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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis
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Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech verdict: How Ferrari got it so right in Spa and Monza

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Tech verdict: How Ferrari got it so right in Spa and Monza
By:
Co-author: Matthew Somerfield
Sep 12, 2019, 6:21 PM

Ferrari’s back-to-back victories in Belgium and Italy saw the team capitalize on the SF90’s more aerodynamically efficient design philosophy, but that’s not to say it didn’t have to make further adjustments to usurp its adversaries. We investigate how Ferrari got back on top with the help of Giorgio Piola’s latest illustrations.

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Ferrari SF90 rear wing detail

Ferrari SF90 rear wing detail
1/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari chose to run a relatively conventional lower downforce rear wing arrangement for the Belgian GP, rather than the spoon shaped rear wing we’ve seen it favour in the past. It’s a decision that would not only boost straight-line speed but also help to keep rivals at arm’s length through the more demanding middle sector.

Ferrari SF90 rear wing

Ferrari SF90 rear wing
2/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The Italian GP saw the team make further changes to maximise their straightline performance, as it pulled the leading edge of the mainplane further forward, proportionally reducing downforce and drag.

Ferrari SF90 front wing

Ferrari SF90 front wing
3/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

At the front of the car, Ferrari needed to balance things out and opted for a redesign on the front wing's uppermost flap. This reduced its chord length over the entire span, but most importantly more so at the outer edges (red arrow).

Toro Rosso STR14 front wing

Toro Rosso STR14 front wing
4/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Elsewhere, Toro Rosso introduced a revised front wing for the Italian GP too. Like Ferrari, it put the uppermost flap on a diet, trimming it back to reduce front-end load in order that it matched the teams use of a skinnier rear wing arrangement. It also tried to manipulate the Y250 vortex in an entirely different way too, with the shape of the mainplane and its slot altered as it met with the neutral section, whilst the upper three flaps featured an almost hook-shaped curvature their tip.

Red Bull Racing RB15 rear wing comparison

Red Bull Racing RB15 rear wing comparison
5/5

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Red Bull followed a similar path for the Belgian and Italian GPs to the one it has been doing for a number of years now – basically, take off as much wing as it can get away with. It does this in the hope that the resultant reduction in drag offsets a relative lack of power when compared with Mercedes and Ferrari and at both events. It was clear to see they were carrying far less wing than any of the other competitors in the field – especially at Monza (inset).

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