#F1 Forensics : Mercedes Festival in Italy – Ferrari’s embarrassing nightmare

Brought to you by TheJudge13 technical analyst: Lorenzo De Luca

Monza, the Temple of Speed, consists of long straights where F1 cars reach 360 km\h ( 362 Km\h Ricciardo ). it was expected that Mercedes powered cars would dominate and so it proved.. Two Mercedes, two Williams, two Mclaren and a Force India (Perez) were all present in the top 10 along with Red Bull, but Ferrari were relegated to a role of mere passive observers.

Average lap time + strategy chart:


Top 14 race pace chart:


Qualifying sector times chart:


The charts above speak for themselves, Mercedes pace was unattainable to everyone else and if the race pace showed a gap of 1 second between Mercedes and the other teams, with Lewis and Nico having this advantage over their competitors, it was pointless even speaking of differing strategies as with the compounds Pirelli brought to Italy (hard and medium) there was only ever going to be one strategy.

Monza is a high speed track with the layout composed of very long straights connected by a  few corners. This essentially forced the teams to look for the least drag possible – even if, as we will see below, the new aerodynamics restrictions forced teams to use wings which were not as extreme as in previous years.

Mercedes W05

Mercedes arrived in Monza with an optimized aero package that had been introduced in Belgium with a slightly different rear wing

Mercedes rear wing comparison:


The new wing, does not have the chord reduced at the sides of the DRS trailing edge, but has a wavy leading edge and bigger “V” cut-outs. Also notice there were only four slots on the end plate.

There was also an update on the floor, which now has a “L” shaped tyre squirt slot, inspired by Red Bull’s solution.

Mercedes floor:


Williams FW36

Williams finally scored heavy points with both drivers and in Monza there were new wings in order to reach the highest speed possibile.

Williams rear wing comparison:


The new rear wing, had a significantly reduced mainplane leading edge and DRS flap to reduce the overall downforce (yet notice the little gurney placed on the DRS flap to slightly increase the desired downforce). Also we now have only one slot on the endplate instead of the four of the previous wing and an obvious absence was  the monkey seat.

Williams FW36 front wing comparison:


Williams also brought a new front wing which differed to the old one with far more slimmer flaps with the 3 element cascade section. Incidentally the team fitted the original wing for the race as it provided more downforce which proved useful in both Lesmo corners and at the Parabolica.

Red Bull RB10

Red Bull was the team with the most “aggressive” aero configuration for Monza, thanks generally to the efficiency of the car and its floor to generate downforce. Both drivers were able to run with very low downforce wings, and it was not by chance that the Red Bull of Ricciardo reached the highest top speed  along the pit straight thanks to the very high speed the car carried through the Parabolica corner.

Red Bull rear wing:


The rear wing used in Monza, was the same used in Spa, with its mainplane almost neutral and a DRS flap with a reduced cord on the trailing edge sides and no slot on the endplate.

Red Bull front wing comparison:


Red Bull was the only team to run such aggressive wing configurations and with the front wing being almost the same design as that used last year – it has no cascade or turning vane.

Red Bull nosecone comparison:


At Monza a new design of nose featured with the removal of the bulge n the underside. This was removed by the engineers because ifs presence is to increase the air pressure and avoid the thickening of the boundary layer; thereby increased the downforce. So for Monza the engineers removed this in order to reduce drag.

Ferrari F14-T

As the other teams brought new developments, in Monza so did Ferrari as well. The team brought new wings and the front one was the same as that used in the last Belgium Grand Prix.

Ferrari front wing:


The cascadeless wing, has two more thin flaps and two turning vanes on the mainplane.

Ferrari rear wing comparison:


Ferrari focused more on the rear wings, and in Monza we saw three different wings. The first one which had been used in Belgium for more downforce had a bigger leading edge and a bigger DRS flap . The first Monza spec wing is the most low drag wing with the DRS flap being very skinny, while the mainplane leading edge is still quite big.

The second Monza spec wing has a bigger DRS flap with a little gurney on its trailing edge and always 3 slots on the endplate, but a significant reduced mainplane leading edge, this solution ws the one used for the race.

Force India VJM07

Force India introduced a new rear wing in Monza.

Force India rear wing comparison:


The wing has a spoon shaped mainplane, similar in style to the  Mclaren style and had no slots on the endplate. The leading edge and the DRS flap were significant reduced, while the arched monkey seat was still there.

Toro Rosso STR9

Even Toro Rosso brought updates to its wings in Monza,

Toro Rosso front wing comparison:


The new front wing has a bigger cascade section, with a turning vane in the middle, but a much thinner upper flap.

Toro Rosso rear wing comparison:


The rear wing that was introduced here, with its aim of reaching higher top speeds, had a reduced mainplane leading edge with a “banana” shape and now had three slots on the endplate, instead of four, and a skinnier DRS flap with a gurney on its trailing edge.

Sauber C33

There were big updates for Sauber too, the most evident was without any doubt the new low downforce rear wing

Sauber rear wing comparison:


The new wing has a neutral mainplane and two slots on the endplate, with a gurney flap on the DRS wing. But the most important update for the Swiss team is the insulation of the exhaust manifolds of their Ferrari power unit.

Sauber exhaust insulation:


This solution, as it happens on Ferrari and Marussia which already adopted it, decreases the heat dispersion of the gases that blow into the turbine, and allow to gain at least 10/15bhp.

Lotus E22

Despite the poor season , Lotus still brought updates to its E22. At Monza we saw new front and rear wings.

Lotus front wing comparison:


The new front wing, very similar to the previous one, just differs from the old one due to thinner upper flaps whilst maintaining the two element cascade section, the turning vane and the little flap on the endplate.

Lotus rear wing comparison:


The rear wing used in Spa had been slightly modified, indeed now we have no slot on the endplate and a more skinny DRS flap with a gurney on the trailing edge.

Lotus outlet exhaust:


As it happened in Belgium, Lotus ran with an evident asymmetric outlet exhaust, during Friday the team tried to run with a symmetric solution, but they must have detected an anomalous overheating of the Renault PU components.

14 responses to “#F1 Forensics : Mercedes Festival in Italy – Ferrari’s embarrassing nightmare

  1. Excellent write up.

    First thing I noticed, Kvyat Averaged a 1.29 on the second stint, despite nearly crashing and having no brakes for the last laps. He was on the medium tire, but had ran them 32 laps. Still, impressive.

      • So, do you think Kvyat could have passed Kimi, if the brakes had not failed? Could he have passed JB? If he had, would there have been a collective heart attack in the Ferrari and McLaren Garages?
        I kid.. but if you have the full lap data, can you tell me how quickly was Kvyat gaining on Kimi at the time?

        Again, great article. The reason I follow F1 is because of the technology. Being able to compare the teams in regards to each other, as well as against their previous races, with real hard data and detailed visual comparisons, is amazing.

        Not that I want to see you out of a job, but this is the kind of thing the FIA/FOM/mrs.e should be providing on the F1 website.

  2. Interesting to see exhaust insulation as an innovation at Sauber. Ceramic coating is the fancier way.
    I put the wrap on my car (with a beanie for the turbo itself) so the passenger footwell didn’t get so hot. Unfortunately, I can’t report any power increase – measured or imagined :/

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