Brought to you by TJ13 Forensics contributer Joao Lamberio
Ferrari have a ton of pressure on their shoulders for 2017, and Sergio Marchionne will not abide another year without a proper challenge to the Silver Arrows.
The SF70H represents Tifosi hopes, and from the early running it’s looking very promising.
The lower wider stance certainly gives the car an air of menace, topped off by the very sinister looking sidepod inlets. Reminiscent of a Cylon Command Centurion mask, the sidepods have drawn comments from non other than Adrian Newey himself, saying he was still trying to “work out” what Ferrari were doing.
Indeed, the car looks well developed from the off with clever details around the diffuser and barge-board areas.
This distracts from the cars increased rake, an order of magnitude higher than it was last year. This is mainly due to the far shorter tea tray, allowing the rear to be raised. Interesting is that Ferrari have asked for clarification on the complex suspensions used by Red Bull and Mercedes.
This writer posits that Ferrari had issues in reducing the rear end ride height of the car to reduce drag, using traditional suspension methodology and not the complex hydraulic arrangements found on the Mercedes and Red Bull.
In doing so, Ferrari may have worked out Red Bull’s solution and asked the FIA for the clarification.
The implications here are that if found to be legitimate, Ferrari could replicate much of Red Bull’s down force prowess.Conversely, if not Red Bull could well be hampered by such a ruling. With Mercedes largely unaffected, as their system was only used for a few races of 2016.
Allied to the increased rake of the SF70H, the car appears to have neat array of aerodynamic ideas around the barge-board area. The air flow manipulation clearly trying to utilise the floor and tighter rear “coke bottle” shape, which is more lithe than 2016’s car.
Ferrari are persisting with the thumb nose ethos of previous cars, which is an inelegant interpretation of the rules compared to the likes of Mercedes or even Torro Rosso.
Judging by the early going at Barcelona, Ferrari are definitely in the mix for podiums and race victories. Ferrari are keeping to their programme of mainly running on the medium compound tyre, and have thus far refused to go for headline lap times. The car is reliable and quick, qualities Ferrari will need to mount a challenge to Mercedes.