Ferrari unveils online simulator
Learn the tricks of the trade with this trackwork treat, writes Paul Gover
GRAND prix stars Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa celebrated in Monza last weekend, and not just because they dominated the Italian Grand Prix for Ferrari.
They also took the wraps off a driving simulator that taps into their trackwork with the latest Ferrari F10, opening the experience to online gamers around the world.
High-definition graphics and highspeed response allows the creation of a virtual car on a virtual track, right down to the sort of cornering G-forces experienced by the racers.
The Ferrari Virtual Academy is based on the Italian company’s inhouse test track at Fiorano, and the Mugello and Nurburgring racecourses will soon be added to the action.
Ferrari says it took 15 experts more than 12,000 hours to create the simulation, which uses 3D graphics and data processing for the first time on a PC simulation.
The key to the experience is a virtual cockpit and steering wheel which tap into authentic data from the car, including its aerodynamic effects, tyre characteristics and behaviour of the chassis-suspension system, engine and transmission.
Alonso, Massa and Ferrari’s F1 test driver Giancarlo Fisichella were all involved in testing of the simulator to ensure a realistic performance.
Drivers on the Ferrari Virtual Academy can record their own time online, as well as taking part in an international tournament for weekly rewards from the Ferrari merchandise catalogue. But, wait, there’s more. The five fastest drivers at the end of the tournament will win a trip to Ferrari in Italy and will be rewarded with a place at the Ferrari Driver Academy course.
The simulator costs around $20 and can be purchased online from www.ferrarivirtualacademy.com
Just like the real thing: Ferrari’s new virtual racing academy will challenge online gamers around the world.