Tech Talk: Ferrari begin adding performance parts

Ferrari focused on reliability during the first two test sessions. At the third and final however, they began to add performance parts.

The team arrived in Jerez with what seemed like a basic front-wing (left) when compared to the one used on last years F138. Having done plenty of aero 'leg-work' in the first two tests with pitot tube rigs and aero paint, the team unveiled a much more complex wing for the last pre-season test in Bahrain.

This new seven-tier wing (right) is certainly much closer in specification to the F138's but instead of finding an almost flat juncture between the mainplane, endplate and footplate we find a clawed, outer section to the mainplane that will create an elongated vortex, utilising the outer-slots in the wing.

The outer claw section allows a different endplate design too, meaning a smaller aperture toward the rear of the component. This is because the outer portion of the wing doesn't require the injection of flow from the outside.

It may seem like a small addition, but added above the airbox inlet we find a small wing which will help to clean up the airflow that is destined for the rear-wing.

It's similar to that featured on the (nearly) all-conquering F2004 and several Ferrari's after that. Perhaps this is the influence of two designers - Rory Byrne and James Allison - who were around at the same time when Ferrari last used this type of wing.

When Ferrari launched the F14-T it seemed that the team had taken what they had learnt from the F138 and carried it over. A trailing edge slat (left) populated the rear-wings endplate and although it's predecessor had two slats on each endplate, the lineage was clear.  

At the last test we find that Ferrari have abandoned the slat in favour of a conventional full-length endplate (right) putting to bed any inefficiencies the slat carried.

The use of the slat was originally to remedy other flow condition problems that the team were having at the rear of the car and, although the slat provided this, the overall efficiency window was lowered by the extra drag it would induce.  

With the slat now removed the team have also extended the longitudinal strakes to the rear edge of the endplate in order to control the way the airflow leaves the endplate.