|Alonso and Massa uncover the Ferrari F150|
Ferrari has become the first F1 team to reveal its 2011 car, with the covers having come off the F150 at its Maranello base on Friday morning. Notable visible changes are the squad‚Äôs new logo on the engine cover plus Italian flags on the rear wing and turning vanes to commemorate the 150th anniversary since the unification of Italy.
After narrowly losing out on the 2010 title in Abu Dhabi last November, determination to succeed is high ahead of the upcoming campaign.
As well as the obvious optical differences, this year‚Äôs F150 also carries a number of significant technical and aerodynamic modifications:
- Front of car raised to improve airflow, driver sitting slightly higher up as a result
- A stronger indention of the sidepods
- Pirelli tires
- Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS) returns
- New moveable rear wing
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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 tires, while continuing to push on the development of aerodynamic performance in the wind tunnel. Indeed, the tires 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 tires for the cars from Maranello. Given that the teams have so far only managed two days of testing with the new tires 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 tires.
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‚Äôs 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 usage 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 optimization of all materials used, in the design stages and when going through quality control, striving to maximize performance levels and reliability, while delivering the highest possible safety standards.
‚ÄĒ Carbon-fiber and honeycomb composite structure
‚ÄĒ Ferrari longitudinal gearbox
‚ÄĒ Limited-slip differential
‚ÄĒ Semiautomatic sequential electronically controlled gearbox ‚Äď quick shift
‚ÄĒ Number of gears: 7 +Reverse
‚ÄĒ Brembo ventilated carbon-fiber disc brakes
‚ÄĒ Independent suspension, push-rod activated torsion springs front and rear
‚ÄĒ Weight with water, lubricant and driver: 640 kg
‚ÄĒ BBS Wheels (front and rear): 13‚ÄĚ
|Ferrari F150 engine|
‚ÄĒ Type: 056
‚ÄĒ Number of cylinders: 8
‚ÄĒ Cylinder block in sand cast aluminum V 90¬į
‚ÄĒ Number of valves: 32
‚ÄĒ Pneumatic distribution
‚ÄĒ Total displacement: 2398 cm3
‚ÄĒ Piston bore: 98 mm
‚ÄĒ Weight > 95 kg
‚ÄĒ Electronic injection and ignition
‚ÄĒ Fuel: Shell V-Power
‚ÄĒ Lubricant: Shell Helix Ultra
Interview with Ferrari Chief designer Nikolas Tombazis
When did you start thinking about the project of the F150?
Tombazis: 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 program in the wind tunnel to examine the new regulations.
Which were the most important parts in this challenge?
Tombazis: This project had several important challenges, because the regulations are quite different from last year‚Äôs. We had to reintroduce the KERS in the car. We‚Äôve learned a lot about the KERS two years ago. But now we‚Äôve got a new package, so the installation wasn‚Äôt 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‚Äôt influence the performance when it‚Äôs 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 tires. When you change tires 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 tires are new, we‚Äôve got lots of work. This is almost less important thinking about the aerodynamic aspect: this year we can‚Äôt 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?
Tombazis: We‚Äôve 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‚Äôt 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?
Tombazis: 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‚Äô 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?
Tombazis: We think we did. We set targets we think are very ambitious regarding the development in the wind tunnel, the car‚Äôs weight and the performance of some sub-systems. We think, based on our analysis, that we‚Äôve reached these targets. Especially for the car for the first race. Having said that, the regulations are new and it‚Äôs impossible to know exactly where our competitors stand. I‚Äôm convinced that also they set themselves some ambitious targets. I‚Äôm confident in what we‚Äôve done, but as long as we don‚Äôt see the cars on the grid for the first race, it‚Äôs a little bit difficult to answer this question.
A last question: do you feel obliged to win this year?
Tombazis: 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.
