It is not a secret that Ferrari is known as the most successful manufacturer to ever race in Formula One. What a lot of people do not remember is that Ferrari had a very successful career in sports car prototype racing. Between 1940 and the early 1970s, Ferrari won 9 Le Mans wins and 13 World Sportscar Championships. Ferrari’s involvement in sports car prototype racing came to an end in 1974 when Ferrari Chairman, Enzo Ferrari, decided to focus the manufacturer’s attention on Formula One racing. Two decades would pass before the Prancing Horse would return to prototype racing with the release of the Ferrari 333 SP in 1994.
Designed by the famed Italian chassis manufacturer Dallara, at the request of amateur racer Giampero Moretti, the 333 SP was available for purchase until 2003, and holds the distinction of being the only Ferrari race vehicle to win the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
Everyone expects the current Ferrari flagship, the LaFerrari, to have a reign at the top of the Ferrari food chain for about a decade. Given the space between previous flagship projects such as the Enzo, this timeline makes the most sense. This hasn’t stopped designers from imaging what the next supercar to take over the world could possibly look like. Independent designer Adriano Raeli has envisioned a “street legal F1 car,” named the Ferrari F80. This is a futuristic design that embodies several very aggressive styling cues to include side mirrors attached to the roof and an insane front grill. Raeli’s design is powered by a twin-turbo V8 that delivers 900 horsepower matched to a 300 horsepower KERS system for a combined power output of 1,200 hp with a 0-60 mph time of just two seconds and a top speed of 310 mph.
The Ferrari 250 GTO is one of the most coveted examples of Ferrari’s golden era of racing, with only 39 examples ever made. It is extremely uncommon for one to come up for auction and when they do, they tend to fetch a large amount of cash.
During most of the 1980s, the 250 GTO was selling in the six figures. By 1989, a Ferrari 250 GTO sold at auction for $10 million with a second example selling a few months later for $13 million. By 2012, the price for a GTO at auction was around $35 million with even one example selling for an astonishing $52 million.
Bonhams auction house has gotten its hands on an extremely rare example that is rich in racing history; chassis number 3851 GT will be auctioned off at the Quail Lodge during Monterey weekend next month.
Chassis number 3851 GT is the 19th example of the Ferrari 250 GTO and was released for sale on September 11, 1962. The initial owner was a French racer named Jo Schlesser, who died in an experimental Honda F1 car six years later at the French Grand Prix. The Ferrari 250 GTO was later crashed at the Montlhery Autodrome and then repaired at the Maranello factory and returned to completion the following year. In 1965, Fabizio Violati became the owner and kept the 250 GTO is his collection until his death in 2010, making this the longest single-owner GTO in existence.
During an interview with racing journalist at the British Grand Prix this past weekend, the 2007 World Champion and winner of 20 grands prix, Kimi Raikkonen suggested that 2015 will be his last season racing for Ferrari or anyone else in Formula One. When asked how long he expects to stay in Formula One, Raikkonen answered: “Until my contract is finished, and then I will probably stop. That is what I think is going to happen.”
Raikkonen has been struggling this season with an underperforming car, ranked 12th in the standings, Raikkonen is currently ranked lower than he has finished any season while driving in Formula One. This poor performance has been compounded by the fact that longtime rival and current teammate, Fernando Alonso has managed to secure a 4th place ranking while struggling with the same underperforming equipment.
At 34 years of age, Kimi Raikkonen is the oldest active driver in Formula One. Raikkonen has 3 months of age on Jenson Button and a full year on former teammate Felipe Massa. Considering how many young faces currently make up the Formula One lineup, it’s only natural to start wondering just how long Raikkonen will continue to race.
Gene Haas has announced that he will field a new Formula One team for the 2016 season versus the much easier task of purchasing an existing team. Haas also announced that the team will be housed out of his NASCAR team’s headquarters in North Carolina. Gene Haas will be teaming up with Ferrari for this Formula One partnership, Ferrari remains the most successful race team in Formula One racing, with sixteen Constructors’ Championships, fifteen drivers’ titles and 221 grand prix victories. Ferrari won its last championship in 2008.
