The Horse Whisperer – The name changes but not the sense
It might seem like a Kafkaesque scenario, but the affair relating to the name of the car with which Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa will tackle this year’s Formula 1 World Championship saw its final and decisive episode played out these past few days with the concomitant withdrawal by Ford of the summons. Therefore common sense has prevailed.
In order to avoid the slightest risk of anyone confusing a Formula 1 car with a pick-up truck, for their part, the men from Maranello have decided that the car will lose the F that precedes the number 150 and which stands for Ferrari, as it has done on numerous occasions when it’s come to giving a car a code name, be it for the race track or the road. It appears that this could have caused so much confusion in the minds of the consumer across the Pond that, at the same time as losing the F, the name will be completely Italianised, replacing the English “th” with the equivalent Italian symbol.
Therefore the name will now read as the Ferrari 150° Italia, which should make it clear even to the thickest of people that the name of the car is a tribute to the anniversary of the unification of our country. Let’s hope the matter is now definitely closed and that we can concentrate on more serious matters, namely ensuring that our car that already seems to be pretty good out of the box, becomes a real winner.
The name of the new Ferrari Formula 1 car
Maranello, 10th February – On the subject of the name of the new Ferrari Formula 1 car, the Maranello company wishes to point out that it has sent a letter of reply to Ford, underlining the fact that the F150 designation (used as the abbreviated version of the complete name, which is Ferrari F150th Italia) never has, nor ever will be used as the name of a commercially available product – indeed there will definitely not be a production run of single-seaters. In fact, it has always been the case in the history of Scuderia names, that they represent the nomenclature of a racing car project and are linked to a chronological order with a technical basis, or in exceptional cases, to special occasions. This year, the decision was taken to dedicate the car name to a particularly significant event, the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, an event of such great importance that the Italian government has declared, for this year only, a national holiday.For these reasons, Ferrari believes that its own contender in the forthcoming F1 championship cannot be confused with other types of commercially available vehicle of any sort whatsoever, nor can it give the impression that there is a link to another brand of road-going vehicle. Therefore it is very difficult to understand Ford’s viewpoint on the matter. Despite this and to further prove it is acting in good faith and that it operates in a completely correct manner, Ferrari has decided to ensure that in all areas of operation, the abbreviated version will be replaced at all times with the full version, Ferrari F150th Italia.
F150: New single-seater presentation
The F150 is the fifty-seventh single-seater built by Ferrari specifically to compete in the Formula 1 World Championship. The Maranello marque chose the name as a tribute and celebration of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Unification of Italy.
The project, which goes by the internal code name of 662, represents the Scuderia’s interpretation of the technical and sporting regulations that apply this year. Various factors influenced the design of the car, especially on the aerodynamic front, to the extent that the F150 can be seen as severing ties with the recent past. The innovative aspects are in part dictated by changes to the regulations and partly down to original thinking from our designers. As far as the rule changes from 2010 are concerned, the double diffuser and the blown rear wing are banned, as is the use of apertures in the front part of the floor, while the use of an hydraulically controlled adjustable rear wing has been introduced. After an unofficial agreement saw its use banned for 2010, KERS is back this year, thanks partly to the increase in the car’s minimum weight and stricter controls on weight distribution figures. The Scuderia has decided to incorporate this technology on the F150 and this has had a significant impact on the design, also taking into account that the dimensions of the fuel cell are very different to what they were in 2009. Also significant are changes dictated by the introduction of stricter safety requirements in terms of crash-tests, cockpit area protection and wheel-retaining cables for use in accidents.
At first glance, the front part of the F150 monocoque appears to be higher than that of the F10. The openings for the side air intakes are reduced in size, while the layout of the dynamic one above the driver’s head has been modified. The rear suspension features a new design, while that at the front has been modified, following changes to the front part of the chassis. The exhaust system layout is similar to that adopted for the second half of last season and the cooling system has had to take into account the return of KERS and the new air exit ducts. The braking system has been completely redesigned in collaboration with Brembo.
