F1: Ferrari’s (NYSE:RACE) New Racer, a Close Look
Ferrari have made some significant technical additions this year to try to Top MercedesAMG and capture its 1st world title since Y 2008.
Below is a close look and explanation of what The Scuderia’s engineers created to accomplish that Mission.
With its Y 2018 car, the SF71H, Ferrari is pursuing the aerodynamic concepts introduced on last year’s racer that proved so influential upon the designs of the Y 2018 field.
While MercedesAMG continue to develop around its unique low-rake aerodynamic outlook. The fight between these 2 designs is one of fundamental belief. Ferrari wants the latest developments of their theme to allow them to prevail over Silver Arrows, the F1 team that has won every title of this hybrid era.
Below is what Ferrari’s F1 designer/engineers have created, as follows:
1. MOVED TO A LONGER WHEELBASE
The Key innovation of last year’s Ferrari was its separation of the side impact structure from the side-pods.
With the radiator inlets sited above and behind the crash structure, the side-pods could begin further back, allowing the aerodynamics more space to work with in creating down-force. This was offset however in Y 2017 by the fact that the car was significantly shorter in wheelbase than the MercedesAMG. Which is why the SF71H features an extended wheelbase almost as long as that of the MercedesAMG, while still following Ferrari’s high-rake philosophy
2. INTRODUCED A NEW FRONT WING
Although the extension of the wheelbase has created more downforce-creating surfaces around the barge board and underfloor areas, it has entailed a reworking of the front wing to place the vortices it creates in the appropriate places for the re-shaped and re-sized barge board-sidepod area.
These spinning circles of air formed from the various slots and contours of the wing energize the airflow down the car, speeding it up and directing it as required.
The Ferrari racer has an arrangement of slots in the side of the nose, and these help maintain a consistent airflow to the underfloor and barge boards even as the car is turning.
3. DEVELOPED SLOTTED WING MIRRORS
4. SOME REVISED BODYWORK CHANNELS
Beginning with its Y 2016 racer, Ferrari utilized a 5cm deep channel in the lower bodywork adjacent to the side-pod to help with this, a feature that has continued since.
By tightly shaping the side-pods in plan-view with an extreme ‘coke bottle’ profile, it has been possible to bring part of them inside the stepped central floor section where the regulations stipulate a 5cm drop in the floor to limit the down-force of the under-body.
It is this development that helps accelerate the air towards the diffuser’s outer surface where it will interact with the flow coming through the diffuser from the underfloor.
The Big Q: Why does this matter?
The Big A: Because the faster the air can be induced to flow through the underfloor, the lower the air pressure there, and so the harder it will suck the car to the ground. Getting the appropriate flow over the top of the diffuser is a Key part in maximizing the air’s speed through the diffuser.
It may well be that the airflow derived from the channel plays a crucial part in delaying the onset of diffuser stall as the rear of the car rises up at slow speeds as the down-force bleeds off. The slower the car speed at which the diffuser stalls, the more rake (or floor angle) the car can run with, thus increasing the negative pressure beneath the floor and therefore the down-force throughout the speed range.
On the Ys 2016 and 2017 Ferraris, that channel was open as it ran from around the rear 3-quarters to the diffuser. But on the new SF71H Ferrari has effectively put a roof on it to help keep the airflow attached down the longer extent of bodywork. The channel’s continued presence is evidenced by an opening in the bodywork when seen from head on. As this channel reaches the diffuser body, so it forms a tunneled exit there.
To create the very tight coke bottle section that has made the channels possible requires exceptionally tight packaging of the engine and its ancillaries, including the radiators. The incredibly dense packaging of the mechanical components underlines again how integrated every part of the car must be to maximise all areas.
Ferrari is hopeful that its high-rake concept holds more potential for further gains than MercedesAMG’s low-rake approach and that the enhanced aerodynamic potential of the extended wheelbase will allow more access to those gains.
All during last weeks testing in Spain, it looked like Ferrari has the edge it is seeking, we will soon see as the season opener happens in Melbourne, Australia on 25 March.
|NYSE:RACE||123.54||13 March 2018||-0.78||124.97||125.28||123.26||356,286|
|HeffX-LTN Analysis for RACE:||Overall||Short||Intermediate||Long|
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