Ferrari has taken the wraps off its 2014 F1 'power unit', showing a three-dimensional preview of its next generation powertrain to select members of the international media.
Christened the 059/3, the turbocharged 1.6-litre V6 unit replaces the outgoing V8 engines used for the past eight seasons as F1 moves towards the more environmentally-friendly future foreseen by former Ferrari team boss, now FIA president, Jean Todt.
The presentation, which took place inside the logistics pavilion at Maranello, started with a look back at the past, evoking memories of the Scuderia's most important cars from the past 60 years, before symbolically bringing together this year's F138 and the Corsa Indianapolis, the single-seater that was produced in 1953 to take part in the Indianapolis 500.
“As a result of the 2014 regulations, we no longer talk of engines, but of power units,” head of engines and electronics Luca Marmorini explained, “It's a very complex project and we have been working on it for the past two years.
“It's a 1600cc turbocharged internal combustion engine and only 100 litres of fuel can be used in a race, which means that the more efficient an engine, the more power it can use. Along with the turbocharger, there will be an electric motor, which will also act as a generator, allowing for the recovery of energy from the exhaust gases. As was already the case, a second electric motor will recover energy from braking, although it will be able to put out almost double the power of the one currently in use.
“All the energy generated by the electric motors will be stored in a much bigger and more powerful battery pack than the current one, but it will still be fitted below the fuel cell. The electronic control system will be even more sophisticated to coordinate and manage all these new electro-mechanical devices. The new regulations, a fascinating challenge, place great emphasis on energy recovery and on the efficiency of the power unit.”
Marmorini called up on stage with him those who had coordinated the various areas of the project: Mattia Binotto (deputy head of engines and electronics,) Enrico Gualtieri (engine reliability,) Guido Di Paola (engine design,) Dave Salters (testing,) Daniele Zecchetti (advanced systems development,) Stefano Lovera (electronics) and Thierry Baritaud. Through them, Marmorini wanted to thank all the staff for their efforts on the 059/3, but above all to spur them on to give their utmost as Ferrari attempts to get back on terms with Renault-powered Red Bull and Mercedes in the coming year.
Shell will continue to provide specialist lubricants with the introduction of the 059/3, working with Marmorini and his crew right from the start of the project. Over 50 versions of Shell V-Power fuel have already been developed and the best of them are currently being evaluated on the engine test beds in Maranello, prior to making their track debut in the opening group test of 2014, which takes place from 28 January at Jerez.
“The FIA regulations concerning fuel and lubricants have remained unchanged, but the demands of the new powertrain are radically different compared to those of its predecessor, which has given us the freedom to explore new areas and to introduce innovations,” Andrew Foulds, vice-president of Shell Fuels Technology, explained, “The change of configuration is important for us, as is the limit to how much fuel can be used per race. Finding a fuel that offers power and efficiency is like finding the Holy Grail.
“Furthermore, we have to deal with an increased life cycle for each unit. With only five power units available per driver over the course of the season, it's a very complicated exercise to push on the performance front, while maintaining the reliability of which Ferrari and Shell are justly proud. The formulation of the Shell Helix Ultra lubricants that we are developing with the Scuderia allows us to keep pushing the limits: that way we can gather valuable information which will allow us to continue development, not only for the world of racing, but also for applications for road cars.”