Ferrari switch to push-rod suspension for F1 2016 season
Move should benefit Vettel and Raikkonen who prefer positive front end; Ferrari had been first team to run concept for 11 years
By William Esler
Last Updated: 19/02/16 3:35pm
Ferrari have abandoned their pull-rod front suspension set-up for the 2016 season, reverting to the more conventional push-rod system.
The Scuderia brought the concept back to Formula 1 in 2012 after an 11-year absence - backmarkers Minardi had been the last outfit to run it in 2001.
The driving styles of both Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel are thought to be more in tune with a push-rod system with the German winning all four of his world championships in a car with such a configuration.
"The project of this car started a year ago and our goals were very ambitious. The first change is the nose and then the front suspension, also sidepods and also the rear end," technical chief Simone Resta confirmed at the launch of the SF16-H.
"The nose is higher and the air flow is quite different. This solution is slightly different to last year."
Push and pull - what's the difference?
"Ferrari's switch back to the more traditional push-rod front suspension set-up has been largely driven by the drivers," explained Sky F1's Marc Priestley, who previously was No 1 mechanic at McLaren.
"Having worked with Kimi for many years, his big must-haves to be comfortable with any car are an extremely solid brake pedal and a very precise and dependable front end he can really lean on at corner entry. I understand Sebastian has a similar style.
"Any aero benefits that front pull-rod suspension may have brought, have to outweigh the effects on handling, but perhaps more importantly, if drivers or their engineers are convinced they're more comfortable with a traditional type of setup, the psychological effect of not changing could be just as problematic."
"Pull-rod is for aerodynamic benefit but you sacrifice mechanical stability and isn't traditionally the way you would design a car," said Sky F1's Anthony Davidson. "The push-rod is the classic design but isn't as aero-friendly."
However, the change will not have been straightforward.
"Changing set-ups means re-engineering the whole of the rest of the car because the way Ferrari had the pull-rod was for aerodynamic reasons and worked with the back of the car as well," added Sky F1's Ted Kravitz.
Spot the difference
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