Felipe Massa, Ferrari, Fiorano, 2011

First look at Ferrari’s adjustable rear wing

F1 technologyPosted on | Author Keith Collantine

Felipe Massa continued Ferrari’s filming activities with their new F150 at Fiorano today.

Pictures of the car in action show the new-for-2011 adjustable rear wing in its open and closed states.

These comparison pictures show the wing in its normal state (left) and opened (right).

Although the angles the pictures were taken at are not consistent the gap between the upper and lower plans when the wing is activated is clearly visible:

Ferrari F150 adjustable rear wing
Ferrari F150 adjustable rear wing
Ferrari F150 adjustable rear wing
Ferrari F150 adjustable rear wing

Drivers will be allowed to use their adjustable rear wings when they’re within one second of another car during races in 2011. Teams are able to use the wings whenever they want during testing.

You can see high-resolution versions of these pictures below.

Felipe Massa drives the Ferrari F150 – pictures

Felipe Massa drives the Ferrari F150 – video

F1 Fanatic previously analysed how often drivers would have been able to use the adjustable rear wings has they been allowed in 2010.

The Ferrari drivers could have used them most, and in total over 3,500 uses would have been possible by F1 drivers in 2010.

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Images ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

90 comments on “First look at Ferrari’s adjustable rear wing”

  1. I remember at the young drivers test there was the adjustable renault rear wing being used and it looked very different.


      1. Hmm, very strange, I never saw that at the time. I wonder if we are going to see any radical looking rear wings like that in 2011, or was that just one of those weird things you see in testing (like the airbox pole)?

      2. I’ve been looking for that photo for ages. Cheers mate

      3. That’s just a 2010 spec rear wing with the upper flap removed completely.

        Presumably they were seeing how much downforce/control was reduced when that upper element was taken out of the equation.

        1. photoshop maybe? why are the sideplates stil high?

          1. Because like Adrian said its just a 2010 wing with the upper flap removed. They obviously didn’t want to manufacture an entirely new wing so the end plates are the same size.

        2. It’s also riding incredibly high on it’s suspension. THere’ll have been removing all sorts of variables during that test, whatever there looking for will have been exceedingly specific.

          1. I think the camera is located slightly downhill looking upwards as there isn’t that much room underneath the synthetic plank, dont forget the cars are running with a stepped floor since 1994

        3. Yep, maybe it’s a mega-low downforce setup. The GP2 cars used to run at Monza with their rear wings like that.

          1. they still do… they were like that this year

    1. The Sri Lnakan
      30th January 2011, 22:53

      Brings a tear to my eye when i realise that this was made with help from the old TOYOTA team….atleast some form of toyota prescence will be on the grid this year

  2. I’m still not sold on this rear wing idea but thanks for the photos!

    Massa’s helmet looks different. It seems to have more blue a bit like his 06 helmet or am I imagining things (I bet Fixy knows)?

    1. His 2011 design is based off his 2010 design, but there has been a change. Like his 2006 helmet, the yellow part in front is V shaped and not curved like his 2007-2010 helmets. The blue part is due to the fact that the white stripe containing the Marlboro barcode has been removed and his entire design is shown.
      2011: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schuberth/5369839074/
      2010: http://www.flickr.com/photos/schuberth/4662118523/
      2006: http://media.photobucket.com/image/massa%202006%20helmet/f1helmets/massa06gl/massa06gl-8.jpg

      1. Yes, it does look weird to see Ferrari helmets without the white band.

        1. Indeed it does. I prefered the 2007-2010 one for sure.

          1. Me too. I would love to see plain helmets, but having that a-symmetrical logo that just stands out for its colours is horrible, and it would be better on a white stripe. And even because Alonso has had to move apart the two arrows on top to make it fit and his helmet now is almost just blue.

        2. Not only that, Massa is having a yellow sponsor logo strip on his visor as was teh case last year, and Alonso’s logo strip was blue. But this year Alonso seems to have shifted to a red sponsor logo strip.

      2. Thank you Fixy. I knew I could count on you :)

        I think I’m with OEL though and preferred it before. Maybe it’ll just take some getting used to.

        1. Well, let’s hope so. But if it doesn’t, well, it won’t be the end of the world. What matters now is that Felipe can get the maximum out of the F150 and the Pirelli tyres. Outpace Alonso and I don’t care if your helmet is pink, purple or whatever. Go Felipe!

