Ferrari SF70H in detail
The high-rake Ferrari SF70H – compact, conceptually simple but with lots of trick detail – was a classic Rory Byrne type of car. The radiator openings are uniquely high-set, allowing much of the oncoming cooling air a more direct passage, without having wound its way past the front suspension, helping towards a smaller radiator. There was innovation, too, in the way the bodywork ahead of the rear tyres flexed downwards beyond a certain speed threshold (through trick carbon lay-up) and this was linked to how the leading edge of the floor would flex, controlled by slots at each edge of the floor. Different exits to the slots could be chosen, giving different handling traits as required and allowing more downforce over a wider range of corner types. There was also an ingenious ‘active’ blown front axle, utilising a fluidic switch to vary between downforce-inducing blowing mode or drag-reducing non-blowing on the straights. The FIA clamped down on all of these as other teams discovered them and queried their legality. Ferrari’s detail aero sophistication is in the arrangement of vanes and shutters around the sidepods (Merc’s is beneath the nose). Ferrari excelled in rear over-body downforce through this. It could support a greater rear wing angle if required, giving it extra ‘dirty downforce’.
Unique high-mounted radiator inlets evident for clearer, faster flow to radiators that can be reduced in size. Smaller radiators can be seen in this comparison with the Mercedes. The radiator inlets are linked directly to front suspension layout, with both trying to find the cleanest route for cooling air. Merc has done it by lifting the wishbones, Ferrari by lifting the radiator inlets. Judging by radiator sizes, Ferrari has been more successful. Other SF70H innovations include its floor, which despite being single-piece was believed to have variable flexibility. Flex at the front and rear allows floor to be tuned to give the desired aero balance for the circuit/tyres in question.