The Ferrari F1-75 under the magnifying glass

During the gestation of the F1-75, aerodynamics was the workhorse of the Cavallino. Analysis and explanations in pictures.

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Undoubtedly, the forms of the new Ferrari surprise. They differ from all the other curves observed on other racing cars. Made by French David Sanchezthe concept of the F1-75 is unquestionably off the beaten track:

“Aerodynamics was clearly our number one priority”explains Enrico Cardile, the head of the chassis department at Maranello, who coordinates the work of Sanchez (concept), Montecchi (project engineering) and his own (performance engineering).

“We approached it with an open mind, taking advantage of the change in regulations to explore new directions, going against the trends of recent years. The constraints imposed by the regulations considerably modify the distribution of support. There will be more load in fast corners and less in slow corners.”


Evidenced by the way the pontoons were modeled. The F1-75, which drove at Fiorano this Friday, does not adopt the thin and elongated sidepods of theAston Martin AMR22nor the compact and shortened sides of the Williams FW44nor the ramps of theAlpha Tauri AT03nor the tapered sides of the McLaren MCL36nor the gentle curves of the Haas VF-22.

Singular, the volumes of the Ferrari are singular in all dimensions. From the front, the cutout under the air intakes (“undercut”) does exist, but quickly dwindles to give way to a very wide bodywork. From the side, the flanks are vertical and only thin out very close to the base, to form a small channel through which flows another flow of air (visualized in light blue in the following image). Nothing to do, however, with the double floor of the Aston Martin, inspired by the Ferrari F92A.

From above, finally, the surprise is total: the surface of the pontoons is not flat, but dug and curved in its center. To do what ? The furrow thus dug is probably used to channel the flow of air towards the “beam wing” located in its wake. This small wing, located under the rear wing and permitted again this seasonplays an essential role in stimulating the upper airflow flowing over the surface of the diffuser and contributes to the proper functioning of the main wing. In this sense, their operation is completely different from that of the sidepods of the McLaren MP4-26, often wrongly mentioned.


Such volumes raise the question of how the radiators are located under the bodywork.

If the heat exchangers were installed horizontally (like on the Aston Martin) or inclined (like on the Williams), the sides would not be vertical… Some believe that they are positioned obliquely, a bit like on the MP4 -29 from 2014, but that hardly justifies the verticality of the pontoons…

We therefore assume, with Craig Scarborough, that they are placed vertically: the air entering through the opening is directed to the side via an internal duct, then crosses the radiator to return to the center, the longitudinal axis and exits through the orifice provided at this effect. However, we will have to wait for our exclusive images of the garages to be sure!

To this lower flow, indicated here in light blue, contributes the “bib” – formerly called separator or splitter and circled above – which presents a fin, exactly like on the Aston Martin.

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Long, low and pointed, the F1-75’s nose is unlike anything we’ve seen so far. Here again, the Prancing Horse engineers let their creativity loose. Its tip merges with the main plane of the aileron, without leaving an opening in the center for the passage of air, whereas this is the case on all the other noses (whether they are high like that of the ‘Aston martin, or low, as on the Williams). On the F1-75, the air will have to bypass the nose on both sides to feed the Venturi tunnels.

As a result, the wing also adopts a singular design: its first element is attached to the nose, unlike the vast majority of other single-seaters (we do not know what Red Bull and AlphaTauri did). What is clear, however, is that it is a centrally supported wing: the load is exerted in the middle of the wing, on the curved part, as on the McLaren, the Williams, the Alfa Romeo (only the Aston Martin wing is loaded in the middle). We note that the flaps have a fairly flat profile seen from the front, which seems rather realistic compared to the angular flaps seen on the model of the FOM and often repeated on the images broadcast by the teams.

The positioning of a front wing depends on several factors. Because its role is not limited to producing support (in fact to balancing the load generated by the base and the flat bottom). As explained in detail here, it is also used to direct or deflect the flow of air towards different areas of the car. This year, the place that must absolutely receive the flow of clean air, are the two openings of the Venturi tunnels which open the base.

Pierced with an opening in the form of a NACA air intake to refresh Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, the nose of the F1-75 is also distinguished by its modular structure. It seems to be composed of two parts: at the front, the tip (whose role would be purely aerodynamic) and, then, the homologated body (whose function would be structural). This construction would allow the Scuderia to modify the tip without having to re-crash test, a clever solution in these times of capped budgets and flexible in the event of remodeling. It is to be hoped that, on this one, the Italian aerodynamicists had the hollow nose.

Note, however, that this type of construction is not new. The teams are used to dividing the structure of their nose into two elements (two carbon boxes responsible for absorbing the energy of a frontal impact), as we could see on the Williams FW43B after leaving the track from George Russell to Imola (where you could see the box housed in the tip of the nose).

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Above the pilot’s helmet, the F1-75 retains the triangular air intake of its predecessor. This opening is significantly more compact than that of other single-seaters, while the engine cover is distinguished by its finesse. The ridge at its top is larger than on the rest of the cars presented so far, as seen above (compare the areas marked in blue).

With the exception, however, of the Alfa Romeo, which is equipped with the same V6, which is said to be particularly compact. Block 066/7 includes, with some adaptations, the ERS introduced at the Russian Grand Prix last season and which has doubled the voltage of the battery.

The combustion engine is “radically different” in the words of Mattia Binotto (due to the obligation to use gasoline containing 10% ethanol). It is estimated that its architecture is unchanged (with compressor and turbine placed side by side), which would make the Italian power unit the alone to keep this usual configuration (Renault also switching to split architecture). The information must be verified, with supporting images.

Note the curious design used for the evacuation of the wastegate. The technical regulations require that there is only one evacuation, and that, consequently, the pipe of the wastegate merges with the exhaust pipe. This junction is made very late on the Ferrari (as seen just below), while the other engine manufacturers have a single pipe (the joining being done further upstream).

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Behind the engine, the rear suspension is tie-rod, while the front is push-rod – as on all other 2022 F1 cars except the McLaren. Nothing new, therefore, visually in any case. Under the bodywork, it’s less certain, the Maranello engineers being very keen on innovation this year:

“Openness is also about suspension development, says Enrico Cardile. The new rules have imposed a general overhaul, which should give us the flexibility to manage a completely new car concept and very different tires from those used so far. So the rear suspension is of a type that no Ferrari has ever had.”

“The F1-75 marks the return to a three-dimensional underbody, which we hadn’t seen since 1982. This kind of car will have to have a low attitude and stiff suspensions to be fast.”

More than “rake” therefore, but a flat plate, driven by a new rear suspension, which we will have to specify once better images are available.

As we can see, the Ferrari F1-75 shines with its originality. During the last significant aerodynamic upheaval (in 2017), the Scuderia had innovated and offered solutions taken up by the competition. Will this be the case this year? Unlike Red Bull and Mercedes, the team was not distracted last year by a fight for the championship, thus being able to concentrate its resources (and its additional wind tunnel time) on its 2022 single-seater. Friday in Fiorano (15 kilometers), before completing 100 km in Barcelona on February 22. A little warm-up, before the gallop of the first tests.

If last year’s SF-21 succeeded in putting the Prancing Horse back in the saddle, Maranello and the tifosi expect much more from the F1-75, which will have to put Ferrari back in the third of these contenders for the world crown.


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