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F1: The intriguing rear suspension of the McLaren MP4-29

The 2014 McLaren MP4-29 Mercedes features an innovative yet intriguing rear suspension design that was the talking point in the Jerez paddock.

The wishbones and links feature large, wing-shaped aerodynamic 'blockers'.

According to Autosport magazine’s technical writer and former F1 designer, Gary Anderson, these are designed to generate additional downforce at slow speed and reduce drag at high speed.

F1 McLaren MP4-29
McLaren MP4-29 (Photo: WRi2)

These elements are illegal if they are simple covers that are attached to the suspension elements. However, if they are structural parts of the wishbones, they are legal.

Anderson explains that the blockers are designed to restrict the airflow coming out of the Coke bottle area when it gets to the back of the diffuser.

This creates an area of low pressure behind the blockers. This then increases the velocity of the airflow travelling underneath the car, generating more downforce from the underfloor.

When the car runs at slower speed, the ride height increases, therefore these sections move and almost completely close the gap at the top of the diffuser, generating additional downforce.

The complete analysis can be read by clicking here.

F1 McLaren MP4-29
McLaren MP4-29 (Photo: WRi2)