Technical analysis: A detailed look at the Ferrari SF70H
Nose and Front-Wing
Ferrari tends to hide its race (and even test) specification parts at launch so any assessments of the front of the car should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The common thumb-tip nose remains and an S-duct has been integrated into the 2017 car. The Scuderia’s first attempt of the device copies the Mercedes solution used last year: a U-shaped inlet and plumbing direct air through the nose box, through the front bulkhead and out behind the antenna on top of the chassis.
At the moment the camera pods are fused with the nose with no mounting bodywork dictating the aerodynamics. Four overlapping fins – reminiscent of 2008 – sprout from the bulkhead to ease the transition of flow from the steep nose to the flat chassis top.
Bargeboards and Sidepods
The bargeboard area will be heavily exploited this year but Ferrari have kept their powder dry for the launch. Expect complex geometry when testing commences.
The sidepods are remarkably diverse to the opposition so far. A plethora of turning vanes are used to meet the regulatory diagonal leading edge and influence flow over the bodywork. The actual inlets are sat further back and sit perpendicular to the oncoming flow, with the trailing bodywork forming a tight Coke bottle shape at the rear. The main intakes are accompanied by three subsidiary inlets that direct air to the ERS cooler and some of the associated electronics.
The array of vanes and flow conditioners are designed to do a variety of things. The curled vane that stems from the sidepod shoulder forces the air down and along the undercut towards the back of the car. Closing off the top of the inlet is another horizontal vane that guides air into the aforementioned secondary intakes. Protruding into the front tyre wake is a huge rectangular board, shielding the undercut from turbulence. Two louvres are used to bleed off pressure built up on the inside face.
This careful management of flow around the inlets has allowed Ferrari to retain a smaller airbox. In a year where reducing drag could be extremely beneficial to overall lap-time, the Scuderia can now look elsewhere to improve straight-line speed. Blockage to the rear wing (and T-wing) is also reduced as a result.
Shark Fin and T-Wing
A shark fin and a T-wing – words you might not associate with F1 until now. The function of the shark fin is to ensure that airflow arrives cleanly at the lower rear-wing which now sits in a realm of dirty flow coming off the upstream bodywork.
The T-wing is a new feature for this year thanks to a small opening in the regulations as a result of the lower and slanted rear wing. It captures and kicks cleaner flow passing higher up the car upwards, enticing the flow coming off the rear-wing behind to rise. This helps the rear-wing to produce more downforce.
As with the front wing, the rear-wing lacks race-ready features: traditional horizontal louvres (rather than open at endplate’s leading edge) and a double mounting pylon arrangement almost look a bit dated before the season has even started. Further developments are to come here.
A monkey seat winglet has been installed on the rear crash structure but it is sat some distance from the exhaust exit. In recent years teams would use the combination of the hot exhaust gases and a winglet to connect the diffuser and rear-wing aerostructures, generating an upwash effect. Given that the wing is lower and the diffuser now taller, a monkey seat is not as beneficiary.