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Ferrari brings new F1 floor to French Grand Prix

Ferrari will evaluate a new floor design at Formula 1's French Grand Prix as the Italian outfit bids to up the ante in its fight with Red Bull.

Ferrari F1-75 tunnel comparison

Ferrari F1-75 tunnel comparison

Giorgio Piola

Giorgio Piola's F1 technical analysis

Giorgio Piola is the preeminent Formula 1 technical journalist. Born in Genoa, Italy, Giorgio has covered the F1 World Championship since 1969, producing thousands of illustrations that have been reproduced in the world’s most prestigious motor racing publications.

Spotted in the Paul Ricard pitlane on Thursday, Charles Leclerc's F1-75 has been fitted with the new design in preparation for evaluation during Friday afternoon's opening free practice session.

Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz's car has the old design mounted (inset), with it likely Ferrari will look to gather back-to-back data in order to validate real world performance against the promise shown in CFD and the wind tunnel.

While most of the technical development focus for Ferrari has revolved around its wing choices in recent races, teams were well aware that the floor is a critical area driving ultimate car performance.

Comparing Ferrari's old and new floor, it's clear to see there's a more definitive separation in the inner and outer sections of the tunnel's entrance, with the transition near the floor fence being much more abrupt (red arrows).

The revised layout will have implications on the airflow's behaviour both on the upper and lower surfaces of the tunnel.

The fence in that region will also be impacted, given the roof of the floor's leading edge is now much lower too.

It's also worth noting that whilst we can see these exterior changes to the floor it's not to say that the team hasn't made further modifications to the underfloor to help extract more performance, as there will clearly be a knock-on effect downstream.

Ferrari F1-75 rear wing comparison

Ferrari F1-75 rear wing comparison

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

It's not yet clear if both drivers will have the new solution at their disposal following the initial back-to-back tests should the new parts prove their potential.

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With teams stretched due to the limit of the cost cap, there have been times when they have preferred to bring just a single component until it has proven its worth.

Back at the Canadian Grand Prix, Leclerc benefited from a new low drag rear wing that was delivered to the race and has proved critical in helping Ferrari take the fight to Red Bull in top speed terms.

After its victory in the Austrian GP, Ferrari team principal Mattia Binotto reckoned that the differences on the straights between his squad's car and Red Bull was now almost nothing.

"With that new rear wing, I think we have simply reduced the gap we had in terms of speed. I think they still have got a slight advantage, but it's very little or negligible," he said.

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