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

F1 tech review: How Ferrari fell short after getting on top

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F1 tech review: How Ferrari fell short after getting on top
By:
Co-author: Matthew Somerfield
Dec 31, 2018, 3:59 PM

Ferrari mounted another assault on the Formula 1 World Championship in 2018, and while it looked to have got the better of Mercedes in the opening phases, its title aspirations fell agonisingly short of the target once again.

Not only did Mercedes get on top of its own issues, Ferrari’s technical updates faltered in the latter stages of the season. That said, at least the Scuderia innovated throughout the season and kept up its development rate – which had previously been a deficiency – right the way through its title tilt.

Join us as we take a look back through this year’s technical imagery…

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Ferrari SF71H steering wheel

Ferrari SF71H steering wheel
1/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A fantastic illustration of the SF71-H’s steering wheel, in which we can see the various buttons, toggles and rotaries that the driver has at his disposal in order to make changes to the power unit.

Ferrari SF71H nose detail

Ferrari SF71H nose detail
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A close up of the SF71-H’s ‘S’-duct inlet, which you’ll note features several divisions.

Ferrari SF71H aero detail

Ferrari SF71H aero detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close up of the SF71-H’s turning vanes, note that the two forward-most elements are mounted on the underside of the nose, while the rearward elements are attached to the chassis.

Ferrari SF71H front suspension detail

Ferrari SF71H front suspension detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Without the vanity panel we can see some of the various components that make up the SF71-H’s front suspension.

Ferrari SF71H floor

Ferrari SF71H floor
5/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

An amazingly detailed illustration of the SF71-H’s floor, note the revised splitter extension (older specification inset).

Ferrari SF71H aero detail

Ferrari SF71H aero detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close up of the three strakes mounted on the leading edge of the SF71-H’s floor responsible for tidying up and re-energising the airflow.

Ferrari SF71H rear wing detail

Ferrari SF71H rear wing detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close up of the SF71-H’s rear wing strakes and the outer corner of the diffuser.

Ferrari SF71H floor

Ferrari SF71H floor
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The SF71-H featured a concave section in the floor above the diffuser that was used to channel airflow around the car’s coke-bottle region, gearbox and crash structure more effectively.

Ferrari SF71H diffuser extra exit

Ferrari SF71H diffuser extra exit
9/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Another view of the channels created either side of the car’s rear crash structure.

Ferrari SF71H sidepods, Australian GP

Ferrari SF71H sidepods, Australian GP
10/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A great side view of the cockpit region, showing the winged halo fairing two-piece mirrors and upper sidepod inlet.

Ferrari SF71H diffuser detail

Ferrari SF71H diffuser detail
11/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A close up of the outer corner of the diffuser and the various flaps that surround it.

Ferrari SF71H brake discs

Ferrari SF71H brake discs
12/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

This illustration of the front brake assembly without the brake drum on gives us a better understanding of what goes on under the skin.

Ferrari SF71H rear wheel hub and brake detail

Ferrari SF71H rear wheel hub and brake detail
13/47

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A great shot from the garage of the rear brake assembly without the brake drum attached. This gives us a better view of the internals, including the pipework used to cool the caliper.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H

 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H
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Photo by: Andrew Hone / Motorsport Images

The SF-71H laden with kiel probe arrays as the team looked to gather data during the pre-season tests.

Ferrari SF71H rear wing

Ferrari SF71H rear wing
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team utilised a spoon-shaped rear wing for the Azerbaijan GP, as it looked to reduce drag but also retain a decent chunk of downforce for the trickier second sector.

Ferrari SF71H front wing endplate

Ferrari SF71H front wing endplate
16/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Changes were also visible at the front of the car, as the team altered the rearmost section of the endplate. [1] New endplate canard, [2] extra slot at the rear of the endplate, with the surface turned aggressively outward and [3] the trailing flap was mounted on the flap stack, rather than the endplate.

Ferrari SF71H and SF70H front wing comparison

Ferrari SF71H and SF70H front wing comparison
17/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Forward view of the front wing changes which also included a revision to the mainplane and flap juncture, as the arch was discarded in favour of an additional pair of slots, one in the mainplane and the other in the first flap.

