Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Tech analysis: Ferrari's medium downforce update

Ferrari has undoubtedly made a significant stride forward in 2017 and seemingly has a car for all conditions but the team is obviously not resting on its laurels, as it introduced a revamped aero kit for the Canadian GP.

The focus of the update was to provide the drivers with an aerodynamic set-up to suit the medium downforce characteristics of the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The update included a revision of Ferrari's sidepod deflectors, a new floor and a rear wing assembly.

Sidepod deflectors


Ferrari SF70H, floor
Ferrari SF70H, floor

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

We’ve already waxed lyrical about the elaborate design of the SF70H’s sidepods and surrounding machinations but one aspect that has been left out thus far is the deflectors, a unique design befitting its surroundings.

Outwardly it may seem like a simple design, however, the trapezoidal element has some nice features, including an unusually thick leading edge and a pair of louvres used to displace pressure.

It’s also much shorter than the deflectors we’ve come to know over the last five-six years but this is more than made up by its length and intricacy.

Ferrari SF70H turning vanes comparison, Canadian GP
Ferrari SF70H turning vanes comparison, Canadian GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A small change was made to the deflector's footplate for Canada, with the hole midway along its length slightly revised, altering the way in which airflow passes by.


Ferrari SF70H, sidepods detail
Ferrari SF70H, sidepods detail

Photo by: Sutton Images

The development of solutions ahead of the rear tyre has intensified over the last few seasons, as teams try to perfect ways of defending against tyre squirt - the lateral displacement of air into the diffuser as rear tyre deforms under load.

Most teams now favour the use of numerous L-shaped slots in the floor ahead of the rear tyre, of which Ferrari are one. However, their geometry, orientation and frequency can have a significant bearing on how they perform and so it’s no surprise to see changes made to suit the differing circuit characteristics.

Ferrari has opted to utilise another L-shaped slot in Canada, taking its tally to four, while a wider slot has been placed just ahead of the floors trailing edge.

These slots allow pressure to bleed from one side of the floor to the other, changing how the air moves across and around the face of the tyre, creating a seal against the airflow that tries to push its way into the diffuser's path.

Rear wing

Ferrari SF70H rear wing comparison, Canadian GP
Ferrari SF70H rear wing comparison, Canadian GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari has introduced an entirely new rear wing structure for the Canadian GP, which features a spoon-shaped mainplane and upper flap, much like the one run by Mercedes for most of the season.

The deeper, more forward-placed central section of the wing means the team has also had to change the way in which their rear wing is supported, with two centre pillars mounted to the underside of the wing, rather than utilising a swan-neck design.

In order that the team take the maximum from these changes, the endplates have also been optimised, as Ferrari has finally gone for the open-end style louvre bandwagon that has been circling since Toro Rosso first introduced them at the start of 2016.

Meanwhile, the slots that would ordinarily run from the base of the endplate upward have also been curtailed in an effort to change overall shape of the tip vortex created, when the differing pressure gradients meet at the flap and endplate juncture.

This has also led to Ferrari revisiting the more simplistic single element T-wing design, albeit painted in black rather than white, with its design not only inferring a few points of downforce in its own right but also shaped to change the rear wing's tip vortex.

The exhaust-wrapping monkey seat used in Monaco (right inset) for additional downforce is also surplus to requirements, with the less aggressive version run in the preceding races re-installed.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Canadian GP
Track Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve
Teams Ferrari
Article type Breaking news
Topic Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis