Ross Brawn, Ferrari's Technical Director, talks about the new regulations, partners and testing: This is now my 7th Ferrari New Car Presentation. I can truthfully, and thankfully, say that each year the results have been an improvement on ...
Ross Brawn, Ferrari's Technical Director, talks about the new regulations, partners and testing:
This is now my 7th Ferrari New Car Presentation. I can truthfully, and thankfully, say that each year the results have been an improvement on the previous year. However, to win more than 15 races again is a promise that is difficult to make -- we will do our best. What I can say is that the same effort, hard work, dedication and commitment needed to win Championships is still being applied and this car is the result. It is a product of a stable and highly motivated group of people. Year on year, this car is probably the biggest step in performance to date.
I mentioned stability, for this is one of our greatest strengths. But stability alone is not enough. Stability is merely the foundation on which to build a successful organisation. The enemy of stability can be complacency. However, I do believe that our difficult first few seasons together have been a reminder of how fragile success can be. We like to think of our situation as dynamic stability -- the same people, but a constant review and development of ideas and practices.
The business of Formula One has always faced new challenges. There is a considerable investment and expenditure required to be Competitive, however, it is in the interests of all the Teams that the base cost of entering Formula One is as low as possible. In the future we will have an engine that will last a complete race meeting, a standard brake system, a standard wing, a possible restriction on the usage of extreme materials. None of these changes will affect the natural order. The Teams who do a good job will succeed. However, these changes will reduce the base cost of Formula One, particularly for the smaller Teams.
There have been few technical rule changes for the start of the 2003 season. The main change is the compulsory usage of a Hans neck and head support system. The system offers considerable safety benefits to the driver in the case of an impact. We are working hard to overcome some of the ergonomic difficulties and our drivers are adapting well to the system. There have also been some minor bodywork changes around the roll hoop to eliminate the necessity for the 'ears' that some cars have. The usage of two-way telemetry will be banned immediately and radio communications between the driver and the team will be made available to the FIA and the public. As a result, Teams can again use their 2002 car to compete in the 2003 Formula One World Championships.
It is Ferrari's intention to start the season with the 2002 car and to introduce the 2003 car after the first few races, perhaps at Imola. This will be, as always, dependent upon testing and results. We also have a new parc fermé procedure designed to ensure that the same car is used both for qualifying and the race. Between qualifying and the race we will only be able to conduct safety checks on the cars. We cannot change engine, gearbox, chassis settings, tyres or related components. This will present many new and novel technical challenges. For instance, the car will need to be a compromise between Qualifying and Race set-up as no set-up changes can be made after Qualifying.
During the 2003 season, at the British Grand Prix, there will be a series of changes to reduce the usage of Driver Aids. This means that traction control, launch control and automatic gearboxes will be banned. In order to police these strategies more effectively, the FIA are introducing a 'Spy in the Cockpit'. This will be a monitoring device inside the car to provide data to detect the usage of these strategies. We believe it essential we avoid the suspicion and innuendo that existed prior to the legalisation of these strategies and we are working together with the FIA to ensure satisfactory policing in the future.
Again, we have been dependent upon our partners to achieve and share our success. In all areas we have sought to maximise the benefit of our partnerships and effectively create a team many times larger than just those employed by Ferrari.
The partnership with Bridgestone has been particularly crucial to our success and we are finding many new and innovative ways to work more closely together. Progress with the tyre performance and car performance is now achieved in small steps. No longer are we able to find single substantial performance steps. Therefore it is essential that we developed a methodology and system capable of recognising these small steps of improvement that then accumulate into a substantial performance advantage. We have a totally open policy with all our Technical Partners. We share all data, information, problems and solutions. We seek to improve upon the simple supplier customer relationship and create a total that is greater than the sum of the two parts. Our Partnerships with Shell, SKF, BBS, Sachs, Brembo, Magneti Marelli and CRF are prime examples of Technical Partnerships that go beyond the norm and produce results that have been critical to the success of Ferrari.
Programme of testing
After the launch, the car will need a few more days finishing before it will run early next week. We hope to spend a few days in Fiorano before moving to Mugello, and then onto Imola and Spain at the end of the month.
The crash test programme will start next week using the second chassis. By the Imola race we should have a minimum of four chassis and six gearboxes. In parallel with the new car activity, work is continuing with the 653. Since Christmas we have been testing with all four drivers, concentrating on tyre and strategy development along with several race simulations to mimic the new race weekend requirements for 2003 -- single lap qualifying and then completing a race distance. Work has gone well and we are optimistic that we can be competitive for the first few races.
The new car contains many innovative and original solutions while embracing the same philosophies successfully applied during the past few years. I am extremely proud of the car, but more important to me, I am extremely proud of the team of people that represent Ferrari in the modern era.