Ferrari F2012 - revised exhaust positioning 15 March 2012
Following new rule restrictions, exhaust positioning has taken centre stage in the build-up to the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. At the opening winter test in Jerez, Ferrari chose to send the hot exhaust air in a wide and low direction towards the rear of the car (main image, yellow arrows), between the tyres and the diffuser. The Italian team, like Sauber and McLaren, used the Coanda effect to help divert the airflow downwards and along, even when evaluating different angles for the exhaust pipe itself (see two small insets). By using an assortment of curved surfaces surrounding the exhaust, low pressure builds, which in turn forces the air to maintain contact with the surfaces it is passing. For the two final Barcelona tests, however, Ferrari changed their approach in an effort to boost rear downforce. This solution, also used by Lotus and Williams, directs the air towards the centre of the car (see large inset at top), over the rear suspension and towards the beam wing. But with Ferrari technical boss Pat Fry openly complaining that the second solution proved less effective than the original, it's not yet known which layout the team will decide to run in Melbourne.