The last Ferrari in the halls of power: how weakness or a stroke of genius?

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Although the equipment of the grill take months working in the cars of 2017 and, since the end of the season to the end of November, the pace of work in the respective factories is constant, it could be said that Ferrari has given the banderazo output of the season 2017 with a political movement.

Tuesday, 3 we knew that Simone Resta, Chief Designer of the Scuderia, had sent a letter to the Race Director and Technical Delegate of the FIA, Charlie Whiting, to ask for clarification on ancillary systems to the suspension that Mercedes and Red Bull use.

Such systems are based on the FRIC -which was banned in mid-2014 – and aim to improve the aerodynamic performance of the car in question.

That is precisely the argument that points to Ferrari to consider that there are doubts, very serious about their legality in relation to article 3.15 of the technical regulations, prohibits any device that does not have as its main task the role of the suspensions, in addition to a direct relationship with the aerodynamic performance of the same. Hence, therefore, the request to Charlie Whiting to try to provide light to the situation

Operating system

Such a system has already been used by Mercedes and Red Bull in 2016, although with different purposes. In essence, all Formula 1 take, this system is equipped with a third hydraulic element called inerter that complements the springs and dampers of a conventional suspension. This system controls the vertical movement of the suspensions, which not only varies in function of the irregularities of the terrain, but also as a result of the pressure aerodynamic drag exerted on the car as it gains speed. It is important to note that this element does not act under lateral loads in curves.

But, as usual, Mercedes and Red Bull have taken the concept a little further. Both teams got in 2016 to create a hydraulic pressure that was stored in the form of energy that, when they consider, can be used to manipulate the suspension.

Objectives

Mercedes, the precursor of the system, has sought to control the position of the chassis to keep the balance of the car in a particular range of speed and curves. In a way, the German team get to expand the way of acting of the system under vertical loads, and also to the side. Something that, in the end, is based on replicating the goal of the FRIC without interconnecting the four elements of the suspension physical way, something that was prohibited in mid-2014.

Mercedes has been using it in 2016 and, in function of each circuit, modified the parameters for action in order to get the maximum game ever with a goal: to maximize the aerodynamic qualities of the car and, in addition, the management of the tyres. All this ends up producing a single-seater with a level of stability and nobility in the cockpit never seen before in the competition, and it was strange to hear Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, praising the extraordinary performance of their respective cars the Friday of Grand Prix, claiming that the balance of the same was already, out, brilliant.

on the contrary, Red Bull decided to take another path, in order to maximize the that has traditionally been one of its strong points since, in 2009, the arrival of the double diffusers, and then the diffusers blown: the rake.

The team of the anglo-austrian prepared this third shock absorber with capacity of storage of energy to that, surpassed a certain level of load, call down the body to allow the rear wing to reduce its incidence aerodynamics -or even go into a loss – and, with it, the resistance to the advance, increasing the tip speed. In this way, the deficiency of power of the Renault engine was limited and, when it really mattered, the high rake of the car returned and, therefore, contribute to the excellent behavior in a curve that Red Bull have always enjoyed.

what Weakness or stroke of genius?

at this point, it is interesting to analyze the situation of Ferrari. The Italian team has worked to join the race for the system of suspensions effective as possible but, on the other hand, has put in check to its two main rivals. While the opinion of Charlie Whiting -in response, Ferrari has made it clear that if the interpretation of Italian systems of Mercedes and Red Bull were correct, it would be illegal – is not binding, yes invites you to the rest of the teams can denounce the illegality in the Grand Prix of Australia. In that case, the commissioners technical would be to investigate the systems mentioned above and, then yes, they could be declared illegal.

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The rake that Red Bull have shown this season reminds to the times of the diffusers blown.

therefore, what will Mercedes and Red Bull? With the cars of 2017 almost finished in time to get to the pre-season test of next month, Ferrari has raised a question of considerable to their opponents, taking advantage of their weakness. It remains to be seen if all this will end up having some kind of influence in the competition, but at least Ferrari has taken the initiative and has begun to compete even before stepping on the asphalt.