Ferrari ran their version of McLaren ‘F-duct’ device in practice for the Chinese Grand Prix today. But the first pictures of the system suggest it works differently to McLaren’s set-up and is not operated by the driver.
See pictures of it and more from today’s practice sessions below.
As the first picture below shows, Ferrari use their shark fin to direct air onto the rear wing as per McLaren’s system.
But the air intake is situated further towards the front of the shark fin, with no signs of driver operation, as per McLaren’s F-duct. In the picture below it seems to have been taped over, suggesting they didn’t try running the system during practice. Alonso suffered an engine failure in the first practice session.
Ferrari have not copied McLaren’s device exactly. This could be for two reasons – perhaps they prefer this solution or, more likely, perhaps they have not been able to make changes to their chassis to incorporate a McLaren-style system under the rules preventing changes to the chassis construction during the season.
It may be that Ferrari’s device only operates when air flows into the opening at the front of the shark fin fast enough to stall the rear wing when it is passed out at the end of the fin. It is likely that this would only happen above a certain speed, whereas McLaren’s driver-operated system can be used at will, potentially much earlier on a straight, for greater benefit.
See below for more pictures from Friday practice, including Sauber’s similar solution to Ferrari’s which was introduced earlier in the season. Mercedes also tried a new rear wing on Michael Schumacher’s car.