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.”