Tech Bite: Toro Rosso splits exhaust with rear-wing support
As part of their large update package for the last pre-season test in Barcelona, Toro Rosso began utilising a new rear-wing centre mounting pylon.
Previously the team, like many of its rivals, employed an inverted Y-Lon support (inset). This surrounds the exhaust and mounts directly to the top of the crash structure to add rigidity to the rear-wing.
The new design is a full length blade design that intersects the exhaust (highlighted above and below). With the previous design offering enough rigidity, it suggests the team are trying to garner an advantage from this area.
You might wonder why and how the team are able to do this. In answer to why, I'd suggest the team, whilst working with Renault, have realised there is some aerodynamic potential in straightening the exhaust plume before it exits the tailpipe by having this intersection within the exhaust exit.
A turbulent plume caused by the turbocharger may ordinarily reduce the aerodynamic effect they're trying to accomplish with the wasted exhaust energy. The teams are after all using this energy to create aero structures that link the diffuser, Y100 Winglet (monkey seat) and rear wing in such a way that increases balance and performance.
In terms of how, the regulations surrounding the exhaust and the influence of other pieces of bodywork are covered in Article 5.8.4 and 5.8.5 of the technical regulations, which in short allows bodywork to intersect with the exhaust 150mm forward of the tailpipes tip.
The net increase in performance from this installation may not be vast, but their effort to change design and find minor gains should not go unnoticed.
Analysis produced by Matthew Somerfield exclusively for Grand Prix Times. Follow Matthew on Twitter.