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Ferrari F2012 – Middle zone updates at China


Launch spec

Launch spec

 

       The F2012 had already received  several front wing updates before China , thus meaning that  some parts of the car should be re-examined to cope better with new aerodynamic elements .

 China- racing spec ,  old bargeboards and turning vanes are shown in the inset , the yellow arrows present the exact spots were changes took place .

China- racing spec , old bargeboards and turning vanes are shown in the inset , the yellow arrows present the exact spots were changes took place .

The first step to this direction was taken at China where new turning vanes and bargeboards replaced the old ones . The new turning vanes had a reshaped sharper end with  an additional vertical fin, while the bargeboard gained a winglet close to the turning vanes. Furthermore the large triangular chassis vane was replaced by more elegant double winglets spotted just behind the mirror, aiming to reduce further the amount of lift created by the sidepods .

 China – tested only ,the new double chassis winglets were tested even without the rest updates

China – tested only ,the new double chassis winglets were tested even without the rest updates

The new chassis winglets were even tested with the old turning vanes-bargeboards,  giving the impression that Ferrari was sure on their positive effect but had doubts on the rest updates .

 

 

 

Ferrari F2012 – color change on nose pillars since Mugello


        A minor livery change occurred at Mugello. Particularly the nose pillars adopted since then a semi black color , bringing into memory the old  black-red livery that Ferrari used to race many years ago  .

      Speaking for Ferrari’s livery ,it changed from a red-black livery in 1990’s to a red-white in 2000’s, then into a full red one (2007) to return back to red-white recently. It gives me a clue to expect  next year black colored front and rear wing flaps .

 

“Ventalia” type front wing on Ferrari F2012 –updates up to Hungary


      By the GP of Hungary Ferrari introduced at least 7 different front wing specs . The major wing revisions came alongside with extensive changes on the car reflecting the team’s will to erase the race pace handicap shown from early winter testing between the F2012 and the top cars (McLaren , Red Bull , Mercedes or even Lotus) . However some minor changes took place independently .

        The most striking feature of all concepts is the multiple flap design close to the endplates . At past Mc Laren raced with four or even five flapped wings but those concepts were abandoned due to revised 2009 technical rules . However slots on flaps are still allowed , a freedom which Ferrari took advantage to the maximum and opened a new era that I  call “a Ventalia” type design.

Spec : A           Debut : Launch      Raced : Australia , Malaysia
The most striking feature on the launch spec is the multiple slotted flap pattern that transforms the two flap concept into an effective four profiled .The gains in not only higher amount of downforce but also making the wing less sensitive to stall .

Spec: B                                                                                                                 Debut:pre season test at Barcelona on March                                  Raced:Not yet
It was obvious that lack of sufficient front downforce was among the major bugs of the new car that had to be solved .Thus a major wing update came at the third pre season test . The new wing had completely redesigned flaps including a different way the flaps attach to the endplate , triple slotted main flap and a large gurney tab pointed in green arrow. Modifications occurred also on cascades winglets and endplates which featured ducts to redirect air inside the wing area(all changes marked in yellow) . A more detailed look on the endplates reveals the strategy of Ferrari to redirect the lower flow inside the front tyres through the ducts while the upper flow is pushed away to the outer tyre surface .It is good to remember that Mc Laren curved the path of ducted endplates a few seasons ago .
The B spec was also tested at Malaysia and China . However the B version proved not suitable for the car needs thus never qualified to race .

Spec :C        Debut : China         Raced : Not yet
A modified B spec was brought at China lacking the large triangular gurney tab to benefit a greater top speed .

Spec : D         Debut : China , Raced : China , Bahrain
Ferrari raced in China with another new spec which included apart from the gurney tab lack , revised endplates and cascades ( in yellow) . The new upper deck has a deep cut close to the endplates to favor further drag cut .