Interview with Stefano Domenicali
Ferrari Team Principal Stefano Domenicali is adopting a somewhat cautious approach ahead of the 2011 season, with no comparisons between cars being possible before pre-season testing begins in Valencia next week. He shared his views at the launch of Ferrari‚Äôs brand-new F150 in Maranello on Friday.
Let‚Äôs talk about the name: F150. Where does it come from?
F150, because we want to celebrate the 150 years of Italy‚Äôs unity. I think that our team represents ‚ÄėItalianity‚Äô in the world, although we are an international team, with members from all over the world.
An obvious question: is victory this year‚Äôs 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 organizational change is that we‚Äôve restructured the team of the track engineers. There are the vice Technical Director, Pat Fry, who coordinates Alonso‚Äôs and Massa‚Äôs 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 ‚Äėcharged‚Äô. I‚Äôve seen them in the last weeks and we spent some time together in Madonna di Campiglio during the ‚ÄėWrooom‚Äô 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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äď and there will also be some other teams, who could be some dangerous outsiders. And let‚Äôs not forget the great drivers ‚Äď 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 maneuvers?
I want to be a little bit careful regarding overtaking; it‚Äôs 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‚Äô excitement.
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‚Äôs not about obligations, but it‚Äôs about objectives. I‚Äôd say that this is and remains my and the whole team‚Äôs objective.
Interview with Aldo Costa
A significant rethink was required ahead of designing this year‚Äôs Ferrari, with a selection of modified rules to deal with. Following the launch of the F150 at the team‚Äôs Maranello headquarters, Technical Director Aldo Costa expressed his opinions.
There are many changes regarding the regulations for 2011. Which ones had a 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 and the f-duct are gone. The driver can‚Äôt change the car‚Äôs aerodynamic setup anymore. The underbody won‚Äôt have any ‚Äėholes‚Äô 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. KERS is back. Although we‚Äôve improved its size, it‚Äôs still quite big. Therefore the technicians had to redesign the car‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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, in comparison to what is here today, evolve over the next weeks?
The car‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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, what have been the most demanding challenges regarding this project?
Starting from scratch with the car‚Äôs rear, because the double diffuser and the F-duct are gone and there have been some clarifications regarding the car‚Äôs 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 tires; to what extent are the Pirelli tires still a question mark?
The project and the evolution of these tires happened in a very short time frame: Pirelli had only a couple of months to develop the tires. I think they‚Äôve done some really good work, but there‚Äôs 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 tires‚Äô construction is concerned. There‚Äôs still a lot to do and it‚Äôs a very important issue. We have to use the winter tests as good as we can to set up the Pirelli tires.
How do you get ready for the on-track debut?
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‚Äôs reliability is concerned. Therefore this work has to be done on the test stand. That‚Äôs why at the moment we‚Äôre testing the car‚Äôs 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. A one word is enough: Yes.
Interview with Ferrari's Luca Marmorini
Although the 056 V8 engine in the new F150 has not changed much since it was "frozen", Engine Chief Luca Marmorini and his department have continued to develop within the permissible ways. And with KERS back in the mix, it was necessary to make internal changes to meet it's demands.
Which are the interventions, which were possible on the 056 engine for 2011?
The engines are still ‚Äúfrozen‚ÄĚ, so direct interventions regarding the engine performance are impossible, but we‚Äôve 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‚Äôs pneumatic concept, which caused some problems in 2010. This year we‚Äôve reinstalled the KERS, which lead to a substantial change of the engine‚Äôs front. There‚Äôs 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‚Äôs 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 analyzed 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‚Äôre talking only about a few units per year and only a few tests before the start of the season. So it‚Äôs 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‚Äôs been consolidated. Lots of work and many activities. We‚Äôve done many long runs, but this year it‚Äôs 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‚Äôt 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 maneuvers?
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 maneuvers. 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‚Äôt use the same, will facilitate overtaking.
A last question: Personally, do you feel obliged to win this year?
Certainly. Obliged and inspired.