However, the aerodynamic package sported by the car at the presentation is very different to the one which will be seen for the first race in Bahrain: for the early stages of testing, the decision was taken to concentrate on development aspects linked to the mechanical components and on developing an understanding of the Pirelli tyres, while continuing to push on the development of aerodynamic performance in the wind tunnel. Indeed, the tyres will be another significant new element this season: after a thirteen year relationship with Bridgestone, this year it is Pirelli who take up the baton as sole supplier to Formula 1 for the next three years and thus provide the tyres for the cars from Maranello. Given that the teams have so far only managed two days of testing with the new tyres back in November, clearly the fifteen days of testing prior to the start of the season will be very important when it comes to adapting the handling of the car to the tyres.
As the freeze on engine performance development is still ongoing, there have been no actual modifications to the 056 engine, but that does not mean Ferrari’s engine specialists have been idle. Work has gone into improving reliability, working especially on the pneumatic front, as well as on reducing costs. Furthermore, the reintroduction of KERS has led to a substantial change in the architecture of the front end of the engine, with modifications to the drive shaft system of the KERS itself and the crankshaft and this has led to changes to the cooling and lubrication systems. The kinetic energy recovery system, designed by Ferrari, has been produced in conjunction with MTS and Magneti Marelli and was fine tuned based on experience acquired in 2009, with the aim of reducing its size and weight, while maintaining, in accordance with the regulations, the maximum useable power and its useage cycle over one lap. This is another area where great attention has been paid to cost reduction, both in terms of its development and the way it is run, so as to make the system equally viable for our customer teams, Sauber and Toro Rosso. The positioning of the KERS within the fuel cell was a further impetus to look at solutions aimed at reducing fuel consumption: in this area, the contribution from a key partner in the form of Shell was vital and will continue to be so throughout the season.
The number of testing days available to the teams remains the same, with 15 prior to the start of the season, therefore preparatory work on the test beds, prior to taking to the track has been ever more important, both on the chassis side and for areas such as the gearbox, engine and KERS.
As is always the case at Ferrari, great attention has been paid to the performance and optimisation of all materials used, in the design stages and when going through quality control, striving to maximise performance levels and reliability, while delivering the highest possible safety standards.
Luca di Montezemolo: “Only one objective: winning”
Maranello, 28 January
Chairman, you have asked for a car, which can immediately win.
Yeas, I asked the team that with trust in the work we’ve done in the wind tunnel, setting the goal for improvement regarding last year’s car.
Aren’t you worried that maybe some rules this year might limit Formula 1?
Let me use this question for a constructive discourse concerning the Federation, where we recreated a good climate. Historically Ferrari has always been collaborative and has respected the rules. I think that last year, without triggering a revolution, we had an intense season with unforeseeable results. I think that we have to concentrate on three fundamental points: first, Formula 1 is based in an excessive way on aerodynamics, which is the point, which makes the difference. In the 1970s it was more about the engine and mechanics, now it’s all about aerodynamics. Second, it’s about the tests: a sport on such a level can’t continue with such an absurd limitation regarding testing, in terms of development and in terms of safety, for our new drivers, who have to involved and have to be able to test. Last but not least the technology transfer. Formula 1 has to be more and more also a laboratory, a centre of advanced research for innovative technologies for tomorrow’s cars. The KERS is very important in this context and Ferrari as a manufacturer had and has extraordinary support in Formula 1. Just think about the F1 gearbox, modified chassis, electronics, flat underbody and many more in the road cars. It’s mainly about expenses and the permanence in Formula 1. Formula 1 will always have high and strong investment. Who can’t make these investments will race in other series. Limited expenses are easily to avoid, we have to continue on the right track reducing costs, while the real DNA of F1 doesn’t change. But if we’re heading towards an equalisation towards the bottom of performance, then this is not good and the engines can’t be the same for all. Naturally costs are fundamental, but without loosing the sports essence. With serenity and dialogue you can improve a Formula, which already today is really extraordinary.
What about the future?: the rule regarding 4-cylinder engines can still be changed? We know that Ferrari is engaged for a 6-cylinder engine.
Yes, that’s true. I spoke to Todt and I’m glad the there is a different climate of dialogue than in the past. We’re engaged in technological challenges such as the FF: a 4-cylinder Ferrari seems absurd to me. We’ve not even built a 10-cylinder Ferrari and I’m still thinking that a 6-cylinder would have been more in line with the Formula 1 positioning on the market.
It’s paradoxical saying it, but calling a car today F150 and showing the Italian flag is a very strong signal. Don’t you fear that this might cost Ferrari some sympathy?
