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Ferrari 248 F1 - revised front wing 31 March 2006

Ferrari's front wing was the subject of much discussion at the last round in Malaysia. Onboard TV shots showed the upper profile bending downwards at speed, opening up a gap between the wing element and the nose cone, prompting many to question whether this constituted a moveable - and hence illegal - aerodynamic device. In theory this design should help push back the car's centre of aerodynamic pressure. This means the rear would run closer to the ground, increasing the available downforce created by air passing underneath. Furthermore, the front end would become slightly more understeery - and hence controllable - at high speed. Such principles are no huge secret, but only the top teams are likely to find ways of designing structures that may flex at high speed, but still pass the relevant FIA tests. Nothing illegal was found on Ferrari's car at Sepang, but for Melbourne reinforcements have been applied where the upper wing profile meets the nose (see detail), making for a more rigid connection.