Find out more about our subscriptions

Technical analysis of the Ferrari F60

At a low-key event at Mugello today, Ferrari launched their 2009 car, called simply the F60. Despite being built to the dramatically different 2009 rules, the car appears to retain the DNA of its predecessor.

Ferarri F60 detailNow equipped with a KERS system, slicks and bodywork to meet the new rules, the car is the first chance we have seen to see a definitive 2009 car. Slightly shorter than the F2008, the F60 cleverly exploits every blind spot in the bodywork rules to recoup the 50% loss in downforce from its smaller wings and diffuser.

Looking at the front wing, the outer spans are the important bits as the middle section is made to the FIA template. Ferrari have a simple initial wing design, supplemented by small cascade wings elements fitted to the end plate (the new rules do not allow bridge wings). The endplates themselves now aim to sweep around the outside of the front tyre: to aid this a small fence has been added to the footplate.

Inside the end plate is the mechanism that will allow the front wing flap to adjust up and down once per lap under the drivers control. There will be no 'nose hole' this year as the new rules preclude it.

Despite the aim of the Overtaking Working Group's derived rules to ban bargeboards, there are a three spots where Ferrari have found space. Two small vanes have been added below the chassis near the lower front wishbone mounts. These are followed by a larger vane low down just ahead of the sidepod.

The sidepod fronts are the main area of aerodynamic freedom, as they are described in the rules as the area for side impact protection and thus excluded from the limitations placed on the three volumes making up the rearward part of the sidepod. To exploit this, Ferrari have shortened the sidepod front as much as possible to allow more vanes to be added.

Ferarri F60 detailAs this area still needs to contain the side impact protection, a curious extension to the upper front of the sidepod has been added. Nick Tombazis said this was for aerodynamic reasons rather than for a side impact structure.

The rearward bargeboard encroaches into this area and a pod wing rises up from the floor to also form the rear view mirror housing. Further back along the sidepod, the F60 makes the most of the openings allowed under the rules for cooling. Both the exhaust outlet area is maximised as well as the opening, supposedly for suspension to pass through.

Despite these openings and the 18,000rpm limit, the sidepods still need more cooling outlets and the coke bottle shape extends to the rear axle line in order to create the main exit, which is almost oval in shape.

The diffuser and rear wing appear to be simple initial interpretations of the new rules: these along with the front wing and sidepod front will no doubt evolve as testing continues.

Mechanically the car sports a new Brembo braking system and new geometry for the front suspension to maximise use of the slick tyres. The engine, coded as the 056, has been re-tuned to 18,000rpm limit and to last three race weekends as per the new rules.

Ferarri F60 detailThe engine has been submitted to the FIA for homologation and the changes largely have involved inlet and exhaust tuning, as well as oil and fuel development. Still allied to a carbon titanium gearbox, the power train now includes the KERS system, which appears to drive its motor\generator off the front of the engine.

Additional cooling inlets have appeared in the front of the sidepods to cool the additional control units for the electrics. The system had yet to run on track before the launch, but Gilles Simon confirms it is in use on the launch car. To allow the driver to use the KERS boost a conspicuous "K" button has been added to the revised steering wheel.

The car made its first laps this morning and running will continue this afternoon.

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed
Ferrari move first F60 test to Mugello
Q & A with Felipe Massa
Ferrari get to work on F60 glitches
Q & A with Felipe Massa
Ferrari downplay lack of testing
Ferrari: Title hard to repeat
Massa completes Ferrari F60 roll-out
Raikkonen puts 2008 behind him
Massa feeling stronger than ever
Ferrari first team to unveil 2009 car