Maranello, 26 January – While the F14 T is crossing France and Spain in a high speed transporter and the team cuts through the air space between Bologna and Jerez de la Frontera, where pre-season testing starts on Tuesday, on the internet, interest in the latest Prancing Horse car continues to fly.
The on-line launch was a clear success, given that in the space of 24 hours, there were over eight million visits to the pages of the Scuderia website. It takes the total for this year past the twelve million mark. To put that in perspective, over the whole of 2013, the number of pages read on ferrarif1.com was just under the twelve million mark.
President Luca di Montezemolo’s push on the digital front, from the Internet site to an active presence on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, is beginning to bring results, as can be seen from the statistics.
The ballot to choose the name of the car drew over a million votes and the hashtag #F14T was quoted 9.6 million times in just over 48 hours, becoming for a while the most trending item in Italy and Spain. Interest was also very high on Facebook: the audience for the Scuderia’s official page reached 3.6 million and posts relating to the new car got over a hundred thousand likes.
Looking at the league table of the followers by country, Italy was clearly at the top, followed by Spain, USA, UK and Finland. A total of 219 countries featured, with no less than 191 members of the United Nations: they go from A for the Aaland Islands to Z for Zimbabwe.
Maranello, 25 January –From A for Australia, the first Grand Prix of the year, to V for victory and the objectives of the team, these were all topics raised during the digital press conference featuring Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen, which took place this afternoon, from the Fiorano track.
83 Formula 1 journalists from around the world took part in the video link, which ended the day on which the F14 T was presented to the public.
“We’ll have to wait for Australia to really understand where we are compared to the others,” said Fernando and Kimi in unison, “At the moment, it’s impossible to say who our rivals might be: everyone, on paper!”
The media were keen to find out about the relationship between the two drivers, both world champions who definitely meet with the approval of the fans. “Having a strong team mate is important, but it’s more important that all the elements, such as the team and the car are strong,” said Kimi, a sentiment Fernando agreed with: “With a strong team-mate you can improve by working together.”
There was no apprehension about tackling a season featuring so many new technical aspects, which is something of a step in the dark. “You need to be optimistic and believe the team has prepared well, working hard and making the most of all its resources,” added the Spaniard. “We have a totally refurbished wind tunnel, new engineers, new ideas and new working practices. I am sure everyone will give a hundred percent, because there’s a great thirst for victory.”
The F14 T is the sixtieth car built by Ferrari specifically to take part in the Formula 1 World Championship. The name comes from the combination of the current year and the introduction of the turbo-compressor in the Power Unit.
Although the traditional gestation period for a new Formula 1 design is a little over twelve months, this project, which goes by the internal code name 665, began life more than two years ago. 2014 is an exceptional year in the history of the sport, with a raft of rule changes that commanded an early start to allow the ground up revision of every aspect of the car’s design. To cope with the unprecedented challenge of running three car projects simultaneously during 2012, the Scuderia was fortunate to be able to call on the talents of experienced engineers to guide the project in its early stages.
Followers of the Scuderia will be able to see some of the heritage of earlier Ferrari designs in the F14 T – the obvious areas of continuity are the pull-rod front and rear suspension. However, beyond this superficial similarity there is little to connect the 2014 car to its predecessors. Externally, the car is very different to the cars of recent years: changes to the regulations to lower the chassis and nose in the interests of driver safety give the F14 T a very different appearance to the F138 and presented the designers with a real challenge to repackage the front suspension into a much lower monocoque. The 2014 rear wing family shares nothing with the previous year owing to three rule changes requiring a much larger stroke DRS, a much smaller overall rear wing depth and removal of the beam wing, thereby requiring the main plane to be supported by central pillars. The front wing is regulated to be 75mm narrower per side in order to make it less vulnerable to collisions with other cars and with the barriers. This change, perhaps one of the less noticeable visual differences to the 2013 cars, has a profound effect on the aerodynamics of the vehicle. The front wings used since 2009 have all featured elaborate measures to encourage the wake of the front wing endplates to pass around the outside of the front tyres in order to maximize the downforce on the car. An innocent change of just 75mm to the position of the wing tip has required us to reinvent completely the front wing aerodynamics for 2014.
Although the external differences are striking, the largest areas of difference occur beneath the skin of the car. The new car has completely different cooling requirements from any of its predecessors. Engine oil and water radiators shrink in size to match the relatively smaller V6 internal combustion part of the Power Unit. However, new homes had to be found to accommodate an intercooler for the turbo-compressor system and to manage heat rejection from ERS components that are many times greater than their KERS antecedents. Given that more cooling allows more horsepower, but more cooling also damages downforce generation it was necessary to decide very carefully on the correct level of overall cooling for the car to render the best lap time compromise between horsepower and downforce. This is one of the key areas where having both Power Unit and Chassis under one roof has been strongly to the benefit of the Scuderia. Having chosen the correct overall level of cooling to supply, packaging the resultant cooler elements and managing the correct airflow to them is something which has absorbed a very large investment of design time to ensure that the F14 T is able to retain the sharply tapered bodywork that allows efficient extraction of downforce from the design.
