ferrari-logo-588Do you think Ferrari is feeling the heat from Force India and all its high-tech advancements?

OK, seriously, do you think Ferrari even knows there’s a Force India Formula 1 team?

Either way, Ferrari today released some details about its new race simulator:

New Ferrari simulator makes its debut

Maranello, 22 December – Scuderia Ferrari’s new simulator was unveiled today at Maranello. The ceremony took place in the structure built to accommodate the new machine, within the Gestione Sportiva, in the presence of Ferrari CEO, Amedeo Felisa and the Scuderia Team Principal, Stefano Domenicali.

“It’s an important day for us as the completion of this project means we will now be able to tackle with confidence some of the challenges that make up modern-day Formula 1, while putting Ferrari at the cutting edge in terms of this technology,” said Domenicali. “Furthermore, I am pleased that such a complex project as this, which got underway around two years ago, has been completed on schedule thanks to the efforts of all those who worked on it.”

The first virtual laps at the wheel of the simulator were driven by Andrea Bertolini, who worked with the Prancing Horse engineers on the development of the project, having gained a great deal of experience over the past few years, working on the simulator at the FIAT Research Centre.

The Ferrari simulator, built with the technical support of Moog, consists of an aluminium and composite structure in which are fitted the cockpit and the equipment which produces the images and sound. The platform weighs around two tonnes and is fitted with electronically controlled actuators that way around half a tonne each. The whole structure is fitted on a specially designed and built base, weighing two hundred tons. The whole is controlled by ten multiprocessor calculators with a total memory of over 60 GB of RAM: the amount of data that can be produced is around 5GB per day. It features a Dolby Surround 7.1 sound system, putting out 3500 W. The installation required over ten kilometres of cabling and power output is around 130 kW. The simulator is housed in a building measuring around 180 square metres, on two floors, which includes the control room. The platform covers a surface area of around eight metres wide by the same length and is six metres high. The driver is installed in front of five displays, which give a total viewing angle in excess of 180°.

Sounds pretty cool. I wonder if the team will offer tests to its high-priced clients, the same ones who own those old F1 cars?

Also sounds like another step in F1 cost-cutting, huh?

  • miko

    looks like everyone’s whipping out their new computers. Virgin Racing may have just paved the way for the future!

  • Top Gear

    SJ, your final comment was what immediately came to mind: this is cost cutting? This is parity?

    Which is more expensive, testing at a track or building and maintaining a simulator? Which teams now have simulators?

    And a question for our driver, do the simulators work that well? I seem to recall that when Lewis Hamilton made his debut, some of his initial pace was attributed to his simulator time (which, after watching Hikkei, makes me ask, did he have simulator time?).


    • Williams4Ever

      Looks Like Ferrari is trying to beat McLaren. McLaren Simulator was the best of the pick so far. Looks like with reduced Testing F1 is headed towards Simulator War.

      Here’s video of Williams F1 Simulator

      • Top Gear

        Excellent. Thanks for the posting. Cheers

  • SR

    This is why the whole concept of cost cutting in F1 is a red herring. The teams should be allowed to develop the cars with whatever resources they have at their disposal. If that’s a test track, extra chassis, wind tunnel, simulator, etc…they should be able to use it. They’re only going to spend what makes sense for them…and they’ll always find ways to spend in “other” areas when one area gets regulated…its an endless cycle that always leads to more spending.

  • Jim

    Simulators make sense for the team because essentially you can “virtually test” parts on the car. Parity will come in F1 when there are no teams left

    • Monad

      You can’t test parts in a simulator. How did you came up with that idea?

  • Noddy93

    you can virtually test them. doing this with computers without the input of the driver has been a hinderance to more than one team in the past few years.

    much of mclaren’s ’09 upsurge might just be due to their magnificent simulator… and now the world has a better one with Fred at the helm.

    four races max… then… tears for the haters

    • Steve

      “you can virtually test them”

      Not in a simulator you can’t. You can do FEA and CFD on components, but certainly not in real time based on forces coming out of a simulator. These things are really glorified video games. In fact, a lot of them use the R Factor engine, which you can run at home. They are inputting the real tire data, aero maps, and suspension geometry (including ride and roll rates, etc.), and that’s about as far as it goes.

      • SR

        I think you would be surprised at what can be done with these modern-day simulators. Its a pretty drastic over simplification to say they are glorified video games. NASA sent humans to the moon using simulators several decades ago and those were toys compared to the technology in these F1 sims. The aero affect of the straight line tests can be plugged in for the new aero “parts” and be “tested” on track in the simulator.

        • Steve

          I wouldn’t be surprised at all actually. ;)