Tech Talk: Ferrari's revised cooling inlets

Octane Photos/The F1 Times

6 February 2014 by Matthew Somerfield (@SomersF1)

Cooling is going to be one of the biggest challenges for the teams in 2014 with the new power units requiring different characteristics to its predecessor.

The teams will of course over time refine the way in which they approach the design of cooling apertures, as aerodynamic efficiency can be compromised by the placement of inlets and outlets.

Ferrari have already started chasing these refinements during the first pre-season test in Jerez. The F14 T was spotted sporting different apertures during the first four days of testing.

With one sidepod enclosing the turbo's intercooler and the other featuring an assortment of engine radiators you will notice the use off asymmetric layouts from time to time.

In the case of the F14 T it was noted that in the first few days of running the left-hand sidepod featured a small inlet at its base [1], whilst the top remained smooth [2]. The inlet is likely feeding a smaller oil-cooled radiator. Its placement in this area, although small, would impinge on the airflow performance as it makes its way toward the coke bottle region which feeds the diffuser.

Having noted this factor (perhaps not noticed as a widespread problem in CFD/windtunnel work due to the size of the inlet, however in true scale at the track and with the aid of flo-viz paint the ramifications can be seen) the team closed off the aperture [3] and created a duct on top of the sidepod [4], which utilised the airflow downwashing over the sidepod.

Furthermore some internal ducting was added to move the airflow back to it's intended target, which could be seen when the car was viewed from behind.

Red Bull used a similar tactic as Ferrari's initial inlet on the final day of testing in an attempt to provide additional cooling to the power unit. However this was a last-ditch attempt and it's unlikely to be seen on the re-designed RB10 at the next test.