After a disappointing last season in which they didn’t win any races, Ferrari decided to roll the dice for 2017. with an innovative SF70H which has some very interesting technical solutions and which ends their conservative approach from previous years.
Ferrari was the closest threat to Mercedes in 2015., but in 2016. they fell behind Red Bull with much improved Renault power unit. Technical director James Allison left the team and recently officially became Mercedes’ technical director while Mattia Binotto, former technical director of the engine department, was new director of the technical structure.
Team boss Maurizio Arrivabene and new technical director Mattia Binotto said that Ferrari will change the way technical structure works to reduce finger-pointing at individuals in the event of failure to create a positive, relaxed and creative atmosphere necessary for engineers to give their best.
It seems that the changes had effect because Ferrari went their way with new SF70H, quite different when it comes to some technical solutions while design of the sidepod openings and the whole structure in this area shows a great deal of creativity and courage that we have rarely associated with Maranello in recent years .
Ferrari was aggressive when it comes to the new power unit, which allegedly has pistons made using 3D printers and interestingly, new SF70H is shorter than most of the presented 2017. cars although a longer wheelbase version will be tested later.
Nose and front wing
Front wing and nose are similar to last year although we’ll probably see advanced versions of proven concept during the pre-season testing in Barcelona. The nose (1) has a central extension which meets the requirements of minimum height, cross-section and strength while nose pylons (2), also the airflow conditioners, are swept back and sideways to allow more airflow to pass under the nose. Pylons are attached to the rear edge of the central, 500 mm wide neutral section (3) in order to minimize interfering with the flow around it.
The lowest element (4) of the front wing has a very large chord that offers potentially higher maximum downforce, but with a greater risk of separation of the airflow from the profile. The next element (V-Power label) is much shorter and has slightly larger angle of attack while the top three elements, also called flaps (5), are much more angled. Therefore, the above elements have very short chord in order to avoid airflow separation at such high angles of attack, but also to improve the downforce consistency of downforce at different ride heights and conditions on the track.
Black, outside part of the front wing, as opposed to the inner red and white, has six elements thanks to an extra slot on the bottom element (6), just behind the main plane horizontal edge where three tunnels (7) start. Tunnels grow towards the upper elements of the wing to create strong vortices and help turn the airflow around the front wheels.
Cascade element (8) has two horizontal parts and two vertical vanes at the top directed towards the outer edge of the front wheel. Small r-fins (9) follow the cascade orientation towards the outer edge of the front tyre.
On the inner side of the endplate there is a curved horizontal element (10) which directs the airflow over the front wheel. Front brakes cooling ducts (11) are quite large, with six horizontal slits that shape the airflow and block the debris from entering the duct.
Below the front suspension are long, slotted vertical vanes (12) that shape the airflow below the chassis and send it towards the large bargeboards. At the top of the monocoque can be seen the S-duct system entry. (13).
Front suspension is push rod configuration with a double wishbone, just as on the SF16-H, after a four-year experiment with front pull rod suspension system which offered some aerodynamic advantage at the expense of poorer geometry.
Mercedes and Red Bull last year used a hydraulically connected left and right front suspension and Ferrari asked FIA about the legality of a similar system which aims to achieve a stable aerodynamic platform.
However, teams fail to agree on what is prohibited and what is not, so many expect protests against the teams that are using similar systems at the first race in Melbourne. It will be interesting to see whether Ferrari asked FIA to clarify the matter to destabilize the teams that use such systems or they have developed a similar system themselves.
Area behind the front wheels
An interesting and different solutions in this area, which starts 430 mm behind the front wheels centreline, continue with the new Ferrari who places the large bargeboard (1) which start very close to the chassis, but soon begin to expand and connect to the edge of the floor in front of the sidepod intakes.
In front of the main bargeboard there is a small, convex vane (2) which directs the air flow in the same direction as the bargeboard, around the lower part of heavily undercut sidepod and sends it towards a long horizontal bargeboard (4) with two horizontal slits along almost entire length. The slots allow mixing with the external air stream to send more air around the sidepods and towards the rear end of the car.
Small horizontal wing (5) sitting on the edge of the chassis sends the airflow to the radiator openings with two similiar wings (7) in front, near the S-duct system exit on top of the chassis.
Looking from above, a horizontal wing (3) can be seen in front of the sidepod leading edge.
Sidepods and engine cover
If we had to single out one detail of the new Ferrari SF70H it would definitely be a sidepod air inlets (1), which are very wide, but low with emphatically raised inner section. The upper edge of the opening, near the monocoque, becomes the wing which directs the air down towards the horizontal opening (2).
With this bold technical solution, Ferrari enabled a very clean airflow path beneath radiator openings (yellow curve), which allows more efficient air flow to the rear end of the car. Sidepods (6) slope and taper toward the rear wing, also helping the quality of the airflow. From the contour of the sidepods can clearly be seen the contours of the inclined, longitudinally placed radiators.
Mirrors (5) are located on double carriers and swept back while air intake above the driver’s head (7), which is part of the roll structure, is smaller than at most other cars. Floor near the sidepod leading edge is cut with two slots (8) which energize the airflow beneath the car, working with the floor slots in front of the rear wheels.
In the picture below you can see marked contours of the interior of the sidepods and contour of the duct behind a curved red vane.
Rear wing and rear end
Rear wing (1) is lower and wider, but still with two elements – the main (red) which has a small angle of attack and the top (white), which has shorter chord and larger angle of attack. Ferrari is the first team in 2017 to use a double rear wing mounts (2) that allow cleaner exhaust flow from the exhaust pipe (3) to 20 cm wide monkey seat (4), which is located more behind than in 2016.
Rear wing endplates are now curved at the bottom edge (5) with the usual horizontal slits (6) at the top for mixing the airflow from outside and inside of the endplate to reduce turbulence at the edge of the wing.
Engine cover is divided by the shark fin (7) at the maximum height of 950 mm. Just like Mercedes, Ferrari also presented the T-wing (8) at the shark fin trailing edge. T-wing is a result of the loophole in the rules that in this area allow such a wing within the width of 700 mm (the maximum height of 950 mm). Only remains to be seen whether the FIA will prohibit such solutions as dangerous or aesthetically unacceptable.
The floor in front of the rear wheels has a triple slits that help create vortices that will help isolate the diffuser from the turbulence of the rotating rear wheels.
The rear suspension is a common pull rod configuration with double wishbone redesigned to cope with additional loads from faster cars and increased weight of the wheels and tyres.