War of the wings

Current E rear wings comparison

The Spark-Renault has a rather sumptuous rear end. A two-deck wing spans the width of the car, giving the machine a hunkered-down, squat appearance as seen from behind. The simplicity of surfaces makes for a pleasing view, unencumbered by bristling devices designed to enhance aero capability.

While the focus of the series is on powertrain development, not on aero, we thought a little comparison might relieve some Monday moroseness. The image above shows the Spark-Renault wearing Audi Sport ABT colours, pictured at the recent Geneva motor show, and a Ferrari F1 car in testing.

Chris Vagg, former Brawn and Mercedes AMG F1 engineer, comments: “The Formula E wing is pretty normal sized for a race car, nice and low. It’s similar to IndyCar. The question really is why F1 cars have such high, narrow wings. The answer, as is so often the case, if that the F1 regulations specify a box within which the wing has to site. F1 wings used to look a lot more like the Spark-Renault’s in the late 1990s and early into this century, but it was changed – partially to reduce the amount of downforce the cars were generating and partially just to shake things up.”

For those of you who are wondering, the winglets adorning the sides of the Spark-Renault are actually safety structures designed to protect drivers in the event of a side-on collision. Though they remind us of another sort of single seater…

Tyhpoon courtesy BAE Systems

Images courtesy of Auto Evolution, F1fanatic.co.uk, Pirelli and BAE Systems.

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