Image credits: © Ferrari.
2011 Ferrari 150° Italia
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 Únification 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. ( posted on conceptcarz.com)Source - Ferrari
Malaysian GP – A difficult day in Sepang. A lot of work for the Maranello engineers
It was a busy time for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, on the first day of practice for the Malaysian Grand Prix. Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa covered over one hundred laps, much of them in the morning aimed at evaluating various aerodynamic configurations, while in the afternoon, the two drivers concentrated on the more usual Friday programme at a Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso: 'Given how things went today, it looks like being a difficult weekend, but we will do all we can to get close to the quickest. Today, things did not go well and we struggled to find a good balance on the car, so this evening we will look at how we can improve. On a track like this, with such variable weather and with tyre degradation being what it is, there will be a lot of factors in play in the fight for the top places and just being quickest will not be enough. This morning we did a lot of work on the aerodynamics to understand what had not worked the way we had expected in Australia, but even if we had been quick in Melbourne, there would still be work to do. This is only the start of the season: we are not quick enough to fight for the win and pole position, but that does not mean that we have to throw in the towel. Instead we have to step up our efforts to quickly reduce the gap that separates us from those who have done a better job than us.'
Felipe Massa: 'It's logical that I had expected and had hoped to be quicker, especially when compared to the two teams that are clearly in front. Let's see what we can do between this evening and tomorrow to improve the car. There is not much grip and also tyre degradation is very high and, as could be seen in the final part of the second session, when everyone was presumably running with a heavy fuel load, we were not the only ones having a problem. If the race was to take place in the dry, choosing the right strategy would be very complicated. The soft tyres work better, giving much more grip and they are much quicker, although there is a lot of degradation. The hard seems to be slower and, at first, seems a bit more consistent, but it does not last that much longer than the other. We will have to be ready for anything this weekend. In the last two days, we have seen that at the time qualifying and the race are due to start, it always rains. If that also happens in the next two days, anything could happen.'
Pat Fry: 'We got through a lot of work on this first day of free practice. In fact, apart from the usual Friday programme, we wanted to carry out a whole series of aerodynamic tests to try and gather as much data as possible on the handling of the car, especially in terms of the front end. In quantitive terms we achieved our aim because the programme was completed as planned. Now it's up to us to analyse the data and get the answers we are looking for. It will be a tough job, but a vital one to understand in which direction to go in the development of the car. Having done that, we then concentrated on all the usual Friday tasks, which means looking for the best set-up and especially on comparing the two types of tyre we have here. From what we could see, it looks like being a very busy weekend for the pit stop guys, because the degradation, at least in these conditions, seems higher than in Melbourne. The alternative scenario is rain which seems likely for Sunday…From a performance point of view, allowing for all the unknown factors on a Friday, the situation does not seem that different to the one in Australia: our aim is try and make the most of what we have got at our disposal.'Source - Ferrari
Australian GP - Two cars in the points does little to ease disappointment
Fourth and seventh places respectively for Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa: that was the outcome of the first race of the 2011 season, the Australian Grand Prix, for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro.Stefano Domenicali
: 'There is no point in denying that we leave Australia with a sense of disappointment. Again today, our performance level was not a match for that of the best, especially one of the Red Bulls. Nevertheless, we managed to pick up some valuable points, especially with Fernando, who drove a great race, recovering from what happened to him on the first lap. Having made a strong start, Felipe first defended himself with real determination against attacks from Button, but then in the second part of the race he suffered more than expected with overheating rear tyres. Now we will have to study everything carefully to work out what prevented us from being as competitive as we had expected this weekend. Then we will have to react immediately, starting with the next race in Malaysia. One of the main themes is the level of downforce at the front: we must find out why we did not get on track what was predicted by the data. One of the few bright points was reliability, especially on the engine side and with the KERS.'
Fernando Alonso: 'If you just look at the classification, this is not such a bad result; yes we have lost ground to Vettel and Hamilton, although we have done better than Webber and Button. Here at Albert Park, it seems that I have a season ticket for fourth place, as it's the third time in four years that I've finished the race in this position. Last year, we came here off the back of the win in Bahrain, which means that the same result then had a very different feel to it. Once again today, Vettel seemed to be on another planet, while the others were a bit closer, not to the extent they were on Friday, but at least not as far off as in qualifying yesterday. Finishing behind Petrov again like in Abu Dhabi? True, but it's a coincidence and then, at this stage it is more satisfying to have managed to keep Webber behind me, who I reckon will be a more serious rival in the title fight than the Russian. KERS worked well as did the moveable rear wing, although it did not make the overtaking moves that easy. At the start there was a bit of confusion: I got away well, but then Button headed for me and I had to go wide to avoid a collision. The strategy was just right and it helped me to make up some places. Maybe if I hadn't ended up immediately in traffic, I could have tried to go for two stops but given how things went, we made the best decision. We are in the right zone for us to be able to win a title, but definitely not if we keep finishing third or fourth. We have to improve, we know that, but it's still too early to make any predictions.'
Felipe Massa: 'At the start things got off on the right foot with a nice start and good defending from Button's attacking moves. Then we tried to bring forward the use of the hard tyres, but that move did not pay off and we had to make the third stop towards the end, which lost me a few places. In the second part, I suffered a lot with degradation on the rear tyres and I could not keep up a good pace. New elements such as the rear wing worked as they should: we definitely saw more overtaking than last year. The duel with Button? It was very tight: when he passed me, cutting the chicane, I expected him to be penalised. I am a bit disappointed with the result and the overall performance this weekend. We have to get down to work to understand fully what happened, because I think we have not shown our true potential.'
Pat Fry: 'We have a lot of work ahead of us, that's for sure. This weekend, the 150° Italia was not as competitive as we would have liked and that's a fact: both in the race and in qualifying, Red Bull and McLaren were quicker than us. In terms of how we managed our strategy, I think that with Fernando we made the right choices, given what happened on the opening lap, when he found himself back in ninth place. Thanks to the pit stops and some good passing moves, the Spaniard managed to move up the order to fourth and he was fighting for a podium finish right up to the final lap. However, with Felipe we probably made a mistake towards the end, which cost him maybe one place. Now we all have to roll our sleeves up, at the track and back home, to try and arrive in Malaysia in better shape.'Source - Ferrari
Australian GP - Many laps, many questionsAlbert Park, 25 March
- Before coming to Melbourne, we already knew that this year's Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro car was reliable, thanks to an impressive mileage accumulated over the fifteen days of testing in Spain. So, no surprise then that Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa racked up over one hundred laps between them in today's two free practice sessions. However, any questions relating to the pecking order among the twelve teams remain unanswered on a day best described as confusing, not least because of cool conditions and the occasional shower of light rain. Add in the fact that this semi-permanent track is also a bit green and dirty on the first day and clearly, the engineers will have a tough task analysing all the data from today, in order to prepare for the rest of the weekend.
Despite the fact that the media seemed determined to write off the McLaren team in terms of competitiveness, Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton proved them wrong in no uncertain terms, setting the fastest two times of the day, with the Scuderia's Fernando Alonso third. Red Bull Racing, who topped the morning time sheet, were fourth and fifth this evening, with reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel ahead of team-mate Mark Webber. In sixth place was Michael Schumacher for Mercedes, with Felipe Massa in the other Prancing Horse car seventh. Of the five new drivers making their F1 debut, the best of the bunch was Sergio Perez: the Mexican set the eighth quickest time for Sauber.