Last year, Edo Competition tasked Ferrari’s Tailor Made personalization program to create a one-off Ferrari 458 Italia that honored Formula One racing legend Niki Lauda. For some reason, Edo Competition has decided to sell this very unique vehicle less than 5 miles on the odometer! The custom 458 Italia comes with subtle accents inspired by the Formula One cars that Lauda drove while racing for Ferrari between 1974 and 1977. The white roof features an Italian flag, while the supercar sits on gold alloys along with white accents on the front splitter, side skirts and rear spoiler. On the inside, this special addition displays an Italian flag motif on the center console along with red stitching and carbon fiber trim. All of the special features on this limited edition one-off are purely cosmetic; the Niki Lauda Edition Ferrari 458 Italia packs the same naturally aspirated V8 engine found on the standard model. Edo Competition wants $385,000 for their limited edition Ferrari 458 Italia that pays tribute to Formula One legend Niki Lauda.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo made a surprising declaration during an interview with an Australian journalist that Fernando Alonso is the “The best driver in the world.” Ferrari then issued a press release to praise Alonso and repeat the claim that Alonso is the best.
“Fernando is the best driver in the world, who always gives 200% in the races,” said Montezemolo.
“He knows how much I count on him, even away from the race track, in terms of his contribution and the impetus he gives to the team.
“I think it’s incredible that there are still some so-called experts who don’t understand that and are always looking for a polemical situation that simply doesn’t exist.
“The truth is that he and Kimi, another incredible driver, need a competitive Ferrari and giving them that is our sole objective.
“We are working very hard, starting with Marco Mattiacci, who knows what needs to be done and who will instigate many changes at a technical and organizational level and in speeding up the decision-making process.
“That’s what I want, as do our drivers and our fans, while all the rest is just idle chat.”
Kimi Raikkonen remains confident that Ferrari has what it needs to return to championship form and that changes/improvements have been made to salvage the 2014 season while remaining focused on improving qualifying times for the prestigious Grand Prix of Monaco.
The 2007 World Champion remained at the Circuit de Catalunya to participate in both days of testing with the new Ferrari racer, the F14 T. The focus on qualifying is very important to Ferrari with the ability to pass at Monaco being so challenging, a good qualifying position is almost required to have a solid finish. After the two days of testing, Raikkonen sees signs of overall improvement.
“Qualifying can have a big effect on the outcome, an area on which we are doing our utmost to improve,” Raikkonen told Ferrari’s official website.
“After the race, we stayed on in Barcelona for the test, which was reasonably positive: we had problems at the start, but by the end, I can say I was pleased with the work we managed to get through.”
“The F14 T is improving and I am sure that, step by step, the results will come, but we must push harder to get them.”
The Grand Prix of Monaco will prove to be a very important race for Ferrari, an event that Ferrari has not won in 13 Years.
FERRARI CHARIMAN LUCA DI MONTEZEMOLO HINTS AT POSSIBLE INCREASE IN F1 BUDGET TO ATTRACT TOP TALLENT SUCH AS RED BULL ENGINEER ADRIAN NEWLEY
Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo has suggested that he is willing to increase Ferrari’s budget to get the Formula One team back to its winning ways. One of these budget busting attempts may include going after the highest paid engineer in Formula One, Adrian Newey.
Ferrari definitely has the money to go after Newey, The Financial Times states that Ferrari recorded “record revenues, profits and cash flow” last year, with a net profit well over $330 million.
Spending more to get Formula One talent is not the only change that Ferrari has made lately in an attempt to save the 2014 season. Ferrari recently fired team boss Stefano Domenicali. Suspicions that Montezemolo was willing to increase the Ferrari budget were the results of a quote posted by the La Gazzeta dello Sport that stated, “Given heavy investment and F1, which requires an exceptional effort economically to recover the gap to the opposition.”
Rumors have been surfacing for some time now that Ferrari has been working on a track version of the LaFerrari called LaFerrari XX. There are reports that a variant of the LaFerrari XX equipped with a hybrid 6.3-liter V12 engine capable of producing 949 horsepower was seen putting down a six minute, 35 second lap time around the historic Nurburgring.
Latest rumors state that Ferrari has chosen to scrap the current powerplant in favor of the engine currently being used in Formula 1. This means that the 6.3- liter V12 hybrid will give way to a twin-turbo V-6 engine. This represents an extreme change in direction. It’s hard to tell how power and speed will compare between the two variants; however, the Formula 1 inspired engine package will definitely reduce weight, combined with a revised aero package and some suspension changes could result is much faster lap times.
Ferrari Formula 1 racer, Fernando Alonso has expressed that the team’s new car has been underperforming in “many areas” for the first part of the 2014 season.
