Tech Talk: What did Ferrari have in their bag of tricks at the final test in Bahrain?

Ferrari F14T with new front wing at final test in Bahrain

Ferrari F14T with new front wing at final test in Bahrain

Ferrari tried a myriad tweaks and development bits during the final pre-season test in Bahrain as Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen chased performance on the relatively reliable F14T.

Our tech expert analyses and explains exactly what the Maranello outfit tried out at Sakhir during those four crucial days of testing.

New Front Wing

Ferrari arrived at Jerez with what seemed like a basic front wing when compared to the one used on the F138. Having done plenty of aero ‘leg-work’ in the first two tests with pitot tube rigs and aero paint, the team unveiled a much more complex wing for the last pre-season test in Bahrain.

This new 7 tier wing (an older specification was used in the preceeding tests) is certainly much closer in specification to the F138’s but instead of finding an almost flat juncture between the mainplane, endplate and footplate we find a clawed outer section to the mainplane that will create an elongated vortex, utilising the outer slots in wing.

The outer claw section allows a different endplate design too, meaning a smaller aperture toward the rear of the component. This is because the outer portion of the wing doesn’t require the injection of flow from the outside.

Formula One Testing, Day Four, Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir, Bahrain, Sunday 2 March 2014

Front wing on the Ferrari F14T on the final day in Bahrain

Roll Hoop Wing

Ferrari have been putting in plenty of mileage over the last few tests which has been helped by some decent power unit reliability. The team have also worked on establishing if the aero problems they have suffered with over the last few seasons have been resolved.

This has required the team to work with both pitot tube rigs and flo-viz painted all around the car. To complete this analysis the team left the adding of new parts until the final test.

It may seem like a small addition but added above the airbox inlet we find a small wing which will help to clean up the airflow that is destined for the rear wing.

It reminds me of a similar wing that featured on the (nearly) all conquering F2004, also used for several seasons thereafter. Perhaps here I must also point out that this year also reunites Ferrari with two designers that were around during that period: Rory Byrne and James Allison and so I question if their influence played it’s role in the wing’s return.

Rear wing on Ferrari F14T

Rear wing on Ferrari F14T

New Rear Wing

When Ferrari launched the F14-T it seemed that the team had taken what they had learnt from the F138 and carried it over. A trailing edge slat populated the rear wing endplate and although it’s predecessor had 2 slats on each endplate the lineage was clear.

At the last test we find that Ferrari have abandoned the slat in favour of a conventional full length endplate doing away with any inefficiencies that the slat carried. The use of the slat(s) originally was to remedy other flow condition problems that the team were having at the rear of the car and although the slat provided this, the overall efficiency window was lowered by the extra drag it would induce. With the slat now removed the team have also extended the longitudinal strakes to the rear edge of the end plate in order to control the way the airflow leaves the end plate.

Ferrari F14T engine cover

Ferrari F14T engine cover

New Engine Cover

The proposal for the teams to conduct pre-season testing in Bahrain ahead of the 2014 season was to allow the teams to test in a temperature similar to what would be seen at a normal GP weekend.

With this in mind, several teams have been testing variations of their bodywork configuration that will allow them to remain in an optimum thermal window for power unit performance, whilst retaining aerodynamic efficiency.

Ferrari therefore have tested a solution that sees a much larger cooling cannon surround the exhausts whilst an aperture on the spine of the engine cover has been added to provide additional cooling for the turbo. The two configurations are utilsed in order to play aerodynamic efficiency against mechanical sympathy, with warmer climates raising the thermal impact on the power unit, reducing power. (Analysis by Matthew Somerfield)

Subbed by AJN.

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