How Ferrari Avoided 'Disaster' With Their Phase Two Upgrades
How Ferrari dug themselves out of a hole at the Eifel GP
Ferrari have been behind all season with their atrocious SF1000, but at the Nurburgring they give tifosi some hope with some strong pace in qualifying and a decent race, resulting in a few points to help their challenge for Best of the Rest (or F1.5).
(I'm ignoring Seb's weekend)
The upgrades they brought to Germany are part of a larger package I discussed in an earlier article, and it began with some new parts introduced in Sochi. They didn't make a huge impact, which means Ferrari were just testing them, or they only made a big impact in tandem with the later refinements.
This seems to be the case.
The main change they made at the latest race was a heavily revised bargeboard. This is in addition to a new rear wing endplate some altered 'mini vanes' Ferrari fitted in Russia.
The comparison between the old and new barge boards can be seen in the image gallery below. The leading turning vane (1) has been rotated to a different alignment. The boomerang section (2) transitions differently (3) into the upright vane (4) further back and the mini-vanes (5) at the leading edge of the outer floor are more intricate (the numbers refer to the second image in the gallery).
Since the airflow patterns of every team is different it's hard to tell whether the upgrades are an instant hit, like you would with perhaps the engine, but instead you can assume they help redirect the airflow in a way that's more efficient, produces less drag or more downforce. Or all three.
The new bargeboard supposedly should match up with the aforementioned mini vanes on the nose (below) in redirecting the airflow and essentially making the thing go faster.
The bargeboard's job is usually to feed the underfloor with airflow to the diffuser, or out and around 'outwashing' the air to reduce drag, therefore this upgrade should give the bargeboard a larger volume of air, enhancing not only its effect but also that of the diffuser.
Another advantage of these upgrades is a more balanced downforce:drag ratio, which is especially crucial for Ferrari given they lack lots of power and have lots of drag.
All eyes turn now to the next race in Portimao, and whether the next diffuser upgrade will complete the upgrades for 2020 strong... and finally get them back up to the top.