          1. Go Felipe!

  3. How do Ferrari get away with all of this ‘filming’ time, while almost no other teams do it at any point during the season? I know it is allowed but i still dont quite understand.

    1. Mclaren usually stay at Jerez after the test for an extra couple of days for some filming but it stops there for the season for them. Ferrari will use any excuse to go and do a bit more filming

      1. They are allowed and they are wise enough to use all the days permitted.

    2. Ferrari have their own track so it’s a lot easier and more economical for them to do filming days than for the other teams.

      Each team is allowed 100km a year of filming and there are restrictions on tyres and, I think, cornering speeds.

    3. They have to use a set of comedy low gip tyres at events like this. They prevent them from cornering at high speeds. i don’t think it would return any useful data.

      1. Only use I can really see is just as a very basic reliability test, just make sure all the new bits hold together and dont overheat. mind, your not going to learn much as things will be very different when its driven in anger.

  4. Wow, that spike at the back off the airbox looks fearsome. I wonder if that is there to encourage following drivers to keep their distance? Perhaps Lotus should have fitted something similar to Heikki Kovalainen’s car at Valencia last season…

    1. Bigbadderboom
      29th January 2011, 16:54

      I’m with you Ned, looks like a nasty accident waiting to happen! Ouch!!

      1. Isn’t that because in the early noughties the engine cover viewed from the side was getting smaller and smaller so a regulation came in stating it had to have a minimum area because it is one of the main areas for sponsors.

        Of course the size of engine covers later went the other way when shark fins came in.

        If you look at the 2010 Mercedes later season version you will see something similar.


        1. They changed the regs for sponsers? Doubt it, that’s a team decision. That on the Merc is a form of Shark fin pionered by BMW in 08.

          1. It was 2004 the minimum size engine cover rules came in because of the importance for sponsors. It is mentioned on this page on F1 Technical under the technical regulations (chassis)


            I tried to find some good comparison shots of the cars from 2002-2004 but I am hopeless at searching for pictures. Although they aren’t actual photos this site does have World Champions and their cars so you can see the change in engine covers.


  5. Looks very interesting but like Steph I’m not fully convinced on this idea. Yes it will increase overtaking but it makes it not as special anymore. Just one thing though – at Monza teams use very low downforce setups and the angle on the rear wing is very low. So will the adjustable rear wing still make a difference there or will teams have to rely on KERS?

    1. Also just to add, does anyone know what the effect the triangular slit/hole in the middle of the rear wing actually does? Surely it will make the air coming off the rear wing more turbulent as it could generate vortices? (I know nothing about aerodynamics so what I said probably means nothing at all!)

      1. The actuating arm for the upper rear wing would create some turbulent airflow behind it. The triangular notch behind it would allow that turbulent air to escape rather than hitting the wing and spoiling the smoother airflow to either side of it. This would increase the effectiveness of the wing when it is not in the raised position.

    2. In Monza, you can’t further reduce the angle of the wings as I believe it’s the lowest possible.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if teams run a decent amount of wing around Monza this time year. Looking at Button, it was clearly the strategy to go for, Alonso just had a quicker pitstop.

        1. But in Monza last year the teams could stall their wings at any time, wereas this year only 1sec behind, some might go with large wings for quali but they’ll be sitting ducks in the race.

          1. Yeah, I think they’ll still go for a special wing. Like you say they could use the F-duct whenever and wherever they wanted. The same won’t be true of the MRW except in practice and qualifying.

      2. They will still run the min amount of wing this will make no difference for the reasons given above.

        PS Hamiltons set-up was quicker than Buttons but we never got to see that. Two mistakes in Quali and in the race… well we all know what happened there.

  6. Which part of the rear wing is moving now, the upper or the lower part? ‘Cause if it’s the upper part of the wing they couldn’t fit a shark, could they? I’m confused…

    1. shark-fin is what I wanted to say….geez!

      1. The front edge of the upper wing raises up to 40 40mm with the pivots located within 20mm of the back edge. Shark fins are no longer allowed to attach to the rear wing.

    2. They aren’t allowed to use shark fins. And looking at the photos the moving looks like it occurs in the upper part.

      1. I thought just F-ducts aren’t allowed any more? But if it’s the upper part of the wing that’s moving I don’t see the teams being able to incorporate the fin anyway…

        1. To prevent F-Ducts, fins aren’t allowed to touch the rear wing, but I guess it’s possible to have fins like this: http://photos.gpupdate.net/newsnew/106466.jpg

          1. Yeah, you’re right, that should still be possible then…not that it looks any prettier that way.
            Could be interesting to see if most of the teams go for an ’08-style fin or if they keep it as it’s shown above.