Over the last 20 years we’ve always sported the Italian flag on the car. And personally I always thought that it is important. 2011 is the year we are even more Italian and we’re proud being it. When we’re listening to our national anthem after a victory of our country it’s always very emotional. I’m not talking about politics, we want to concentrate on sports. Just like many sportsmen are moved by competing for the Italian flag, we are happy to show it on our car. It’s the symbol of a winning Italy, united in sports. I want to add that it is an important signal for an Italian company, which is moving ahead with the deep conviction of being it.
Sergio Marchionne said that he doesn’t exclude that Alfa Romeo might come back into motorsports: do you consider a synergy with Ferrari?
As far as Alfa is concerned, everything is possible, the brand is extremely sporty and connected to Ferrari since the early days of motorsports. There are many possibilities.
A question regarding the drivers: who of Fernando and Felipe will have more advantages from the Team’s new organisation?
I’m glad that you’re asking, because it is since 1974 that I am asked this question, since Lauda and Regazzoni. I told you last December that there won’t be a revolution and we worked on two points: First, we don’t insert too many people from the outside, only a few, with specific competences, culture and a way of working in very specific areas. Second, improving the facilities and the tools today’s rules bring with them, so more investment in aerodynamics and tests in the wind tunnel for example. This doesn’t have any particular effects on the drivers. The drivers can give recommendations, talk about their impressions, can ask the car to be set up for their driving styles. But we have to put both drivers in a condition with the bets possible car. We restructured the organisation of the single teams, hoping that Massa will be competitive right from the start and Alonso with the same capacity as last year, where he showed that he is the best driver in the world.
In Germany they are talking a lot about Vettel coming to Ferrari: does that mean that someone contacted him for the future or is that pure fiction? The next Ferrari driver will be an exceptional driver from the market or a driver from the Ferrari Driver Academy?
I hope that he will come from the Ferrari Driver Academy, because that would mean that he’s a “top star”. Naturally Ferrari puts a driver in the car able to win. One of the ideas of the Academy is to have the next Scuderia driver in-house. There is absolutely nothing going on with Vettel, apart from the congratulations for a wonderful season and the fact that he knew how to benefit from the last race in Abu Dhabi.
Stefano Domenicali: “Starting well immediately”
Maranello, 28 January
Stefano, is it important to start well this year?
Yes, it’s fundamental, also because if you don’t start gaining points immediately, you can’t recover them later. Naturally at the start there’s a higher possibility to make up for possible mistakes, but the points lost can’t be regained.
One year ago you won at the start. This year, are you pointing towards the whole season or more towards the early stages?
Honestly I don’t expect to see the real potential of our competitors in the first tests, but we’ll know more in Barcelona. Bahrain will be the first real test. Our strategy, which is a conservative approach, is to make it to the end and be ahead. To reach this objective the mobile rear wing has to be interpreted and used best possible, together with the KERS, where we had many problems in 2009, but we hope that we could solve them due to our experience. As far as aerodynamics is concerned I think that there will be less improvement as the season goes on, so we have to start well immediately.
Ferrari has worked and is still working on limiting expenses and controlling them with the others.
We want to monitor the expenses attentively, because when we enter a commitment we respect it. We were the first to accept a step back for the greater good of Formula 1 at an historical moment, when it was necessary. We invested in places close by, in Fiorano and in Mugello. But limiting costs can’t be something where the whole system gets stuck. Knowing that other teams really want to win, everything to be able to compete on the highest levels has to be done, respecting also non-motorsport commitments we’ve taken. We’ll monitor this and we all will talk about it together.
Apart from the new regulations, how are you prepared as far as the tyres are concerned?
The tyres are a fundamental issue. The new tyres are significantly different from the others, so there might be more pit stops and we have to understand how not to stress them too much. The first tests next week are very important to understand the tyres. I hope that it will rain for at least one day, because we don’t have any indication regarding the tyres’ behaviour on the wet, apart from the first data from the test Pirelli carried out under almost monsoon-like conditions. There are many unknown factors to consider.
Which areas have been included in the cost monitoring?
Those areas include the chassis, apart from the engine and the gearbox. Over the years we tried to set a limit regarding the expenses also as far as the number of people involved is concerned and the external expenses we have to cover every year. We lowered the expenses by about 30 to 40%, while we also reduced the number of people in the group working in the motorsport department.
Felipe Massa: “I want to be competitive as of the first race”
Maranello, 28 January 2011
In 2009 you directly experienced driving with the Kers. How do you feel about using it again this year?
