Take a closer look at how Ferrari won in Canada.

Giorgio Piola and Matt Somerfield take a look at the updates that helped to put Ferrari in the fight for victory in the Canadian Grand Prix last weekend.


As Ferrari continues to search for performance to bring it closer to Mercedes, the team not only had a new turbo available but several aerodynamic changes too.

Front wing

Ferrari SF16-H front wing detail

The SF16-H's front wing featured a couple of changes for Canada, with the notched 'r' cascade used earlier in the season returning and changing how the air moves across the surface of the front tyre and out around it.

The outer endplate canard was also amended (highlighted in green), with a L-shaped design employed in place of the slotted canard, which undoubtedly changes the airflow in that region, shifting the wake that is shed from the tyre too and improving performance downstream.

Front brake duct

Ferrari SF16-H brake duct detail

The fins that protrude from the brake duct were also revised in Canada, changing the airflow that moves inside the tyre and aft of it.

The inlets position was slightly higher in Canada, changing the upper corners impact on the airflow, whilst the lower corner was also re-profiled and an additional vane added (highlighted in yellow) to work in tandem with the rearward one that was retained.

We're unable to see it in this image as it resides behind the FOM camera and suspension, but a cobra-style fin, similar to what we've seen Mercedes use, could be found mounted from the uppermost horizontal fin.

Sidepod bodywork

Ferrari SF16H side pods, Canadian GP

A change to the bodywork that surrounds the upper wishbone was made with a large cut-out in the upper surface exposing a semi-detached hoop.

Much like the other teams that utilise this type of hoop, it's about managing internal airflow structures with the external surface airflow, with one pulling on the other to improve overall efficiency. The change also means that the overall size of the rear outlet is reduced in size.

Ferrari SF16H brake duct, captioned, Canadian GP

A comparison with the old bodywork can be seen in the illustration above.

Rear brake drum

Tyre performance is such a critical factor and has been a major focus for Ferrari as it looks to improve its qualifying performance. In Canada it made changes to its rear brake duct as it searches for improved thermal control of the brakes, wheel rims and tyres.

Ferrari SF16-H rear brake drum

The flow diverters were significantly increased in size, changing how airflow that sits between the brake drum and wheel rim moves outward through the wheel face, which undoubtedly has an effect on tyre performance as the heat radiated from the brakes is manipulated differently.


Renault's return to the sport as a constructor is a painful one, as an uphill battle is fought to improve a car that was initially designed for a different power unit, whilst dealing with infrastructure, personnel and budgetary issues that have held the team back over the last few seasons.

Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 front brake duct detail

All comeback stories have that element of hardship to them, with growing pains just part of the natural order to things.

Lessons learnt during this phase of their development could be crucial to a better campaign in 2017 though and the burgeoning signs of this could be seen in Canada with the team making a concerted effort to harness the tyres more effectively.

As we know, the Pirelli tyres are extremely sensitive to temperature changes, making them a challenge in their own right.

Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 rear brake duct detail

Experiments with heating blankets covering the brake drums, both front and rear, were conducted during the free practice sessions in order to understand how they can introduce heat to the wheel rim as the tyres leave their blankets, keeping temperature in tyre before the car exits the garage and then maintain it during the course of a race stint.

Kevin Magnussen, Renault Sport F1 Team RS16, spare chassis

It seems this method of heating the tyres wasn't the only experimentation that was undertaken though, with Magnussen explaining that his FP3 accident that ruled him out of qualifying was the result of tyres not heated in the blankets, something they'd done earlier in the weekend but had more favourable results with.

Co-author: Matt Somerfield, Assistant Technical Editor

Source: Motorsport.com

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