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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

The Ferrari updates that gave an "unexpected" boost to Leclerc

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The Ferrari updates that gave an "unexpected" boost to Leclerc
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Co-author: Matt Somerfield

Charles Leclerc's fourth place on the grid at the Eifel Grand Prix has left Ferrari upbeat that the upgrades it has rolled out in recent races are working.

Introducing a series of staged updates over the last two races, Ferrari has been chasing not a dramatic step forward in pace but more an indication that it is on top of the SF1000's faults.

And Leclerc's form at the Nurburgring, as he managed to outqualify a Red Bull, has left the Monegasque driver convinced that Ferrari is indeed moving forward.

"I did not expect to be so competitive with the cold weather like that, and the car was handling quite well," he said. "So this was positive.

"I think the smallest updates that that we brought this weekend worked also in the right direction. It wasn't a massive step. But that was not what we were searching for. It was a small step going in the right direction. And this is also positive."

Here we take a close look at the changes that Ferrari have made.

First phase

In Russia, Ferrari's focus was on resolving some of the flow structure issues at the front of the car. It introduced a new nose and turning vanes in an attempt to direct more airflow into more crucial avenues downstream.

The changes to the nose centred around the placement of the plough relative to the nose tip, with the new position (left) lowering it in order that more airflow be captured and delivered rearward. This also altered how it interacts with the front wing neutral section below.

Ferrari SF1000 front wing Russian GP comparison

Ferrari SF1000 front wing Russian GP comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari also made changes to the turning vanes, with a group of arched fins deployed on the footplate. These fins, placed in a similar position to the ones used by Haas since last season, acquire the flow passing by and gently usher it onward in a more orderly fashion.

Ferrari SF1000 rear wing endplate comparison

Ferrari SF1000 rear wing endplate comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari treated the rear wing to some new toys too, moving in a design direction similar to Mercedes, with a serrated rear corner cutout, more expansive upwash strikes and a revised layout in the hanging section of the endplate.

Second phase

For the Nurburgring, Ferrari made the middle portion of the car its focal point, with new sections produced for the bargeboard cluster, amendments made to the sidepod deflectors and revisions made to the floor.

Ferrari SF1000 new bargeboard detail

Ferrari SF1000 new bargeboard detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

At the front of the bargeboard cluster, the tall vertical element has been revised, with the forwardmost slot moved closer to the front [1], changing the surface ratio of the two surfaces that follow.

The uppermost boomerang has been altered [2] and given a more dominant vertical element on the outer boundary of the car [4]. The vertical section of the lower boomerang [3], which previously attached to the upper one, now has a dedicated element too.

The point at which the two vertical flow conditioners converge is now not only much lower but also means that a smaller slot is preferred in the leading element [3].

The consequence of these alterations is that the dog-leg shaped deflector panels have also had their size and shape amended, in order to cater for the change in flow structures.

Meanwhile, the leading edge of the floor [5] has been treated to some changes, with the shape of the upturn altered, along with the 'teeth' that protrude from it that collect up the airflow and generate their own vortices.

Ferrari SF1000 floor strakes

Ferrari SF1000 floor strakes

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

These changes should not only have a direct impact on performance, but add up to a healthy gain when considered as part of the aerodynamic daisy chain given the changes made upstream of them in the preceding races.

Ferrari SF1000 nose inlet detail

Ferrari SF1000 nose inlet detail

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

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Series Formula 1
Author Giorgio Piola