#F1 Forensics: Ferrari F14T Launch Analysis

Brought to you by TheJudge13 Technical Analyst Matt Somerfield (SomersF1)

Ferrari is to Formula One is like what Ant is to Dec or fish is to chips, you can’t have one without the other.  Being the only team to have competed in every World Championship since the Formula’s inception the team remain the most recognisable brand on the grid, therefore the Ferrari car launch is always a defining moment for the season ahead.  For the first time the team allowed the fans to chose the cars designation via an online vote with F166 Turbo being pipped at the post by F14T which as many have noted strongly resembles another of the manufacturers companies: FIAT.

Ferrari have been preparing for the challenges faced by the 2014 regulations for quite some time and with good cause, as they not only have to produce their own car but design and then resell a powerunit (Supplying Sauber and Marussia).  Whilst previous seasons have seen success for the scarlet team their ultimate goal of being crowned World Champion has alluded them since 2007.

Kimi Räikkönen returns to the Scuderia after a 4 year absence in a partnership that allies him with double World Champion of 2005/2006 Fernando Alonso.  Their partnership promises to be an interesting alliance with both drivers striving to increase their World title tally but also return Ferrari to the top too.

Ferrari have also been busy in their assault on reclaiming the top spot, refurbishing their on site Wind Tunnel facilities at Maranello following correlation issues when using Toyota’s facilities in Cologne.  This along with streamlining their approach and processes has been backed up with the hiring of personnel along with the marquee signing of James Allison from Lotus last season.

James worked at Maranello during the glory days in the early 2000’s and so knows only too well the pressure involved with working at Ferrari.

Front Wing

From the outset I’d say that the F14T’s Front Wing seems relatively simple and on that basis we clearly aren’t being shown the item that will adorn the car in the coming months.  The placeholder shown however does look a little wide from the frontal shot but will of course be 150mm narrower (75mm either side) when it hits the track in a few days time.  An evolution of the F138’s Front Wing it features 3 individual flaps (inc. the Mainplane) whilst the upper flap (which also has a Gurney Tab on the outer portion) has been split into 2 sections like it’s predecessor this perpetuates a 4 tier arrangement, significantly less than the 7 tier one that preceded it.

The Cascade sitting above the Mainplane seems to be a relatively primitive design but is angled in an outwash direction (like the Wing itself) and includes a steeply angled upper section.  The Endplate has been carefully constructed to allow airflow from the footplate side of the wing to pass in and under the Wing in a move undoubtedly designed to help the car in Yaw.

The Endplate is essentially the most forward element
(outlined in yellow) whilst the rearward section is formed by the upper flap curving over to meet the footplate (a trick employed by Sauber in the past, in green)

In the image showing the wing from above and the screen cap from the launch video on the left we can see that the triangular vane that protrudes along the top of the Endplate also features a slot (looks like a ‘Toaster Rack’)  This slot will undoubtedly be compared to the one used on the overhanging vane used by Lotus on the E21 last season due to the James Allison connection.  Airflow gathered along the top of the footplate that doesn’t flow inbound assisting the flaps will be ejected out the top of the slot aiding in turning the airflow around the front tyre.

The Wings angle adjuster has also been angled to promote the outwash of airflow around the front tyre.

Also visible in the image above is the under chassis turning vanes which at first glance seem similar to those seen on the F138 but after closer inspection I’d suggest they are more closely aligned to those run on last years McLaren the MP4-28.  The most forward element seems to be attached to the nosecone whilst the rear section of Turning Vane is mounted under the chassis.

Nose

At the front of the car the team has bucked the trend seen thus far utilising a nose design that see’s them doing the reverse of what everyone is seemingly attempting.  The extremely low profile climbs to the maximum chassis height and doesn’t try to do anything fancy in terms of width profiles in the lower section.  The low slung nose although deceptive should still allow a large proportion of airflow to travel beneath the chassis this is because if we look at the transition height, the team have shaped the nose and placed the camera’s in such a way that will likely encourage the airflow to migrate into that region.  The virtually none existent connecting pylons

are shaped to enlarge the airflow passage beyond the letter box style opening created between the Mainplane and Nose Tip.

Retaining the chassis height also enables Ferrari to retain the pull rod front suspension used since the F2012.

Sidepod

The side of the car shows a welcome gain for Ferrari as thus far we have seen that although teams are clearly concerned about cooling with the new powerunits, whereas Ferrari’s Sidepod Inlets seem deceptively small in comparison.  The Sidepods are fFramed by Airflow Conditioners that arc over the Sidepod and meet with the Cockpit like the team ran late in 2013.  What’s interesting here however and further highlights how svelt the pods are is the distance the Conditioner stands off the periphery of the floor.
Ahead of the Sidepod sits a fairly conventional bargeboard that will likely change as the team look to make gains in the area.

The Sidepods themselves are also quite aggressive with a steep drop off at the tail of the Sidepod only compromised by the cooling outlet placed at the rear of the car.  The height of the cooling outlet has been positioned in order to allow for an undercut that will allow airflow to move freely into the coke bottle region of the car.  If I were a gambling man I’d suggest that under the skin Ferrari have learnt from Sauber’s packaging choice on last years C32 and orientated the Radiator(s) / Intercooler(s) in a different way.

