what’s more fascinating are the small details that could easily be missed without close scrutiny.
There’s plenty of detail to take in at the front of the car, with the AMR22 sporting four main wing profiles which is the maximum allowed within the regulations.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the profiles is their chord lengths, with a much deeper mainplane and second element, and two much shorter chord upper flaps.
Aston Martin Racing AMR22, front X2 Photo by: Aston Martin Racing
The mainplane has been shaped in order that the central section of the wing is positioned higher than the outboard section, with the leading edge of the surface inclined as it reaches back towards the outer portion (red arrows).
This small but necessary detail will help improve the progress made by the airflow and is further enhanced by the innermost slot gap separators, all of which are circled.
Teams are allowed to use a total of eight of these on either side of the wing to help maintain rigidity across the structure, with defined tolerances expressed in the regulations in regards to their shape and dimensions.
However, the teams will clearly exploit these to maximise the flow conditions across each element, given they are no longer allowed to place strakes on the underside of the wing.
In this respect, you can see that the Aston Martin designers have chosen different angles at which to set these slot gap separators, with each offering a small but tangible benefit in redirecting the airflow.
The upper flaps are also adjustable, with the adjuster set just inboard near the nose, which can be seen in more detail from the physical car in the left-hand inset.
The uppermost of the flaps is also shaped in order to have more load in the central portion, whereas the wing tapers heavily where it meets with the endplate and is twisted too (blue arrows).
This results in what can be considered a targeted attack, with the response being some outwash, even though the regulations try to prevent this.
The AMR22’s nose is also interesting. Whilst the second element of the front wing joins with it, it does so in a way that effectively widens its span, bringing to mind the way Red Bull positioned the camera housings on the nose tip of the RB8.
This also allows the lower body of the nose to sit below the line of the front wing. This will surely provide some benefits as the airflow accelerates under the car, especially as the nose is also very slender in the section before it has to taper outwards to meet with the chassis.
The car is fitted with push rod suspension at the front, albeit absent on one side in the render that the team issued on launch day.
It still features a vanity panel on the bridge of the chassis that can be removed to allow access to the suspension components within.
As teams can no longer use fins in the transition point between the chassis and nose, the surfaces on the AMR22 aren’t entirely uniform, as the team seems to be using what little surface geometry differences that are available to it to improve aerodynamic performance.
Aston Martin Racing AMR22, side details Photo by: Aston Martin Racing
Bargeboards are no longer a source for which the teams will be able to call on as a means of controlling the airflow and turbulence between the front wheels, floor and sidepods. However, they do have some tools at their disposal with which to alter the airflow’s course.
In the AMR22’s case, it would appear that the team is leaning on a splitter design that we’ve seen teams employ in the past, with a snowplough like surface mounted above the main bib element.
The most famous example of this from the past would probably be the Brawn GP BGP001, although the Williams FW32 and McLaren MP4-31 also sported similar solutions.
Meanwhile, an area where we’ll see further variation between the teams is with the front brake duct hot air exit.
New rules mean the heat created by the brakes can no longer be dumped out the face of the wheel and must have its own exit on the backside of the brake duct assembly instead (blue arrow).
The size, shape and position of the outlet is obviously constrained by regulation, but will vary from team-to-team as they look for a solution that best suits their cooling demands and assists, and where possible, their aerodynamic demands.
Aside from the more obvious introduction of the upper wake deflector above the front wheels, the teams also have a lower brake duct skirt at their disposal too, which for those that can remember back to the early 90s, the designs will be remarkably similar to the ones used on the likes of the Williams FW14.
The AMR22’s most striking feature is undoubtedly the sidepods, as they are a stark contrast when compared with the designs we’ve been used to seeing over the course of the last few seasons.
Starting with the jet fighter-like square inlets, the sidepod bodywork is a high waisted solution similar to the one predicted in the renders and show cars released by FOM.
The higher waisted design also leaves room for a considerable undercut beneath the square inlet and around the lower portion of the sidepod.
It is somewhat reminiscent of the ‘double floor’ solution that Ferrari pioneered in 1992 and more recently attempted by Toro Rosso in 2011.
The change in regulations has also seen the return of the possibility for teams to run cooling gills on the upper surface of the sidepod, much like we had during the V10 era, as can be seen on the R25 below.
This not only allows teams to vent the heat generated within the sidepods much sooner, it also means that the bodywork at the rear of the car can be narrowed considerably, with the AMR22 featuring a minuscule rear exit.
Generally speaking, this is where we could see the most variation amongst teams too, as they try to balance their aerodynamic demands with cooling and the internal layout of the power units and its ancillaries.
In Aston Martin’s case, its design has required that it alters the layout of the radiators, and intercooler within the sidepods, adopting a more laid back approach.
It is similar to the E21 layout shown below, rather than the more upright design adopted by most over the past few years and seen in the Williams illustration.
Williams FW36 internal detail, showing powerunit, ancillaries and right-hand radiator Photo by: Giorgio Piola
The shape of the sidepods also has a consequence in terms of the shape of the floor too, as the inboard section of the floor has a mid kick-up before retreating and then rising again toward the diffuser.
Meanwhile, the outer edge of the floor has an interesting profile as it transitions from the floor edge wing (The element with EPOS and Aston Martin emblazoned on it) to the more rearward section.
The front section of the floor is slightly raised, with a floor scroll rolled upwards to not only redirect the airflow passing across the floor’s upper surface but also create the section ahead of the rear tyre that’s rolled over.
Aston Martin AMR22 Photo by: Aston Martin Racing
The slender engine cover is only disturbed by the presence of blisters that cover the power unit’s inlet plenums, a feature that was also present on the car’s predecessor. This shows the effort being made to shrink wrap the bodywork as close to the internal components as possible.
Aston Martin is also the first team to give us an indication of how DRS will be employed by the teams this season, with the render and physical version of the AMR22 presented with the central actuator pod and outer pivots on the upper flap of the rear wing.
The rear wing has the spoon-shaped mainplane that you’d expect, given the way the regulations have been written. However it is a little different to the one presented on the FOM show car
The leading edge of the mainplane is swept upwards, where it creates an inverted widows peak in the central section, whilst a heavily cambered profile is present thereafter.
We can also see that Aston Martin continues to utilise a pull rod suspension layout at the rear of the car, a design it will share with Mercedes from which it takes it power unit and gearbox.
From the rear, we can see that the team has opted for the twin element beam wing arrangement, which makes its return to the sport having been discarded at the end of 2013.
As part of the beam wing’s design, Aston Martin has opted to cup the underside of the exhaust outlet with the upper element too, which will likely help redirect the exhaust plume.
Meanwhile, the team has created a vertical slot in the endplate (blue arrow) just ahead of the LED lights mounted in the trailing edge of the endplate.
Interestingly, there’s also a half moon-shaped opening in the sidewall of the diffuser (red arrows).
This could however just be a visual trick played by the different surface shapes interacting to create the illusion of an opening, so we’ll have to wait and see if this appears when the car hits the track.
Aston Martin Racing AMR22, rear Photo by: Aston Martin Racing