How Ferrari aims to boost its power output

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Technical director James Allison blames turbo deficiency for lack of electrical power.

The svelte new Ferrari SF15-T Formula One car clearly represents a major step forward relative to its ugly predecessor, at least in terms of appearance, but under the skin there’s been plenty of work to improve its power output.

Technical director James Allison stressed that the team has made big steps with its power unit, which was a major weakness last season.

“The power unit has, along with the rest of the car, been an area of extremely high effort to improve,” said Allison. “We had a number of issues with last year's engine and power unit. Early on in the season the power delivery was not particularly sophisticated, and it was quite tough for the drivers to get the type of throttle response that they wanted. It was improved a lot during the season and we take that a step further for the SF15-T.

A tremendous amount of work has gone into all aspects of our combustion efficiency.

technical director James Allison

“A definite weakness of last year's car was that the amount of electrical energy that we were able to recovery from the turbo was not really good enough for producing competitive power levels during the race. That's one of the reasons why Ferrari's qualifying performance was relatively stronger compared with their race performance last year. That's an area where we've tried to change the architecture of the engine to make it a better compromise between qualifying and racing performance.

“And then plain simple horsepower. A tremendous amount of work has gone into all aspects of our combustion efficiency to try and make sure that in this fuel limited formula where every team is only allowed to burn the same amount of fuel that every single compression stroke, every single ignition stroke, is extracting the maximum amount of horsepower and putting it on the road.

At last! A ‘sexy-looking’ F1 car…

As well as much more attractive front-end, the SF15-T has a more tightly packaged rear, which is a characteristic of other 2015 cars seen so far.

Allison said there are good reasons for the improvements: “I think all the cars on the grid are going to be more appealing around the front, around the nose, because after a few years of trying I think we've finally invented a regulation that gets what we wanted from a safety point of view, but also doesn't create the rather unappealing features of the last few years. So I think everyone will look a lot prettier at the front, and the 2015 Ferrari is I think nice in that regard.

“However the back of the car is something that it noticeably different from the 2014 car, where we have been successful in pulling the bodywork much tighter to all the stuff underneath the skin.

"And that's been done through a lot of work, not just in the wind tunnel but also in the design part of the company to try to find radiator designs that were fundamentally more efficient, so that for every square centimetre of radiator we're able to extract more cooling this year than last, and therefore are able to close the car down at the back as a consequence.”

But will new car help Raikkonen?

Regarding whether the car will aid Kimi Raikkonen, after he struggled with the front-end feel of last year's car, Allison said: "We will only know for sure once we are running on the track, but I hope that the SF-15T will be much more comfortable for him with both a stronger front-end in mid corner and more support from the rear under braking.”

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T launch
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen
Article type Breaking news
Tags ferrari, ferrari sf15-t, james allison