RACE DEBRIEF

    TECH TUESDAY: Exploring the differences between Ferrari’s 2018 and 2019 F1 cars

    In Bahrain Ferrari hope to turn around the sticky start to the season they suffered in Melbourne, where the new SF90 could not be tuned into anything like the sweet balance it had during pre-season testing in Barcelona.

    Like its rival the Mercedes W10, it is a car considerably reworked from its 2018 predecessor - even beyond the changes made in response to the new aerodynamic regulations of 2019. It continues, however, to diverge from Mercedes in its aerodynamic philosophy and one of the key differences is how each team has responded to the new front wing regulations.

    As can be seen in the animation above, the SF90 features front wing elements that are pared down at their outer ends ahead of the tyre to help achieve a stronger outwash around it. One of many reasons speculated for Ferrari’s difficulties in Australia was that at low speeds on the low-grip surface, the wing simply wasn’t generating enough aerodynamic load to prevent an imbalance in the car and that at more conventional circuits, such as Bahrain, we might expect to see a more Barcelona-like performance.

    We’ll find out how that theory plays out in a matter of days…