Airbox / Roll Over Structure

Comparing the air intake on the F14T with the F138 see’s the newer inlet forming an even more triangular shape.  Airbox design can be especially important when considering the integration of a power unit as harmonic disturbances can cause an unwanted imbalance.  This puts a premium of the design of this structure as it’s an incredibly expensive process to rectify if wrong in the first place.  It is however one of the regions that isn’t restricted in terms of CFD and Wind Tunnel usage in the new section of the Technical Regulations and so it something we could see manipulated in order to make gains at specific circuits. Blades and covers could be installed around the inlet in order to change the shape and characteristics of airflow entering the inlet.

Engine Cover

From the outset the engine cover itself looks relatively tame in design simply meeting with the regulatory requirements of size etc.  A small Mohican fin adorns the top of the curved outer section of the cover in order to meet these regulatory needs. Perhaps more difficult to see in the side profile to the left but if you look at the view from atop (below).  No I can only speculate at the point as to their potential use but I have seen Williams utilise a similar method before but in that instance for cooling.

It is altogether plausible due to their shaping that they are actually taking airflow in that has stayed attached along the ‘Mohican’ and will distribute it out of the small ejection holes we see above the exhaust in the rearward picture a little further down the article.

Tyre Squirt Slots / Rear Brakes

Plausibly just placeholders on the car as they will undoubtedly be an area of development for 2014 but we can see from the shots above that both retain their appearance from the cars predecessor.

Rear Wing

Ferrari utilised a unique pair of trailing edge slats on the F138 in 2013 the design consideration is retained but this time we only find a singular slat.  The idea of the slat is to both increase the Wing’s potential for yielding downforce but at the same time reducing drag (by displacing the drag induces further from the Wings tips)
Just as we saw with the Force India VJM07, Ferrari have added two leading edge tyre wake slots in the Endplates of their wing rather than the singular one run by the team once during the mid phase of 2013 and then again at the latter races in the year.

Ferrari like McLaren have opted to utilise pylons to mount their Rear Wing after the loss of the Beam Wing although the Scuderia have gone with a more conventional twin pylon arrangement.  What isn’t conventional is the shaping of the pylons which from

a side profile mimics what you would consider a swan neck (of which you may be used to if you watch the WEC) Although the rules that now prohibit the connection of the Shark Fins to the Rear Wing (introduced in 2011 to stop F Ducts) stop the team bringing the neck up and over the Mainplane.

In the rearward shot reveals that the pylons are also bell shaped in order to account for the exhaust exits width which is obviously wider than the team wanted to splay the rest of the pylons.  This image also shows that Ferrari have retained the arrangement that encloses the halfshaft within the lower wishbone clearing up floor space for a more tidy flow over the Diffuser.

The team have covered over the Diffuser to stop prying eyes learning anything but I think it’s safe to say that nothing revolutionary hides behind the cover.  The only cavaet I would install on that is that the upper squared off section below the crash structure / rain light will likely be utilised as a way of funneling airflow along the central portion of the car.  Furthemore I suspect that Ferrari will once more use the detached Gurney Flap they utilsed on the car’s predecessors.

Great video below including commentary from James Allison:

Of course I suspect there is still much to be learned from the cars design before the team arrives in Melbourne so keep checking the blog for any more information I may have gained. 

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17 responses to “#F1 Forensics: Ferrari F14T Launch Analysis

  1. Is it just me, or does the nose bear a disturbing resemblance to Jar Jar Binks ?

    (Excellent article, btw.)

  2. I love the livery. Especially the way they integrated the black, at the lower side of the car up to the back. Almost makes me forgive the nosejob.

    • Yep, they’re starting to look more and more like Marussia with that paintjob. Hopefully not in anticipation of their average gird position…

      • Haha….Nice attempt at diplomacy DS… In reality, you could hope for nothing more than the cavalino rampante qualifying 21st and 22nd…

        Good progress though… We may now get a couple of Italian readers 🙄

        • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6PWM-90ij4

          @Matt,
          With the new regulations, it would’ve been easier for Ferrari to switch to push rod, instead they went for an extreme design to maintain the pull rod, and by the looks of it, they might be they only team on the grid using that kind of suspension.
          What advantage do they hope to get from that?

          • @Enzomaiorca Hi mate, good question as you say it would have been a good time to switch back to the push rod arrangement but I think Ferrari have spent 2 years working with it now and know its strengths and weaknesses. With so much else going on around the car sticking with it is one less variable to consider in altering setup. Anyway aerodynamically it achieves what they want it to…

          • That’s exactly what I was wondering, surely they must see significant
            benefits in still using the pull rod.
            I ask you this, because an Italian technical analyst asked himself the same question.
            Quote:” I wonder if it would’ve been better to design a lower chassis, to lower the center of gravity, adopt different suspension geometries to improve posture and visibility of the driver.
            And there is no doubt the air flow will be significantly lower than with the McLaren”

      • Basically I think, the black looks actually quite nice. Too bad the nose ruins it. It’s like you come into a bar and see a girl with a nice rack, but then notice she has a crooked nose and a mustache :s

        • Well, since I’m from the south of Italy (Sardinia) I’ve known women with moustaches all my life, I would be more worried about the Adam’s apple if I were You Danilo 😉

  3. For “F14T” read “FIAT”. Ferrari-Fiat this year, Fiat-Ferrari next and just FIAT for 2016? Have a good listen to the Motor Sport mag podcast with Gary Anderson reviewing 2013 and previewing 2014 for some sensible technical comment, especially re the cost of all this so called innovation!

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