Fer­rari failed floors


Over the Ja­panese and US Grands Prix, Fer­rari in­tro­duced two new floors but nei­ther made it to race day. Ei­ther Fer­rari wasn’t get­ting what it pre­dicted from them or the devel­op­ment di­rec­tion had reached a cross­roads. I wasn’t sure what it ex­pected to get with the de­tail changes it had made to the slots around the tyre con­tact patch from the Suzuka devel­op­ment. At Austin, that area was mod­i­fied again – with a few more turn­ing vanes added. The idea of this Coke-bot­tle area and the un­der­floor is to get as big a pres­sure dif­fer­en­tial as pos­si­ble across the floor struc­ture, with low pres­sure un­der­neath and a higher pres­sure above. But you need to main­tain good high­speed air­flow in­side the rear tyre to help the per­for­mance of the rear wing and dif­fuser.

The lon­gi­tudi­nal slots pull air­flow from the floor’s up­per sur­face, and act like a skirt, re­duc­ing the amount of air­flow pulled un­der the floor. These small ver­ti­cal turn­ing vanes are in­tended to set up an out­wash vor­tex along the floor’s outer edge, sim­i­lar to the ef­fect of the trail­ing edge of the barge­boards and front-wing end­plates, to im­prove the per­for­mance of the slots and un­der­floor.

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