Category Archives: F1 News

James Allison on what’s different on the Ferrari SF15-T

Ferrari technical boss James Allison says that the Italian 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 seasons 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 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.”

The Ferrari car clearly represents a major step forward relative to its predecessor, at least in terms of appearance. As well as much more attractive front the car has a more tightly packaged rear, which is a characteristic of other 2015 cars seen so far.

“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.”

Regarding whether the car will help Kimi Raikkonen he 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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Ferrari boss Arrivabene on the new SF15-T: “It’s really sexy…”

Ferrari team principal Maurizio Arrivabene has reiterated that he has targeted at least two GP wins for the team this season.

Arrivabene, who made a similar statement last month, shied away from a more ambitious target.

“I’m just realistic,” he said. “Nobody has the magic to change things when things are unchangeable. We applied certain modifications that in our opinion are quite interesting. With that I don’t want to say that we are going to win the World Championship, but for sure we are committed at least to win two races.”

Regarding the SF15-T he said: “Enzo Ferrari said a long time ago the best car is a winning car. Last year we had an ugly car and it was a non-winning car on top of this. I like the car of this year in terms of aesthetics. I don’t know about the performance, but it’s really sexy.”

He says the personnel changes do not mean a change of philosophy at the Italian team.

“It doesn’t impact the philosophy of Ferrari. The philosophy of Ferrari was dictated by the founder, Enzo Ferrari. The work we have to do is to enhance the team spirit, and the passion, that was a little bit lost in the past few years, and to look forward, to work together very hard, with one objective – to win as much as possible.”

On the subject of the drivers, he added: “They have to work together as team mates, they have to work with the team. Things I want to avoid, talking about the overall team and not only about the driver, is that everybody is pushing and working together in the same direction. I’m expecting the drivers to do the same.”

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Ferrari shows the new SF15-T

Ferrari 2015Ferrari has unveiled the SF15-T, the car with which Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen hope to reverse the team’s fortunes after a difficult 2014 season.

It’s also the first car that James Allison can claim full responsibility for, after he joined while last year’s car was well under development.

More later…

Ferrari 2015 Overhead


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Sauber learned from last season, says Kaltenborn

Not many major sponsors feature on the new C34

Not many major sponsors feature on the new C34

Sauber boss Monisha Kaltenborn says that the Swiss team has learned from its difficult 2014 season, and she remains confident that the team will make progress with the new C34.

Sauber slipped to 10th in the World Championship last season after failing to score a point.

“2014 was a very disappointing year,” said Kaltenborn. “However, this is in the past, and we now focus on what comes next. We have learned our lessons and are confident for the new season. We have to improve, and be able to fight for championship points.

“For the Sauber F1 Team 2015 is its 23rd season in F1; it is the fourth oldest of the current brands.”

She has faith in the new driver combination: “I am delighted about our two new drivers who bring a breath of fresh air. Both are young, talented and highly motivated. On their way to Formula 1 both stood out through victories in Formula BMW and Formula 3. Both then finished this career progression off in the GP2-Series. While Marcus looks back to one season in F1, Felipe will have his rookie year in which he comes fully prepared due to his role as test and reserve driver at Williams last year. I feel confident with regard to our drivers.”


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Sauber shows its new look on the C34

A new look for Sauber

A new look for Sauber

Sauber has unveiled its new C34, which will be driven this year by the new pairing of Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

As announced in November Nasr’s longtime sponsor, Banco do Brasil, features heavily in the new livery. Ericsson will drive the car at Jerez on Sunday.

Sauber says that chief designer Eric Gandelin focussed on performance in slow corners, weight reduction and braking stability.

Outlining some of the key changes, the team said: “The sidepods of the new Sauber C34, are now slimmer than those of the Sauber C33, despite higher cooling requirements from the new power unit. This has been made possible by modifications to the attachment of the side crash elements. In addition, the architecture of the radiators, which are now positioned horizontally, has been fundamentally revised.

“The engineers also paid great attention to the flexibility of the cooling system, which can be adapted precisely – and individually for the various components – to the ambient temperature and circuit characteristics. For example, small air vents on the side of the cockpit are only used in certain situations. Beyond this, the rear section as a whole is  less voluminous, which benefits aerodynamic efficiency.

“In terms of its concept, the engine is very much comparable with last year’s, but its architecture has changed significantly, necessitating numerous adjustments to the chassis.

“The exhaust tailpipe is again positioned centrally between two pylons, though they are no longer supported by the rear crash element, but by the gearbox housing.

“The spring and damper elements at the rear axle are again pullrod-actuated, but otherwise this is a totally new construction with separate lower wishbone legs. In addition, the engineers worked on improving the mechanical traction. Besides a number of other parts, there will be optimised gear ratios to support this effort.”

Sauber C34 Nose


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Will McLaren change its livery for start of the season?

The MP4-30 seems to shout 'Mercedes' more than 'Honda...

The MP4-30 seems to shout ‘Mercedes’ more than ‘Honda’…

After rumours that the car would be black McLaren’s silver/grey livery caused something of a stir today, with many observers surprised that the team opted for colours that were so closely connected with the team’s partnership with Mercedes from 1997 to 2014.

The team noted that the MP4-30 “features an evolved colour scheme that firmly contextualises McLaren’s brand in the 21st century.” At first glance it would appear that Ron Dennis is convinced that the world associates the current livery with McLaren as a team, and not Mercedes, even if others in the camp may believe differently.

However this writer understands that while the team has not stated that what we saw today is an interim or testing livery, the car could yet look different by the first race in Melbourne – and at the very least the option still exists to change.

It’s worth noting too that while Santander remains on the team’s website it did not feature on the car or drivers today. Apparently negotiations are still ongoing, and the death last September of the company’s former boss and huge F1/Alonso fan Emilio Boton may have complicated matters. Intriguingly Jenson Button Tweeted recently that he was filming a Santander ad.

It remains to be seen whether a new deal with Santander or perhaps another yet-to-be-announced sponsor means that what we saw today is a temporary livery that was a quick and easy solution for the launch.

It was certainly one that will match the transporters and so on that will be in the paddock at the three upcoming tests in Spain. If there is a late change of car livery before Australia then there is plenty of time to repaint the transporters before they are next seen again at the Spanish GP in May.

Meanwhile a pre-Melbourne reveal of an all-new livery would be a second bite of the PR cherry for both the team and Honda.


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First official look at the Mercedes W06

The new Mercedes ran at Silverstone today

The new Mercedes ran at Silverstone today

Mercedes has released the first official picture of the new W06 after the car was shaken down during a promotional day at a damp and cold Silverstone.

It became the second 2015 car to run after the Toro Rosso STR10 took to the track at Misano on Wednesday.

Merc W06 2

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