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Ferrari F2012 - pull-rod front suspension 28 February 2012

It's been 11 years since pull-rod front suspension has been used in Formula One racing. Back then it was the Gabriele Tredozi-designed 2001 Minardi. This season it's the 2012-spec Ferrari. Interestingly, both then and now one of the drivers at the wheel is Fernando Alonso. This drawing compares the traditional push-rod suspension (left) with Ferrari's pull-rod layout (right). With the pull-rod layout the springs and dampers are positioned lower in the chassis, which reduces the front suspension's centre of gravity. Also, in the case of the F2012 the pull-rod link (right-hand black arrow) is angled almost horizontally, which may help aerodynamically. But there are drawbacks to this arrangement. Even though in theory the pull-rod link can be thinner than a push rod, its extreme angle here neutralises any potential weight gain. Furthermore, because the pull rod is mounted to the top wishbone, greater loads are applied to the wishbone, which hence has to be stronger - and heavier - than it would have been.