      2. I thought it was just that shark fins couldn’t be joined to the rear wing anymore?

        1. The rule is:

          “3.9.1 No bodywork situated between 50mm and 330mm forward of the rear wheel centre line may be more than 730mm above the reference plane.”

          So perhaps Ferrari’s spike is just under this 730mm, but they would not be allowed to have a fin come near the rear wing higher than that.

          1. So essentially any part of the engine cover that comes within 13″ of the rear axle when viewed from the side, can stick up higher than 28″. I think that means we won’t even be seeing ’08 style shark fins.

          2. I stand corrected. This apparently leaked shot of the R31 looks like it’ll have an ’08 style shark fin: http://yfrog.com/h0s1ftj

          3. I think that is (part of) one of the pictures of the R30 in JPS box livery.

          4. I think thats the Fauzy’s R30…

  7. I thought you could be able to see the movement more clearly, but now I’m pretty convinced there has to be a graphic on TV showing who’s using it. Just imagine trying to see if the wing angle has changed when the car blasts past the cameras at 250+km/h.

  8. As a mclaren fan, i have to say the ferrari looks (aesthetically) much better than last year, i might even be compelled to say “nice” :P

    1. Indeedy, I reckon there’ve nicked macca’s radiator inlet idea though. Make the car more sliperry

  9. This year’s helmet livery is horrible. all down to Malboro.

    1. All down to the logo.

      1. The new Marlboro logo.

        1. Ferrari logo = Marlboro logo? Agree.

  10. Well I’m suprised by quite how much that wing jumps! A lot more movement than I was expecting, top speeds could be fearsome in quali.

    It’ll make a big differance when following I suspect but it’ll have to snap down before the corners, expect we’ll see a lot of cars going straight on this season, it’ll have to snap up and down very quickly. Wonder how long it’ll take for the wind flow to re-attach.

    1. Wonder how long it’ll take for the wind flow to re-attach.

      I was wondering the same thing. Qualifying speeds should be faster this year, since the moveable wing should be much more effective and efficient than the F-duct, which was already worth a good chunk of time per lap.

      1. From adam Cooper’s Blog:

        Teams still have a lot to learn about the wings. One technical director told me this week that while the wing ‘springs back’ into place automatically when a driver brakes at the end of the straight – with his car at least – that process might not happen fast enough to get the downforce back in time to get round the corner safely (we’re talking about just a tenth here). Thus the driver may have to press the button himself just before he brakes. Another thing to remember!

        1. Although it could be dangerous, I think it does add a bit of extra required skill to pull off a successful overtaking move.

          BasCB agrees with me, I am sure!

  11. So… Fernando, no excuses this time… if you wanna pass Massa, press all your ‘go-faster’ buttons… wing down, KERS on, and lead foot the right pedal.

    Should be good, there’s gonna be a real art to defending a position this year, and I guarantee some will be much better than others.

  12. You can see that movement is going to give a sizeable advantage. The surface area difference is huge! I wonder what other features will appear on the cars…when Newey and co. get their heads ‘around’ the rule book?

  13. WooHoo! The winter drought is over! The 24 Hours of Daytona starts in just 10 minutes. 8)

  14. Is there going to be a loophole here? Does it say that the rear wing can’t be used to assist breaking? If you could use it to assist breaking like on the veyron, that would be worth a second or two a lap! Although you might have to wear swimming goggles to keep your eyes from falling out!

  15. I love the idea of movable wings. I also love how people have judged it before it’s even been used in battle. I also don’t have a problem with making the drivers life more difficult. This is competition, it’s sport, a game, it’s a test of the talents of the drivers, and the brains of the engineers. It increases the range of fallibility and the scope of required ability.

    I’m not convinced about the second gap rule, but I’ll be pleased to see Alonso overtake Massa on merit. I’ll also be pleased to see how the focused talents of Kubica and Kobayashi, along with Hamilton use these rules to their advantage.

    Some drivers will stand out if they can understand, and master the tools at their disposal, when others complain, whinge, and ultimately make mistakes.

    1. The one thing I hope is that the stewards will be a little more lenient about defensive driving otherwise it really is going to be far too easy.

      I swing from one opinion to the other. I hate the artificiality. But I hate the cars being designed to prevent overtaking in the first place.

