During the winter there was a lot of talk about the Ferrari transmission: an area of the SF21 in which the Maranello team decided to spend the two development tokens, in an attempt to restore that competitiveness to this car, compared to the disappointing SF1000.
And you have to admit to the Maranello technicians that the transmission modification was undoubtedly the key that helped grow the car. In the British GP, got a second place, after Charles Leclerc came to fight with Lewis Hamilton for the victory, leading 50 of the 52 scheduled laps.
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The illustration of Giorgio Piola allows us to discover some secrets of the Ferrari transmission, designed to reduce the lateral dimensions in order to recover a part of the surface of the flat bottom that, by regulation, has been trimmed at the lateral trailing edge.
But the real novelty came with the elevation of the differential from the floor by about 30 millimeters. It may seem like a small measure, with a slight increase in weight upwards, to the detriment of a worse center of gravity, but having reduced the “keel” in the tail has allowed to significantly increase the air flow in the rear diffuser, also increasing the downforce produced by the car body.
It may seem strange, but it is also thanks to the different gearbox that Ferrari has been able to afford the use of a aileron rear more unloaded that has undoubtedly improved aerodynamic efficiency, reducing drag and thus increasing top speed: the big Achilles heel of last year’s SF1000.
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The SF21 is being particularly appreciated for its ability to produce high downforce at low speeds and for the qualities of traction distinguishing it when exiting corners at full throttle.
Also contributing to this result is a different delivery of the Energy electric generated by the hybrid system, but credit must be given especially to the new gearbox, which has also made it possible to review the suspension rear hydraulically controlled.
Since a good balance was found in the operation of the suspension, the performance has also increased, because the tires (which were compromised after a few laps in the race), now work within the expected parameters, avoiding overheating resulting from a excessive friction, due to the lack of sufficient vertical thrust to generate the necessary energy in the tires.
Of course, the endemic flaws that the SF1000 brought with it have not been totally erased in the SF21, but at least the Ferrari is back in the battle for victories. The feat failed in Monaco Y Silverstone, but it could come in the Hungarian GP.