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Ferrari go low drag with their Monza front wing. This new simplified wing removes the winglet cascade elements, but retains the vertical fin like elements. The wing also uses a single piece flap and the nose cone sees a return of the downforce producing chin.
Firstly the Monza spec front wing only needs to produce enough downforce to balance the low drag rear wing, thus the its size is dictated by the car’s rear aero. As much as the front wing is a downforce producing device, the cascades and fins are all about vortex generation to influence the turbulence produced by the front tyre. The wings downforce is therefore mainly reduced by the smaller single element flap (Santander logo) and less by the missing cascade winglet.
As airspeeds are so high at Monza, the cascades do not need to be as aggressive as at lower speed tracks, thus the winglet is removed, but vortices are still produced by the two vertical fins. These will trail spiralling vortices over the upper edges of the front tyre, these reduce the vortices and airflow separation that the wheel forms over the top of the tread.
Under the nose the stepped chin shape has returned, this is an efficient means of creating a little front end downforce for very little drag. Creating load via this device means the front wing can be correspondingly smaller, creating less drag and disruption to the airflow over the rear of the car.
This wing bears many resemblances to the Lotus wing which also employs similar shaped vertical fins. with James Allison arriving at Ferrari in recent weeks, there could be the assumption that the new design is some how related to him. However such is the time it takes to design, run in CFD, wind tunnel test and manufacture aero parts (c6 weeks), this is unlikely to have had his input.
In the latter part of testing at Jerez the Ferrari F138 appeared with a slot under the nose cone. In adopting a nose slot, Ferrari have followed other teams’ recent developments in this area. Contrary to much rumouring the slot is a relatively simple aerodynamic solution to improve the air flow under the raised section of chassis.