With the first race of the 2015 season only a month and a half out, fans are eager to see the latest iterations of F1 charriots. Ferrari’s ’15 ride, the SF15-T, is now officially released to the world. Its unveiling momentarily appeasing restless race fans all over the globe.
Coming off of an extremely flat season, Scuderia Ferrari is gunning for redemption with their revamped racing program.
“We’ve tried to make sure that the weaknesses that we felt were particularly noticeable on the ’14 car were put right for the ’15 car,” Ferrari Technical Director, James Allison, told Ferrari.com. “Early on in the season (2014) the power delivery was not particularly sophisticated so it was tough for the drivers to get the throttle response they wanted. That improved a lot during the season and we’ve taken it a step further for the SF15-T.”
Part of the lack of power the team experienced in 2014 was due to a minimal amount of electrical energy being recovered from the turbocharger. That electrical energy charges the ERS (energy recovery system) and translates into a 160-horsepower boost for a period of so many seconds each lap. A lack of energy recovery reduces the available charge in the ERS and contributes to a slower lap time. This has been substantially improved in the new car.
The new car weighs in at 702-KG ( 1544) pounds with fuel, oil, coolant, and driver and features a host of aerodynamic improvements thanks to over 1500 hours spent inside a wind tunnel.
Over 700 people have contributed to the new car, with 250,000 manufacturing hours having been spent between them to meticulously produce it. Like last season, the engine still displace 1.6-liters (1600cc) and is rule limited to an RPM ceiling of 15,000. Behind the new power plant sits an a transaxle unit, which for the 2015 season, will offer eight forward gears plus reverse.
The chassis contains over 20,000 meters (65,600 feet) of carbon fiber honeycomb to create the rigid foundation of the car. In that entire combined structure, over 100 different metal alloys are used.
The MGU-H (motor generator unit heat), which is an energy recovery unit directly attached to the turbocharger, spins to an incredible 125,000 rpm. Its job is to convert heat from the turbocharger into electricity and, when combined with the its kinetic recovery system counterpart, can generate enough electricity for up to 160 horsepower. It appears that this new unit will do a much more efficient job of harnessing electrical energy than the outgoing unit.
The driver lineup for the Maranello-based team will consist of Kimi Raikkonen and the team’s newest addition, former team Red Bull all-star Sebastian Vettel. Fernando Alonso, who carried the struggling Ferrari team through 2014, has since moved to McLaren where he will compete against his ex-patrons. Marc Gene and Davide Rigon fill the role of team test drivers.
Ferrari has historically been a force to be reckoned with in this top-tier road racing sport and we are anxious to see how they fair with their newest steed. The days until the Australian Grand Prix (March 15) cannot come soon enough.