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Ferrari F150o – Comparison between all front wing versions raced and tested over 2011 season

December 14, 2011 2 comments

             A Front wing version that is used in a certain race is highly linked to the circuit special characteristics , with the most important of which to be the downforce level .Thus we expect from teams to race similar or even the same front wing for circuits of similar downforce level  .

              To simplify the study ,circuits are categorized according to relative downforce level into sub groups

Circuit

Downforce level

Italy

Very low

Canada

Low

Korea , Belgium

Medium

India ,  Abu Dhabi  , Brazil , Great Britain , Europe (Valencia) ,  China , Malaysia

Medium/high

Australia , Japan ,  Germany  (Nürburgring) ,  Spain , Turkey

High

Singapore ,  Hungary , Monaco

Very High

      Some of  other characteristics of 2012 circuits useful  to explain front wing  option at each race are summarized below

 

main characteristics

Bahrain

out of 2011 calendary

  Australia

minimal grip levels because it is a street track

Malaysia

 high-speed corners, rapid changes of direction and slow hairpins

 China

compromise between slow-speed grip and straightline speed

Turkey

fast turns and a slow section

  Spain

a variety of medium, high-speed and slow-speed corners

Monaco

tight hairpins and corners

Canada

Good traction out of the slow corners and stability over the bumps is important

 Europe (Valencia)

Top speed but good grip in slow turns and chicanes  

  Great Britain

fast turns

  Germany  (Nürburgring)

mix of cornes , hairpins

  Hungary

narrow track with slow and medium fast corners

Belgium

combination of slow, medium and fast corners together with long ‘straights’

 Italy

lowest levels of drag

 Singapore

high kerbs , slow corners

  Japan

high-speed technical corners

  Korea

Long straights, hairpins and a very narrow final sector

 India

combination of slow corners and high-speed straights

 Abu Dhabi

compromise between the contrasting fast and slow sectors

 Brazil

perfect mix of medium and slow speed corners, long, fast straights , very bumpy

 

     In total Ferrari tested on track over 2012 season ( including pre season testing ) at least thirteen types of front wing but only the ten of which were used in race .There were even races where Alonso andMassa raced different wing specs .

Analysis on all wing specs

WING SPEC

DEBUT

Analysis ( click on link)

1st

Launch

Link1

2nd

Barcelona test on March

Link2

3rd

Barcelona test on March

Link3

4th

China , only tested

Link4

5th

China , only tested

Link5

6th

Spain , tested only

Link6

7th

Monaco

Link7

8th

Canada

Link8

9th

Hungary , tested only

Link9

10th

Belgium

Link10

11th

Belgium

Link11

12th

Korea

Link12

13th

Abu Dhabi & Brazil

Link13

The spec raced by each driver at each race  :

 

      

Australia

Malaysia

China  

Turkey

Spain

Monaco

Front Wing   Alonso

 

3rd

3rd

3rd

5th

5th

7th

Front Wing  Massa

 

3rd

3rd

3rd

5th

5th

7th

 

Canada

Europe

G.Britain

Germany

Hungary

Belgium

Front Wing  Alonso

8th

6th

6th

6th

6th

11th

Front Wing  Massa

8th

8th

6th

6th

6th

10th

 

Italy

Singapore

Japan

Korea

India

Abu Dhabi

Brazil

Front Wing  Alonso

10th

9th

9th

12th

12th

12th

13th

Front Wing  Massa

10th

9th

9th

9th

12th

9th

12th

     

      Summarizing all the data the wing specs can be categorized as follows  : 

Wing spec

Downforce level of circuits that the wing spec was raced / tested

3rd

 

Medium/high ,

High

4th

refined 3rd spec

Medium/high ,

High

5th

new design

High

6th

refined 5th spec

Medium/high

Very High

7th

New design

Very High

8th

Modified 7th spec

Low

Medium/high

9th

Modified 6th spec

Medium

Medium/high

High

Very High

10th

Refined 7th spec

Medium

11th

New design

 (hybrid design between 7th and 10th spec)

Medium

12th

New design

Medium

Medium/high

13th

  refined 12th spec

Medium

Medium/high

Conclusion

      Development rate effects mainly wing’s  individual characteristics but rarely the basic structure-design of the wing itself . That is because any serious wing change reveals a more aggressive development or in some cases car balance issues or even both . Usually teams prefer to refine and improve an already efficient wing rather than race totally new designs . Another good approach is to see what rivals do and copy some of their solutions if of course suit to your cars’s special aerodynamic behavior .

