Ferrari is the first team to take the wraps off their 2008 F1 car, which will feature in its debut race at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne on 16 March 2008. Dubbed the F2008, the new car takes into account F1 rule changes that see some of the technology removed for the 2008 season.
In an effort to make the racing more exciting and to place the emphasis back on pure driving skill, the drivers will be going without some of their electronic assistants, the most significant probably being traction control.
Rule changes for the new season aimed at making the racing even more exciting and putting more emphasis on driving skills has seen some of the technology removed from all cars for 2008. The elimination of traction control is probably the most obvious change, one that even the reigning Formula One Champion, Kimi Raikkonen has to work hard to adjust to.
?We have already tested the new system before Christmas. There is no traction control anymore. And we have to adapt to this fact, which is quite something. There are also other control systems missing, which we were still using during the last year. But we are really satisfied with the new car and its modifications. The cockpit of the F2008 is tighter and also the car is smaller. We have to be ready for these changes. Will I have more fun without the traction control? It will be much more complex to drive, that's for sure. Especially on wet tracks. But it will be also much more fun!,? said reigning Formula One Champion, Kimi Raikkonen
Designing the F2008 has seen all of the aerodynamic surfaces updated over the 2007 car. The body is more concave and the engine cover features a different profile in an effort to improve efficiency. Major work has been undertaken on the remaining electronics and control systems, with the fitment of an integrated central system and an MES (Mechanics and Electronics System). Next year, these systems will tie in with 2009 rules that will allow the fitment of energy storage and reuse systems.
?This new system is already looking ahead to the year 2009, when we will develop a kinetic system to reuse the energy produced by the car. This will take up a lot of our time this year. To combine the two departments is an obvious thing to do. We will do many test sessions inside and outside of the works. This is already the second year that we are not allowed to further develop the engines. From March 2008 on the engine will be completed and approved. What we have actually done is concentrated our work on everything that is sitting above the cylinders; such as the inlets and also on the improvement of the lubrication. We also developed a new kind of fuel over the last winter in collaboration with Shell. The rules of 2008 set a limit of 5.75% of bio-components in the fuel. We'll use the biofuel already at the tests in Jerez next week,? said Gilles Simon, Head of Engines and Electronics for Ferrari
The geabox, which now has to last four races has seen its fair share of development work in the off season, featuring new dimensions and increased strength.
For the 2008 season Ferrari will have a new team structure, with changes starting right at the top, with Jean Todt, the man who guided the team to its most successful period, stepping down. As Mario Almondo, Director of Operations, explained, it does not matter how fast the car is, if it is not matched by an equal level of team organisation
The Ferrari F2008 in detail
The design, codenamed internally as the 659, represents the Scuderia's interpretation of the regulations in force in 2008. A major new element of these is the introduction of a new electronic system to be used by all teams, known as SECU (Standard Electronic Control Unit) and produced by MES (McLaren Electronic Systems.) It consists of a single control unit and a software system, the development of which ends as the season begins. Other areas affected by rule changes are: gearbox, which must be used for four consecutive events; safety, with the introduction of higher side protection around the driver's helmet; materials, with a limit to the type of composites that can be used. As a result of these rules, there has been an increase in the weight of the car. All aerodynamic surfaces have been completely revised, however the current version will be replaced by a completely different configuration in time for the first race. In fact, an intensive and all encompassing development programme is planned to run throughout the season. The monococque has been further cut away under the driver's legs and the side pods and engine cover are more tapered. The suspension system has been reworked and developed around the new aerodynamics.
The wheelbase and weight distribution have been adapted to meet the challenge of the new regulations and on the basis of lessons learned last year in terms of the performance of the Bridgestone tyres. Changes to the technical and sporting regulations in terms of electronics, alongside the introduction of the SECU, have led to the removal of a host of a driver aids, such as traction control and engine breaking and the electronically assosted starting system, and also mean that management of the differential, engine and gearchange are much simpler. The gearbox casing is produced in carbon, while the transmission continues to be mounted longitudinally. For the second consecutive year the gearchange is fitted with a quick shift system, adapted to the SECU software and further speeded up. In dealing with the reliability aspect of the new regulations, Shell has played a key role in defining the lubricants for the gearbox. The braking system has been updated with new callipers and innovative concepts regarding cooling.
The 056 engine is mounted longitudinally and continues as a load bearing element. Its basic structure remains unchanged compared to the unit homologated at the start of last season, while its auxiliary systems, air and fuel intakes have been further developed. The technical regulations also call for the use of fuel corresponding to European Union norms, with a content of components derived from biological sources equal to 5.75%. As usual, during the design and development stages of the entire car, our technical partners played an important role. Apart from previously mentioned significant input from Shell , also worthy of note is the contribution of the Fiat Research Centre, especially in providing simulation systems and Brembo for its work in developing the braking system. As is now traditional, a great deal of attention was paid to the performance and optimising of the materials used at the design stage and through quality control, striving to maximise performance levels while attaining the highest possible safety standards.
Chassis: Carbon-fibre and honeycomb; composite structure
Ferrari longitudinal gearbox; Limited-slip differential
Semiautomatic sequential electronically controlled gearbox quick-shift
Number of gears: 7 + Reverse
Ventilated carbon-fibre disc brakes
Independent suspension, push-rod activated torsion springs front and rear
Weight (with water, lubricant and driver): 605 kg
BBS Wheels (front and rear): 13''
Number of cylinders: 8
Cylinder block in cast aluminium: V 90?
Number of valves: 32
Total displacement: 2398 cc
Piston bore: 98 mm
Weight: >95 kg
Magneti Marelli digital electronic injection
Magneti Marelli static electronic ignition
Fuel: Shell V-Power ULG 64
Lubricant: Shell SL-1098