Ferraris Marmorini and Tombazis on the F10s design 28 Jan 2010
Although the regulation changes for this season are a lot less extensive than they were for 2009, Ferraris technical team have had their work cut out over the winter months. Charged with not only fine-tuning their engine and chassis to fit the new rules, they have also strived to overcome the performance shortfall that saw the Italian team clinch just one race win last year.
With these twin aims, its no wonder that the F10 looks a very different beast to its F60 predecessor. The ban on refuelling has necessitated a wider and longer chassis to accommodate the larger fuel tank, while Ferrari have entirely redesigned the cars rear - including a new, smaller gearbox - to better exploit the double diffuser, which other teams had championed in 2009.
For designer Nikolas Tombazis, the F10 project has been a long slog, but one that he hopes will eventually prove fruitful.
For the F10 we had to review the whole project from the nose to the rear wing because of the new rules and also because we had to recover the obvious performance deficit we had last year, he told Ferraris official website, as he explained the cars main changes.
Because of the bigger fuel tank we had to deal with a longer and wider chassis. We have worked a lot in the aero department to try to exploit and widen the diffuser, making it more efficient, improving the airflow under the car, and therefore the downforce. We completely reviewed the gearbox and made it smaller so theres more space for the diffuser and we also worked on the rear suspension. To improve the airflow to the cars main body and more efficient diffuser, weve raised its nose and modified the lower part of the chassis. The front wing has also been improved.
2010s ban on refuelling - as well as the grid-wide agreement to stop using KERS - has also imposed new demands on the Ferrari engine. And while the freeze on development, in place since 2006, restricts their freedom to make changes, engine department boss Luca Marmorini is pleased with the revisions they have made, especially in terms of reducing the engines fuel consumption.
Naturally we tried to improve performance but this only led to limited advantages because the engine development is frozen, he explained. From a technical point of view, reducing consumption was one of the most interesting things this year. We worked to find new and unusual fields of application for the engine, and we obtained some really interesting results.
Consumption equals performance. Consuming less fuel means less petrol on board, and so whoever consumes less fuel will be faster on the track. Naturally, constructing an engine that consumes less brings about higher risks in terms of reliability. We worked very hard over the winter with our simulations and we are confident that at the start of the year we should be reliable.
Weather permitting, the F10 will get its first shakedown run at Ferraris Fiorano circuit in Italy on Friday, before its transported to Spain for next weeks multi-team test at Valencia, which begins on Monday.