Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
Topic

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech insight: How Ferrari is targeting gains to close the F1 gap

Although the Red Bull Ring flattered its shortcomings, Ferrari’s SF90 has clearly not delivered on its early pre-season promises, as the Scuderia’s approach to the new regulations has resulted in a car that has an array of weaknesses, all of which are difficult to overcome during the course of a campaign.

Tech insight: How Ferrari is targeting gains to close the F1 gap

However, it continues to push on and look for track-specific gains that can help. One such area of development in this regard has been its front brake assembly, with numerous changes made to enhance feel, improve cooling and reduce weight.

The latter is a relative novelty for Ferrari, as although the likes of Mercedes and Red Bull favour a lightweight construction philosophy, the Scuderia have always preferred a more solid foundation with it comes to stopping power.

Having reached high levels of rigidity, it’s begun to work on the lightening parts of the braking system, in the belief that by reducing the unsprung masses it is possible to improve the car’s behavior, giving greater reactivity, particularly in change of direction.

Here are its most recent brake developments, click on the images below to scroll through…

Ferrari SF90 front brakes, Canadian GP

Ferrari SF90 front brakes, Canadian GP
1/3

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

For Canada (above), one of the most challenging tracks for the braking system, Brembo had brought a carbon disc with seven cooling holes in a chevron formation on the outer surface (totalling over 1,400 holes). This solution was coupled with a mounting bell that was characterized by long, narrow, rectangular openings near the disk. In France, where the braking zones were less problematic, a disc with six cooling holes in the chevron formation made its debut and was characterized by a scalloped surface in the central part – a design we’ve seen Mercedes use for a number of years now.

Ferrari SF90 front brakes, French GP

Ferrari SF90 front brakes, French GP
2/3

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Therefore, at Paul Ricard, maximum weight saving was sought, knowing that there were only three significant stops, only one of which was very severe – the North Chicane. The high speed nature of the circuit was also taken into account as the ductwork used to pipe cold air to the calipers was also repositioned, allowing the system to cool down well. Meanwhile, the mounting bell was characterized by asymmetrical round holes arranged in a zigzag pattern on two rows.

Ferrari SF90 front brakes, Austrian GP

Ferrari SF90 front brakes, Austrian GP
3/3

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team sought a compromise between these two solutions in Austria, as the disc has six holes in the cooling surface with a central scalloped section that is about half of that seen in France. Interestingly the mounting bell is the same as the one in Canada, owing to the requirement of more stiffness and through flow of air to cool the brakes at altitude, with the Red Bull ring some 700 meters above sea level.

Search continues for aero improvements

The team continues to look for answers to address its aerodynamic inefficiencies this year too, which resulted in the use of a new turning vane arrangement in Austria.

Ferrari pressed on with a more conventional turning vane layout for 2019, rather than follow the trend initiated by Mercedes of draping a cape over this section of the nosebox.

However, as has been the case since their introduction and proliferation over a decade ago, the position of the turning vanes corresponds to the prevailing regulations, with the first examples mounted on the nose and reaching back under the chassis, while later examples were almost exclusively mounted under the chassis.

Ferrari SF90, nose

Ferrari SF90, nose
1/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In recent years Ferrari has opted to bridge the two, with elements mounted on both the nose and chassis, which are paired to maximise aerodynamic performance. For the Austrian GP both of these elements were changed in order that they work more harmoniously, with the leading elements housed on the nose altered in shape and size and accompanied by another element behind it.

Ferrari SF90, front – NEW

Ferrari SF90, front – NEW
2/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Meanwhile, the turning vanes mounted on the underside of the nose were also revised, with the leading element given a forward-reaching extension that merges with the vanes ahead of them once the nose is installed.

Ferrari SF90, front – OLD

Ferrari SF90, front – OLD
3/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The old setup did not have those forward-reaching extensions.

Ferrari SF90, front wing

Ferrari SF90, front wing
4/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

As could be seen in the earlier illustration, and here in this photo, the designers also saw fit to install a small horizontal strike that corresponds with the lower edge of the holes in the front wing pillars. This strike has undoubtedly been installed to try and rectify a small aerodynamic deficiency with the way the airflow moves around and through these holes and the wing pillars.

Ferrari SP90, rear wing end plate

Ferrari SP90, rear wing end plate
5/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Noteworthy as it remained on the car for Austria, having been introduced in France, are the changes made to the SF90’s rear wing. The designers have opted to totally remove some of the lower strakes, make the upwash strikes above them slightly shorter and alter the cutout behind the wing section, which is now taller than before – all changes which alter the aerodynamic interaction between the diffuser and rear wing.
shares
comments
Verstappen penalty would have been "incomprehensible" - Horner

Previous article

Verstappen penalty would have been "incomprehensible" - Horner

Next article

Debate: Did Verstappen deserve a penalty?

Debate: Did Verstappen deserve a penalty?
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Charles Leclerc , Sebastian Vettel
Teams Ferrari
Author Matt Somerfield
How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean? Prime

How long can Verstappen and Hamilton keep it clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Prime

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Prime

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button.

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Prime

How Red Bull's deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace Prime

The Barcelona practice times that prove Red Bull has hidden pace

Lewis Hamilton led the way in Friday practice for the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix, but there was one major encouraging sign for Red Bull. However, making good on that gain will require Max Verstappen to avoid repeating a mistake that left him well down the FP2 order...

Formula 1
May 7, 2021
Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place Prime

Why McLaren doesn’t doubt Ricciardo can escape his ‘dark’ place

Three points finishes from as many starts represents a decent opening innings on paper, but Daniel Ricciardo has endured a tough start to his McLaren career - only magnified his teammate's excellent form. Yet both he and the team have good reason to expect a turnaround soon.

Formula 1
May 6, 2021
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Prime

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight.

Formula 1
May 5, 2021