I’m not entirely sure how to write this post, but I will attempt at my very best to describe Ferrari’s recent innovation that will, it is hoped in Maranello, adorn the F2008 at some point this season. The component in question has been tested at Vairano last week with Marc Gene taking to the wheel of the Scuderia’s 2008 car. The circuit was shared, by the way, with Brendon Hartley, the New Zealander shaking down the brand new STR. Of course, the STR3 is a derivitive of the RB4, designed by Adrian Newey and hopefully built more solidly than the parent car. Anyway, back to Ferrari’s innovation…
Here’s a picture of Felipe Massa testing the F2008 earlier this year. If you look at the nose you’ll see several sponsor logos on the top, heading along the monocoque towards the drivers head. For this innovation, we are solely concerned with the Bridgestone ‘B’, located between the FIAT and Martini logos. Apparently, Aldo Costa has arranged some kind of opening on this part of the car. According to some who were present at the circuit, it looks like a cut away on the top side of the nose.
I can’t quite see the purpose of this, but undoubtedly Ferrari can. I’m wondering if the nose-hole (here within known as the nostril) is to aid cooling somehow? We have seen Ferrari struggle with reliability thus far this season, and Ferrari engine units have been going pop in other customer teams as well. It could be that the air forced in through the opening is channeled back to the engine. It is also possible that the nostril could help cool the drivers. In Australia and Malaysia we heard of problems with drivers getting very hot, and the drinks bottle resembling a pot of tea. Although I personally can’t see a team going so far as to redesign the front of the car just to help keep the drinks bottle cooler, and I think we’ve already had the hottest race of the year in Malaysia.
It could be that the innovation is designed to channel air better around the drivers head and monocoque area and over the driveshaft and suspension arms. But then, why would it involve having a hole cut into the car? Either way, whatever the reason for the change, it will unlikely debut in Bahrain. Instead, Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has decided to introduce other smaller aerodynamic updates to the car for Bahrain and Spain.
The plan for this year is that we should have continuous updates throughout the season. We aim to improve the package step by step with changes coming for almost every race. Aldo Costa.
Perhaps after further testing in the three week break following the Bahrain Grand Prix the team will consider showing the world what weird and wonderful parts they plan on bolting on (or taking off) from their car. Until then, I’m going to go on a hunt for a photograph of this innovation. As they say, a picture can speak a thousand words.