F1 GP Singapore, the effects of the FIA ​​directive in the Ferrari exploit

On Friday at Marina Bay the SF-23s shone thanks to a very low attitude which absorbed the effects of the arrangement which, from this race, limits the flexibility of the wing elements. An adaptation that Red Bull, however, has not yet found

Paolo Filisetti

– Milan

In the first Free Practice of the Singapore GP, Ferrari amazed on the Marina Bay track, which on paper seemed to be decidedly indigestible for the SF-23. The red, however, immediately found good form from the first session, then perfected in the various runs, with good balance and an extremely low attitude, highlighted by the persistent trail of sparks produced by the rubbing of the metal pads of the surface against the asphalt . The two SF-23s, however, did not present any significant changes, because the front wing is in fact a revised version adapted to the characteristics of Marina Bay of the one introduced in Holland. Only the trailing edge of the last flap is different from that seen in Zandvoort, while no other elements, not even those that act as separators between the flaps and the wing profile have been modified.

technical directive

This is a necessary clarification, since it has entered into force in Singapore the technical directive TD018 which aims to limit the flexibility/deformation of the wing elements and the reduction of the separation space between flap and wing. This is a standard that reduces the possibility of the profiles deforming and the gap between them is reduced, depending on the load applied. Not a real “game changer”, but certainly a rule that reduces the room for maneuver of the aerodynamicists. There dull performance from both Red Bull RB19spartially predicted by the declarations of Verstappen, Perez and Horner the day before, could in fact find a plausible justification precisely inintroduction of the TD18. In both sessions the Red Bull drivers experimented with different setups to reduce the difficulties with the front end, both when engaging and when exiting. It was striking, in both sessions, that the heights from the ground adopted were much higher than those normally adopted by this single-seater even on city tracks such as Monaco, where the RB19 actually crawled along the entire length of the lower board. It is difficult to think that it was an experiment, also in relation to the fact that this, at most, should have been carried out in FP1, to be evaluated, and then verified the negative result be set aside in FP2.

tallest red bull

This fact makes it even more plausible that, not being able to vary the load level between straights and curves, as before the new directive it was partly possible to achieve thanks to the flexibility of the wings, Red Bull opted for a higher set-up to avoid cornering problems with the curbs acting as tangible track limits on this track. It could therefore be hypothesized that the RB19 found itself with a set-up that radically modified its dynamic behavior, greatly reducing its absolute performance. It is possible that the technicians will be able to overturn the setup to make the single-seaters more in line with the wishes of the two drivers, allowing them to extract a performance that competes with that of the two Ferraris. It is useful to point out that, although the FIA ​​has never revealed which of the teams before the directive had most exploited the controlled flexibility of the wing elements, in the paddock at Monza, three teams seemed to be the most likely to be affected by the new rule: Alpine , Red Bull, Mercedes and, secondly, Aston Martin.