      1. The one thing I hope is that the stewards will be a little more lenient about defensive driving otherwise it really is going to be far too easy.

        The one thing I hope is drivers will be a little less defensive to avoid serious crashes like Europe 2010.

  16. I wasn’t too keen on the F150 when I saw all the pictures form the launch, but in some of these photos it looks great, at least from some angles. The fourth one in particular shows the change since the F10 as well.

  17. I find in this photo the F150 looks similar to the F310B in this photo.

    1. We Want Turbos
      29th January 2011, 23:01

      I suppose a little, but it doesn’t have that blue and White thing sticking out of the front!!

  18. HounslowBusGarage
    29th January 2011, 22:05

    I’m a bit confused.
    When I first read about this variable rear wing idea, I thought that all the designs would be the same, with elements of X mm by Y mm able to move through an angle of Z degrees, etc.
    But now I am beginning to wonder if there is going to be more variation (and therefore nett effect) than I expected.
    Can anyone post or direct me to the actual FIA regulations so that we can all appreciate the degree of lattitude (pun, geddit?) available.

    1. The Regs are pretty arcane and convoluted and much too long to post here HBG. Here’s a link to the FIA F1 Regs page, you’ll want to look at the 2011 Tech Regs section “3.10 Bodywork behind the rear wheel centre line” on page 11-13 and section “3.18 Driver adjustable bodywork” on page 17-18.


      1. HounslowBusGarage
        30th January 2011, 15:54

        Many thanks. Looks a bit daunting though . . .

  19. As I commented in the ferrari 2010-2011 comparison post, I think the most important development in this racer is the placement of the rear dampers. If all goes well for farrari the new suspension setup will be as successful or even more so than Newey’s pull-rod-slim-rear-ended beauty of a car. This breakthrough paired with the higher nose will make Ferrari a fearful contender in 2011.

  20. ” Drivers will be allowed to use their adjustable rear wings when they’re within one second of another car during races in 2011. Teams are able to use the wings whenever they want during testing.”

    What about qualifying? Will they be allowed to use it back then especially in places like Monza & Spa were speed is a good factor.

    1. They can use it whenever they want to in quali as well

  21. Anyone noticed how much the nose dips in the middle? The cockpit end, not the front end.

  22. Can anyone confirm for me that these wings cannot be used in qualifying, therefore lap times towards the end of the race could be faster than qualifying times?

    1. Haven’t got the regulations to hand at the moment but I thought they could be used in qualifying.

      1. Right Keith, thet are free to use them at any time in Practice and Qualy:

        3.18.2 The adjustable bodywork may be activated by the driver at any time prior to the start of the race and, for the sole purpose of improving overtaking opportunities during the race, after the driver has completed a minimum of two laps after the race start or following a safety car period.
        The driver may only activate the adjustable bodywork in the race when he has been notified via the control electronics (see Article 8.2) that it is enabled. It will only be enabled if the driver is less than one second behind another at any of the pre-determined positions around each circuit. The system will be disabled by the control electronics the first time the driver uses the brakes after he has activated the system.
        The FIA may, after consulting all competitors, adjust the above time proximity in order to ensure the stated
        purpose of the adjustable bodywork is met.

  23. Thanks guys, let’s see who was the best working wing!

  24. They could make it show up better by painting the lower plane red under the adjustable part, so the bottom half appears red with the wing up and white with it down.

    Will they be testing the one-second-gap sensors in Valencia this week? Should mean more overtaking than the average test if they do.

  25. Potentially exciting stuff! Hopefully it will have more of an impact than the moveable front wing. Thanks for the photos Keith!

  26. Hmm sorry seems like my previous comment is still on ” Your comment is awaiting moderation. ” Weird. Anyways, theres a picture of new mercedes W02. :)

  27. i have heard from an italian friend who been a tifosi was at the track trying to get a good shot of the car that the radio chatter indicated the adjustable rear wing gave alonso a 17kph speed boost when it was tested on the longest straght. they also ran kers which gave a 12kph boost.

    they got alonso to run adjustable rear wing and kers together and got a 31kph boost.

    if those figures are accurate then the racing this year is going to be extremely dull. as soon as anyone gets within ‘the zone’ on a strgaht there going to make the pass easily in a straght line and that sort of passing is not exciting or intresting to me.

    i want to see some good, close, exciting racing and not a ton of easy passes caused by that sort of speed boost. may as well watch nascar or indycar oval races where there is a hundred meaningless and dull passes each race.

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