Things did not look good for Ferrari for the first three races of the 2014 season. Things began to look better for Ferrari during the Chinese Grand Prix where Fernando Alonso scored the first podium appearance for Ferrari in the 2014 season with a 3rd place finish in Shanghai. Even a podium finish was not enough to lift Alonso’s hopes that things have turned around in 2014.
“The car was under-performing in many areas – it was not just one problem,” Alonso explained after the race.
“We need to be more efficient, have better aerodynamics, better traction, better power. We lack some big performance in the first races.”
“[In China the improvement] was nothing really big in one area, just small steps here, small steps there – better power delivery, better software, putting everything in place, all the settings, and giving a little bit more aero efficiency and a little bit more power.”
“We have bigger margins, because we started in a lower performance, but we cannot dream too much because people will not be watching TV from here to Barcelona.”
“The other teams will bring a couple of tenths to Barcelona, [so] we need to bring a couple of tenths, plus something, if we want to catch up.”
“That’s the challenge we are facing now. It’s not that we need to develop the car at a normal rate; we need to do the normal developments, plus something.”
The 2014 Formula One race year is definitely shaping up to be a “Silly Season” due to all the driver changes taking place. It seems that 2014 may also be a “Silly Season” due to some very significant rule changes passed down by the FIA on 9 December 2013, after being approved by the Formula One Strategy Group and the Formula One Commission. Here is a recap of two of the more significant changes that are taking place.
Double Points for Last Race: The decision has been made to double the points value of the last race of the season creating a last race bonus opportunity for race teams fighting for the title. The hope is that by awarding a double points kicker in the last race that the championship will come down to the wire. The other races in the season will still be referred to as grands prix, with the season finale becoming a grand epreuve, a term used in early grand prix racing to denote those events with added championship weight. Concerns exist as to how this new rule will effect situations such as mechanical failure during the last race of the season. Under the new rules, mechanical failure during the last race of the season will be twice as damaging to the championship points as a mechanical failure that happens earlier in the season.
Introduction of Mandatory Cost Cap for 2015: This is without a doubt the single most important rule change to be made in quite some time. Race teams and the governing body of Formula One have six months to figure out just how the cap will be enforced, and what the spending limits will be for the first year and whether those spending limits will remain the same for future years going forward. We anticipate that race teams will be very passionate about expressing their concerns over how these cost restrictions should be implemented. Expect well-funded teams like Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull to be extremely expressive towards their concerns about leveling the playing field when it comes to money.
So far 18 drivers have been confirmed for the 2014 Formula One season leaving only 4 seats vacant.
Confirmed Drivers For the 2014 Season:
Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault (Signed deal for 2014 season)
Danill Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault
Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari (Signed deal this month to move to Sauber)
Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes (Singed multi-year deal to re-join Force India this month)
Sergio Perez Mexico Force India Mercedes (Singed multi-year deal with Force India this month)
Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes (Signed with McLaren in November 2013)
Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes (Continuing multi-year deal signed in 2011)
Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault (Signed deal for 2014)
Romain Grosjean French Lotus-Renault (Signed deal for 2014)
Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari (Signed two year deal in September)
Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari (Has contract thru 2016)
Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes (Continuing contract signed in 2011)
Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes (Signed thru 2015)
Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault (Signed multi-year deal in 2013)
Sabastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault (Under contract till 2015)
Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes (Signed multi-year deal in 2013)
Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes (Has contract for 2014)
Jules Bianci France Marussia-Ferrari (Has deal for 2014)
Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault (Signed deal in 2013)
Mark Webber Australia (Making move to Porsche in different series)
With Ferrari announcing earlier this year that Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen will be team mates for the 2014 season, much doubt remained about where Felipe Massa would end up in 2014. Williams F1 has announced that the 11 year veteran has signed a three-year deal to continue racing at the highest level of open-wheel.
“When I was a kid, I always dreamed of racing for Williams, Ferrari or McLaren and I’m glad to be signing with another icon of the sport,” Massa said in a statement.
Over the last eight years that Massa has been racing for Ferrari he captured 11 grand prix victories before suffering life-threatening injuries that included a titanium plate being inserted into his skull. The injuries were a result of crash during the second round of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Since returning to racing after making a miraculous recovery, Massa has not seen the success that he was used to before the injury.
For the 2014 season, Massa will be teamed with sophomore driver Valtteri Bottas. Bottas 24, is a top prospect in Formula One that fans and experts both expected to do well in 2013. Bottas failed to score a single point in 2013 and finished 18th in the World Drivers Championship.
