Ferrari rules out switching to Mercedes-style front wing

Jonathan Noble

The Maranello-based team went for a low-drag outwash-style wing last year, whereas Mercedes and Red Bull opted for a higher-downforce version.

And while Ferrari accepted that it had maybe made a mistake in not chasing enough downforce with its 2019 challenger, its team principal Mattia Binotto says that part of its refocus for this year will not include abandoning its front wing concept.

While the front wing that appeared on the SF1000 launch car was last year’s version, and will be used for testing, even the final Melbourne-specification will stick with the same outwash idea.

“This one maybe is not the final one, but certainly is our baseline for the start and we will bring it to the winter testing,” said Binotto about the wing.

“We will not change our concept, it will remain like that, even on whatever we may test later on. I think this is the right concept for us.

“I think we improved a lot the downforce, not only through the wing but if you look at the car itself, turning vanes especially. It's quite a lot of high complexity, I would say. The entire car, the slimmer car, makes as well the back of the car and the diffuser work better. So, finally I think the overall [downforce] has certainly increased.”

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The ramping up of downforce has come with an increase in car drag, but Binotto said he could not be sure yet if the right compromise between the two had been found.

“Certainly we increased a lot our downforce. By doing that we increased as well the level of drag, so we believe that we'll have a car certainly faster in the cornering but maybe slower in the straight,” he said.

“Where is the right balance? I think it's difficult to know, difficult to know what the others are doing as well. But certainly we increased by quite a lot our downforce.”

Binotto also said that the team would experiment with the rake of the car at the start of the season in a bid to find the sweet spot.

“The rake is something we will try and test during Barcelona, and following races,” he explained. “As I said, I think the starting point of this car has been the one of last year, so we have not changed our concept. So let's say that the wheelbase and rake [are] pretty much similar.”