Ferrari might not have won the Singapore Grand Prix, but it arrived with another significant Formula 1 update. This update is slated to make sure its car was suited to the low-speed street circuit.
At the rear of the car, Ferrari introduced a new rear wing solution, pioneered by McLaren and previously seen on the Mercedes and Renault this season.
It features large slots in the transitional region of the wing to allow the airflow a more efficient passage for the high-downforce wing level.
McLaren started this trend last year at the Bahrain Grand Prix with its Honda-powered MCL32.
Towards the front of the car, Ferrari’s bargeboards were not an entirely new package. Instead, already prominent features were tuned to improve flow around their surfaces in line with the air speed they would encounter.
These revisions consisted of alterations to the size and geometry of the surfaces, with the forward-most ‘S’ shaped element moved a little further forward (white arrow). The central section of the main bargeboard also featured more pronounced elements (red arrows).
In line with these changes the elongated floor gills were shortened, highlighting how the airflow’s path is dictated by a daisy chain of surfaces that must all work in harmony with one another.
For the sake of the team, they better hope that the updates work. Ever since their win in Spa Francorchamps, Ferrari’s and Sebastian Vettel’s title challenge has unravelled. After the summer break, Vettel was 24 points shy of Lewis Hamilton. When the weekend concluded, Hamilton’s lead was cut down to 17 points.
Whether it was a case of silly errors, overconfidence or choking, Hamilton eked out a 40-point margin. Things were bad when Hamilton and Mercedes won on Ferrari’s turf in Monza. They became far worse in Singapore, a track where Ferrari were theoretically strong. However, it was Hamilton who once again triumphed over Vettel. In Italy, Vettel caused his own downfall when he collided with Hamilton, relegating the former to last.
In Singapore, it was a case of Ferrari’s strategy blowing up in their faces and Vettel suffering for it. Now, Vettel faces a must win situation in Russia in a week’s time