Tech F1i - Canadian GP Analysis


Ferrari has picked up its development pace this year, as hinted by the introduction of a new curved rear wing, similar to what championship rivals Mercedes has on its W08 since the start of the 2017 campaign, having actually pioneered the concept a couple of years ago.

In reducing the angle of attack near the endplates, the Maranello engineers have ensured that the pressure differential between each side of the main board is less important on the edges than in the middle. The design helps curb the wing-tip vortices, which create drag, while also fostering top-end speed, an important performance factor around Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. As shown on the top image above, Ferrari used flow-viz paint in order to observe and report how the air flew on the revamped rear wing.

One will also note that the rear wing supports have been re-designed. The SF70H remains the only 2017-spec challenger with two pillars at the back, which has led some to believe the Scuderia has been utilising aero-elasticity principles whereby some parts are designed to flex and deform under downforce.

The endplates also sported a new look, including open-end slits introduced by Toro Rosso in 2016 (compare blue arrows). As a reminder, upper rear wing endplate cuts allow the high-pressure air through and towards the low-pressure area on the inner side of the endplate. A lower pressure differential means a weaker vortex where the endplate and upper flap meet, which in turn reduces drag.

It is worth noting that Toro Rosso went for a similar rear wing design on the Montreal-spec STR12.