Ferrari explain the seven upgrades ‘fast-tracked’ to F1 Spanish GP

Ferrari senior performance engineer details updates in Barcelona

Ferrari at Spanish Grand Prix
Ferrari at Spanish Grand Prix

Ferrari’s extensive upgrade package at the F1 Spanish Grand Prix is tailored to bringing more performance as the team looks to bounce back from its woeful weekend in Canada.

Both Ferraris were knocked out in Q2 and the team came away from a miserable Montreal weekend empty-handed, with Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz forced to retire from the race.

In a bid to bounce back, Ferrari have got their latest upgrade - comprising seven elements including a revised floor, engine cover, diffuser and halo - ready in time to debut at the start of F1’s triple header in Spain.

Ferrari’s senior performance engineer told media including in Barcelona that the package is “similar” to their Imola upgrade both in terms of size and expected performance gains.

“When we quantify an upgrade, we’re only talking performance, that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day,” Clear said. “We could talk some interesting numbers that the aero department produce, but how much lap time it produces is always our measure.”

Asked if it represents a more incremental upgrade, compared to the visually-striking updates introduced at Imola, Clear replied: “Yes, I think so.

“Again, we’ve spoken in the past about how subtle some of the effects on air are, certainly at the back of the car. And this was in parallel with Imola, so this isn’t a reaction to Imola if you see what I mean, this isn’t the upgrade from Imola and then we look at what it did.

“This was always a scheduled upgrade that’s in parallel. So the fact we’re bringing it here, as long as it performs as we expect, and in the recent past, we’ve had very good correlation, so we have no reason to believe it won’t.

“So as long as it performs as we expect today, again that’s good confirmation we understand what’s going on on this car. We didn’t have to wait, and I think I mentioned this the last time we spoke, we didn’t have to wait for the Imola package and say oh OK, what did that do, now we go in this route.

“We knew what the Imola package would do, and it did what it should do. In parallel we were also looking at the next step beyond that, and that’s what you see here.”

Clear also confirmed the upgrade was brought forward due to the close competition at the front of the F1 grid.

“It was somewhat fast-tracked,” he explained. “I’ve said before, Barcelona is a fantastic circuit to evaluate a car.

“So if you can, you’re always going to want to come to Barcelona with a package, that’s why we do preseason here, and as a result of doing preseason, we’ve got so much experience here that it levels all of the other variables for us, and you get a good read on a package. So it’s always a good place to come.

“I think honestly, because the Imola package was a good step, I think maybe this was scheduled for later, this triple header offers you three good opportunities. “Austria and Silverstone are also very good. But yeah, we did push it forward a bit, just because it’s super close at the moment, and if you can come one race earlier, actually the gains are doubled, effectively.

“Because it’s always a race, isn’t it? It’s not just what our upgrades are doing, it’s what other people are doing. And if we can just get an upgrade one step earlier than the others, then you carry that forward a bit.”

Details of Ferrari's seven upgrades

Rear Wing - Circuit specific - Drag Range. Higher Downforce Top Rear Wing and Lower Rear Wing designs. Introduction of more loaded Top and Lower Rear Wing main and flap profiles. Allowing different modulations, this update extends the car polar in order to offer more possibilities on mid/high downforce tracks.

Coke/Engine Cover - Performance - Flow Conditioning. Increased Sidepod / Coke undercut. The new bodywork features a reworked undercut that improves flow quality over the floor edge and towards the back of the car.

Floor Fences - Performance - Flow Conditioning. Redistributed floor fences camber. Aim of redistributing front floor fence loading was to improve flow quality delivered to the rear floor / diffuser.

Floor Body - Performance - Flow Conditioning. Lowered front floor roof. Working in conjunction with the updated front floor fences arrangement, with the objective of improving flow quality towards the back of the car.

Floor Edge - Performance - Local Load. Rearward floor edge volume increased. This minor geometrical update is an optimization around the improved flow energy coming from upstream, returning local load gains whilst controlling the vorticity release in the diffuser.

Diffuser - Performance - Local Load. Reworked diffuser / boat / keel expansion. Benefitting from tidier upstream flow structures, the diffuser expansion, together with boat and keel volumes optimization, has allowed to extract more local load gains 7 Halo Performance.

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