I think that we’re working in the same direction as in 2009 and since then lots of development has been done. We haven’t tried it out yet, but I think that we’ll have a good Kers, a little bit lighter and still strong, without losing the car’s set up. It’s important finding the perfect system with all the variables involved.
Do you think that you’ll have problems regarding the visibility due to the height of the car’s nose?
The nose is higher, but we’ve worked a lot on changing and setting up the seat. It seems as if for now there weren’t any more problems.
The season is very long: did you review your physical exercise schedule?
I exercised a lot. Usually I’m in Brazil, because it’s warmer there and now it’s summer. Here in Europe it’s more difficult. I also considered the weight, regarding the Kers.
Last year your driving style wasn’t perfect for the car. Did you give some indications this year?
Yes, but many things have changed. I want to be more competitive from the first to the last race this year and I think that also the Pirelli tyres will help me here.
How should the Pirelli tyres be made to help your driving style?
?Last year Bridgestone changed the front tyres a lot compared to 2009. This led to lots of understeer. The tyres were much harder and difficult to bring up to the right temperature. I tried to modify the front tyres, but then the rear tyres didn’t work as they should have, so it was a real fight. This year Pirelli should have prepared much stronger front tyres, for more grip. This is much better for my driving style.
There were some unpleasant episodes for you last year. Did you ask for guarantees from the team?
I’m racing in a team where I want to win. I trust the team 100% that they give me the perfect car to compete for victory.
Fernando Alonso: “I’m always putting lots of pressure on myself”
Maranello, 28 January 2011
Fernando, let’s imagine a situation where in Bahrain three cars are right one behind the other. What can happen?
The mobile rear wing can only be used on one straight on a lap, so the most important thing would be to arrive at the last corner with less than 1.5 seconds behind the car in front, which is really difficult. I don’t see the possibility of many overtaking manoeuvres. I think that it will still be difficult to overtake. And overtaking will still include taking risk.
You will have one month and a half with 15 testing days. How will you use the time when you’re not in the car?
I think that also the days I’m not testing will be very important and I’ll be at the track anyway, when Felipe is in the car, following the tests and the development. The data he can collect will be also useful for me and vice versa.
Do you think that all the commands on the steering wheel take a little bit the fun out of driving?
I think more than anything else that all these commands make driving more difficult. It’s much more difficult than you can imagine driving a Formula 1 single-seater. As of this year there are two more buttons: to control the wing and the Kers. Driving a GT is much more fun and you can concentrate more on driving.
Do you have your perfect weight to drive this year? The driving position is higher than last year. Will this change your style?
I started with my preparations and I count on it to be 100% in shape for Australia, because we want to be perfectly fit for the races in Australia, Malaysia and China. Last week I rode my bike a lot, went to swim, ran and did exercises for my neck. The weight is fine. I don’t think that I’ll have any problems with the Kers, also because the car’s minimum weight has been upped to 640 kg. The seat and the driving position won’t change the driver’s perspective too much.
Could the new parameters like the tyre wear influence your driving style?
I don’t know. We still have to test. We’ll find out if the higher tyre wear is just mere speculation. Naturally one pit stop instead of two means a lot in a race, because for one stop you loose 25 seconds, which you might regain in 30 laps.
What pressure do you apply to yourself? Which team do you think can set up a car, which can compete with Ferrari?
The pressure I put on myself is high. The motivation in the first months of the year is the same as every year. I think I’m part of a unique team and also this presentation proofs it. The other teams will present their cars at the first test, just before they start to drive, and nobody will say anything, neither the drivers nor the Chairmen.
To answer your question I think that Mercedes might have the possibility to build a competitive car, but also McLaren and Red Bull; we have to fight with them.
How much of yourself is in the car for 2011?
When I arrived in 2010 I found a very different car compared to the one I had driven before. This year I contributed and I think that also my driving style had an influence on the development. Now I also know the people in my team and I’ve got a good relationship with them and I’m always putting them under pressure.
The technicians: “We’ve taken drastic decisions regarding the development programme”
Maranello, 28 January
Is it true that the front will remain unchanged this year, based on last year’s data?
What can be done to the rear to compensate this load?
There are two other power sources now: 82 BHP from the KERS and 60 from the mobile rear wing. What is more important for you to use?
