Ferrari to test 2021-spec floor in Portuguese GP practice

Ferrari will test a 2021-specification floor during Friday’s free practice sessions at the Portuguese Grand Prix in a bid to get a head-start on next year’s regulations.

This will be the Scuderia’s first look at how the new rules, which will force teams to cut a sizeable hole in the floor, will affect the performance of the car in the real world.

Having already studied the impact of the floor change in CFD and the wind tunnel, the data and feedback captured at Portimao will then be used to improve the correlation of its simulation tools and should help it to decide its development direction going forward.

Ferrari SF1000 floor comparison, Styrian GP

Photo by: Giorgio Piola

In the last few years, there has been a significant emphasis placed on the area alongside the edge of the floor and ahead of the rear tyres. In an effort to increase downforce, Ferrari has continued to make changes this season, as can be seen by the older specification inset.

As part of a plan to reduce downforce levels by ten percent in 2021, the FIA has zoned in on this area of the car and demands that a diagonal portion of the floor ahead of the rear tyre is eradicated, whilst slots on its edge will not be permitted either.

Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35 with a 2021 spec floor

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

McLaren also tested a solution in Belgium that featured the diagonal cut in the floor as it hoped to get a head start on it 2021 design and ensure its tools are performing as they should be.

Comparing this with the solution that Ferrari has available in Portugal, it’s interesting to note that Ferrari has opted to create a scroll on the latter part of the floor.

It’s likely this has been done in an effort to roll up the airflow and disrupt the turbulence created by the rear tyre, which can be damaging to the performance of the diffuser.

As part of the package of changes made by the FIA to reduce downforce, the brake duct fins also need to be narrower next year. This is a feature that the SF1000 appears to have as part of Ferrari’s test package, along with a diffuser that has the shorter dividing strakes.

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