Technical analysis: here is the Ferrari secret in the SF71H rear axle
Thanks to Giorgio Piola's drawings, we are able to show you what the work done by Ferrari technicians has done to make the most of the increase in wheelbase: the "channel" grazing the gearbox has been exaggerated to produce more aerodynamic load.
Why has Ferrari lengthened its pace like Mercedes, despite having a very agile and agile car last year?
The answer is simple: because the technicians of Mattia Binotto have tried to increase the aerodynamic load with the car body, in order to reduce the incidence of the wings and be faster at the speed trap and in the qualifying lap in the attempt to challenge the arrows silver.
The statement is quite clear, but it is interesting to try to find out how they tried this result in Maranello.
The SF71H has lengthened its pace with a small displacement of the front wheel forward (the radiators' mouth has also been anticipated because there is no longer the flow conveyor separated from the sides) and with a more marked growth in the rear axle.
Thanks to this design choice the radiant masses and the power unit are moved forward, so in the so-called Coca Cola area the Ferrari has become very narrow, having a bottom surface that creates one of the biggest sidewalk among those seen on the 2018 cars, so much so as to bring the lower part of the body into contact with the wall of the new gearbox, which is also less wide than that of 2017.
A very accurate aerodynamic study, carried out first at the CFD and then in the wind tunnel, has allowed to exaggerate the "channel" that the Cavallino technicians had created in this area of the fund.
Since 2016, Ferrari has been developing a flow that touches the final part of the bottom: initially a sort of channel was created that began well before the elbow of the extractor profile and vented to the sides of the rear deformable structure, exploiting the keel shape of the tail, behind the transmission, to go to energize the micro flaps that the regulation allows to emboss the outlet edge of the speaker.
The aerodynamics of the Cavallino, Enrico Cardile and David Sanchez, in the last two years have worked hard in this area of the Red to take the maximum advantage possible from a solution that does not cost in terms of resistance to progress, but can give a significant increase of the down force: above, we observe the version of the "channel" seen at Abu Dhabi 2017, while in the drawing below you can appreciate in yellow what was the increased surface compared to 2016.
This year the SF71H is able to exaggerate the passage of grazing air to the transmission wall: to obtain valid results, they worked elbow aerodynamic, canvasists and motorists. It was a not very visible intervention, but important and very demanding (and as such not easily copied during the season).
The new packaging of the 062 EVO power unit made it possible to clean up what was considered one of the strategic growth areas of the Red Army and, it seems, that the results were also seen on the track in the tests of Barcellone with the two Ferraris at the top of the table of the final times.
The increased air flow in the "channel" therefore required a change also at the end of the SF71H: in the drawing, below, in fact, we note how a megaphone-shaped bulkhead has been introduced that has the task of expanding the threads, improving its extraction.
Someone mistakenly spoke of the existence of a "double bottom", which is banned by the FIA rules: the solution adopted by the Red is perfectly legal and testifies how we try to reproduce some effects with great imagination and originality.
The question that the fans of the Cavallino do is: just to beat the Mercedes?