Daily Archives: February 3, 2012

Ferrari reveal F2012 with “distinctive” nose design

The newly-launched Ferrari F2012 will win no awards for looks

The newly-launched Ferrari F2012 will win no awards for looks

Ferrari are the fourth team to show off their 2012 challenger, appropriately called the F2012.

The standout feature of the F2012 is undoubtedly the horrendously ugly stepped nose design. Unlike other teams, who sloped the step between the two nose sections, Ferrari’s is at a near-45 degree angle at one point.

Chief designer Nikolas Tombazis describes the nose as “aesthetically not very pleasing”, which most fans have already considered to be one of the understatements of the year.

Chassis director Pat Fry noted that most of the team’s development would be focused on aerodynamics:

"We’re working on upgrading the aero, mainly. There will be an update for the 
third test and the first race. And then, in reality, it’s just a constant aero 
development all through the year.

The biggest differentiator is aerodynamics, still. I think there’s a lot less 
you can do now with engines affecting the aerodynamics.

The engineering side of engine performance moves back to actually producing 
horsepower and making it fuel-efficient, rather than the opposite that we had 
been doing. I think it is just going to be a constant aerodynamic development 
all through the year, really."

Aside from the nose, the most interesting innovation is the pullrod front suspension, which hasn’t been seen on an F1 car since the days of Minardi. Despite the fact that it is a mechanical system, it has been incorporated onto the car for mechanical reasons.

At the launch, Tombazis did a quick walk-through of the adjustments and innovations on the F2012:

"The front wing is an evolution of the wing we introduced in the 
last races of last season [tested in Indian GP]. That was introduced 
in order to learn some initial lessons about this subject and we 
understood quite a lot and we have further developed it, and there’s 
going to be further development at the third test before the start 
of the season.

The nose has a rather ungainly shape on the top. That is the result 
of the regulation which requires us to have the nose quite low, and 
an aerodynamic desire to have the lower part of the chassis as high 
as possible. So even though it is aesthetically not very pleasing, 
we believe it is the most efficient aerodynamic solution to that area 
of the car.

Going slightly further back, we get into one of the innovations of 
this car, which is the front suspension. For mainly aerodynamic 
reasons we have selected the pull-rod solution.

It took us quite a lot of work in the structural and design office 
and vehicle dynamics departments, in order to regain all the mechanical 
characteristics that we wanted the front suspension to have. We believe 
we’ve achieved that, but we also have, I believe, an aerodynamic 
advantage out of the solution.

Moving back, we reach the area of the sidepod inlets. There we have 
reviewed completely the project and we have changed out philosophy for 
the lateral crash structures. The crash test we had to do was much more 
difficult to homologate the car. But it has left us with some aerodynamic 
advantage in the area of the main turning vanes and the vertical profiles 
that lie next to the sidepod inlet.

Going further back we have a much more narrow profile especially at the 
low part of the ‘coke panel’. That has been made possible out of the 
repackaging of the chassis and engine rear part, and also out of the 
gearbox that has been completely reviewed and made narrower.

Whereas in the upper part of the sidepods we have a fairly wide solution 
because we have to host the new exhausts which are a result of the new 
regulations regarding exhausts.

So we have had to abandon to low exhausts of the previous years because 
of the regulations. We spent quite a lot of resource and time in 
investigating the new exhaust scenarios and in fact it will be an area 
we will research during winter testing before we finalist the exact 
configuration for the first race.

Regarding the gearbox, we have obviously got the external shape which 
is new and narrower but we have two different approaches from our side.

One of them is the rear suspension we have adopted, like quite a few of 
the others in recent years, a pull-rod solution. But we’ve also hosted 
part of our radiator cooling on top of the gearbox so as to reduce the 
cooling area required at the lateral part of the car.

The rear wing is basically similar to last year’s, but we have refined 
it and pushed the sections of the aerodynamic profile small, in order 
to produce more downforce.

The F2012 has a relatively small amount of carry-over compared to 
previous cars. The very desciptions I made indicate we have reviewed
almost the whole car. So components that are either physically the same 
as last year or conceptually the same are much fewer, therefore we’ve 
had to work much harder in the technical office and in production in 
order to be able to do all this work."

Finally here is the official launch video from the event:

Karthikeyan to remain with HRT for 2012

Karthikeyan will return to HRT despite being dropped last year

Karthikeyan will return to HRT despite being dropped last year

Narain Karthikeyan is to return to the HRT team for 2012.

He drove 8 races for the team in 2011, before being ousted by Daniel Ricciardo. He made a relatively impressive one-off return at the inaugral Indian Grand Prix.

He will be racing alongside Pedro de la Rosa, forming by far the oldest driver combination on the grid. De la Rosa will be 41 in Melbourne, while Karthikeyan will be 35.

Giedo van der Garde was the other contender for the race seat, but it has since become clear that he failed to bring as much sponsorship money as Narain.

This signing effectively closes the 2012 driver market, as all driver vacancies have now been filled.

Force India release VJM05

Force India take the wraps off the VJM05

Force India take the wraps off the VJM05

Force India are the third team to show off their 2012 car – the VJM05.

The car was shown to the press at the Silverstone circuit, where it was given its first laps by Paul di Resta.

The car incorporates the new nosecone design similar to Caterham, and heavily redesigned sidepods. The “blade” roll hoop has been dropped in favour of the more conventional design.

The livery has been changed again, with partial owners Sahara now featured prominently on the side of the car.

Technical director Andy Green called the VJM05 a “big departure” from the 2011 version:

We’ve got a new front wing which sets up all the basic structures along the car 
and it’s a big step for us. It took us quite a long time and to go away from how 
perhaps we traditionally worked. The package is a big departure from what we’ve 
done before and the wind tunnel numbers are really encouraging and we’re looking 
forward to getting it on the track and seeing if it does produce what it should do.

The loss of the blown-exhaust is a bigger effect than lowering the nose. Massively 
bigger. We were quite late with extracting what we could from our diffuser last 
year and I don’t think it reached its potential by a long way. There were teams 
out there who extracted way more than we did. Hopefully it will hurt them more 
this year than it will us.

We spent the winter trying to salvage all the downforce we lost and I think we’ve 
got close. My feeling is that it should close the field up. You only have to look 
at Silverstone last year to see what effect it had."

The team have stated that their intention is to finish 5th in the constructors’ championship.

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