“It is a team to fight for the championships and good results and I really want to be part of it. I understand what they are doing to get stronger. I think we can be very successful and I believe it is the best choice compared to the other choices I had,” Massa said of the problems Williams F1 faced in 2013.
Test driver Pedro de la Rosa and Driver Academy member Jules Bianchi have been chosen to share driving responsibilities for Ferrari during the Pirelli tire test at the Sakhir circuit in Bahrain. Pedro de la Rosa will be behind the wheel of the F138 for the first two days to continue his development that has up to this point been taking place in a simulator. Bianchi will be given an opportunity to demonstrate what he has learned in his 2013 appearances on the Formula One schedule during the last day of tire testing.
The tire test has been called by the FIA in the name of safety to give teams an opportunity to run on the 2014 spec tires that were unavailable to be tested in Brazil due to rain.
Other teams that will be making an appearance at the tire test include, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and Mercedes.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezeolo gave recognition to Frenchman Jean Todt for being re-elected as FIA president for a new four-year term following a unanimous vote. The closest challenger to Todt for the position was David Ward who had dropped out of the running before the final vote. Todt, who oversaw Ferrari’s racing program and return to championship form with both Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen, will now reign as president of FIA until the end of 2017.
“I wish to congratulate Jean Todt and send him all best wishes for the continuation of his efforts at the helm of the Federation,” di Montezemolo said. “I am confident that, at a time when Formula 1 is embarking on a new and key period in its history, Todt, in his second term in office, will be able to make an important contribution to the updating of our sport, while at the same time assuring that the rules feature the necessary stability and transparency.”
Todt was elected to FIA president in 2009 after beating Ari Vatanen to succeed Max Mosley.
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo has declared 2013 as “a year to forget” and that he was “sick of coming in second”. Montezemolo is focused on 2014 and strongly believes that the new Ferrari F1 racer, the F14 T will help to overcome the dominance of Red Bull Racing and return Ferrari to championship form.
Montezemolo has a right to be confident about the 2014 season; Ferrari has two very strong drivers this year with Kimi Raikkonen being paired with Fernando Alonso.
“I’m confident because I think we have a strong team, and I think we have all the ingredients to be a success,” Montezemolo said in a statement issued by Ferrari.
Ferrari has taken the unusual step of reaching out to the public thru social networking (Twitter) and asking the fans to name the 2014 Formula One car, with an online poll offering five different choices.
The options to choose from to name the 2014 Formula One car are F14 T, F14 Maranello, F14 Scuderia, F166 Turbo and lastly, F616. All these selections reflect either the year of 2014 or a reference to the 1.6-liter V6 engine that will be used for the 2014 Formula One racing season. Early voting results show the main front runners to be F166 Turbo and F14 T.
The car itself will be unveiled on January 25.
The Ferrari F14-T is the 60th car from Ferrari to participate in Formula 1. This new model will carry the same 1.6 liter, turbocharged V6 as the rest of the field. What separates the F14-T from the rest of the pack are the unique aspects of the new nose design. This new design is a direct result of Formula 1’s new regulations being made in the name of driver safety that require teams to lower both the nose and the chassis. These changes are being made with the intent to lower the point of impact on side collisions so that wrecks are less likely to impale drivers.
The individual teams interpretation of how to deal with revised height regulations has garnered distinctly different results when it comes to the nose cone. These nose designs range from elephant to phallic to wide-open. The teams will be paying close attention to how these uniquely different nose designs work under true racing conditions. It is possible that as the 2014 F1 season plays out teams may begin to adapt a universal nose piece that has proven to be the most effective.
Additional changes had to be made to the front suspension so that it would fit into the lower monocoque. The front wings on all cars must now be 3 inches smaller on each side creating a front wing surface that is now 6 inches more narrow than the previous model. Ferrari had to completely redesign the front wings in order to maintain and improve downforce over the front wheels.
Other exterior changes for the 2014 F1 season include a revised Drag Reduction System (DRS) that has required teams to completely redesign the rear wing of the car. Smaller calipers on the back were developed to compensate for increased braking along with a new “Brake-by-Wire” system that was added to assist drivers with changing brake dynamics during the race.
Formula One will be making the switch this year from the current 2.4 liter V8 to a 1.6 liter turbo V6. Additional changes to the current fuel delivery system and the KERS battery system will also be in place for the 2014 race season. This very informative video will help explain the impact these technical regulations are having on how engines are being designed for the 2014 race season. It will be interesting to see how these changes will impact the quality of racing for the upcoming season.