F1 – Valencia : Ferrari Aerodynamics Package
The fundamental theory is simple, the more air flows through the diffuser the more downforce it will generate. However, with limitations of diffuser space, teams are at pain to develop the system further. The brilliant mind of Adrian Newey at Red Bull knows how to get more air into the diffuser by means of a secondary channel.
Red Bull’s blown diffuser is the subject of study among F1 fraternity this year.
As the grid gets more competitive this season, copying, understanding and altering design as fast as possible are the key to success. The Italian team understood this very well. Hence the major aerodynamics updates for Valencia. It is reported, the new packages have similar design to that of Red Bull. And at this time, it’s widely known that Red Bull’s downforce prowess this season is attributed to their special diffuser-exhaust layout.
Ferrari’s old exhausts are channel out to the top of the engine cover in this image.
Ferrari like any other team on the grid are looking to gain similar benefits by copying the concepts. So what they did, was to get the rear exhaust placed cleverly low in line with the floor. The location of the exhaust is somewhere before the diffusers. The blown air that exits the exhaust will allow for greater airflow through the diffusers hence creating more downforce. In other words, normal airflow through the diffusers + the secondary airflow from exhaust will increase the volume of air passing through the diffusers and in total would create lower pressure area under the car than normally possible.
Note the Red Bull’s exhaust immediately ahead of rear tyre. The low position of the exhaust is what Ferrari will have in Valencia.
In Valencia, the F10 will join the RB6 as the only teams to have the special diffuser configurations on the grid. In Practice session today, Fernando Alonso is on top of the time-sheet. Certainly a positive sign of the aerodynamics working perfectly for the Italian team.
No team came close to McLaren’s F-Duct efficiency as has been proven by speed traps in all circuits this season.
The technical expertise on two major pieces of aerodynamics in F-Duct and Blown Diffuser are key things to have this season. McLaren have an advantage with the F-Duct, Red Bull with the blown diffuser. Now Ferrari have both, but the efficiency of the items on the car is unknown yet. On another story, it’s expected that McLaren, Williams and Renault will have the blown diffusers somewhere in the next four races. While Red Bull will have the F-Duct ready for next race.
This weekend, the spotlight is on Ferrari. After the dip in performance starting from Australia and getting slower by each Grand Prix, Valencia would be a stepping stone for the chance of a Championship fight this season. Fernando is feeling confident at Valencia. In front of the home crowd, a comeback from Ferrari would be a dream for him. Watch the Qualifying tomorrow, it will be an indication of an imminent return or permanent sink for the legendary mark from Italy.
All eyes are now on Ferrari, will they catch Red Bull and McLaren at Valencia? That is the one million dollar question.
Results : Practice 2
1. F. Alonso 1.39.283
2. S. Vettel 1.39.339
3. M. Webber 1.39.427
4. N. Rosberg 1.39.650
5. L. Hamilton 1.39.749
6. R. Kubica 1.39.880
7. F. Massa 1.39.947
8. A. Sutil 1.40.020
9. J. Button 1.40.029
10. R. Barichello 1.40.174
11. M. Schumacher 1.40.287
12. V. Liuzzi 1.40.387
13. V. Petrov 1.40.618
14. K. Kobayashi 1.40.906
15. P. De La Rosa 1.40.945
16. S. Buemi 1.41.115
17. N. Hulkenberg 1.41.371
18. J. Algersuari 1.41.457
19. H. Kovailainen 1.42.467
20. J. Trulli 1.42.993
21. T. Glock 1.43.811
22. L. Di Grassi 1.43.854
23. B. Senna 1.44.095
24. K. Chandok 1.44.566
Editorial : Mu’az Zakaria
Image Source : McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull