Ferrari plans wind tunnel upgrade

Sat, 07 May 18:05:04 2011

Ferrari is planning a development upgrade of its wind tunnel later this summer in a bid to put to bed the correlation problems that have affected its early season form.

The Maranello-outfit discovered in the first few events of the year that upgrades fitted to its car were not delivering the increase in downforce that wind tunnel data suggested they should.

A detailed analysis of the problem, which included using the former Toyota team's wind tunnel in Cologne for calibration purposes, showed that the problem was caused by its Maranello tunnel producing the wrong data.

Modifications have already been made to help the situation, and technical director Aldo Costa said in Turkey on Saturday that a major upgrade programme will also be undertaken later this year.

"It is not unusual to have a problem in the wind tunnel, unfortunately when it happens to us there is a lot of attention," he explained.

"These cars today are quite complex in terms of vortices management in a lot of areas, so there were some areas where it was not working so well. So we had to review something in the tunnel, I don't want to be more specific than that, and in terms of the architecture of the tunnel.

"Plus we have to redesign some more detail areas of equipment itself, which will be done after the August break probably - so in September or October, something like that."

Costa confirmed that the use of the Toyota facility had helped highlight the cause of Ferrari's problems.

"We investigated in the Toyota wind tunnel, so we have the possibility to compare the three different environments [the two tunnels plus the track] - and also a fourth because there is the CFD as well.

"I think we have done quite good progress in that understanding, and I hope by September or October we will achieve a very, very good point in terms of correlation of tunnel and track."

When asked if he felt that was too late to help the team recover the lost ground this year, Costa said: "We have already fixed and understood quite a lot of problems - so it [the tunnel] is working at the moment.

"We are continuously improving the wind tunnel and there is action to come in the next few months. The last few actions will be in order to put definitely to bed this issue, and they will be September/October."


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