Labels

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Ferrari F14-T Goes For Sagging Elephant Trunk Instead

2014 Ferrari F14-T
Scuderia Ferrari have been in Formula 1 since it started. They've had ups and downs as you'd expect during those 64 years, and while they have an unmatched 16 Constructor's Championships to their world-famous name, their previous turbo era wasn't exactly as rosy as McLaren's. With a wind tunnel that might actually be working properly this year, they'll be hoping to change that for their second one, as they enter their 65th F1 season with this, the F14-T. Yes, I know "F14T" looks like "FIAT" as it would've been spelt in 2005, and that Fiat owns Ferrari. The name was actually voted for by (some of) the Tifosi, with other choices being "166 Turbo" (which got just 1.7% less of the vote, and is the one I voted for), F14 Maranello, F14 Scuderia and F616. Thankfully the final choice didn't win, as 616 is considered by many to be the true Number Of The Beast. But you're not worried about that, are you? No, in a throwback to two years ago, you're worried about the car's nose design. Well, I have good news and I have bad news.

First, the good news. It doesn't have a protruding tip like the Williams FW36 or McLaren MP4-29, nor does it have a pair of tuning forks sticking out of it like the Lotus E22. In fact, the tip of the nose is flat.

Now, the bad news. Here it is at an angle, so you can better see the shape of the Ferrari's nose:

Yes, this is an actual image
Erm, it's been sat on. Whilst others have tried to get more air under the nose itself, Ferrari have gone for a high chassis and as low a nose as possible (sidenote: I haven't seen the Force India's nose properly, but I think it might be a similar solution). The rest of the car is basically par for the course, but I'm really struggling to like that nose. That bulge where it meets the chassis is like a sore thumb. It had better be effective enough to justify that awkward shape...

F1 meets Indycar... violently between the front wheels
This is a somewhat different approach to the other teams, who have tried to make the opening under the nose as effectively-high as possible, so it'll be interesting to see how long this solution lasts if it proves uncompetitive. Finding out first-hand will be relentless warrior Fernando Alonso and fan favourite (not that he gives a shit) Kimi Räikkönen. Between them they have three driver's titles, but Kimi's single championship is the only one of the three that was won in a red car, so it's difficult to know who will be the number-one driver within the team. In an ideal world that'll be settled purely on-track. Fernando is entering his fifth season with the Scuderia this year, so he hopes that just like Michael Schumacher, it will be fifth time lucky and he'll finally win a title with Ferrari. Schumacher's future may look a little bleak at the moment, by the way...

It's not so weird from this angle...
...but I don't want to go into that now. With Alonso and Räikkönen pushing each other all season, ex-Lotus technical director James Allison and a focus on reliability in a season that's hard to predict, Ferrari are bristling with confidence that 2014 will be their return to glory. Of course, whether this plays out as they hope remains to be seen. I just wish that F1 cars didn't have to look so contrived purely because of messy aero regulations. I know form follows function in motorsport, and I'll probably get used to them over the year, but unsightly front ends on the quickest and greatest racing cars in the world takes some of the shine off them.

Speaking of change to get used to, Mercedes, Taureau Rouge (formerly - and technically still - Toro Rosso) and Caterham have released short teasers of the new engine sounds. Here they are:




Meanwhile, here is a video about the F14-T presented by James Allison and the lead man on the engine Power Unit, plus some more pictures.


The rear diffuser hasn't been simplified, it's merely hidden from prying eyes
Fernando Alonso, team boss Stefano Domenicali and Kimi Räikkönen
Stay tuned for more weird noses!

No comments:

Post a Comment