Ferrari F1 team boss Mattia Binotto said that with the new SF21 they have reduced air resistance compared to their predecessor SF1000 and improved the drive unit which should help them significantly increase speed in the direction that in 2020 was their weak point.
Ferrari was on average the fastest car on the line in 2019, and in 2020 their powertrain was the weakest which combined with the high air resistance that the SF1000 had resulted in a low top speed. This was especially evident on fast tracks like Belgium, Italy, and Russia, and the new SF21 should correct the main shortcoming of its predecessor.
“Last year, the main problem was speed on the route, not just strength, but strength and air resistance,” Binotto said during the team’s 2021 presentation. "We worked hard, both on the powertrain and on the aerodynamics of the car, to reduce air resistance."
"Based on our simulations today, the dynamometer test results, and the air resistance in the air tunnel, I think we've restored quite a bit of speed on flat sections." “I expect top speed to no longer be an issue as it was and I hope we will be competitive.
But we will know that only in Bahrain. " “It’s always relative to what others are doing, but we believe our car is more efficient than last year. When I say efficient, I mean both the aerodynamics and the power unit.
” "We have identified problems on the SF1000 and improved the car in all areas where the rules allow it." "We have a new engine, improved aerodynamics, and a modified rear end." "We want to show good performance and we can't wait to get out on the track and compete with our rivals to check how good a job we have done."
Ferrari announced earlier that it would spend their two development tokens on the rear end to have a narrower and firmer gearbox - it has been the practice for years to integrate a titanium gearbox housing within carbon armor, and Ferrari plans to reduce the width, increase structural strength and change mounting locations rear suspension.
Last year’s SF1000 had a problem due to insufficient strength that caused insufficiently stable control of the rear end distance from the ground, and improvements in this area, along with the narrower design of the entire transmission, should bring more grip and more predictable rear end behavior.
More downforce from the floor, instead of using more rear wing, should bring more pressure to the rear axle with less air resistance, which was one of the main weaknesses of last year’s car.