Ferrari introduced its sixtieth car to ever compete in a Formula 1 season just prior to this week’s preseason testing session in Jerez, the F14 T. The car, which was codenamed 665 internally, gets its name from the year and the regulation 1.6 liter turbocharged powerplant.
The F14 T retains the pull-rod suspension setup from its predecessors, but little else. Seeing as changes to the regulations which require the nose of the car to be a certain height off the ground, the F14T looks very different from last year’s F138. Also, the front wing now has to be 75mm narrower on each side to make the car less vulnerable to collisions with barriers and other cars. While it seems like a minor difference, this presented unique aerodynamic challenges for the engineers.
Additionally, the rear wing bears no resemblance to last years, it has been made smaller and has a larger DRS stroke, as per regulations. All teams have had to adopt a single exhaust outlet as opposed to the dual setup from last year.
While the external differences are easily identifiable, the real changes have happened beneath the skin of the car. The new turbocharged engines required an intercooler, which Ferrari had integrate into the car. Packing the cooling elements and managing the airflow to them took up a large amount of design time, Ferrari says.
Further differentiating the F14 T from the F138 is the braking system, which had to be changed to accommodate with the regulations. A brake-by-wire system will now be used by all teams, which Ferrari says will help them optimize pedal consistency and brake balance as the ERS system aids in braking.
Fernando Alonso will be looking at the F14 T to help take him to a championship win this season. Alonso is hoping to pay tribute to the injured Michael Scumacher, who also won a championship after his fifth season with the Scuderia.
“Schumacher won the title in his fifth year with Ferrari and I am in my fifth year now. Hopefully I can repeat some if the success he had,” said Alonso. “In 2010 and 2012 we were very close. Hopefully this will be the good one.”