Tombazis: We’ve mainly been working on the diffuser, the exhausts and the rear. The rear wing’s performance did not only influence the balance but the wing emits a complicated vortex. In general the interaction of the wing and the rear is very important, so we had to work on the components together.
Costa: The mobile rear wing will lead to some variations for the aerodynamic and mechanic set up management, because it will be used in the qualifying quite freely and will be operated on all the straights, where the driver doesn’t need the whole downforce. This will be very important for the weekend’s strategy. Because the use in the race is limited the Teams have to take decisions regarding rations and strategies.
Marmorini: In 2009 we could see that with two cars with the same performance also with one fitted with the KERS and an extra 60 KW, it didn’t make such a big difference to determine an overtaking manoeuvre. Now there’s also the mobile wing, so the possibility for overtaking should be guaranteed. Naturally a lot also depends on the strategy, the set up and the seventh gear ratio.
You are the first to show the car: with these rules, will we see many different cars or all somehow similar and inspired by Red Bull?
Costa: we were the first, because we took a drastic decision regarding the development programmes: from a structural and a mechanical point of view the F150 is complete, while the aerodynamics is in a transitional stage; what’s left is the development considering the tyres and many novelties, which will come with the first race. This decision has been taken to give our aerodynamics’ engineers the possibility to have more time available for their development. There will be innovations, regarding the others we don’t know. Red Bull has lead the way for certain things, but there are many different development issues. The cars will look similar, because the chassis’ and bodyworks’ dimensions have been set by the rules, but there will also be the development of unique ideas.
Regarding the KERS: Red Bull and Brawn GP didn’t use this system in 2009. Is the fact that you used it an advantage? What work did you do in Toyota’s wind tunnel? What will Chris Dyer’s role be?
Marmorini: the KERS is a complex system, not only technologically regarding the battery and the control system, but also regarding the logistical management od the parts, which is very complex. I think that we will have an advantage at the start of the Championship we from this point of view. Under a technical aspect I don’t think so, because components like this can be developed on the test bank by the other teams.
Costa: as far as Toyota’s wind tunnel is concerned I can say that there were FOTA restrictions regarding the expenses for the chassis, the number of people in the team, the hours in the tunnel, the server capacity for the fluid-dynamic simulations. The team has to decide how to spend the money and how to do the research. Our decision was to use the gallery a lot. To bring development programmes forward, ours wasn’t enough. So we asked Toyota. They have a “commercial” avant-garde wind tunnel. As far as Chris is concerned, he us a Ferrari man. He’s fine-tuning his role with Stefano these days.
The KERS will be inside the tank. How much less petrol will fit in the tank? Did you think through the possibility to use a pull-rod suspension like Red Bull?
The positioning of the KERS is the same as in 2009, but as of last year we can’t refuel during the race anymore. So we’ve done lots of work to reduce the impact and limit possible fuel consumption.
Tombazis: we were working with different set ups for the suspension, such as Red Bull’s pull-rod. There are different options for the suspension regarding aerodynamics and the pull-rod is an advantage. Our choice was to wrap the push-rod up, to improve the rear and gain aerodynamics. We think that we reached the same level as with the other suspension and we think that we have a minimum in terms of space. We also worked a lot on the dampers and the regulations. The package for the first race will be very aggressive, caused by the fact that the aerodynamics’ engineers have as much time as possible to finding the best possible configuration.
The drivers said that they fear complex cars. You worked to make them easier. There was a safety problem with the KERS in 2009, did you resolve it?
Costa: For a long time we’ve been talking about involving the drivers while they drive. Over the last years the drivers has to deal with more and more complex systems. Many things can’t be automated due to the rules. You can’t avoid that, the challenge is on also here. We are at the limit now. And we’re talking about it, because we’re really at the limit.
Marmorini: failures and accidents are everywhere, but the safety problems with the KERS were under control. Safety came always first and testing has been fierce, regarding failures and the integrity of all parts.
|Ferrari F150 -Technical specification
Carbon-fibre and honeycomb composite structure
Ferrari longitudinal gearbox
Semiautomatic sequential electronically controlled gearbox – quick shift
Number of gears: 7 +Reverse
Brembo ventilated carbon-fibre disc brakes
Independent suspension, push-rod activated torsion springs front and rear
Weight with water, lubricant and driver: 640 kg
BBS Wheels (front and rear): 13”
Number of cylinders: 8
Cylinder block in sand cast aluminium V 90°
Number of valves: 32
Total displacement: 2398 cm3
Piston bore: 98 mm
Weight > 95 kg
Electronic injection and ignition
Fuel: Shell V-Power
Lubricant: Shell Helix Ultra
Interview with Stefano Domenicali
Let’s talk about the name: F150. Where does it come from?
