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Formula 1 Bahrain GP

Ferrari will persist with “difficult” single-pillar F1 rear wing

Ferrari is set to persist with development of its single-pillar rear wing despite having obvious issues in Formula 1 testing and during the Bahrain Grand Prix.

Ferrari SF-23 Rear wing

The new design, which is intended to clean up the airflow to the wing, triggered a DRS issue when it was trialled on the final day of testing.

When it was tried again in the Friday FP1 session, TV coverage showed it oscillating in dramatic fashion, and it was quickly replaced with a standard twin-pylon wing for the remainder of the weekend.

Veteran Ferrari engineer Jock Clear, who currently serves as Charles Leclerc’s driver coach, says the problems were a simple reflection of the lack of track testing available to teams.

"I think the double-pylon obviously is a carryover from last year, tried and trusted,” he said. “And the single didn't really come into development until later in the year, in fact very late in the year, maybe the last month of development.

“So it's fairly young. It's a development that's just a step forward on the rear wing really. Obviously getting down to a mono pillar just cleans up the flow to the bottom of the main plane.

“So it's just providing a bit more juice. But like everything, we need to get it on the car and check it all out. And we did that at the test, and we did it again here, and it's just an ongoing development really.

“So nothing amazing about it. But it's probably something that we want to pursue, what we've seen so far is positive. So it'll probably appear again.”

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Clear says it’s impossible to judge how much work will be required for the team to be in a position to actually commit to using it on a race weekend.

“Difficult to say, I would have to refer to my composite colleagues and aero specialists to know exactly,” he noted. “But it's one of those things where actually it's very difficult to get that sort of mode of vibration replicated in the wind tunnel.

“You can get the loads out of it, but all the stiffnesses actually have to be reflected in the real size. So that's why we've had to go to the car, we put it on the car.

“And of course, nowadays, you get very little testing time. So we have to use these Fridays to test some bits. So as I say, it's just a normal development. And we've learned a lot from it. And we've got the videos, we've got the sensors on it, it will tell us how much movement there is now.

“It's obviously improved from last week to this week. And we'll go back to the factory and improve it again. And once we're comfortable with it, it'll appear.”

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Ferrari also suffered a bodywork issue in Bahrain qualifying when Leclerc lost parts from a front wheel arch. They were replaced in time for him to qualify third, and the part was strengthened overnight.

“I think again it's a reflection of maybe the less testing pre-season here,” said Clear. “It's not given us the opportunity to really rattle everything to bits over what was I think 7500kms last year. And yeah, it's unfortunate, and it certainly unnerves the driver a bit, as you probably heard on the radio.

“So we certainly don't enjoy that sort of thing in qualifying. It was a very small part on the front wheel arch, effectively. And we put a new one on, and we reinforced them overnight.

“Again, we don't enjoy those sorts of things in qualifying, we could do without it. But it's just part of the first race of the year and getting the teething problems out of the car.”

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