The 2014 Formula 1 racing season is quickly approaching, teams are getting ready to test the new turbocharged V-6 engines and drivers are looking to settle in. Kimi Raikkonen has started the first week of his second stint with Ferrari by spending some time with the engineers in the simulator. This is what he had told www.ferrari.com during a break in testing.
“It’s good to be back at work,” “I began by getting used to all the new systems and procedures that we will use this year. From this point of view, the simulator is really very useful. It’s true there’s lots to do, but the workload is not much different to what it was in the past. For me, these days in Maranello are also an opportunity to be with the team and spend a bit more time with my many friends here.”
Recently, Formula one driver Fernando Alonso was given an opportunity to take out the still camouflaged Ferrari LaFerrari for a test drive around the 1.86 mile test track with GT driver Andrea Bertolini as his passenger.
“I am always happy to spend a few days in Maranello. Apart from working on the car and being in close contact with the team,” said Alsonso. “Sometimes I’m able to see some of the production departments which are the heart of the company. This time I met up with people who are never in the limelight, but they have an incredible love for their work.”
Earlier this week a LaFerrari was out on the Fiorano racetrack. Nothing strange there, LaFerrari’s belong out on the track, what are strange were the sounds that were coming out of Ferrari’s first hybrid. This little racer did not have the familiar exhaust note of a normal LaFerrari. It sounded a lot more like the note from the turbocharged V-6 engine that we will see in Formula 1 next year. It goes without saying, that these two engines have a much different sound and are impossible to confuse, suggesting that there is more to this story.
We are not sure exactly why Ferrari would choose to test the new Formula One engine in a LaFerrari. A common speculation is the guess that the drivetrain may be easy to change out on the LaFerrari making the initial drivetrain tests easier to do this way. Then again, it’s anybody’s guess; we expect that Ferrari will shed some light on this soon enough.
The Ferrari Driver Academy is about to start the inaugural Florida Winter Series. This program is being created to remedy the issue of having a lack of suitable weather at European tracks in the winter. Other manufactures run a winter series to include Toyota who runs an off-season series in New Zealand.
The Ferrari Driver Academy is training program designed to give aspiring drivers more seat time and opportunities to develop their skills. The Florida Winter Series will act as more of a developmental program than a competitive championship. The Florida Winter Series will consist of 15 aspiring drivers behind the wheel of the Tatuus Formula Abarth FA010B, this open-wheel racer comes equipped with a 195 horsepower engine furnished by Fiat Powertrain Technologies. Engineers will be assigned to cars with a ratio of one engineer per three cars in the series.
The series will consist of 5 events with 3 of these events being held at the Homestead Motor Speedway, the other two events will take place at Sebring and Palm Beach. FDA chief and former Formula One engineer Luca Baldisseri will be the Florida Winter Series supervisor. Young talent from several different open wheel series are expected to attend to include Ferrari prodigy Jules Bianchi, F3 champ Raffaele Marciello and Formula Renault winner Antonio Fuoco.
A customer recently paid Ferrari to create a one-off special edition of the Ferrari 458 Italia that pays tribute to Ferrari’s Formula One racing legend and recent subject of the Hollywood blockbuster feature film Rush, Niki Lauda. This build was commissioned through Ferrari’s Tailor Made program and is released as a strict one-off.
The most notable changes to the exterior include the gold racing wheels on a red paint job with a white roof that has the Italian Flag represented in tri-color racing stripes across the roof. Inside, the seats and center console are finished with red stitching and make use of the same tri-color racing stripe creating and interior design that matches the exterior paint.
The changes made to the Ferrari 458 Italia for this custom build are purely cosmetic. Under the hood this Italia still carries the same 562 horsepower V8 engine that tops out at 202 mph with a 0-60 in 3.4 seconds. Other unique cars to come out of the Tailor Made program at Ferrari include a black and yellow two-toned California that uses a unique blend of carbon fiber and Kevlar for the exterior.
