Ferrari has an unusual new nose

Rumours began circulating that Ferrari were readying a radical new nose cone arrangement several weeks ago.

They finally tested the device in public at Barcelona today and Autosport has a picture.

Ferrari has essentially created a slotted hole in the nose through which air can pass. It allows air to flow at high pressure through the nose, allowing it to escape the turbulent area behind the front wing more effectively. They may use the new arrangement at next week’s Spanish Grand Prix.

Felipa Massa was an ominous 2.6s faster than anyone else today although details of what test program they and the others were running are sketchy. Check back for a full testing debrief later this week.

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22 comments on Ferrari has an unusual new nose

  1. Dan Brunell said on 14th April 2008, 23:25

    Random (probably stupid) question… couldn’t this be interpreted as a "ground effect" and thus illegal? It’s taking air pressure away from underneath the car creating down force in a similar fashion.

  2. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th April 2008, 23:29

    I doubt it – using airflow underneath the car to generate down force is not banned by the rules. The diffusers and low ride heights do that to an extent.

    You are right that designers cannot create ‘ground effect’ by means of side skirts as they did in the late 1970s/early 1980s, but I don’t think Ferrari are going to have any problem here.

    I wonder if it’s passed a frontal impact crash test though?

  3. Gabriel said on 14th April 2008, 23:57

    Surely it would have had to pass a crash test for it to be allowed in testing (where high speed crashes are possibilities)?

  4. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th April 2008, 23:58

    No, only to race as far as I’m aware.

  5. Dan M said on 15th April 2008, 0:15

    Massa was also on slicks for that run it appears. They didn’t mention that in the first article.

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/66639

  6. Gabriel said on 15th April 2008, 0:24

    I half wonder if that was a deliberate marketing/psychological blow that Ferrari tried. Low fuel run on slicks = fast time, coincidentally done with new nose – result = everyone sits up to look at new nose (+ nearby sponsors on the car).  May also make competitors just a touch nervous about new nose performance…

  7. Journeyer said on 15th April 2008, 2:37

    Actually, very interesting, running the new nose with slicks.  That way, the other teams don’t know the actual time advantage the new nose gives out.

    Very sneaky, Ferrari.  Very sneaky…

  8. M Smith said on 15th April 2008, 10:11

    A great idea by Ferrari if it works out, since it was done on slicks, its probably only a tenth or so beneficial, if its beneficial at all. And I just can’t wait for wider cars and slicks to return in 2009. And with the absence of winglets, the cars will look so much prettier (hopefully…)

  9. Tim B said on 15th April 2008, 11:15

    Maybe we are starting to see the new tech for next years rules….

  10. SoLiD said on 15th April 2008, 11:44

    funny thing is that i tought of such a thing years ago :)
    anyway, ferrari was on slicks and 2008 downforce level,
    others (mclaren anyway) in 2009 downforce levels and slicks…
    so can’t read into the times.

  11. Michael Counsell said on 15th April 2008, 13:55

    Its interesting but its hardly a 2004 Williams…

  12. Brar Soler said on 15th April 2008, 14:09

    The picture shows the top hole OK. But where is the inner hole?

  13. Dan M said on 15th April 2008, 14:58

    I believe it is under the nose in between the upper and lower wings.

    That is a good point that this could simply be preparation for next year. With less winglets the teams will have to find different ways to get the same down force.

    I believe they also tested this setup in Bahrain  but it was not successful. Maybe Ferrari has such a huge lead that they are starting to develop next years concepts early.

    As far as using the new nose with the slicks as a mind game, I don’t see that as the case. Any other team could run low fuel with slicks and get an idea of how much they differ from there times they normally set in relation to Ferrari.

  14. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th April 2008, 15:53

    Also Renault are testing a version of Red Bull’s engine cover:

    http://www.autosport.com/gallery/photo.php/id/98321

    And Honda have these things:

    http://www.autosport.com/gallery/photo.php/id/98303

  15. I just read that Ferrari are "Horrified" that there "secret" nose configuration was published in a magazine weeks ago. Still a leak in Maranello, and it’s not Nigel!!

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