Ferrari: Spanish Rear Wing Extension

In Free Practice for the Spanish this weekend, Ferrari caused a small technical controversy when they ran a new rear wing. This new wing appeared to have large extension to the rear flap. After the days sessions were complete Charlie Whiting from the FIA spoke to Ferrari about its legality.

This 30mm extension was fitted the Ferrari 150 in Spain

We can see the wings long extension is not in fact a gurney flap as it is not an “L” shape. Instead the extension forms a continuation of the flaps shape. This makes the wing some 30mm longer than allowed within normal interpretations of the regulations. Clearly this much additional surface area will create more downforce. Beneficially this tall extension also retains the DRS pivot axis in its normal location, such that the when the larger flap is moved by the DRS the flap flattens out much more than with a conventional large flap (See https://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/drs-optical-illusion-why-some-wings-appear-to-open-wider/).

How could this be achieved legally?

Ferraris Slot Gap Separator

 3.10.3 In order to ensure that the individual profiles and the relationship between these two sections can only
change whilst the car is in motion in accordance with Article 3.18, they must be bridged by means of pairs
of rigid impervious supports arranged such that no part of the trailing edge of the forward section may be
more than 200mm laterally from a pair of supports. These pairs of supports must :
– be located no more than 355mm from the car centre line ;
– fully enclose each complete sections such that their inner profiles match that of each section. With
the exception of minimal local changes where the two sections are adjacent to each other, their
outer profiles must be offset from the inner profiles by between 8mm and 30mm and may not
incorporate any radius smaller than 10mm (‘gurney’ type trim tabs may however be fitted between
the supports) ;
– be aligned as a pair so as to provide a bearing across their full thickness and along a profile length
of at least 10mm when the distance between the two sections is at its closest position ;
– not be recessed into the wing profiles (where a recess is defined as a reduction in section at a rate
greater than 45° with respect to a lateral axis) ;
– be arranged so that any curvature occurs only in a horizontal plane ;
– be between 2mm and 5mm thick ;
– be rigidly fixed to their respective sections ;
– be constructed from a material with modulus greater than 50GPa.

Ferrari have sandwiched and split the separators to form the extension

What I believe Ferrari have done is the sandwich the two separators together in the centre of the wing, then split them at the “V” cut out in the middle of the wings trailing edge. Each separator then runs along the trailing edge of the flap, creating the extension. As the extensions can be 30mm deep they can be 10mm more than the 20mm allowed for Gurneys.
It could beat the rules as each separator runs along the trailing edge, no part of the wing is 200mm laterally from a support. The change from the longitudinal centre separator to the trailing edge could meet the horizontal curvature requirements.

Each Separator also forms the 30mm extension

Overnight I heard from Spain is that the wing will be allowed for this race, but a clarification from the FIA ill ban this interpretation for future races.  However this morning conflicting stories are emerging.  Andrew Benson from the BBC reports “Ferrari have been told they cannot run their “clever” new rear wing design – it exploited a loophole in the regs to do with overall height” (@andrewbensonf1).

ScarbsF1 is a non commercial site, Please show your support….

Follow ScarbsF1 on Twitter

13 thoughts on “Ferrari: Spanish Rear Wing Extension

  1. Ridiculous. If they plan to ban it, they should ban it outright since even qualifying hasn’t started yet. Also, it’s not exploiting a loophole since they are interpreting the rules differently (thus illegal unconditionally).

    Ferrari International Assistance..

    • It is exactly the same loophole as the blown diffuser, since moving aerodynamic parts are not allowed. Still they are here since more than a year. Why do you not attack FIA for that? But if ferrari does something similar then as you see FIA responded on the very next day.
      So your FIA criticism is not very biased.

      • It’s absolutely not the same loophole – the rule in question has nothing to do with moving aero parts at all.

      • The moving aerodynamic parts rule is ridiculous anyways. The front wheels have a huge effect on the aerodynamics of the car, and the drivers all control their movement with the steering wheel throughout the race.

        Essentially it’s an F-duct ban… that’s it.

  2. What I don’t get is why it’s not banned by the current rules – surely the corner to get from the support to the flap is a “curve” (a very tight one), and isn’t on the horizontal plane, or am I misreading this?

    • I meant that is is a loophole, as any loopholes. But it gets different treatments from the FIA, which as I see is not the same in the two cases.

  3. RB are allowed to have flex wings.
    But other teams get their developments banned on the grounds of it not been within the “spirit of the laws”. Ferrari brings a cleverly designed wing to the GP it gets band not because it is illegal but because it is not within the “spirit of the rules”. Same thing happened to Ferrari’s movable floor in 2007. Which by the way at the time was not illegal but not within “spirit of the rules”.
    RB has wings that flex which constitutes movable aero and some how its fine?!?!

  4. one question can ferrari cut the rear wing pillar (post ) for 30mm ? in that case maximum height will be 920mm from flor of car plus these new gurney flap 30mm =950mm…is that legal?
    sorry for bad english

    • Sadly no, the rear wing sits within a fixed set of dimensions. It cannot be lower than 730mm. which is why ferrari found this loophole to make the wing 30mm taller than is designed to be.

      • ok thanks for replay, so they can’t do anything about that..reduce height of plate where is sing santander so that gurney flap will be in level with maximum height of whole wing?

  5. I can’t believe this is being credited as a loophole or even a grey area. The regulation says gurneys may be fitted BETWEEN the supports – not that they may form part of the support. Thus the gurneys are not part of the exclusion.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s