The current regulation was released in 2017 and only last year a relevant modification was introduced by radically simplifying the front wings, as well as other complementary changes. It is not surprising, therefore, that this year's single-seaters are an evolution of those of 2019 for the most part, especially those that proved to have potential.

This was the case with the Ferrari SF90, which although disappointing in terms of consistency and versatility, made it very clear that it had the capacity to be the fastest on the grid if the right conditions were in place. That's why the Italian brand has taken a winning concept further rather than seeking a new path.

The premises are clear: to generate more aerodynamic load to face Mercedes and Red Bull in that aspect (the engine will be in charge of compensating the increase of the drag), besides getting the car capable of working consistently in different scenarios.

Radicalizing concepts

As we said, Ferrari has chosen to improve or refine concepts that in 2019 attracted attention because of their audacity. This is the case of the front wing, which continues to deepen the "outwash effect" by lowering the attachment of the secondary flaps to the endplate as much as possible, thus creating an air channel that escapes from the outside of the tyre. This helps to reduce the drag and improve the quality of the flow in the rest of the car.

The nose is undergoing a similar revision, as it continues with the concept of a narrow nose that forms two holes in collaboration with the wing supports, but this year the central attachment is narrower and deeper, allowing the holes located on each side to be able to collect more air. Thus, Ferrari seeks to improve the performance of the central area, as well as the consistency of the flow under the chassis.

Further back, we see that the suspension system follows a similar concept to that of 2019, but with the anchorage of the upper trapeze located further down, which allows a more horizontal positioning with the aim of working on a wider range of settings.

Unlike other equipment, the above mentioned upper trapeze lacks ball-and-socket joints that create a cleaner aerodynamic flow path, although the front arm adopts a variable width curvature for aerodynamic purposes . Finishing with this area, we see how Ferrari has included an element that we saw in several single-seaters in 2019: the thrust collar that allows a better footprint and a greater turning angle in slow curves.

Baroque complexity

Already in the central area of the vehicle, we see how the SF1000 maintains the trend and continues to use concepts used in 2019, but taken one step further. The barge board incorporates three flow direction indicators (6-yellow) in its upper part to collect the air coming from the central zone of the front wing and the suspensions.

In addition, two large boomerangs are incorporated and connect to each other just in front of the side deflector, which continues with the design line of last year, when Ferrari implemented several improvements in the last third of the season as an experiment for this car.

Similar in concept to last year's are also the vertical headers located on each side of the splitter, which are now five, one of them subdivided into four in its upper half. This whole framework seeks to reorganize the air coming from the front area to ensure optimal cooling, but also that the air reaches the pontoon to go to the top of the diffuser in an effective and orderly manner.

Ferrari pioneered the evolution of the mirrors towards aerodynamically beneficial elements and in the case of the SF1000 it is no different, forming a unique support that is attached to the side of the chassis on one side and to the upper plane of the pontoon on the other. In addition, the pontoon is now narrower at its air inlet and loses the upper horizontal inlet so characteristic of the SF90.

Red Bull pontoons

One of the few changes Ferrari has adopted in relation to last year's design philosophy is the shape of the pontoons, which by 2020 discard the traditional concept of a lower channel through a very narrow base of the channel to create instead a downward effect of the aerodynamic flow to the ground. On the one hand, it changes the way air is treated and, on the other hand, it improves the flow performance at the outlet of the bargeboards.

In other words, the base is a little wider and the upper part of the pontoon is narrower, thanks to which the flow that circulates next to the ground is intended to meet - on its way to the top of the diffuser - the flow that falls from the top of the pontoon through that smooth "slide" created by the body. This concept was first introduced by Red Bull and has gradually become a widespread trend. As a complement, the rear end is even more compact than in 2019 in an attempt to improve aerodynamic load levels.

Already in the direction of the rear of the SF1000, we looked at three elements. The first is the endplate of the rear wing, which continues the design already seen in 2019, although narrowing even more the already scarce portion of carbon fiber that serves as a link between the lower and upper half.

In the engine intake, we observe another novelty of these times, but not of this century, since the aerodynamic "horns" located at the sides of the engine remind us of those installed in the McLaren and BMW Sauber between 2005 and 2007, although much smaller in the case of the Italian team. This element seeks to get the rear wing to receive a more orderly and efficient aerodynamic flow.

Finally, we look at one of the vital areas of today's cars: the area in front of the rear tyres. All the elements in this section of the floor seek to seal the sides of the diffuser through mechanisms that control the turbulence generated by the tyre, but in this case we highlight one of them because of its large size (13-blue), as it is not usual for engineers to resort to such bulky attachments.


The summary that we can make of this Ferrari SF1000 is that it does not show us new things, but it does show ambition to reach where last year the SF90 seemed to be able to reach, but that at the moment of the truth it could not confirm. Mattia Binotto's charges continue to believe in the path that began in 2019 and this season they are ready to prove it. 

Will they have succeeded?

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