Brought to you by TheJudge13 technical analyst Lorenzo De Luca
As we all know, 2014 is a year of big changes in Formula 1, without doubt, the biggest change consists in the return of turbocharged engines. After years where engines were overshadowed by aero efficiency, it seems that from this year this trend is bound to change. Indeed many engineers pointed out that having an efficient and effective power unit (Internal Combustion Engine combined with the Energy Recovery System) will be the key to win the season which is about to start.
During the winter break, there were many rumours about Mercedes and Ferrari engines, the former has been credited with more power while the latter of a total weight significantly lower than the competition. Just the 059/3 V6 seems to be the most interesting power unit, which for several months was rumoured not only to be lighter but also to be developed with a different design. It’s no mystery that Maranello wants to be back on top, after years of losses.
The new engine in the centre of the F14-T project
As it has been mentioned, having an efficient and effective power unit could be the key to win the 2014 season, so Ferrari engineers led by Pat Fry, James Allison and Luca Marmorini focussed their attention almost solely on the engine. It’s not a coincidence, indeed, that Ferrari is the only engine manufacturer that didn’t unveil its V6 early (Mercedes and Renault did it months before), and this has done nothing but fuel the rumours the 059/3 was completely different from what had been seen.
In the sketch above, leaked during the “virtual” launch of the engine, we can see that it really is different from Renault and Mercedes. The whole project has as a principal goal, the reduction of the overall dimensions, indeed as we can see, the exhaust manifolds, don’t go towards the outside (as happens with Renault), instead they go upwards, and so the MGU-H is placed below the turbine. These are clearly solutions designed to minimise the overall dimensions inside the side-pods. Always with the objective of saving weight and reducing dimensions, Ferrari is the only one to use an “air-water-air” exchanger to cool down the turbocharger, with results that have influenced the aerodynamics of the car.
Indeed, Ferrari powered cars (Ferrari, Sauber and Marussia) are the ones with the smaller side-pods air vents, a feature not to be underestimated if we consider that reducing drag has become very important, but this also could help with managing the airflows around the side-pods .
A fuller and deeper sound, what lies inside the 059/3?
During the first Jerez testing session, people who attended, had the chance to hear live for the first time the sound of the new turbocharged engines, and even here there have been surprises. Thanks to some live footage recorded by TheJudge13 himself, we can appreciate how the sound of V6 Ferrari is much different from Mercedes and Renault.
Mercedes – Mclaren
Renault – Red Bull
As you can hear, the Ferrari V6 sound is deeper, not sounding too different from an engine with an exhaust blown diffuser, especially when breaking as it “scratches” a lot. This became popular last year (and in 2011) when exhaust gases were blown toward the diffuser to gain downforce. So why does it sound so different?
According to Gary Anderson, Ferrari engineers have developed an electronic system which is capable set to zero the loss of RPM during downshifting (quick shifting system). Engineers would have drastically decreased the motor brake effect in order to maximize the gain of energy recovered when braking. Obviously, it’s still too early to really say what lies under a car. Jerez tests are never the most reliable, especially this year, as the cars ran without using all the power available (it is rumoured that only Magnussen, in his Mclaren, ran at full power reaching 15,000 RPM). Bahrain, once again, will be more interesting as we’ll see if Ferrari V6 will still have a different sound when all the cars will push at 100% to test reliability, with power units to be almost at their ultimate configuration.