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Ferrari F2008 - rear suspension development 13 October 2008

Up until September's Italian Grand Prix, Ferrari were struggling with poor traction, caused primarily by the car's inability to warm its tyres (chiefly the rears) at a quick enough rate, especially in cool or wet conditions. This put the F2008 at a disadvantage in terms of acceleration, especially when compared with McLaren's MP4-23. At the recent Singapore race, however, the team seemed to have gone a long way towards solving the issue by adopting a softer, more progressive set-up for the rear suspension's third horizontal damper and its two torsion bars (see yellow arrow and inset). The third damper consists of a tungsten/wolfram (heavy metal) cylinder that rotates inside an outer casing, dissipating the inertia generated by the track's bumpy surface and kerbs. Better set-up of this device, together with an accurate choice of torsion bars, has dramatically improved the behaviour of the car, especially at the rear. In Japan, this was of particular help to Kimi Raikkonen, who prefers a very stable rear end in his set-up. (Felipe Massa focuses more on the car's front end.)