Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Ferrari's Spain tech push went beyond banned winglet

Ferrari’s halo-mounted mirrors courted fresh controversy in Spain last weekend, but this was just one of several new technical solutions introduced by the Formula 1 team.

The legality of Ferrari’s wing mirrors was first put under the microscope in Azerbaijan.

Ferrari added three small tabs to the upper trailing edge after rivals lobbied the FIA over the visibility of the SF71-H’s floor strakes, which contravened a rule stating no bodywork can be seen in the area ahead of the sidepods and floor from above.

Ferrari SF71H mirrors comparsion
Ferrari SF71H mirrors comparsion

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

It then became the first team to take advantage of the FIA’s technical directive clarifying the use of mirrors on the halo, and the housings and mountings that can be used.

Ferrari installed it in controversial circumstances in Spain, with the main mirror housing connecting point fine but the winglet that ran across the top more contentious.

The defence was that the winglet was a “minor local reinforcement”, as demanded by the FIA’s technical directive, but the FIA viewed it differently.

Charlie Whiting, Ferrari SF71H with mirrors on halo
Charlie Whiting, Ferrari SF71H with mirrors on halo

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

The winglet, which race director Charlie Whiting said would have carried an aerodynamic benefit, however small, must disappear for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s innovation did not end at the mirrors though, with other refinements made as the team bids to maximise this year’s challenger.

It introduced the sort of longitudinal floor holes already seen utilised by McLaren this season.

Ferrari SF71H side
Ferrari SF71H side

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

Ferrari is looking to work that part of the car harder, with the holes working together to minimise ‘tyre squirt’.

This phenomenon is destructive to the diffuser's performance if left untreated and is something that Ferrari is clearly keen to manage.

Also at the rear of the car, Ferrari has employed a new suspension upright.

 

Ferrari SF71H rear suspension comparsion
Ferrari SF71H rear suspension comparsion

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

It has a much more aggressive transition, allowing a wider, flatter surface that is designed to improve the aerodynamic output of both the component and the rear wing behind.

The diffuser was also revised, with the outer feathered section less square than its predecessor and a ramped central section that tapers more heavily.

Ferrari SF-71H rear diffuser and aero paint
Ferrari SF-71H rear diffuser and aero paint

Photo by: Mark Sutton

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Spanish GP
Track Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya
Teams Ferrari
Article type Analysis
Topic Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis