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)

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  • Tamburello1994

    Great read.

    Thanks to Mr Somerfield for his analysis.

  • KevinW

    Ferrari do indeed seem to have their act together so far. Great analysis. Really interesting details and treatment. Great car, two top tier drivers, and a fan base that never gives up.

  • BS

    Sky Sports…

    “So what’s the problem? Although partners Renault were vilified after Jerez, the small-print of the Bahrain tests, including plenty of laps for Caterham and Renault’s insistence their power unit had been sufficiently remedied to be run at full power, pointed the finger of blame squarely at Red Bull and their ultra-aggressive design.

    The team, in essence, have appeared to misjudge the nature of F1’s latest revolution; daring designs might have inspired four successive title doubles but the latest manifestation of that philosophy – the ultra-tight rear end of the RB10 – is currently fighting a losing battle at the start of a complex new era in which conservatism is king.

    Red Bull will find an answer, the only question is when – and if it will already be too late when they do.”


    “White does believe, however, that Renault is now close to getting its engine running on track at a similar configuration to how it has performed on its own dynos.
    “We have started to converge on a configuration of car that is more like when we have run the engine back on the dynos in Viry.

  • fools

    Exciting. Cant wait for the season to begin. Alonso for the 2014 WDC.

  • KevinW

    Not sure I am getting the relevance of a Red Bull critique in the context of this Ferrari tech review…

  • BS

    Has nothing to due with this article….just you…my favorite RB lover…saw your post, and I wanted to bring you the most up to date info about your favorite team, from places other than gp247.

  • KevinW

    I am not actually a Red Bull lover or big fan o any one team. It’s all just racing to me, and in that vein, Red Bull and Vettel have been an undeniable part of things for the last few years. It’s impossible to not recognize what they have accomplished. I am, however, very much an advocate for fair critique and decidedly against the visceral hatred that seems targeted at Red Bull in balance to the others. But again, that has nothing to do with the really nice write up. Can’t we just leave it at that?

  • BS

    Fair enough…we are more alike then I could have imagined.

    That being said, RB completely blew this year…it was said for a long time that cooling would be a major part of the new package. So, to be so aggressive from the start is a huge misstep.

    I don’t care to see RB or Renault struggle….but I’m looking forward to see how Vettle reacts…he’s had it too easy for too long.

  • KevinW

    Totally agree with that. If the Ferrari is as good as it looks, and Merc are as strong as they look, this will be the year Vettel is tested under real duress. Will be great fun if he preservers and pulls off a miracle or two against the odds. Will be tragic if it unhinges him. Meanwhile, I’m rooting for a Massa or Rossberg to emerge as champs from all this, that would certainly make the season fun to watch again.

    Meanwhile, looking at what Ferrari has done here, with the aide of Rory Byrne, adds some perspective as to where Newey’s head was heading into this new car (obviously not on the new car). Apparently Ferrari’s double team through 2013, with Byrne and company off in a 2014 skunk werks, (as was Mercedes it appears), is paying big dividends. Will it hold up over the season? Only the racing will tell.

    Cheers for the adult dialog.

  • =El Presidente=

    That being said, RB completely blew this year…

    I keep thinking of the many teamradio’s after win number X for Vettel, where he kept saying “remember this, this wont last forever” and things of that sort.

    I think they already knew 2014 would be a (too) steep hill to climb.

  • Vaibhav Vashisht

    Nice write up!

    But doesn’t Ferrari do such triage every season and all in that vein when it comes to results on the track (I mean winning races). I am still wary of RB despite their issues, (leave alone Mercedes’ consistency and pace throughout the tests).

    Ferrari just gives its huge fan base a ray of hope every season trying so many things and then eventually its tifosi tears; with little to show up in terms of Qualifying and Race Pace.

    I know its much different this season with all the regulations and design team changes; but I have my doubts.
    And I’d love to be proved wrong.

  • KevinW

    I think the hard fact of racing is that the top two or three teams each season are so close to one another that there is no sure thing for any of them. Ferrari has consistently been in the top so frequently, that it looks like they are always bridesmaids and never brudes. Truth be told their success ratio measured in race wins and average finishing positions is pretty spectacular, while their title kill ratio is also very strong, over decades. McLaren is on or off, Williams is on or way off, Saucer is generally so so, while Red.Bull have not been successful long enough to be considered an equal, and the rest are not of the same caliber. Even the great team Mercedes in their current form are not yet at Ferrari level in the short run, and a far ways off in the long term. It is only a matter of time before Ferrari has a period of dominance. They will be around long after some of the others change hands, fade away, or quit. That is the foundation of them in F1. A legacy that has built a fan base over decades of consistent top level presense, not just in names stuck on a garage door, but a single line geneology, grounded in the same home the founder occupied at the companies birth.

  • gracias

    Ferrari is always the team to watch out at the start of the season no matter how they perform the previous year. Not many do indepth analysis of other teams’ cars as much as Ferrari. Everybody always believe that the Ferrari’s are hiding something only to be unleashed during the race..Forza ferrari…;)