The car tested in Jerez (pre session test) was stripped of significant aerodynamic elements like sidepod panels and nose vanes because the team focused solely on improving and checking mechanical reliability instead of pushing for the ultimate time. This changed soon after the first test as wide vertical panels attached on sidepods alongside with lateral flow conditioners and skirts added under the nose where the suspension wishbones meet the chassis.
STR9 lacked any nose vanes on its launch version (studio images), but in Jerez a pair of splitted vanes added just below the suspension wishbones . Nose vanes are common in Formula 1 for more than a decade now, pioneered by Jordan team which preferred to abandon the classic bargeboards in favor of nose hanging skirts. Nowadays multi sectioned vanes consist of two or even three elements and play a significant role on aero efficiency .
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) .
Up to Bahrain HRT presented three nose vane versions . Initially at Barcelona on March the F112 had a pair of skirts (No1) hanging under the removable nose cone . The addition of Bargeboards at Melbourne came alongside with extra nose vanes (No 2), which were placed behind the skirts .This combination of skirts/vanes expanded the air channel under the nose but another more elegant and smaller vanes arrived at China and retained since then .
New nose vanes ala Renault school ( Renault featured similar vanes in 2010 ) was seen on RB7 at Valencia (European GP) .The new vanes are located a bit to the back , right under the suspension lower wishbone and offer a wider channel under the nose cone leading to a stronger flow of air around the sidepod bottoms . Later with the use of wider nose pillars the effect of the new vanes was even stronger .
Only for Hungary Red Bull refitted back on the car the old vanes .
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 .
The car was equipped with a new set of vanes placed under the front suspension’s lower wishbone at Sakhir . The new set is directly attached onto the chassis while the older version featured two inclined pillars to hold the vanes . The pillar-less version offers a better airflow under the car as the air blocking pillars are now removed . Lastly the new set does not feature anymore the saw-tooth upper profile towards the rear like the older version which helped to reduce turbulence , probably because the new shape offers a cleaner airflow .