     Having the previous in mind we can say that Ferrari launched

  • 5 new front wing specs  ( 1st , 5th , 7th , 11th , 12th )
  • 8 front wing specs considered modifications of standard designs  (2nd , 3rd , 4th , 6th , 8th , 9th , 10th 13th )
  • 1 front wing spec based on a rival team design (the 12th is based on  Red Bull ‘s design)

      It is common to see teams fighting for championship to launch several front wing specs but for Ferrari case the 13 specs are simply too many . The large number reflects somehow the team’s struggle  to close the speed gap between the F150o and Red Bull RB7, having at the same time a car  that faced balance issues early in the season .

Ferrari F150o – Stiffened front wing to reduce wing’s flexibility in Abu Dhabi and Brazil

December 14, 2011 1 comment

               The Korean front wing showed excessive movement over the vertical axis that even in some occasions the endplates touched  the ground releasing sparks (this phenomenon was seen on Massa’s car at India) .In an attempt to reduce the wing’s vertical movement , Ferrari strengthened the main plane close to wing’s neutral central zone at Abu Dhabi and further at Brazil  . Only Alonso raced the stiffened wing  in Brazil .

Ferrari F150o – New front wing for Alonso only in Korea

December 13, 2011 1 comment

  Korean GP

     Having in mind the 2012 season ahead Ferrari put on Alonso’s car at Korea a totally new double profiled front wing while Massa kept the previous version . The new design was different in all aspects such as planes , endplates and even cascade winglets .

        Starting from the main plane it is now much flatter (No1) and slotted (No2) to allow steeper attack angles reducing  chances of wing stalling loosing grip and causing understeer .Close to the endplates the plane rises differently  forming a more distinct venturi channel (No3) to speed up flow more efficiently increasing the efficiency of the bottom of the car at the same time .The upper plane is also changed (No4) loosing the former polygonal shape  .

        As regards the endplates , they are deeper and larger vented (No5) to turn flow more effectively around the tyre profile , because they now lack the extra vertical outer fence . Another significant change is spotted on the endplate bottom (No6) which is not sloping outwards like it did before but has a curvy shape with the bottom now shifted outwards on the horizontal endplate floor to expand a bit the length of the wing profile . Finally the small horizontal triangular fin at the rear top of the endplate (No7)  improves airflow management close to the wheels .

      Cascade winglets are also new , with the first inner one to be larger and shaped differently with its leading edge dropping downwards (No8) close to endplate surface instead of curving upwards to raise the amount of downforce produced  . The cascade mounting pillar is also revised (No9) .

Ferrari F150o – Monza and Singapore front wing specs


Monza

      In ultra downforce Monza circuit both Alonso and Massa raced the Massa’s Spa front wing version while in High downforce street circuit of Marina Bay in Singapore, both debuted for the first time the spec first tested in Hungary with the double cascade winglets and the triple profile .

      Night in Singapore allowed to observe once again the ride height sensor Ferrari had to record data from the wing’s performance dependence on height from ground level .

  Singapore , height sensor

Different front wing specs for Alonso and Massa in Spa

December 11, 2011 1 comment

          Alonso had for Spa a new double profiled  front wing with the same double cascades winglets featured by the spec tested in Hungary .On the contrary Massa had a more dated approach choosing to race the Monaco wing spec with a lower attack angle for greater top speed .  The only difference between Monaco’s spec and Massa’s Spa version was the nose pillars which were shifted lower inside the nose pillars .

        Nevertheless during free wet practice sessions both drivers run the spec tested also in Hungary which offered better front end stability  in case the race in Spa was to take under wet slippery conditions .

 

  spec tested in Hungary

 

Ferrari F150o – Another new front wing spec was put under test in Hungary

December 5, 2011 1 comment

 

  Part of the new aero package brought to Hungary was a modified front wing with reshaped double cascade winglets .Once again the new spec didn’t make it to the race as both Ferrari drivers raced the old version .

Different front wings for Ferrari duo at European GP


 

     Alonso debuted at Valencia the front wing spec tested but not used  in Spain while Massa kept the Canadian spec which offered a higher top speed but less downforce and grip .

 

Ferrari F150o -Modified front wing with polygonal airfoil for Montreal

December 2, 2011 1 comment

 

   Low drag circuit of  Montreal forced Ferrari to launch a new spec, pushing front wing development a step further   . The new low drag wing is based on Monaco spec with the second airfoil having now a shorter chord  to keep drag low favoring   greater top speed, something very  crucial on Canada’s long stretches . Remarkably  the airfoil has a distinctive polygonal trailing edge to deflect flow inside and outside tyres profile more efficiently cutting drag further . The flow deflection is aided by the pyramidal shape of  the airfoil itself .

