RACE DEBRIEF

If Mercedes thought they had out-developed Ferrari in France and Austria, they were forced to have a rethink at Silverstone after the Scuderia brought an updated floor and diffuser that helped Sebastian Vettel to break Ferrari’s bad run of form at the circuit. Our crack tech team of Mark Hughes and Giorgio Piola discover the secrets to the Ferrari update – and find out why it’s all gone a bit 1982…

In a season that is turning out to be a vintage slug-out contest between two heavyweight teams, Silverstone saw Ferrari respond emphatically to the recent gains made by Mercedes.

Although Lewis Hamilton secured pole for Mercedes with an incredible lap, the Ferrari – with a new floor and diffuser, and an engine that is producing prodigious power – proved to be the faster car in the race.

Formula One World Championship

Sebastian Vettel streaked away with ease in the early stages and this was the foundation of his victory. With many of Silverstone’s fast sweeps – Abbey, Copse, Maggots – now essentially straights, in that they are flat-out in top gear for every car, the big differentiating factor here between cars has shifted from high speed downforce to engine power and aerodynamic efficiency (i.e. how much drag the car carries for a given amount of downforce).

Given the performance patterns of each car prior to Silverstone, these demands might have been expected to favour Mercedes. But the latest Ferrari upgrade, together with how much more aggressively they are now confident in running their engine, turned the tables.

In France, Mercedes debuted their Phase 2.1 engine and in Austria a significant aero upgrade around the sidepods – with the combined effect of these appearing to have put them clearly ahead of Ferrari.

093-018 FERRARI NEW  FLOOR  B DUCT  SILV  COMP .jpg
Ferrari's updated Silverstone floor featured revised slats and a Toro Rosso-like upturn on the floor edge, showing a different approach to what was seen in Shanghai. There was also a more complex, multi-element rear brake duct assembly (Austria version shown inset), while an outlet allowed hot air from under the engine cover to escape more advantageously (top red arrow). ? Giorgio Piola

But the Ferrari development path this year has also been aggressive and fruitful, and the Silverstone update hit back hard. This comprised enhanced versions of the longitudinal slats (introduced in Spain) running the full length of the outer edges of the floor. This increases the power of the vortices within the outer part of the underfloor. These spinning circles of air effectively seal the gap between the floor and the ground, preventing the airflow that is rushing through the central part of the floor from spilling out the sides (i.e. they do the job that the long-since banned nylon sealing skirts used to do in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s).

This increases the negative pressure of the floor, pulling the car down harder on its tyres. The better the seal, the greater the downforce. The new vortex-enhancing slats will have changed the pattern of the airflow, and so accompanying changes have been made to the shape of the diffuser. There was also a more complex, multi-element, winglet as part of the rear brake duct assembly.

In the animation below, we take a closer look at the extensive development of the SF71H since the Spanish Grand Prix.

Close

  • 统一战线是一门科学的由来 2018-11-19
  • 牛肉-热门标签-华商生活 2018-11-19
  • 赵克志任中央政法委副书记(图简历) 2018-11-19
  • 第二届一带一路网络媒体责任论坛暨全国百家网络媒体总编看重庆 2018-11-18
  • 高清:2018俄罗斯世界杯揭幕战即将打响 各国球迷演绎独特风情 2018-11-18
  • 野象“夜游”普洱市区 无人机护送返回森林 2018-11-18
  • 【专题】相约上合——风从海上来 上合组织青岛峰会 2018-11-18
  • 图解:过去五年习近平在两会上的连珠妙“喻” 2018-11-17
  • 2018暑假去哪里旅游好?暑假国外旅游最佳去处及景点推荐 2018-11-17
  • 就问你怕不怕!川大老师研发出无人机点名“神器” 2018-11-17
  • 全新奥迪RS 6 Avant谍照 3.5秒破百明年亮相 2018-11-17
  • 人民网广东首部城市微电影《清溪恋画》 2018-11-16
  • 辽宁日报社社长、总编辑丁宗皓祝贺人民日报创刊70周年 2018-11-16
  • 女神范的许晴坐高铁 脱下一只袜子当眼罩 2018-11-16
  • 忻州 端午节假期旅游收入达59962万元--黄河新闻网 2018-11-16
  • 730| 238| 390| 82| 340| 11| 706| 908| 678| 642|