Ferrari not using F-duct in Monaco

Posted on

| Written by

Ferrari has confirmed it won’t use its F-duct (which it calls a blown rear wing) in this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.

The teams says there is little benefit to be had from running it around the slow, twisty Monte-Carlo circuit:

From the technical point of view, the two F10 cars were prepared at the Catalunya Circuit after the Spanish Grand Prix and the only change in terms of specification is that they will not be fitted with the blown rear wing, used for the first time in Barcelona, as the low speed Monaco circuit means the system has no great value, as maximum downforce is required at all times.
Ferrari statement

In-car footage at the Spanish Grand Prix showed their version of the device is hand-operated. At times Fernando Alonso was seen to have no hands on the wheel as he operated the F-duct with one hand and adjusted settings on the steering wheel with the other.

You have to wonder whether this also influenced Ferrari’s decision not to use the device. Taking both hands of the wheel may be possible at the Circuit de Catalunya but in the narrow confines of Monte-Carlo it would be a far greater risk.

Let’s see if McLaren, whose F-duct is knee- rather than hand-operated and probably less distrcting for the driver to use, run their device this weekend.

Ferrari also echoed Martin Whitmarsh’s concerns about traffic in Monte-Carlo:

This race has always been described as a lottery and it will be even more of a truism this weekend, given that on a track that barely seemed to have room to accommodate twenty cars, it now has to find space for twenty four. Q1 on Saturday afternoon will be really problematic in terms of traffic.

And in the race, although you can plan your pit stop strategy around the traffic, if a driver gets caught behind slower cars, it will ruin his race, especially when considering how early the backmarkers will start to be lapped, which in Barcelona was a factor as early as the 14th lap.
Ferrari statement

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

25 comments on “Ferrari not using F-duct in Monaco”

  1. Sush Meerkat
    12th May 2010, 9:00

    We can add Hungoring to that as well, drivers make constant adjustments to the steering wheel at that track, I dont think the F10 will be drivable with a hand operated device there too.

    1. There is however a long straight where the device will be very usefull, the device can remain untouched up untill the main straight where driving an F1 car becomes a slightly easier prospect.

  2. I think they move the gap towards the knee. The hands you need to adjust other things. But in monaco the high speeds are way lower so they don’t need it.

  3. I suppose, that Ferrari did take the way of operating it into account, when deciding against it for Monaco. Or there is another disadvantage they have from running it.

    McLaren will probably run it in Monaco as well as any other track, as first their system is more ergonomically operated, but it is an integral part of the car as well. If it enables them a little bit more wing in the slow areas and having less drag in the tunnel and going up the hill, it will give a small benefit.

    I hope Monaco will be dry, or maybe just a little damp making tyre choice harder and offering different strategies.

  4. I’m pretty sure this is just PR to hide the fact that they are afraid of an accident when their f-duct implementation is used.

    The start in Barcelona showed how much impact the F-duct has even on a short bit of straight. Hamilton and Alonso nearly overtook the both Red Bull drivers. Even though Hamilton had a poor start and Alonso was 2 places down.

    When they gathered some speed you could just see them pick up more and more speed compared to the Red Bulls

    I don’t see why the f-duct wouldn’t work in Monaco. The wings are even more vertical there so it would work even better.

    The Ferrari f-duct implementation looks rather dangerous though. Especially when driving between the armco’s. Of course they are not going to say that in public. So blaming it on a lack of usefulness is an easy way out.

    1. McLaren could probably get away with running completeley extreme wing in Monaco thanks to the F-Duct, probably won’t be the disadvantage described. Still as long as Redbull are the only car with an exhaust powered diffuser no one will get close to their downforce.

      1. I expect all teams will run maximum wing angles at Monaco, with no concession to straight-line speed. We’ve seen in the past they’ll bolt anything they can onto the car in an effort to get more downforce here.

        1. Lol, yeah.

          And these maximum wings should give a lot of drag. Drag which would be reduced by the F-duct.

          I really cannot follow Ferrari when they claim an F-duct would be of no benefit here.