  Montreal spec

Montreal spec , rearview

Another new front wing at Monaco for F150o

December 1, 2011 1 comment

      It was not a surprise to see  Ferrari launching  another front wing version for Monaco , in order to suit better to Monaco’s unique characteristics (some of which are  the bumpy surface , tight and slow corners and unforgiving barriers next to the car). The new wing of double profiled replaced the previous triple profiled and offers greater amounts of downforce and grip , having no reason to keep drag low because Monaco ‘s top speed is limited below 285 Km/h .Endplates and cascade winglets remained however similar to Turkish spec  . As for the Turkish version it was brought also to Monaco  and undergone comparison testing alongside with the  new Monaco spec  during free runs .

 

 

 

Ferrari F150o – special front wing tested in Spain

November 30, 2011 2 comments

 

         Free runs are always valuable for teams to introduce and test new parts and thus Ferrari fitted at Catalunya a modified Turkish version on Massa’s car. The modified wing featured  a small connection bridge between the  cascade and the flap separators to decrease unwanted excessive vibrations of the cascades that effect negatively  downforce production  especially when riding over kerbs ,  acting also as flow stabilizer over the wing profile  .The bridged wing was abandoned for race though .

 

 

Ferrari F150o – totally new front wing in Turkey

November 28, 2011 1 comment

                The new front wing which was tested in China and arrived at Turkey was totally new both regarding  flaps and endplates. Firstly the double flap separators are redesigned ( No1 and No 2) with the combo close to the endplates  connecting all three flaps instead of only the two upper ones like it did before . Another minor change is spotted on the main profile itself having now  a slightly reshaped design close to the endplates (No 3) .

Speaking for the endplates they are now thinner and more outwards curved with reshaped rear bottom end to divert better air away from the wheels profile (No 4 and No 6)  . The two upper flaps have a wider inner profile (No 5) for extra downforce and furthermore there is an additional small vertical flow separator on the third flap close to the endplates (No 7). Finally the nose pillars line better to the nose vanes behind them in a way to increase flow pressure under the nose .

           The wing undersurface has shark type “denticles” to prevent flow detachment increasing wing’s effectiveness especially in steeper angles . Bio mimetic approach  is not new in Formula 1 with the shark cooling gills being the most obvious example to consider (also introduced by Ferrari back in 2003) .

           It worth’s mentioning that  the inside pillars cameras position was rejected for Turkey , seeing the cameras back on their former position at nose cone sides . Finally the new wing triggered modifications to the front brake ducts .

Ferrari F150o front zone – relocation of nose cameras

November 23, 2011 6 comments

 

 

          In China Alonso’s F150o was equipped with a new front wing but only for the free sessions (the new wing debuted in Turkey  will be explained in another post) . To evaluate and understand the new front wing’s performance mechanics applied yellow fluorescent paint on the flaps and endplates .Besides it is no secret  that one of the weakest aerodynamic areas on the Ferrari car is the front zone.

        To even help downforce production the camera winglets ,with their former position to be on the nose cone sides , are now relocated between the nose pillars expanding the effective surface of the main flap sector  (the inside pillar placement of  cameras was also raced by Red Bull last season).

       After the free Friday sectors end  Ferrari fitted back for race the Malaysian front wing spec with the higher placed nose cone cameras .

PS = fluorescent paint is a good method to visualize the flow on the flaps and aero components to track down possible spots that cause airflow detachments from the flaps (many teams including Mc Laren , Ferrari , Williams ,Red Bull tried fluorescent paint in the past )

 

 

Ferrari F150th – Front wing revisions at last Winter test


Ferrari widen the nose pillars to guide airflow more efficiently under the nose , airflow which is also aided  by the nose vanes located a little back . Another update seen were the modified endplates with a wider trailing edge and an elongated to the front  outer element and also taller reaching the endplate height .  Moreover the third flap is bit altered close to its inner tip  , the main flap meet the endplates in a different way  and finally   the inner cascade winglet endplate is now bending slightly inwards .

The wider pillars were tested with  both the old and new front wing spec .

Ferrari F150th – Nose vanes


Ferrari F150th (2011)

The vanes hanging under the nose cone featured by the F150th are almost identical to the F10 . Their purpose is to improve air flowing under the nose towards the sidepods and diffuser .

Ferrari F10 (2010)

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