Tech Talk: Toro Rosso's sidepod vortex generators

Toro Rosso, Getty Images, The F1 Times

26 April 2014 by Matt Somerfield
          

Toro Rosso opted to start the 2014 season with a clean edge to the upper front section of the sidepod despite having experimented with vortex generators throughout 2013. The vortex generators retured at the fourth race of the year in China.

The team have been making minor alterations to the sidepod bodywork since the Australian GP back in March, with alterations to the surface geometry of course having an aerodynamic impact. Furthermore the teams continued use of the centreline inverted Y rear-wing support pylon (Y-Lon) will help to draw airflow through and over the sidepods, affecting the aero too.

If you're unfamiliar with the use of vortex generators, their purpose is to disturb the airflow passing over the leading edge of the sidepod, yielding a performance advantage at certain speed thresholds.

The vortex generators used by Toro Rosso in China lean inwards slightly and so will invoke a slightly different aero characteristic than if they were completely vertical.

The height of the vortex generators are usually an indicator of the sort of boundary layer build up (inference: drag) that would be generated at the rear of the surface if they weren't used.