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The key technical decisions behind Ferrari’s unconventional F1-75 design

2022 F1 season

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Ferrari’s unconventional design for its new F1-75 was born out of a “creative” mindset across all areas of car design, say the team’s technical leaders.

The team unveiled their new car for the 2022 Formula 1 season and the extensive rules changes to the technical regulations on Thursday, with some unique approaches to the various design challenges presented by the new regulations.

Ferrari’s head of chassis project development, Fabio Montecchi, says that the new chassis had a far longer lead time in design compared to a typical new car.

“The first key factor for the design of a car that is so different from its predecessors is time management,” Montecchi explains. “We allowed much more time than usual for the design phase, examining in depth all the rule changes in order to squeeze out every ounce of performance, exploring a large number of solutions through studies, simulations and bench tests.

Montecchi says Ferrari embraced “the involvement and empowerment of each individual designer,” during the car’s development, so that “everyone feels the excitement and uniqueness of the challenge posed by these massive changes.”

“With no reference points available from previous seasons what makes the difference is the creativity and talent of each designer, the excellence of our analysis tools, the lucidity and courage to choose the most promising solution, even if it is not the most conventional one and in this, we believe we have done a good job.”

With the introduction of ground-effect aerodynamics into Formula 1 for the first time in 40 years, Ferrari adopted an “open-minded” approach to interpreting the new rules, says the team’s head of chassis area, Enrico Cardile.

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“The rule changes in 2022 are undoubtedly the most radical of the last 40 years,” Cardile says.

“In tandem with the car development, we improved our simulation tools, to bring light into the dark corners that existed in the past. Aerodynamics was definitely our number one priority. We approached it with an open mind and seized the opportunity of the rule changes to go in many different directions, bucking the trends of recent years.

“This open-mindedness has extended to the development of the suspension: the new rules have imposed a general rethink, with the aim of giving us the flexibility to manage a brand-new car concept and tyres with different properties to those used up until now.”

The team’s receptiveness to new thinking in the pursuit of performance extended to its power unit, which also required changes due to F1’s switch to E10 fuel for the new season.

“It has been an intense and exciting challenge,” said Ferrari’s head of power unit Enrico Gualtieri. “All components have been re-evaluated. Some have been optimised, while others were decidedly innovative.

“We started from the main concept of seeking the utmost efficiency in the energy transformation process, from the chemical one in terms of combustion to the mechanical one, to the crankshaft. Everything else has been designed with this goal in mind.”

The layout of the power unit was partly influenced by the need to tailor the car to suit the new rules, Gualtieri added. “We defined a power unit layout that best meets the needs of our colleagues on the chassis side, in view of the new technical regulations.”

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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12 comments on “The key technical decisions behind Ferrari’s unconventional F1-75 design”

  1. It’ll be fascinating to see if them going fully for low cog but paying for it with a real muffin-top, junk-in-the-trunk mid-section is going to pay off.

    It’s an unconventional choice so far, that’s for sure.

  2. The side view so far is between Aston and Ferrari

  3. If that car is Ferrari’s race car next week, I’d be surprised. They showed those side pods as if they were conventional ! But they’re not! They scream test me and copy me.

    Not to mention it looks fantastic!

  4. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    17th February 2022, 20:44

    Gotta give it to Ferrari to come up with something entirely different. Exactly what I was hoping for with these new reqs: a team to go all in. Just hoping for them it won’t be like that time Williams though to have struck gold with their special nose and it ended up being trash. Either it’s brilliant, or it’s trash…

  5. There seems to be a common theme with aspects of the Ferrari concept.
    Separating the function of the nose and front wing center from the homologated (and tested) front structural crash part of the chassis, on the surface it looks brilliant. Should make revisions quicker, easier and cheaper. Possiby at the expense of some added weight in the front part of the chassis. But life is all about trade-offs.
    Other reports are also indicating that they have been aggressive at making things adjustable or easier to modify. Sounds like they are planning for the unknown. Clever.
    Great that all 10 teams are currently tied for first place in the 2022 championship. At least for the next 31 days.
    This is gonna be fun.

    1. 9 teams tied for 1st. With Mazepin driving for Haas, surely that puts them behind everyone else? There’s nothing the genius engineers can do about him.

      1. Hush 😂🤭

  6. Looks pretty tame. Unconventional but looks more like a 21 car than any other thus far.

  7. Is it just me or is anyone else seeing a hint of G-Force GF-09 IndyCar in the leading edge/blunt sidedness of the F1-75’s sidepod?

  8. The constant quotes by Ferrari about having an open mind really makes me think of Quatto from Total Recall.

    Anyway, fantastic to see something which looks like clever engineering (how clever will be revealed in due course). How teams interpret the regs and engineer solutions/loophole exploits/etc is one of the most fascinating elements of F1 for me. I’ve never been a Ferrari fan but I want to see them do well (as my daughter saidsome years ago when I was cheering on the McLarens: “so the grey cars are the goodies and the red cars are the baddies?“)

    But I love their drivers, one of the best line-ups I’ve seen at a team.

    And the colour scheme looks awesome.

  9. “open-minded”
    Does that cover the hidden battery compartment?

  10. Aside from the weird looking side pods, the car looks pretty basic to me. I just can’t understand the tub/pasta bowl shape of their sidepods. From physics or aerodynamics standpoint, it does not make any sense at all. While other teams are trying to trim down their sidepods to have a bigger floor area for airflow, Ferrari decided to have a wider sidepods with scoop at the top. Let’s see how it works.

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