Is it true that the front will remain unchanged this year, based on last year’s data? What can be done to the rear to compensate this load? There are two other power sources now: 82 BHP from the KERS and 60 from the mobile rear wing. What is more important for you to use?
Tombazis: We’ve mainly been working on the diffuser, the exhausts and the rear. The rear wing’s performance did not only influence the balance but the wing emits a complicated vortex. In general the interaction of the wing and the rear is very important, so we had to work on the components together.
Costa: The mobile rear wing will lead to some variations for the aerodynamic and mechanic set up management, because it will be used in the qualifying quite freely and will be operated on all the straights, where the driver doesn’t need the whole downforce. This will be very important for the weekend’s strategy. Because the use in the race is limited the Teams have to take decisions regarding rations and strategies.
Marmorini: In 2009 we could see that with two cars with the same performance also with one fitted with the KERS and an extra 60 KW, it didn’t make such a big difference to determine an overtaking manoeuvre. Now there’s also the mobile wing, so the possibility for overtaking should be guaranteed. Naturally a lot also depends on the strategy, the set up and the seventh gear ratio.
You are the first to show the car: with these rules, will we see many different cars or all somehow similar and inspired by Red Bull?
Costa: we were the first, because we took a drastic decision regarding the development programmes: from a structural and a mechanical point of view the F150 is complete, while the aerodynamics is in a transitional stage; what’s left is the development considering the tyres and many novelties, which will come with the first race. This decision has been taken to give our aerodynamics’ engineers the possibility to have more time available for their development.
There will be innovations, regarding the others we don’t know. Red Bull has lead the way for certain things, but there are many different development issues. The cars will look similar, because the chassis’ and bodyworks’ dimensions have been set by the rules, but there will also be the development of unique ideas.
Regarding the KERS: Red Bull and Brawn GP didn’t use this system in 2009. Is the fact that you used it an advantage? What work did you do in Toyota’s wind tunnel? What will Chris Dyer’s role be?
Marmorini: the KERS is a complex system, not only technologically regarding the battery and the control system, but also regarding the logistical management od the parts, which is very complex. I think that we will have an advantage at the start of the Championship we from this point of view. Under a technical aspect I don’t think so, because components like this can be developed on the test bank by the other teams.
Costa: as far as Toyota’s wind tunnel is concerned I can say that there were FOTA restrictions regarding the expenses for the chassis, the number of people in the team, the hours in the tunnel, the server capacity for the fluid-dynamic simulations. The team has to decide how to spend the money and how to do the research. Our decision was to use the gallery a lot. To bring development programmes forward, ours wasn’t enough. So we asked Toyota. They have a “commercial” avant-garde wind tunnel. As far as Chris is concerned, he us a Ferrari man. He’s fine-tuning his role with Stefano these days.
The KERS will be inside the tank. How much less petrol will fit in the tank? Did you think through the possibility to use a pull-rod suspension like Red Bull?
The positioning of the KERS is the same as in 2009, but as of last year we can’t refuel during the race anymore. So we’ve done lots of work to reduce the impact and limit possible fuel consumption.
Tombazis: we were working with different set ups for the suspension, such as Red Bull’s pull-rod. There are different options for the suspension regarding aerodynamics and the pull-rod is an advantage. Our choice was to wrap the push-rod up, to improve the rear and gain aerodynamics. We think that we reached the same level as with the other suspension and we think that we have a minimum in terms of space. We also worked a lot on the dampers and the regulations.
The package for the first race will be very aggressive, caused by the fact that the aerodynamics’ engineers have as much time as possible to finding the best possible configuration.
The drivers said that they fear complex cars. You worked to make them easier. There was a safety problem with the KERS in 2009, did you resolve it?
Costa: For a long time we’ve been talking about involving the drivers while they drive. Over the last years the drivers has to deal with more and more complex systems. Many things can’t be automated due to the rules. You can’t avoid that, the challenge is on also here. We are at the limit now. And we’re talking about it, because we’re really at the limit.
Marmorini: failures and accidents are everywhere, but the safety problems with the KERS were under control. Safety came always first and testing has been fierce, regarding failures and the integrity of all parts.