Ferrari SF71H mirrors comparsion

Ferrari SF71H mirrors comparsion
18/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Controversy surrounded the Scuderia in Spain, as it introduced a new mirror design (right) that attached to the halo. The upper ‘eyebrow’ winglet was considered erroneous by everyone in the paddock and although it was allowed to race it in Spain, the team would have to revise the design for the next race onwards.

Ferrari SF71H rear suspension comparison

Ferrari SF71H rear suspension comparison
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

New rear suspension was introduced in Spain, with a more angular connection to the upright it would improve airflow around the structure.

Ferrari SF71H mirrors, Monaco GP

Ferrari SF71H mirrors, Monaco GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Following the controversy of its mirror mounts at the previous round, the team arrived in Monaco with a revised configuration, albeit still mounted to the halo.

Ferrari SF71H front wing comparison

Ferrari SF71H front wing comparison
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A new specification front wing was made available in France, which featured a full-length slot in the mainplane, a re-profiled outer section and new endplate canards.

Ferrari SF71H nose detail

Ferrari SF71H nose detail
22/47

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A great shot of the rear of the SF71-H’s front wing and inside the nosecone as the mechanics wait to make a change at the Austrian GP.

Ferrari SF71H nose detail

Ferrari SF71H nose detail
23/47

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Another shot inside the nose shows how the ‘S’-duct’s pipework crosses over, a feature carried over from last year’s car.

Ferrari SF71H floor and brake duct comparison

Ferrari SF71H floor and brake duct comparison
24/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team made changes at the rear of the car for the British GP, with the now fashionable elongated floor slots placed on the floors edge (highlighted in yellow), whilst the flap on the edge of the floor just ahead of the rear tyre (red arrow) was discarded and the floor just upturned instead. Meanwhile, the rear brake duct fin was swapped for a design that featured full length slots.

Ferrari SF71H rear wing comparison

Ferrari SF71H rear wing comparison
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team also made changes to the engine cover, including a centralised valley that altered the movement of airflow around and through the sidepod.

Ferrari SF71H new exhausts, German GP

Ferrari SF71H new exhausts, German GP
26/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team tested a new configuration for the exhausts at the German GP, with the wastegate outlets mounted vertically above the main exhaust.

Ferrari SF71H mirror

Ferrari SF71H mirror
27/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A close up of the two-piece mirrors used by Ferrari, note also the small triangular fins on the upper surface used to legalise the strakes mounted on the floor below.

Ferrari SF71H front wing detail

Ferrari SF71H front wing detail
28/47

Photo by: Mark Sutton

A close up of the front wing’s endplate showing off the various flicks and tricks used to turn the airflow across the face of the front tyre.

Ferrari SF71H front wing endplate

Ferrari SF71H front wing endplate
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At the post-GP test in Hungary the team trialled a new front wing which utilised the raised and inclined footplate design we’ve previously seen sported by Red Bull.

Ferrari SF71H waste exhausts

Ferrari SF71H waste exhausts
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team also retested the revised position for their wastegate outlets, placing them above the main exhaust. This test coincided with a different rear wing design too, with a raised lip added to the leading edge of the mainplane.

Ferrari SF71H rear wing, Belgian GP

Ferrari SF71H rear wing, Belgian GP
31/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The lower downforce rear wing configuration used by Ferrari at the Belgian GP, complete with the open-end style endplate louvres.

Ferrari SF71H rear wing, Singapore GP

Ferrari SF71H rear wing, Singapore GP
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Ferrari introduced a new rear wing endplate design for the Singapore GP, keyed at improving downforce the endplates featured a strake-like design at the rear of their surface in order to work the airflow that little harder. It’s a trick used by McLaren for some time and assimilated by Ferrari’s title rivals Mercedes during the season.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H with aero paint

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H with aero paint
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Photo by: Lionel Ng / Motorsport Images

In search of answers the team painted flo-viz on the bargeboards during Free Practice in Singapore.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H with aero paint

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H with aero paint
34/47

Photo by: Lionel Ng / Motorsport Images

Another view of the SF71-H with flo-viz paint on the bargeboards, floor and rear wing.

