Luca Marmorini, the technical leader of Toyota's engine project, answers questions on the TF102. Q: Has the performance of the TF102 so far this season surprised you? We have to keep our feet firmly on the ground. We have proved at some ...
Luca Marmorini, the technical leader of Toyota's engine project, answers questions on the TF102.
Q: Has the performance of the TF102 so far this season surprised you?
We have to keep our feet firmly on the ground. We have proved at some races this year that we have a good basic package and only in recent races have we had problems during the race. Hopefully now we can focus on reliability and finishing races. If we can do that, then I will be more than satisfied. We did not aim high before the season, but we are racers, so we always want to do better and better.
Q: How good is your engine compared with the others in the pitlane?
It is safe for me to say that our engine is okay and that we are doing a good job. I do not want to tempt fate, but our RVX-02 engine has been extremely reliable so far this season, but I can't tell you where we are relative to the opposition.
Q: Explain your working relationship with Norbert Kreyer.
Norbert is the general manager of the engine department, so he is responsible for all the organisational elements. I am in charge of our technical activities: design, calculation, development and track support.
Q: Does Panasonic Toyota Racing have everything it needs to win the world championship?
Not yet, but I am sure of our potential. Our facilities are state-of-the-art and we have all the people we need. At the beginning of the programme we hired a lot of young engineers, but we have now got them working together. One thing we still have to learn, however, is how to work under pressure. It's important to stay relaxed. We have learnt to work well at home, but under pressure that could be different.
Q: How many engine staff have you kept on from Toyota's rally and Le Mans programmes?
Q: We have people from the rally and Le Mans programmes and all these people have motorsport in their blood, so it doesn't matter that their experience isn't in Formula 1. I believe that if you can race, you can race in Formula 1. Sure, the engines are different between the different categories, but the approach is quite similar. There are also people with F1 experience in the team, so we have a nice mix of employees.
Q: How does your 10 years' experience at Ferrari help you at Panasonic Toyota Racing?
There are a lot of similarities to the teams' approaches because we both doing everything under one roof. But the Toyota engine cannot be compared to the one used by Ferrari. We started our engine programme here two years ago, so the technology that I knew at Ferrari is no longer relevant. I have taken what I learnt at Ferrari in a new and different direction.
Q: How many developments of your current engine can we expect this year?
At least a couple more steps. The first step came at Imola, which I think was a positive step, with improved driveability. Then there will be another step soon and another one towards the end of the year.
Q: Will you build a completely new engine for 2003?
Yes. We have already started the design process and the engine will be on the dyno in the upcoming months.
Q: How challenging are the current engine regulations?
They are quite challenging, although I'd prefer to have a bit more freedom with regards the architecture of the engine - in particular, the number of cylinders. If there were no rules, then I think 12 cylinders would be ideal. But I like the fact that there are not many restrictions; there is no rev limiter or air restrictor.
Q: What is the quickest way to achieve reliability?
To reduce revs, but I don't believe that people will do that. The target is to keep the same performance and find the reliability. This is why I say there won't be a cost reduction. But that is just a technical opinion.
Q: Under the current regulations, is 20,000rpm a realistic goal?
Yes - I believe that could be achieved within the next two years.