Ferrari F150 – maybe new but carrying strong gins from the past
There are two options for a Formula 1 team to choose about the design of a new car . The first is to design it from clean sheet following usually radical and revolutionary concepts and the second one is to evolve the last season car evolving and perfecting it . As regards Ferrari case I would say that the two options are merged harmonically together as the new F150 has many parts resembling to its predecessor the F10 but also some others completely new .
Raised front chassis and nose
As expected the new F150 has a totally new nose , much higher than the F10 one but less flat than it was thought to be . The chassis is being raised from the cockpit zone resulting to a less comfortable driver’s position as the driver’s feet are now accommodated higher . A negative effect of a high nose configuration is also the rising of the COG but the better aero efficiency seems to overlap this .
The higher nose also resulted to less deep U-shaped nose with the later to continue to extend significantly beyond the front wing to channel airflow more effectively under the nose . The wide nose pillars help to guide the undernose flow of air more efficiently .
The F150 sidepods of larger volume to fit the KERS components , are quite body , taller extending up to the cockpit zone and less sculpted at their bottoms compared to the F10 .
The F150 has rectangular inlets , a design preferred mainly by Mc Laren , compared to the F10 quarter circle inlets . Furthermore the openings stand higher from the floor so as to disturb less the airflow passing around the sidepod bottoms .
The sidepod inlets provide with fresh cooling air the engine radiators . The trend each year is to decrease gradually their opening size to reduce drag . Sometimes this is achieved by redesigning the radiators themselves and the way they are housed inside the sidepods . The KERS introduction again this year and the rectangular openings make me believe that serious changes occurred to the F150 radiators as well .
No longer a shark finned engine cover for F150 due to 2011 rules . In addition the cover gained back the “humpback” fin to increase its streamline efficiency . At the back the cover is slotted to let hot air exit inside the rear wing’s beam and main planes .
The airbox inlet has now a more circular shape and gives the impression that the overall opening is now larger probably to feed the KERS components with cooling air . There is also a rectangular hole under the main inlet to cool the airbox itself. Paradoxically Ferrari neglected to remove bodywork behind the driver’s helmet to reduce frontal surface like other teams did and probably will do in 2011 .
The mirrors have very short mountings and there are also triangular airfoils under them to split airflow first over the sidepods and into the radiators .
Carrying burdens from the F10
A common practice when a team launches its new car is to present old season aero elements on it , like the front and rear wings , bargeboards and vanes to keep new elements secret and prevent fast cloning of them on rivals cars . So it is not a surprise to see the new F150 bearing similar aero elements with the old F10 like the bargeboards , the undernose vanes and the front wing . The F150 during winter testing and at first race of the season will for sure get lifted with the new components .
No significant changes to the floor splitter which also features side vents .to guide flow of air more effectively under the car
Another big change triggered by the higher nose is the front suspension new geometry . The design still remains keel-less but the wishbones are built in a greater diagonal configuration . I speculate that more changes took place inside the chassis to the keep the suspension friendly with the tyres but also keeping their working temperature. Especially now that the lower experienced Pirelli took the place of Bridgestone tyre management will probably be more crucial than before .
The steering axis is also placed lower than the shifted higher upper wishbone for easier steering , a change that for sure produces a little bit extra drag .
The innovative last year’s crowned front wheels rims are also featured by the new F150 . As regards tyres Pirelli replaced Bridgestone .
The same rear wheel thick rim pattern is also maintained for the F150
Movable rear wing
The new 2011 rules introduce for the first time in Formula 1 the ability to the driver to adjust the rear wing’s attack angle . The new rule in theory will help overtaking . The F150 movable rear wing uses its single pillar to apply the arched mechanism responsible for moving the second flap . The wing’s endplates extend a lot down to the diffuser to prevent turbulence created by wheels rotation to effect negatively diffuser performance . Probably the wing will go under serious development before the kick of the 2011 season at Bahrain
The F150 maintains a push rod rear suspension despite the common logic to follow a pull rod design featured by the highly successful Red Bull RB5 & 6 . However the suspension bears no similarity to the F10 and looks rather innovative . The suspension arm is shifted forward and so the wishbones to keep them away from hot exhaust emissions .
The rear floor is no longer vented in front of the rear tyres like the F10 but the exhausts keep blowing close to the floor level .
The F150 like the F10 features multiple sets of winglets placed at the rear wheels internal zone . Their role is to add down force directly to the rear axle . Those winglets could be regarded as movable aero parts but are considered by rules to be part of the rear braking system !
The diffuser is now reverted back to a single deck design due to 2011 rules , forcing the team to work hard to gain the extra and now lost downforce generated by a double or triple deck diffuser . The diffuser looks to be totally detached from the rear structure and probably for strengthening reasons is supported by two cables
KERS unit – Engine
The 2011 KERS even though follows exactly the same specifications like in 2009 , is now by far lighter and more compact than that used by F60 . However according to Aldo Costa it is still quite big and more work is needed on that sector . The KERS installation is also new with the energy storage batteries to be placed at the bottom of the fuel cell to provide a lower COG balancing the.COG increase by the higher nose .
The engines may be frozen but Ferrari instead made some changes within the rules . Major changes took place to the pneumatic engine concept which caused some problems in 2010 . KERS reinstallation triggered also substantial changes to the engine front , a new dragging system for the KERS , a new crankshaft and small revisions to the engine cooling and lubricating systems .