Dryer and warmer conditions are forecast for tomorrow, so it is possible that the first qualifying session of the season might start to deliver some of the elusive answers regarding the relative strengths of the teams. At the moment it's too close to call and as Fernando pointed out, ensuring that every aspect of the team's work is carried out perfectly will be the key to having a good day tomorrow.Source - Ferrari
Chinese GP - Domenicali: 'It is vital for us to react immediately'
The first long-haul stint on the F1 calendar concludes this coming Sunday with the eighth running of the Chinese Grand Prix at the vast and modern Shanghai International Circuit. After this, the teams will return to their European bases and have the first real opportunity to assess what has happened so far over three races, given that there will then be a three week break until the team trucks and motorhomes make their seasonal debut in Istanbul. However, development work continues virtually 24-7 and after two less than satisfactory performances in Australia and Malaysia for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, its team principal, Stefano Domenicali, technical director Aldo Costa and his deputy Pat Fry, chose to return to Maranello as soon as the sound of the engines had died in Sepang in order to be involved first hand in speeding up the development process of the 150º Italia.
The difficulties the team face with this year's car might sound familiar to anyone who followed the Prancing Horse in 2010: a good race pace on Sunday, but difficulties one day before in qualifying. However, to keep a sense of perspective, there have only been two races run so far and, if one removes the clearly faultless Vettel from the equation - the reigning world champion absolutely on top form at the moment - then the Scuderia's performance looks more respectable. While the word 'if' should maybe not be used in sport, it is also true that if Felipe Massa had not had a problem at his first pit stop in Malaysia and if Fernando's failed rear wing had not forced him into an error that led to him having to pit for a new nose, then both Maranello men could legitimately claim to be heading for the podium.
'The main problem we need to deal with is our performance the day before the race in qualifying which is not at the same level as the teams that are currently best,' said Domenicali. 'It is vital for us to react immediately, because we have seen how rapidly things can change in Formula 1. In terms of strategy we can say our race in Sepang was a good one, because our choices proved to be the right ones and the fact we were unable to bring home more points was down to other causes. So strategy and race performance are two positive factors.' Domenicali was also happy with his two drivers: 'Felipe drove to a very high standard, showing a return to form and Fernando was very aggressive, which is always good for a driver' he §äid.
'Back at the factory we have to have a big push to understand our lack of performance,' said the team principal. 'We need to push a lot to upgrade our aero package because aerodynamics is the key to it all. We will try and bring as quickly as possible the upgrades, maybe already in China, that we require. We need to understand as soon as possible why the performance on track has not matched the figures coming out of the wind tunnel. If we have not a clear picture, then we need to change the direction of the work we are doing in terms of development. The other important factor is to keep on increasing our understanding of how to use the tyres, because we saw in Malaysia that this is another area that makes a difference. As for KERS, I cannot talk about it in general, but certainly for us it is a useful aid in terms of boosting car performance. Then, when it comes to the race, it can be used either to attack another driver or to defend your own position. Therefore it is an interesting addition to the sport.'
In Melbourne, mainly due to colder conditions than expected, the predicted high number of pit stops did not materialise, but they did in Malaysia, with a total of 59 visits recorded down pit lane, although this includes some drivers pitting with mechanical problems or to take a penalty. Therefore, Domenicali feels that apart from the technical package, team work is another area that needs analysing and improving. 'The trend for more tyre changes means our pit stop crew guys are always under pressure, so the chance of making mistakes is higher. If Formula 1 has always been a case of having a package made up of the driver and the team, then that is even more the case now requiring a different approach to the races.'
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro can look to this weekend knowing it is on familiar terms with the Shanghai podium, having won three of the seven races held here: in 2004 with Rubens Barrichello, two years later thanks to Michael Schumacher and in 2007 with Kimi Raikkonen. Of our current drivers, Fernando won in 2005 and Felipe's best results have been a second and a third place. The country is also commercially significant for the Prancing Horse: 'China is an ever more important country for Ferrari, because the market here continues to grow, as does the appreciation of our products,' commented Domenicali. 'It is a strategically very important market for us, growing at an incredible rate. All these reasons make this an important event for us this weekend.'Source - Ferrari