F150, because we want to celebrate the 150 years of Italy’s unity. I think that our Team represents ‘Italianity’ in the world, although we are an international team, with members from all over the world.
An obvious question: is victory this year’s goal?
A very simple answer: I think it is.
There are some novelties as far as the team is concerned. Would you like to tell us about it?
I think the main organisational change is that we’ve restructured the team of the track engineers. There are the vice technical director, Pat Fry, who coordinates Alonso’s and Massa’s engineers, Andrea Stella and Robert Smedley respectively, and Technical Director Aldo Costa, who remains the Head Coordinator regarding all technical aspects. We had a further improvement regarding strategies, introducing a new person with several different experiences, Neil Martin.
Alonso and Massa: how did you see them over the first weeks in 2011?
They are very motivated and ‘charged’. I’ve seen them in the last weeks and we spent some time together in Madonna di Campiglio during the “Wrooom” week. I have to say that they understand that this is, for many reasons, a very important year for them and they know that we all have to give it our all.
Competitors: who do you think will be Ferrari’s main competitors?
I think that we have to consider everybody before we start: the big teams, which all will be very, very strong – Red Bull, Mercedes, McLaren – and there will also be some other teams, who could be some dangerous outsiders. And let’s not forget the great drivers – there are many World Champions. This will be a very hot Championship.
There are many technical novelties, many of them introduced to make it more exciting: do you think that there will be more overtaking manoeuvres?
I want to be a little bit careful regarding overtaking: it’s obvious that everything that has been done, especially regarding the mobile rear wing, was introduced to improve the possibilities of overtaking. To make sure that this system will reach the goal we all want, I think we need some Grands Prix to fine-tune the system. This remains one of the main goals to improve the races’ spectacularity.
In 2010 the season was very uncertain. Do you think that it will be the same in 2011?
I think so. It will be a very intense season, just like last year. I expect many teams to be able to win. The competition will be even harder and the uncertainty even higher.From a personal point of view: do you feel obliged to win this year?
It’s not about obligations, but it’s about objectives. I’d say that this is and remains my and the whole team’s objective.
Interview with Aldo Costa
There are many changes regarding the regulations for 2011. Which are the ones with the major impact on the F150 project?
The major aspects with the most impact on the project were connected to the aerodynamic development. The car will change a lot. The double diffuser, the F-duct, is gone. The driver can’t change the car’s aerodynamic set up anymore. The underbody won’t have any ‘holes’ in the central part anymore. This is a fundamental change. The rear wing will be movable, so that the driver can overtake the car in front of him and use it in the qualifying according to his needs. The KERS is back. Although we’ve improved its size, it’s still quite big. Therefore the technicians had to redesign the car’s layout. There are also new safety rules. We participated in the changes the Federation made to improve safety on the track, which is always extremely important.
Would you say that this car is more of an evolution or a revolution compared to last year’s single-seater?
Due to the new rules the car should be a proper cut compared to the previous one, with new concepts and lines of development. As far as the looks are concerned the rules keep them quite unaltered. The cars look like the ones from last year, but from a technical point of view they will be really different.
How will the F150 as we see her here today will evolve over the next weeks?
The car’s evolution has been planned with two big stages: one during the winter tests, where we will mainly develop the area of the mechanics, which means that the car’s structure, the chassis, the gearbox and the suspension will remain the same for the first couple of races. The aerodynamics is simplified and temporary for the first tests, waiting for the real aerodynamic development for the first race.
According to you, which were the most demanding challenges regarding this project? Starting from scratch with the car’s rear, because the double diffuser and the F-duct are gone and there have been some clarifications regarding the car’s underbody: these were the main challenges and why we had to start from scratch rethinking the whole project.
This year there is a new provider regarding the tyres: to what extent are the Pirelli tyres still a question mark.