The braking system has been completely redesigned to adapt the car to the change in the regulations: This has involved ensuring greater capacity on the front axle, while working with Brembo to reduce the size of the hydraulic caliper at the rear to compensate for the greater braking effort that is supplied by the ERS motor. In addition, as permitted by the regulation, the F14 T will have a brake-by-wire system for the first time to allow us to optimize pedal consistency and brake balance control as the ERS braking contribution changes during the braking manoeuvre.
The 2014 Power Units produce greater peak power than their 2013 counterparts and do so at lower RPM with higher torque. Furthermore, the regulations require us to fix a choice of just 8 ratios for the season. This places very different requirements on the transmission than any of the previous generation of Formula 1 cars. The F14 T transmission has been designed with the aim of ensuring that we continue to enjoy highly efficient delivery of power through the drivetrain while producing class leading starts and high levels of reliability.
Weight and tyres
The sheer complexity of the 2014 regulations produces a layout that is significantly harder to deliver beneath the weight limit (691 kg) than in previous years. Weight control has been an important part of the project from the outset in order to deliver a car with a workable amount of ballast that will permit us to operate and develop the car through the season. Equally important will be the car’s integration with the new tyres that Pirelli is introducing this year. The ability of the F14 T to get the most out of their characteristics will be one of the cornerstones in terms of seeing if our overall efforts will deliver the hoped for results.
|Turbo charging||Single turbo|
|Fuel flow||100 kg/hr max|
|Fuel capacity||100 kg|
|Valves||4 per cylinder|
|Injection||500 bar – direct|
|Units per driver||5|
|Battery Energy (per lap)||4 Mj|
|MGU-K power||120 kW|
|MGU-K max revs||50’000 rpm|
|MGU-H max revs||125’000 rpm|
Maranello, 22 January – The final rush is on to choose the name of the new Prancing Horse Formula 1 car. With just over 24 hours to go until voting closes, it’s head to head between F14 T and F166 Turbo, which has been the case since the start. The two names have between them garnered two thirds of the vote and the battle is getting ever closer, with only one percentage point separating the candidates, the former having the slight edge. To increase still further the sense of expectation for fans, the announcement of the final result will be made on Friday 24th at 12h30, Maranello time, but the mid-point score will be frozen at 15h00 today.
There have been around 900,000 votes to date on the Scuderia’s Internet site and its official Facebook and Twitter channels. Italy heads the list of voters, ahead of Spain and the United States, while the top ten also features Finland (seventh) and Russia (eighth,) while India and China are in the first fifteen. The number of countries that have supplied votes has increased to 194, including Swasiland, Papua New Guinea, Haiti and Liechtenstein.
What name would you like to see on the cars that Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso will drive? F14 T or F166 Turbo? There’s still time to vote up until midnight tomorrow, 23 January!
Maranello, 16 January –A deluge of votes has hit the website opened by Ferrari so that fans can choose the name of the 2014 car. The fans referendum has been far more popular than expected and after 24 hours, F14 T ad F166 Turbo are head to head, with about 60% of the total votes between them.
People from 183 countries have gone on line in just a few hours. The top four in order of votes placed are Italy, Spain, the UK and the USA. No surprises so far then, but fifth place is worthy of note, being the relatively small nation of Finland, which comes ahead of Russia, with Hungary, France, Germany and Japan completing the top ten Clearly, the effect of Raikkonen’s return to Maranello has made itself felt and there has also been an increase in votes from China, because as from today the referendum has got underway there, through the social network Weibo.
Among the more unusual figures of this first 24 hours are twelve votes from Afghanistan, five from Greenland, while on one vote, we have Congo, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Djibuti, Guam, Haiti, New Caledonia, Palestine and the Svalbard Islands.
Maranello, 15 January – Within hours of the on-line ballot opening to choose the name of the next Prancing Horse car, over 105,000 fans from around the world have already cast their vote.
From the USA to China, as well as European countries, including Italy, Spain and Finland, President Montezemolo’s initiative is proving very popular among Ferrari fans, with the number of voters growing exponentially.
At the moment, the names that are proving most popular are F14 T and F166 Turbo. Will it become a two horse race? Or will there be an unexpected fight back? The outcome of the ballot will only be revealed on 24 January, so in the meantime, keep voting.