McLaren has debuted a new, aggressive-looking T-wing design on its car during first practice for the Chinese Grand Prix in Shanghai.
The aerodynamic device was first spotted on the Honda-powered MCL32 in the McLaren pit garage on Thursday, before hitting the track at the start of Friday's FP1 session.
Several teams have adopted the T-wing so far in 2017, including Mercedes, Williams, Haas and Ferrari.
But, McLaren’s design differs compared to others seen so far, with rounded edges and a more curved shape to it.
The T-wing is positioned on top of the shark fin – which has returned for this year – to condition the airflow and gain more performance from the lower and wider rear wings.
Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne debuted the new device early in FP1 before it was red flagged due to visibility issues.
The T-wing is now a common sight on the F1 grid, clearly offering up a performance benefit to the teams. Our technical expert Will Tyson explains:
“McLaren is the latest team to install a T-wing to its car, differing slightly to competition in both the size and shape.
“The mini wing is composed of two elements: the upper straight element, to kick the air up over the rear wing, and the lower bowed element which is swept forward to greet and then condition the oncoming flow.
“These elements are joined at the tips to form an oval in the same manner as the Mercedes version, preventing the formation of vortices.
“Freestream flow attempts to squash the upwash at the back of the car so a T-wing is used to flip the air upwards, extracting more performance from the rear wing and diffuser.”