The project and the evolution of these tyres happened in a very short time frame: Pirelli had only a couple of months to develop the tyres. I think they’ve done some really good work, but there’s still a lot to do. We have to test several compounds, while we are already in a good and reliable condition as far as the tyres’ construction is concerned. There’s still a lot to do and it’s a very important issue. We have to use the winter tests as good as we can to set up the Pirelli tyres.
How do you get ready for the debut on the track?
The structure and the method have progressively changed over the last years at Ferrari: we were used to many miles on the track. But now we only have 4 days in February. There is no time to resolve fundamental problems as far as the car’s reliability is concerned. Therefore this work has to be done on the test stand. That’s why at the moment we’re testing the car’s substructure on the test stand, checking its functionality and weariness, so that we can go on the track with a reliable car.
Personally, do you feel obliged to win?
A short question needs a short answer. One word is enough: Yes.
Interview with Luca Marmorini
Which are the interventions, which were possible on the 056 engine for 2011?
The engines are still “frozen”, so direct interventions regarding the engine performance are impossible, but we’ve been working a lot, especially as far as the reliability is concerned and to reduce costs. Regarding the reliability we were also working on the engine’s pneumatic concept, which caused some problems in 2010. This year we’ve reinstalled the KERS, which lead to a substantial change of the engine’s front. There’s a new dragging system for the KERS, a new crankshaft, and we had to change the cooling and lubricating systems a bit.
Did you remember the KERS, which is back after two year: what’s new here?
The KERS 2011 has to follow exactly the same specifications like in 2009. So there are the same performance and energy levels. Based on the experience in 2009 we redesigned it more efficiently, reducing its dimension and weight. At Ferrari the KERS has been planned with an eye on budget control. All costs regarding development have been reduced and the operative costs have been analysed and reduced to make the KERS manageable also for the small teams.
The client teams can use the KERS provided by Ferrari. Is this an advantage for us?
Increasing the number of tests on the track is always an advantage. Using the partners and teams in a constructive way to drive with the KERS is a positive aspect, considering that we’re talking only about a few units per year and only a few tests before the start of the season. So it’s definitely an advantage regarding performance and reliability that there is a second team to develop the KERS.
From an operative point of view, how did you prepare yourself for this new season?
The technique is always the same, it’s been consolidated. Lots of work and many activities. We’ve done many long runs, but this year it’s even more difficult, because we have to do the long runs with the engine, the KERS and the gearbox of the new car, so we have been preparing ourselves very well and we think that we can reach a very good reliability until the start of the season.
As far as the consumption is concerned, what has been done?
The consumption remains one of the most important aspects regarding the performance. This year we also have to consider that the KERS is positioned inside the fuel tank. If you don’t want to create a much longer and much wider car, keeping the consumption under control is one of the most important issues during the development in winter. Here it is an advantage that Ferrari has such a long-serving partner like Shell in the area of fuels.
Do you think that the combination of KERS and mobile rear wing can really facilitate overtaking manoeuvres?
On paper and in our simulations it does. In 2009 we could already see that the KERS provided some advantage, although not systematic, during overtaking manoeuvres. The possibility to reduce aerodynamic resistance, combined with the extra horsepower provided by the KERS, could definitely make a change in terms of speed, which, if the car in front can’t use the same, will facilitate overtaking.
A last question: Personally, do you feel obliged to win this year?
Certainly. Obliged and inspired.
|Interview with Nikolas Tombazis
When did you start thinking about the project of the F150?
We started when the previous car touched the ground. That was in late January last year. We put some basic ideas together, started talking about the new regulations and how they would influence the main parts and we set up a programme in the wind tunnel to examine the new regulations.
Which were the most important parts in this challenge?This project had several important challenges, because the regulations are quite different from last year’s. We had to reintroduce the KERS in the car. We’ve learned a lot about the KERS two years ago. But now we’ve got a new package, so the installation wasn’t the same. We had to think about that a lot. Another challenge was the mobile rear wing. This is one of the novelties in Formula 1 this year. So we had to plan a wing, which doesn’t influence the performance when it’s shut in its normal configuration, but which gives us the highest possible reduction regarding CD, which means highest possible speed on the straights during the qualifying or while overtaking. This was a very important project. A third challenge war the introduction of new tyres. When you change tyres you also have to change several aspects of the car, regarding weight distribution, suspension between front and rear, but also some aerodynamic aspects. Because the Pirelli tyres are new, we’ve got lots of work. This is almost less important thinking about the aerodynamic aspect: this year we can’t use a double diffuser. So we had to set a very ambitious goal: gaining the performance we lost without the double diffuser.
