Ferrari, how the new fund introduced in the Japanese GP works –

from Piergiuseppe Donadoni

The new floor tested by Leclerc and Sainz at Suzuka designed to run with a more beaten set-up approaching the Red Bull technical philosophy

Charles Leclerc was rather negative about Ferrari’s chances of victory at Suzuka, given the track’s close similarities to Spa where Red Bull and Max Verstappen had dominated the weekend. However, the Dutch world champion does not think it is right to technically compare the Suzuka track with the Belgian one, since in Japan you drive with a little more downforce while at Spa aerodynamic efficiency and top speed are the two most decisive factors.

The aerodynamic set-up chosen by the Maranello team for the Japanese GP confirms what the world champion driver said. Both F1-75s took to the track during the first hour of free practice with the medium-high load rear wing (specific to Bahrain) to familiarize themselves with a very wet track. In the second free practice, the specification has become the medium load one, introduced in Canada with Charles Leclerc and then mounted at Silverstone also on the car of Carlos Sainz, and which will be used for the rest of the weekend. To make a comparison with the Belgian GP, ​​Ferrari uses the medium-low load rear wing introduced in Baku, even testing the low load specification but with disastrous effects in the second sector of the spectacular Belgian track and in terms of tire management.

The new fund

In Suzuka, eyes were on the new fund, an updated macro-component that was supposed to make its debut in Singapore. As a matter of possible damage due above all to the very bumpy asphalt and therefore with the possibility of having to intervene with a certain budget for any repairs, in Maranello they decided to postpone its introduction to the following weekend on a track that is certainly more convincing from the point of view. aerodynamic like that of Suzuka. Too bad that the weather conditions did not allow a useful comparison during the first free sessions, with the canonical data collection that is carried out with the dry track; however, Ferrari believes the new update is a good step forward, which is why it has been fitted to both F1-75s since the first free practice sessions.

The new bottom specification has been revised in various technical aspects both at the front and at the rear. You immediately notice the change to the outermost diverter of the four located at the beginning of the Venturi channels, more hollowed and with a different curvature, which has the function of moving the turbulent trail of the front tires externally and working the eddies coming out of the wing. But that’s not the only change in that area as the tray too (the double t-tray for the more skilled in the field) now has a much less pronounced leading edge. In the rear part, instead, the anchor of the tie rod has been moved, now located on the chute of the diffuser and no longer on the external sidewalk; to avoid an excessive bending of the latter state, the orientation of the carbon fibers, now perpendicular to the axis of the car, was changed.

All these changes have been thought of to make the F1-75s race with a little more rake (set-up beaten), thus departing slightly from the concept of the car seen so far which preferred a more neutral set-up. It is no coincidence that the tray at the front of the new bottom has a less aggressive angle of attack as the F1-75 will be slightly more inclined on its own; as well as the external sidewalk in front of the rear wheels, useful for sealing the bottom and maximizing the aerodynamic load, which no longer requires the tie rod as it has more space to flex as the car is in the higher macropart from the ground.

This is a very important feature for the aerodynamic concept of the F1-75 and it differs massively from that of the Red Bull RB18, which uses an important vortex that detaches from the deviators at the beginning of the Venturi, leaving the external part of the bottom in a position that is always quite high with respect to the ground. In short, the F1-75 is moving, while maintaining some important characteristics of its initial project, towards what has become the technical reference of the world championship for some races now, also thanks to the exploitation of the beaten structure (rake), albeit in values however certainly more contained than in past seasons, namely the Red Bull RB18.

These innovations should also bring advantages to the Italian car in improving the characteristics that became negative after the introduction of the technical directive 39. to use the curbs in an aggressive way and to better protect the resin board located below the bottom which is now subject to strict controls. Is it enough to collect a victory, which has been missing for three months now, that is from that Austrian GP dominated by Charles Leclerc’s Red?

October 7, 2022 (change October 7, 2022 | 16:35)

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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