Ferrari SF71H floor detail

Ferrari SF71H floor detail
35/47

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A fantastic view of the diffusers strakes as a new floor was carried into the garage, note the two slots in one of the strakes which breaks it up into three surfaces.

Ferrari SF71H, rear rim

Ferrari SF71H, rear rim
36/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

A close up of the rear brake duct on the grid in Singapore, note the cluster of winglets on the inner fence which look to drive the airflow upward.

Ferrari SF71H front wing

Ferrari SF71H front wing
37/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari introduced a family of new front-end parts at the Russian GP, as it looked to improve all-round performance. The front wing design incorporated the novel footplate solution pioneered by Red Bull in 2017 and tested by Ferrari in Hungary, featuring a raised and inclined footplate that’s also pushed back from the wing’s leading edge enticing the airflow to converge on the vertical slot behind [1]. The turning vanes [2] were also given a considerable amount of attention having been relatively untouched throughout the first part of 2018. The upturned profile on the leading edge of the mainplane [3] was a little more pronounced, altering how the airflow behaved, whilst the furniture [4] on the inside of the endplate designed to control outwash was also revised. Coupled to the change in the mainplane’s geometry and the resultant affect the other changes had on the wing’s ability to create outwash, the flap geometry was also amended. An additional slot was made in the outboard section [5]. Perhaps more importantly though, the team toned down the aggressive transition between the tunneled outboard section of the wing and the flapped region [6].

Ferrari SF71 brake duct, Suzuka

Ferrari SF71 brake duct, Suzuka
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari introduced a new front brake duct design for the Japanese GP which featured two additional winglets.

Ferrari SF71H brake duct

Ferrari SF71H brake duct
39/47

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

To act as a comparison, here’s the older brake duct configuration without the winglets.

Ferrari SF71H floor, United States GP

Ferrari SF71H floor, United States GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari trialled this new floor design at the US GP, featuring three rows of fins at various points along the floor it was never raced. The intention of these fins was to improve how the air flowed through and around the longitudinal slots that had been added earlier in the season.

Ferrari SF71H bargeboard, United States GP

Ferrari SF71H bargeboard, United States GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team also introduced a revised bargeboard configuration for the US GP, featuring a re-profiled footplate (red arrow) and extra flaps atop them (blue arrow), as it looked to further influence the airflow being received.

Ferrari SF71H rear wheel hub

Ferrari SF71H rear wheel hub
42/47

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

An overview of the rear brake duct, note the raised strakes on the drum, these will divert the air and heat that moves between the drum and the wheel rim in order to improve performance.

Ferrari SF71H 2019 front wing, 2018 Abu Dhabi GP

Ferrari SF71H 2019 front wing, 2018 Abu Dhabi GP
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Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The team trialled a 2019-style front wing in Abu Dhabi, a design which was devoid of the main cascade elements and a simplified endplate. This was used by the team in combination with kiel probe arrays mounted behind the front wheels as the team collected data that would help to improve the correlation between the real world and simulation tools.

Ferrari SF71H front wing detail

Ferrari SF71H front wing detail
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Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close up of the front wing endplate used in the latter phases of the season, complete with the Red Bull style raised footplate and vertical slot at the front and multi-element outwash flaps at the rear.

Ferrari SF71H bargeboard detail

Ferrari SF71H bargeboard detail
45/47

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

A close up of the bargeboard and floor region shows just how intricate the designs had become in 2018.

Ferrari SF71H in garage

Ferrari SF71H in garage
46/47

Photo by: Erik Junius

The SF71-H being prepared for action, note the canisters placed over the front brake drums which helped to keep the brakes at the optimum temperature.

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF71H
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Photo by: Jerry Andre / Motorsport Images

A top-down overview of the SF71-H at the post-season test shows how the team finished out the season.

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Series Formula 1
Teams Ferrari Shop Now
Author Giorgio Piola