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Belgian GP: Ferrari’s Luca Marmorini about engines and horsepower


By Berthold Bouman

After a 33-day summer break, it is also back to business as usual for Ferrari . The next two Grands Prix are at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, both typical high-speed circuits and thus require some extra careful engine treatment. The man at Ferrari who knows everything about engines, is Luca Marmorini, and he explains why engines will play an important role during the next two races.

Spa and Monza are all about  engines and horsepower

“Monza for example is the circuit where drivers use full throttle for a greater percentage of the lap than at any other track. Spa-Francorchamps also throws up some specific problems, such as the fact the circuit is at quite high altitude, the weather is very changeable and often wet, but these are elements that affect the whole car package, not just the engine management,” said Marmorini.

Ferrari is always looking at ways to improve their engine, one problem the Maranello-based team is addressing is the drop in engine performance, explains Marmorini. “We are always trying to reduce the inevitable performance drop that can affect engines as they are used, because some engines having to complete two or three races, therefore it’s important to try and maintain the same performance level throughout.

“If you consider that an engine can lose 5 horsepower per race, then by the third race it can have lost a total of 15 horsepower, which is a significant figure. With our partner Shell, we work on development on new fuels and oils that can aid performance”

With nine rounds of the FIA Formula One World Championship remaining, Marmorini was asked to give a verdict on the engine front, “Even if we can say that so far, in terms of performance and reliability of the engine, electronics and KERS, we are on target, we still want to do even better in the second half of the season when the championship will be decided, as well as meeting our major objective of getting through right to the end without the car ever breaking down on track.”

Teams are free to develop the engine electronics and KERS system during the season, and this is an area where Ferrari expects to find some improvements. “We have not revolutionised our work in this area,” said Marmorini. “Instead, we have concentrated on making the components better suited to the new car, lighter and less bulky, while improving efficiency. But we have been conscious of keeping the cost down on KERS to enable us to provide a competitive and economic package to our customer teams,” said the Italian engine technician.

Currently Ferrari are fourth in the Constructors’ Championship with 189 points, Fernando Alonso is leading the Drivers’ Championship with 164 points, while Felipe Mass is 14th with 25 points.

In the video below, Marmorini explains more about Formula One engines, and engineer Andrea Beneventi, explains the 29 functions on the 2012 single-seater’s wheel. In the section of the Formula 1 alphabet the Scuderia Ferrari explain HANS, qualifying, understeering and oversteering as well as uniball.

Video by Ferrari

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