Which are the most innovative characteristics of the F150?
We’ve been working on different innovations for the car: some of ours and some new for Formula 1 in general. The rear suspension is really innovative, so is the rear wing system. But there are more novelties coming up regarding the configuration for the first race, which aren’t in the car yet, for example something for the rear wing and the exhausts.
Personally, as the planner, would you like to have more freedom during the planning phase?
Yes. It would be nice having some more freedom and more time. The regulations are more and more restrictive, but there is a reason for that. Otherwise the cars’ performances would be too high and maybe even the costs for Formula 1 would be higher than they are today. It would be very nice having more technical freedom to create even more sophisticated systems for the car. It would also be nice to have more time available between one season and the next, to work not in such a rush on some aspects of the car.
Do you think you reached the target, which has been set for this project?
We think we did. We set targets we think are very ambitious regarding the development in the wind tunnel, the car’s weight and the performance of some sub-systems. We think, based on our analysis, that we’ve reached these targets. Especially for the car for the first race. Having said that, the regulations are new and it’s impossible to know exactly where our competitors stand. I’m convinced that also they set themselves some ambitious targets. I’m confident in what we’ve done, but as long as we don’t see the cars on the grid for the first race, it’s a little bit difficult to answer this question.
A last question: do you feel obliged to win this year?
At Ferrari this is almost an obligation we have every year. And every year is the same. This is a stimulating pressure, but it never gives you a moment of rest in the work we have to do.
Eve of Ferrari F150 “premiere”
Maranello, 27 January – Feverish preparations are taking place in Maranello on the eve of the presentation of the new Formula 1 car with which Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro will take part for the 62nd time in the World Championship. Attending the presentation ceremony, in a marquee erected inside the factory will be the FIAT President John Elkann and its Managing Director Sergio Marchionne, as well as representatives of the Scuderia’s partners, including the President of Santander Bank Emilio Botin and the President of Brembo Alberto Bombassei.
Late in the afternoon, the ritual of applying the final touches to the livery took place, under the watchful eyes of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who arrived in Maranello shortly after lunchtime.
The new Ferrari F150 will be revealed tomorrow at 10 o’clock and it can be seen with live streaming on the web at www.ferrarif150.com. Highlights, interviews and other content relating to the car will be available at the same address, once the presentation ceremony is over. The only technical requirement to view this is the installation on a computer of the Flash Player 10 plug-in.
The event will be broadcast live on RAI 2 from 9.45 to 11.00 and on Rai Sport 1 from 9.45 to 11.15. A link up through the internet site means that visitors to Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, the theme park dedicated to the Prancing Horse marque on Yas Island, will also be able to follow the ceremony. Over one hundred accredited media from thirteen countries will attend the event.
If the weather is good enough, some promotional filming linked to the new livery, will take place in the afternoon at the Fiorano track, with Fernando Alonso at the wheel. The next day it will be Felipe Massa’s turn, when the backdrop at the company’s private test track, will be provided by fans from the Scuderia Ferrari Club. However, the real debut for the F150 takes place next Tuesday, 1st February at the Ricardo Tormo circuit at Cheste, near Valencia, when the first official test session gets underway. The test schedule sees Alonso driving on the first two days, while Thursday it will be Felipe who slips into the cockpit of the new car.
Ferrari’s new Formula 1 car to be called F150
Maranello, 25 January – F150: that’s the name of the new car which will compete in this year’s Formula 1 World Championship and which Ferrari will unveil this coming Friday at Maranello, as part of an event which will be broadcast live on RAI 2 and on Ferrari.com.
The choice of name stems from Ferrari’s desire to pay tribute to this year’s one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the Unification of Italy. The placement of the “Tricolore” Italian flag as part of the car livery will therefore have even more significance in 2011.
“Ferrari is an expression of Italian excellence, talent and creativity,” declared President Luca di Montezemolo. “All the men and women who put so much effort and passion into their work at Maranello share the pride and responsibility of representing our country around the world and it is in this spirit that we chose to dedicate this car to an event that is so important for the whole of Italy.”
The news was announced in advance this afternoon, to the President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, who expressed his appreciation of the initiative. He also took the opportunity to wish the Scuderia the best of luck for the forthcoming season.