How Ferrari drastically reduced Red Bull’s speed advantage

How Ferrari drastically reduced Red Bull's speed advantage

( — While Ferrari may not have adopted the approach of Red Bull, who are bringing update after update to their 2022 Formula 1 car, the team has made significant progress.

Ferrari brought a new rear wing to Canada


Indeed, recent efforts to close and narrow the critical gap for major championship contenders have paid off and could be crucial in the title shot.

Since the start of the year, GPS data from the Red Bull RB18 and Ferrari F1-75 have shown that they both set their lap times in different ways. Ferrari was better in the slow and mid-speed corners, while Red Bull had a significant top speed advantage on the straights.

And as team boss Mattia Binotto readily admitted, the extent of Ferrari’s lack – especially with the DRS open – was unmistakable: “Undoubtedly we were at a disadvantage compared to Red Bull in terms of speed on the straights. , especially in the DRS zone”, he says. “That’s why we’ve done a lot more work on the strength of his Drs than ours.”

This work culminated with the arrival of a new rear wing at the Canadian Grand Prix, where the team had enough parts for one of its drivers.

Ferrari F1-75

Rear wing variants from Ferrari in direct comparison zoom

The choice fell on Charles Leclerc, who had to start from behind due to an engine penalty. Because if he rolls over in the rain and damages the wing, a pit gullet is triggered because he has to use a different specification, at least not a total disaster.

It was already clear in Montreal how different the two wings were compared to each other. This was supported by official speed measurements, where Leclerc clocked 342.7 km/h, while Sainz only managed 331.3 km/h. At start/finish, Leclerc was ahead at 300.6 km/h, while Sainz was only moving at 294 km/h.

The wing undergoes several changes, in which the length of the main wing chord is significantly reduced in the center section, resulting in a much smoother transition to rolled endplates.

This contributes to the observed reduction in downforce and drag. Also noteworthy are modifications to the beam wing, where both elements have been trimmed back towards their tips.

Rear Wing with Open Drs

The open DRS gap should not exceed the size of 85 mm zoom

Changes to the transition zone on the exterior of the wing allow Ferrari to improve its use of DRS, which is especially important given the qualification.

Formula 1 car designers always try to maximize the size of the opening, allowing a full span of 85 mm between the main plane and the top door, and this has been increased in Ferrari’s new design in the tip area.

However, it should be noted that this is a compromise between competing design factors, as Ferrari previously preferred better drag reduction when the DRS was not open.

The changes made result in a trade-off that drivers must anticipate between their set-up choices and the performance of the tires during the racing tenure.

Meanwhile, Red Bull is making changes to other aspects of the RB18 design, believing that greater performance can be achieved in these areas.

Since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix, the upper part of the two elements of the beam wing have been removed to reduce drag.

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