Ferrari’s spectacular Singapore success – around a track they hadn’t believed would be ideal at all.
The team’s aerodynamic upgrade was
the most visible aspect of Ferrari’s aero upgrade was the new nose arrangement but it was one harmonious package that also included changes to the floor, diffuser and rear wing. The overall aim was to bring the centre of aerodynamic pressure forwards, to help give the car the front end load it has been lacking all season.
Previously, because of the front end limitation, Ferrari have not always been able to use as much rear wing as their rivals in order to give the car a drivable handling balance. On maximum down force tracks, this has limited the Ferrari’s potential compared to Mercedes and Red Bull. Singapore is generally considered a maximum down force track.
The SF90’s new nose section featured a small version of the fashionable ‘cape’ beneath the nose, at the back, where it transitions towards the barge boards. This replaced the previous arrangement which featured angled slots designed to keep the underfloor supplied with a strong airflow even as the car changed direction.
The cape now begins in the ‘nostrils’ either side of the nose tip. Its upward angle as the airflow enters here means the air travelling beneath the cape’s leading edge has to travel further than that above. This manipulation of the air pressure creates some direct front down force from beneath the nose. But what the cape’s contours also do is channel the airflow faster to the underfloor – and the faster it flows the more down force is created.
The previous vertical slots, while helping keep the airflow consistent as the car turns, would also have compromised the peak speed of the flow to the underfloor. With the underfloor now being fed with a more powerful flow and the nose generating more down force directly on the front, less help is needed in keeping an adequate airflow supplied to the underfloor in that transient state at the beginning of a corner.
Because the underfloor was now being fed with a more powerful airflow, changes to the diffuser were made to maximise that. The slots in the outer edges were a re profiled. These slots turn the airflow coming through the diffuser and align it with the airflow coming through the gap between the body and rear wheel. That particular outer-body airflow has been channeled down the body sides as fast as possible and the extra vanes on the sides of the floor are vortex generators that accelerate that flow.
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