Ferrari has an unusual new nose

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

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.

22 comments on “Ferrari has an unusual new nose”

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

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

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

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

  10. 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
    15th April 2008, 13:55

    Its interesting but its hardly a 2004 Williams…

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

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

    And Honda have these things:

  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!!

  16. Where did you read that George? Got a link?

  17. "According to Swiss publication Blick, Maranello’s technical director Aldo Costa was ‘horrified’ about the leak, the Italian underlining that ‘very few’ Ferrari employees even knew about the nose innovations when they were being tested in the team’s wind tunnel. The newspaper added that an internal investigation is now underway."

  18. Silly rabbit, points are for kids. *Honda Sighs*…. If anyone gets that then they eat far too much cereal.

    On a serious note, those things on the Honda looks like they could hit the driver if they ever broke off. At least BMW’s version look like they are molded to the bodywork.

    I’m glad to see two different design philosophies coming out, the bridge wing being one and Honda/BMW being the other.

  19. Oh no!Honda’s rabbit ears are back.The car would look better with a big Trix  cereal bunny logo on the nose,couldn’t look any worse.

    The Ferrari nose is interesting though,let’s see how it works out.

  20. Hi, Ive seen the pictures however Im slightly lost as it was mentioned as ‘radical’ – is the new nose design purely the 2 holes on the top of the nose cone?

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