As F1 2016 launches, Fer­rari takes new back to ba­sics ap­proach F1 LAUNCH SPE­CIAL

Motor Sport News - - Headline News - By Rob Lad­brook

Fer­rari team head Mau­r­izio Ar­riv­abene be­lieves his squad is ca­pa­ble of tak­ing the fight to Mercedes in this year’s For­mula 1 World Cham­pi­onship with its new SF16-H chal­lenger.

The Ital­ian squad took the wraps off its 2016 ma­chine at Maranello last week. Fer­rari en­ters this year hav­ing ful­filled Ar­riv­abene’s for­mer tar­get of achiev­ing three grand prix wins last term. Star driver Se­bas­tian Vet­tel fin­ished third in the driv­ers’ ta­ble and Fer­rari was se­cond in the makes’ race.

Ar­riv­abene said: “Nor­mally I don’t set ob­jec­tives. But last year’s ob­jec­tive was three wins and we got it, this year we have to push for more.

“It is go­ing to be for the cham­pi­onship at least. We would like to fight un­til the end for the cham­pi­onship. We know it will not be easy, our com­peti­tors are not sleep­ing or look­ing at what we are do­ing, we are all com­mit­ted to do­ing our best.

“We hope that this will be a win­ning car for us – it is the re­sult of the com­mit­ment of many, many peo­ple. This year will be more dif­fi­cult. We had lit­tle ex­pec­ta­tion last year af­ter a bad sea­son in 2014, but be­cause last year was good the pres­sure is now on for us to de­liver the kind of re­sults the peo­ple ex­pect from us.

“We are not go­ing to the races this year to play. We are go­ing to try and put the red and white car in front of ev­ery­body else. We have to be able to win when the game is at its most dif­fi­cult.”

De­sign de­par­ture

The SF16-T takes a more tra­di­tional de­sign con­cept to that of its pre­de­ces­sors. Af­ter a dis­as­trous 2014 cam­paign, Fer­rari man­aged to turn things around last year with a re­vamp of its en­gine de­vel­op­ment. This year those changes have been backed up by a tried and tested chas­sis de­sign.

The sim­plest change re­sides on the front sus­pen­sion, which now re­verts to a pushrod sys­tem, not the pull­rod so­lu­tion that Fer­rari has pi­o­neered over re­cent years.

Fer­rari felt the more con­ven­tional sys­tem, which

places less load on front tyres, was now work­able thanks to Pirelli’s progress on the dura­bil­ity of its tyre com­pounds. The old pull­rod sys­tem aimed to get tyres into their op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­ture faster. The new sys­tem is in­stead fo­cused on clean­ing up the car’s frontal aero.

Fer­rari has adopted the snub nose con­cept to max­imise air­flow un­der the chas­sis, aided by the slop­ing sus­pen­sion struts slot­ting be­hind the wish­bones and cre­at­ing a clearer air chan­nel. Below the nose are two turn­ing vanes used to duct air around the chas­sis and the side­pods have been fit­ted with larger air in­takes to aid cool­ing.

Fer­rari has also al­tered its en­gine in­stal­la­tion phi­los­o­phy, rais­ing the rear-mounted gear­box to im­prove air­flow and also repo­si­tion­ing its ERS hard­ware fur­ther along­side the en­gine as op­posed to be­hind it as in pre­vi­ous cars. The car also has repo­si­tioned and im­proved cool­ing sys­tems.

Fer­rari tech­ni­cal di­rec­tor James Al­li­son said: “It’s a very bold car and it needs to be. For last year’s car we were work­ing to im­prove a poor base­line from 2014 so we could make big steps be­ing rel­a­tively con­ser­va­tive. The 2015 car was good, so we needed to take some bolder steps and be braver and work across the whole car ag­gres­sively to find the same in­creases in per­for­mance.

“In one way it’s fair to say this car is ground­break­ing, but in truth it’s a mix­ture of brand new in­no­va­tion and hold­ing on to tried and true con­cepts. This year’s car has a high pro­por­tion of new and bold ap­proaches and known de­signs.

“The en­tire pro­ject team has given its ab­so­lute best to make sure that ev­ery way we can put a com­pet­i­tive car on the ground for 2016 has been fol­lowed. We have im­proved across the board. All our hopes are in this car, and we can’t wait to see it on the track.”

Team grows

The SF16-H also rep­re­sents the first fresh de­sign of car for Fer­rari since the team’s tech­ni­cal up­heaval at the start of 2015.

Fol­low­ing a mass cleanout of its tech­ni­cal team in 2014, Ar­riv­abene was in­stalled as team prin­ci­pal at the start of last year, along with chief de­signer Si­mone Resta and power unit di­rec­tor Mattia Binotto. Mercedes per­for­mance en­gi­neer Jock Clear will also join the team for this sea­son.

Vet­tel says the chem­istry within the team is right for this year: “I think the new car is a step for­ward for us, but per­haps more ex­cit­ing is what it rep­re­sents. Last year was a very good year as we had a big job to sta­bilise the team and get things back on track in terms of re­sults.we had new staff come in and some move into new roles and it takes time to get them set­tled. This car is the first chance we have to see the re­sults of those changes.

“We will try to raise the bar for this year, and you can al­ready feel that when you walk around the fac­tory. Ev­ery­body is fired up and the ex­pec­ta­tion is there. There is huge po­ten­tial.”

Fer­rari’s F1 chal­lenger has been heav­ily re­worked for 2016

Vet­tel and Kimi Raikko­nen will han­dle the new SF16-H

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