The Tailor Made program from Ferrari allows customers the option to customize color and trim options. For those that are interested in customized packages that go beyond color and trim should check out Ferrari’s One-Off program. The most recent example of this program is Eric Clapton’s super custom Ferrari SP12 EC, valued at over $2 million.
Robert Kubica has many distinctions, one being that he is the first Polish driver to ever compete in Formula 1, another is being the 99th driver to ever win a world championship race. It appears that Kubica will no longer have the distinction of being a driver in the Formula 1 racing series.
Robert Kubica’s trouble began in February 2011 while racing in the Ronde di Andora rally, a race that he had entered for fun. During the first stage of that race, Kubica suffered a serious injury resulting in a partial severing of his forearm as a result of a collusion with a crash barrier at a high rate of speed. He was flown by helicopter to Santa Corona Hospital in Pietra Ligure where it was confirmed that he had suffered a partial amputation of his forearm. Almost immediately after surgery Kubic swore that he would make a swift return to Formula 1. As reality set in, it became obvious that Kubic would miss the remainder of the 2011 season and the entire 2012 and 2013 seasons. Kubic did return to racing in September, 2012 winning a minor rally in Italy. This triumphant return to racing resulting in a victory won Kubic “The Man of the Year 2012” award from Top Gear magazine.
Unfortunately this level of bravery does not appear to be enough to secure a seat in the highly competitive world of Formula 1 racing. When asked during an interview on Scuderia Ferrari’s website whether Kubica would return to Formula 1; Scuderia Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali replied “Yes, we are keeping an eye on him. Unfortunately, I don’t think he will be back, because with his physical problem, he would struggle in certain limited situations which require reactivity. It’s a shame.”
Good news is that Kubica will have a ride for the 2014 racing season driving for Citroen in the European and World Rally-2 Championships.
Felipe Massa will make the move to Williams in 2014, bringing with him experience to the struggling race team in hopes of returning Williams to championship form. Ferrari has announced earlier this year that Kimi Raikkonen will be returning to Ferrari in 2014 as teammate to Fernado Alonso. Massa, a 32-year-old Brazilian will replace Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado who has been ineffective at Williams since relationships between driver and team broke down earlier this year. Continue reading “Felipe Massa to Leave Ferrari in 2014” »
The design department at the prancing horse is committed to tirelessly working on improving a brand that already is the pinnacle of perfection. This time Ferrari has focused their efforts on a special edition (hence the name Speciale) of the 458 Italia.
Improvements were made to the Speciale vs. the “conventional” model (like anything at Ferrari is conventional) by focusing on the three most important factors of a supercar: power, grip, and aerodynamics. Performance was added to this 4.5L V-8, raising the horsepower to 605, while keeping the torque steady at 398. This works out to be 133 horsepower per liter, making the Speciale the highest-output naturally aspirated V-8 Ferrari ever made. The 458 Speciale can launch from 0-60 in 3 seconds flat! Best-of-all, Ferrari says that even with improved performance, the 458 Speciale consumes less fuel than the 458 Italia.
Among the technological improvements that have increased the grip of the 458 Speciale, are changes to the algorithm of the Side Slip Angle Control system (SSC). This function’s purpose is to constantly analyze in real time, the vehicle’s lateral slip and compare it to the computer’s “ideal” values. This allows the SSC to split the torque between the rear wheels, enhancing the ability of the Speciale to take turns faster without sacrificing control. This is achieved through integration of the electronic differential and the vehicle’s traction control system.
KIMI RAIKKONEN SIGNS WITH FERRARI THRU 2016
Ferrari Scuderia announced that Kimi Raikkonen will be rejoining Ferrari in 2014. Raikkonen won the 2007 Formula 1 World Championship driving for the Italian Marque. Kimi will be replacing Brazilian Felipe Massa who has underperformed his entire career with Ferrrari. Continue reading “Kimi Raikkonen to Drive for Ferrari in 2014, Signed Thru 2016” »