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9 Feb 2014

The rear wing will have been an important design consideration for the teams this year with both the loss of the lower (beam) wing and the loss of 20mm in height for the upper wing planes. The beam wings loss has both a structural and aerodynamic impact on the overall design and so teams will use different solutions to minimise the losses. In the case of Ferrari they have opted to use two vertical mounting pylons [1] that sit atop of the crash structure and bow out to around the maximum 100mm from the centreline to allow the exhaust space.

Ferrari used leading edge tyre wake slots [2] on several occasions last season, having seen others make marginal gains from their use. The idea is to make the Endplate more efficient, allowing the pressure gradient to bleed between both sides of it. We call them tyre wake slots as the airflow structure emitted by the tyre is important in this interaction with the Endplates. Whereas last season the team utilsed singular, slim tyre wake slots at the leading edge of each Endplate, the F14T has much larger twin slots on each Endplate.

At the tail of the Endplate we see that Ferrari have carried over an element from the F138, albeit a singular element this year rather than it's predecessors twin version. These trailing edge slats [3] not only increase the aspect ratio of the wing, giving an increase in downforce, but also displace the formation of tip vortices delaying the onset of formation drag.


  1. How do the trailing edge slats increase the aspect ratio of the wing?

    1. Hmmm perhaps I should have said they create a wider optimal window for the aspect ratio of the Wing.

      I know it's a poor picture drawn in a few seconds but have a look at the image in the link below:

      As an example I've quickly sketched a drawing of a rear wing with a singular plane and one with a mainplane and flap. The wing on the left's angle of attack is too aggressive at lower speeds and so the airflow detaches from the low pressure side losing downforce and efficiency. In the right hand picture, the interjection of airflow between the flaps allows the airflow to overcome the AoA and stay attached to the elements increasing downforce. Of course the Endplates operate in a different by fairly similar way, the trailing edge slats therefore help the structure and the airflow around it to operate over a wider operating window. (Especially handy in yaw)


Whilst I'm trying to keep atop of the blog you may have noticed of late that there is less content appearing. For those of you that haven't realised, most of my work has now been moved over to where I'm working with Giorgio Piola.

As some of you may have found out already I'm also working with the Missed Apex crew on their podcast from time-to-time, either doing race reviews or dedicated 'Tech Time' shows.

I've embedded the latest version of the podcast below and will update this a frequently as I appear. However, please head over to Itunes if you want it to appear in your player when episodes are available. The show is great to work on and has a great lineup of 'regulars' but has also enticed some bigger names recently too, with Will Buxton and Bradley Philpot on shows during the summer break.

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