Spec : D         Tested : Spain
It was also tested at Catalunya having a Santander logo addition on the endplates

Spec :E                  Debut: Mugello test on May                                     Raced: Spain, Monaco, Canada, Valencia, G.Britain,   Germany, Hungary
Mugello test was very fruitful for Ferrari as many new parts undergone evaluation testing , including new rear end , exhausts and a new front wing. Speaking for the front wing changes occurred on the wing sides and particularly the endplates. They may look similar at their lower part but the top is completely new , less curvy having a small horizontal triangular fin at the rear to improve airflow management close to the tyres . The top rear fin concept is not new but derives from older seasons .Moreover the cascade inner winglet adopted a new double profile and a revised trailing edge .Finally some modifications took place on the outer flap separator ( all changes are marked in yellow ) . Ferrari brought at Spain both E and D spec in order to perform a comparison test between the new and the old version.  Finally the nose pillars are half painted since in black carbon color .

Spec : F     Debut : Europe ( Valencia)      Raced : Not yet
This spec was tested at street circuit of Valencia , Silverstone and Hungaroring . It featured a new second flap which resembles more to launch spec , new flap separators and a deep cut on the triangular winglet of the endplate .The endplate itself inherited multiple ducts to enhance further the Ventalia concept efficiency .

Spec : G       Debut : Germany      Raced : Not yet
The latest update tested at Hochenheim and Hungaroring . It had modified endplates having even more ducts, five now instead of four , the cut on the winglet is gone and the flap separators gained a simpler appearance for both aero and mechanical reasons . Finally an extra slot was added on the second flap close to the endplates , increasing so the  effective profile of flaps from five to six !

 

Ferrari F2012 – New nose vanes at Mugello test


          Ferrari has introduced since Mugello test a new front end aero package with the nose cone no longer featuring the  L shaped vanes . As a consequence a new set has been transferred to the underbody of the chassis . Compared to the old units the new set is more complex and actually  consists of two elements with a curved upwards lower section , lacking also the  horizontal connecting winglet ( pointed in Alonso illustration via an arrow)  . Both versions are designed to boost the airflow underneath the raised front section of the chassis, but additionally the new set creates significant vortexes over the vertical axis aiming drag cut and a better flow to the diffuser  .

      Massa adopted right away the new set from the Spanish race after the Mugello test but instead Alonso continues to race ( up to Hungary) with the old ones . It is not the first time to observe Ferrari duo follow different development routes reflecting primary the difference between Alonso’s and Massa’s driving style . Alonso is manhandling the car squeezing the most out of it thus needing a very predictable car and probably the new vanes may have improved the overall aero performance but likely may have caused instability in certain conditions . Another example this season is the Red Bull drivers , Vettel and Webber (exhaust configuration difference this time) .

Ferrari F2012 – rear wing evolution from Monaco to Silverstone (including Mugello Test)


 

G spec – Debut : Mugello test on May , raced : Not yet
Notices : It is actually the wing raced in Spain (F spec) without the mini plane .Ferrari tested at least three new types of rear wing ( F ,G and H spec) at Mugello before the Spanish race .

H spec – Debut : Mugello test on May , raced : Not yet
Notices : It is actually the Spanish wing ( F spec) with a small vane on top of the endplate ( in yellow circle ) aiming drag cut . The endplate vanes featured since the Australian spec ( C spec ) force the air flowing at the outside surface of the endplate to follow a similar pattern with the air flowing inside them . When the two air-flows meet and mix at the trailing edge of the endplate will eventually create weaker vortexes favoring top speed .

I spec – Debut : Monaco , raced : Monaco
Notices : New wing for Monaco.It is actually a hybrid between the Australian ( C spec) and Spanish (F spec) wing . The second flap recovered the V-less profile while the gills reshaped curvy once more . The mini plane is also new having now a double profile, a wavy main flap and supports having the front edges to curl outwards, all to create more downforce ( the old mini plane  in inset) .

      Beyond Monaco Ferrari brought back the Spanish spec .Of course some adjustments on wing attack angle were made from race to race to suit better with each track special characteristics .

