Sebastian Vettel’s significant British Grand Prix victory left Mercedes in no doubt that Formula 1 rival Ferrari’s progress shows no sign of slowing down this season.
Just a week after a major update helped Mercedes take a step forward in Austria, Ferrari’s own developments appeared to make the difference at Silverstone.
The high-speed track has been a stronghold for Mercedes in recent years, but tweaks in particular to Ferrari’s floor resulted in a performance step that made a big difference.
The long gill-like holes in the SF71H’s floor have been updated, as an extra hole was introduced that reached right back and around to the angled holes ahead of the rear tyre. To compensate for the arrival of the extra long gill ahead of them the angled holes have also been adjusted too.
The flap on the edge of the floor introduced earlier in the season has been discarded and replaced by a simple upturn on the floors edge. The serrated winglet on the upper leading corner of the rear brake duct was also adjusted as part of this update, as the serrations have become full blown slots, working the airflow over the surface harder. As part of its quest to deliver a strong all-round contender at Silverstone, Ferrari also decided to run its spoon-shaped rear wing, trading some downforce for drag reduction.
Eyeing the airflow interaction between the hot air exiting the engine cover below and the underside of the rear wing as a potential pitfall, the team opted to run an outlet with a valley in the central section (inset).
Championship rival Mercedes has also opted for this solution when it has run a spoon wing as an attempt to improve flow consistency. It is important to realise that Ferrari’s success is not down to a single update, but the fact it has been able to constantly developing its car throughout 2018.