A technical question. The fronts used to have louvers in the front bodywork, to equalize the high pressure area in the wheel wells. Now, all the teams have simply left them open on top (and that's from 2011 when I was there last). I can't imagine that this is more efficient, but it must be. Any ideas?
The louvers were used because the rules required the bodywork to cover the tires when viewed from above. As stated above, teams built weak louvers to break away. At some point the rules were changed to allow the opening.I forget who told me, but it was someone deeply involved in sports car racing. When teams first started doing the louvres, the rules dictated the location and spacing of the louvres but not the thickness. Audi (I think) found out that they improved performance when they removed certain louvres in the middle but they were allowed to. Since the louvres' construction wasn't mandated, they used thinner, weaker ones in the middle and debris would bust them out during the race. Then they 'accidentally' had a better setup. Pretty slick, huh?