New rear wing at almost every race from Scuderia Ferrari


         Teams revise the car’s front and rear wings during season to make them function better. Any front wing revision is though  regarded more crucial because an optimization of air flow towards the central part of the car is offered additionally  . However over  the last seasons  all teams choose to develop more and more sophisticated rear wings. There are three key areas that teams usually work hard to improve . The upper part of endplates aiming drag reduction, secondly the flaps themselves to generate more downforce with the minimum possible drag and thirdly the lower part of the endplates to  improve the way diffuser functions . Very important also is the efficiency of the DRS , a factor added in the already complicated equation that aero designers have to solve since 2011 .

       Speaking for Scuderia Ferrari , solid steps made on rear wing development rate with the fruits of hard labor to deliver from Australia to Spain  at least  6   specs ( named below with capitals letters from A to F)  .  None wing, apart from the last F spec, was radically different from its ancestor but rather a modification so as to cope better with the rest numerous developments that have taken place on the car  (front wing, vanes, bargeboards, exhausts, diffuser). The different specs listed and analyzed below

A spec – Debut : Launch and early testing , raced : no
Notices : There are three air vents on endplate top surface , a V cut in the middle of the trailing edge of the second flap to cut and three flap fasteners

B spec – Debut : Barcelona test on March , raced : no
Notices : The V cut in the middle of the second flap vanished , there also new endplate bottoms to improve diffuser efficiency

C spec – Debut : Australia , raced : Australia and Malaysia
Notices : spoilers added on endplate outer surface

D spec – Debut : China , raced : China
Notices : there are new air vents which are four in number  and also more curved ,a new main plane , double V cuts on the trailing edge of the second flap and two flap fasteners instead of three

E spec – Debut : Bahrain , raced : Bahrain
Notices : mini plane addition to add downforce

F spec – Debut : Mugello test on May , raced : Spain
Notices : A rear wing of new breed with a new main profile and an upper flap to merge with the endplates featuring a different gilled pattern. The new air vents on the endplate are more in number and straight instead of curved like they did before .The vanes at endplate bottoms are now doubled in number from two to four while the beam wing is  raised in the middle section and wavy .The small cut at the point where the beam wing meats the endplate helps to decrease drag and even the rear light was reshaped to help the middle raised section to generate even more downforce .

Ferrari F2012 – Frenzy exhaust evolution


           From the very early testing, Ferrari understood that one of the weak spots of the F2012 was the exhausts. Due to new 2012 regulations all teams forced  to move away the exhaust outlets from the floor level .However the ardent desire to take advantage of the exhaust blown effect yet remained strong and thus Ferrari  designed the exhausts to blow through the zone between the rear wing endplates and the wheel . The hot emissions bent progressively downwards as they travel to the rear of the car and seal the diffuser sides improving its efficiency . Another interesting thing is the common bodywork opening for exhaust pipes and radiators cooling exit .

        At least  nine different configurations tested  from Launch to Melbourne and are all summarized in the illustration above  . The launch exhaust abandoned very quickly because it caused tarnished dots on the bodywork around the exhaust outlets,indicating overheating .Since then the exhaust zone suffered several changes before Melbourne . The revisions that took place include :

–              Horizontally cut exhaust pipes ( specs  B, C and D )

–              Cuts on the bodywork ( specs C, D, E, F, G and H )  to both improve cooling and the strengthen the  downwash effect of the emissions

–              Carbon heat protective patches on the bodywork ( specs C, D, F, G, H and I )

–              Shifting of the exhaust outlet angle initially upwards and then inwards

      First steps in exhausts evolution  obliged the team to even place carbon heat shields on the bottom outer surface of the rear wing endplates for protection. Finally numerous thermometer stickers placed  on the suspension wishbones and car body to investigate overheating issues displayed by each different exhaust system tested.

Jerez test on February
visualization of gas flow in red,
yellow arrows point out the thermometer stickers

Jerez test on February
smaller heat shield

     The target for Ferrari with this continuous and frenzy exhaust evolution was  cooling improvement, car protection from heat and rear down-force gains .Nevertheless the quest of extra more never fades away .

 

 

 

 

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