the incubus wrote:
Also, the "trend" of high noses is a product of the rest of the aero regulations and tires. If and when the tires, exhaust rules, diffuser, front and rear wing, brake duct, and floor regulations all change, then a different solution might be better. Its not a social thing - its not like xyz celebrity is wearing skinny jeans so I'm going to wear skinny jeans - its the regulations dictating the available solutions and shapes.
Nope. As the saying goes, there are many ways to skin a cat. The fact is that someone was thinking outside the box and discovered something that improved aero and the rest of the sheep followed. However, the FIA saw the trend exaggerating things to a point where safety was being compromised and installed limitations for all to abide by. Coanda for example was another way of improving aero that was discovered by Sauber and everyone followed suit. there is absolutely NOTHING that says a higher nose "IS" the best way in accordance to the current regs and I'd bet there are numerous ways to achieve the same effect or better utilizing a lower slung nose, but it takes some experimentation and luck. Last year the McLaren was good from the opening round and it had the lowest nose of the field. They however experimented with a slightly raised nose and felt that it improved performance and stuck with it, but I didn't notice much of a difference. In Lewis' hands the car was fast all year long and actually looked more dominant in its A spec IMHO. Perhaps that's due to others catching up in the development race as the year wore on, but the car was really good either way which is telling that the raised nose is not the absolute best solution.
The low nose worked for McLaren because the rest of the car was designed for it. When they tested the higher nose they may have just decided it wouldnt work with the other half of the car, and changing that significantly might be too risky mid season.
One reason they might have chosen to go the route of the high nose this year is that they find it provides greater opportunity for further development throughout the season, especially at the back of the car. Or they just really wanted to explore the pull rod perhaps for tire performance, and the high nose is more appropriate with that layout.
Why do YOU think they've chosen the high nose this year? Peer pressure? If the low nose was everything they needed it to be last year, why didn't they stick with it?