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.”
ROSS BRAWN VISITS FERRARI FACTORY IN MARANELLO, CREATING SPECULATION OF POSSIBLE RETURN TO FERRARI F1
Ross Brawn has went out of his way to downplay the significance of his recent visit to the Ferrari factory in Maranello on Monday stating that he was there “with a group of friends as part of a tour of Italy – no more that that!”
Brawn, 59, was the Ferrari Formula 1 technical director during the team’s dominant period of the early 2000s. With his departure as team principal for Mercedes in December, fans are left wondering if this was more than a friendly vacation to see old friends.
A spokesman for Ferrari also downplayed the significance of Brawn being on property by saying that Brawn’s visit was “simply an Italian fantasy tour with friends scheduled for some time.” Brawn and his friends tried out two Ferrari road cars, including the new LaFerrari hybrid supercar on the Ferrari owned Fiorano test track.
Ferrari is off to the worst start in recent history with only one podium finish in the first four races. The lackluster start to the season has resulted in the replacement of team principal Stefano Domenicali with Marco Mattiacci, the former head of Ferrari’s North American road-car division who is a protégé of the top management of parent company Fiat.
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.”
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.
The 1998 Ferrari F300 driven by Michael Schumacher recently went across the auction block at Barret-Jackson for $1.7 million. This particular example is number three of nine built for the 1998 season. The F300 is a 3.0-liter V10 engine responsible for producing 805 horsepower at 17,500 rpm. The car was used by Schumacher for 38 races throughout the 1998 campaign that was won by Mika Hakkinen.
“Accompanied by its Classic certificate and Ferrari documents showing the car was driven by Michael Schumacher 38 times, this car has been fully restored by Ferrari and is eligible for a number of historic events,” read a press release from Barret-Jackson.
“As an actual verified Ferrari that has been piloted by seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher. We believe the 1998 F300 Chassis 183 was an integral part in re-establishing Scuderia Ferrari’s dominance in Formula 1 racing.”
Schumacher currently remains in a medically induced coma after suffering severe head trauma during a skiing incident late last year while on vacation in the Alpine resort of Meribel.
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.
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.”
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.
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” »