Press conference with Ferraris Costa & Simon 14 Jan 2007
At the launch of Ferraris new challenger, the F2007, in Maranello in Italy on Sunday, two of the key men behind the car - chassis department head, Aldo Costa, and engine department head, Gilles Simon - talked about its development.
Aldo Costa: "The methodology of the project and the development of the car has been under the sign of continuity. Last year we adopted an aggressive approach and this year we will work with the same rhythm in development as in 2006. This was our aim and we hit our target.
The aerodynamics have been completely remodelled; above all the front suspension, the air inlets on the main body and the rear axle are tighter and more tapered, to benefit also from the new architecture of the gear box. We worked a lot on the chassis considering the new crash tests, which are much more severe. With satisfaction we can say that we have reached excellent results in terms of safety. The suspension has been revised also under the aspect of new tyres, while the gear box has a new quick shift system, which will avert time loss during gear-changes. This system lowers the time of gear change, works for all gears and in every condition. We have also modified the disposition and the inclination of the radiator. As far as the rear suspension is concerned, it is continuing to evolve.
At the chassis department there are around 200 people working: an exceptional and enthusiastic group. They work with determination and respect; without a doubt producing great team work. Obviously I can't name everybody, but I have to mention Nikolas Tombazis, our Chief Designer; Tiziano Battistini, Head of the Technical Department, John Iley, Head of Aerodynamics, supported by Marco de Luca; Marco Fainello, Head of the Car Performance Division; Simone Resta, Head of the R&D Department and last but not least Davide Perletti, responsible for the crash tests.
Today's car is the one that will debut and has the same wings as the one in 2006. The car, which will go to start at the first GP, will have optimized wings, while this is just a provisional version. The F2007 is however definitive in its structure.
In constructing and developing this race car the FIAT research centre is of very high importance, as it gives us a huge amount of support. We have worked a lot with the simulator they developed over the last couple of years and we will continue on that road."
Gilles Simon: "As according to the rules the engine 056 has remained the same. But we were able to adapt it to the rev limits of 19,000 rpm. We have revised the combustion chamber, the valves, the crank shaft and the piston, to optimize the available output before arriving at the rpm limit. Further we have worked on the integration of the engine into the car: the water and oil inlets have been revised, as has the positioning of some accessories, to adjust to the very compact rear axle of the 658 (the F2007s internal project code).
We have collaborated strongly with Shell, and we are continuing to work on the fuel development. As far as the fuels are concerned we have been continuously progressing. The lubricants have been helping us for a long time in terms of reliability, while from March onwards we also want to work on bettering the performance.
On the 1st March we will hand over a sealed engine, to which we can't do anything else. We will then try to work on the accessories, the air inlet and, as I just mentioned, the fuel and the lubricants."