Ferrari’s F-duct design and more pictures from Chinese GP Friday practice

Ferrari's answer to McLaren's F-duct with the inlet (left) taped over

Ferrari's answer to McLaren's F-duct with the inlet (left) taped over

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.

Craig Scarborough has drawn similar conclusions on his blog.

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.

2010 Chinese Grand Prix

Browse all 2010 Chinese Grand Prix articles

Images (C) Ferrari spa, Bridgestone/Ercole Colombo,, Getty Images/Red Bull, Force India F1 Team, Lotus F1, BMW Sauber F1 Team, Motioncompany, Williams/LAT, Virgin Racing

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52 comments on Ferrari’s F-duct design and more pictures from Chinese GP Friday practice

  1. Renzo said on 16th April 2010, 17:57

    strangely, both Ferrari’s had the top speeds in FP1 even without the f-duct activated. Has anybody noticed it?

  2. MEmo said on 17th April 2010, 4:33

    I noticed something some time ago, but I mention it now since you can look at it clearly from the pictures. The Lotus´left mirror has some sort of button on it. Anybody knows what that´s for?

    • chris said on 17th April 2010, 7:49

      im guessing maybe a camera or something…

      • MEmo said on 17th April 2010, 22:13

        no, I don´t think that´s a camera. If you look at the Ferrari pictures, you can see that they also have something different in one of the mirrors, but that´s definitly not a camera…

  3. CNSZU said on 17th April 2010, 6:25

    Anyone who wants to ban something just because it looks “ugly”, certainly cannot be a real fan of F1.

  4. Harv's said on 17th April 2010, 10:00

    does anyone else think that the lotus pics look like they have been taken on someones mobile phone?

  5. Big Wally said on 17th April 2010, 13:09

    Couldn’t agree more with Antiriad, the cars are ugly enough since last year’s aerodynamic changes without the grotesque shark fins and pointless F ducts.

  6. Brad said on 17th April 2010, 23:14

    LOL @ Trulli in the garage. I always thought they were studying telemetry data or something, not watching the tube! I’ll bet Ferrari has theirs tuned to the bikini babes channel.

  7. Chaz said on 20th April 2010, 18:17

    Thanks for the great photo’s. Perhaps we should start placing bets as to when the F-duct will be banned…

  8. Mały Jasio said on 24th June 2010, 18:54

    Dzięki za fajne zdjęcia… Pozdrowienia

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