        2. Wouldnt an F-Duct have an even greater advantage at greater wing angles? Not that Monaco has much in the way of straights, but I certainly dont see McLaren removing the RW80 system unless it actually slows them down…

      2. This is the second or third time that I have heard someone mention the exhaust fed diffuser like it is some sort of technological wonderpieced that has just appeared this year. The exhaust fed diffuser has been used for years, many a Newey designed McLaren featured one. They fell from grace when Ferrari started putting their exhaust exits on the top of the sidepods… and everyone followed suit.

        I think Ferrari have made a big error in their blown rear wing design. The hand operated system, apart from being difficult to operate, has played into the hands of the teams who couldn’t/ didn’t want to integrate the system into their cars as the operation of Ferrari’s system is clearly unsafe. They have essentially ensured the system would be banned.

  5. monaco offers 3 opportunities to utilize a blown wing, although briefly. there’s the start/finish straight, the climb up through beau rivage, and the tunnel. with 2 of these ending in 90 degree turns and beau rivage ending in a hillcrest/left/right, the drawbacks of a hand operated system are at their worst here. these reasons are also why a blown wing benefits the least here, so i don’t expect this to be a game-changer unless a mclaren driver is feeling extremely brave. the biggest benefit might be in qualifying.

    1. I think both of them will use it to their advantage. Overtaking up hill and getting the best laps out of the car.

      1. The only place I can think of where you could actually overtake using it is the tunnel, the start/finish straight is too easy to block off and beau rivage is way too tight and twisty imo. Having said that, the tunnel does have a pretty major kink in it, not sure I’d like to go through there with unstable aero.

  6. Have all the teams (especially Mclaren & Ferrari) got amnesia or some other memory related loss?

    The 80s and early 90s really did happen! And yes 26 cars used to race on Sunday.

    Funnily enough I seem to remember at one time that drivers used to take their hand off the steering wheel to change gear too!

    Drivers used to hurtle down to corners with one hand on the wheel and one on the stick. I’m finding it hard to understand why there should be a problem with this now?

    1. Well it was a problem back then too.

      Besides, back then you had much more time to get a fast lap in. That meant that the cars were more spread out through the session and that drivers had more chances to set a fast lap.

      With the current qualifying format the drivers have only about 2 chances to get a fast lap in Q1. If that doesn’t work, they might be out.

      1. To me that would provide a little extra challenge. What’s wrong with that? Back when there was 1 lap qualifying if you made a mistake chances were you’d find yourself further back down the grid.

        1. If, God forbid, somebody dies this weekend what will they say then? I really do hope they look at the possiblity of having split session quali. Even if they decide against it safety is paramount and it should be a priority to at least consider it.

          1. far out thats a little melodramatic. No one will die because of a crowded track. The circuit holds 24 cars, sure it’ll be busy and some laps may be ruined by traffic, but its not dangerous.

        2. Well, it’s extra challenge yes. That’s what they are saying …

    2. However, back then, the steering wheel was not festooned with knobs and buttons, many of which need to be adjusted every lap. Some drivers like to redo the brake balance for every corner. Having to take two hands off the wheel is not good. This is another example to defeat the notion that driving an F1 car today is somehow easier because it lacks a clutch and metal rod to be pushed around a metal gate.

  7. Surely back in the 80’s & 90’s the cars are not going as fast as they are today. The time the driver has the judge the corner is drastically reduced, thus making the operation of Ferrari’s F-duct dangerous.

    1. Pole winning laps:

      Alain Prost: 1:22.627

      Fernando Alonso: 1:13.962

      Although the track has changed quite a lot since 1986.

  8. Are we sure that the McLaren device is knee operated? I heard it was just induced by a critical pressure point that acted like a tipping point switch thing?

    If the latter, I’m sure the car will be the same.

    I wonder if Mercedes will switch back to the shorter wheelbase car for this race by the way??

  9. We all have our hobbies in everyday life and also we all have our skills. All your information have without a doubt provided with me some additional smart ideas. Thankyou.

  10. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each and every time a comment is added I get 4 emails using the similar comment. Is there any way you could eliminate me from that service? Thanks!

Comments are closed.