Suzuka, 9 October – There’s not a moment’s respite in this frenetic final part of the season. Not only is the team still chasing the championship dream, harder to acheive but still possible after the difficult weekend in Yeongam, but work on the 2014 car is coming more into focus now. That is why the technical organization at Maranello was reinforced back in September by the arrival of James Allison, who as part of the restructuring has taken on the role of Technical Director, while Pat Fry is now Director of Engineering.
“James’ arrival is very positive for the team,” said Fry to www.ferrari.com. “There’s a lot of work to do and it’s important to have men of his calibre. James is concentrating on the design of the 2014 car, while I am concentrating on the engineering and organizational aspects, for both the short term and the near future.”
2014 will present a lot of engineering challenges, on the race management front, which will definitely be different to what we are used to. The experience factor, in particular for the drivers, could be the decisive factor, as Fry confirms. “It’s true, I think that the races will be rather different next year,” said the Englishman. “There will be a fixed maximum quantity and payload of fuel for the race and various levels of energy, so it’s possible there could be considerable differences between the maximum pace possible and a pace aimed at saving energy and fuel, to the extent that there could be a difference of between one and one and a half seconds per lap in the race. We are looking at what could be the best strategy to be as effective and efficient as possible in using what we will have: it will be important to work out for each track and for every race where and when it’s best to use all the potential and where we should save fuel.”
It’s a very complex job which, in one sense, changes the engineering approach, as one will not always be looking for the maximum in performance terms, rather, looking at the performance that overall is most efficient, also in terms of the driving. “The drivers will also have a lot to learn,” continued Fry. “It’s a real turnaround from what they are used to and it will be up to us engineers to find the best simulations and get the drivers to try them on the simulator. It will fall to them to train much more, before even going out on track for the first time. Clearly, having an experienced driver can be a positive: the quicker they learn certain mechanisms, the more easily they will be able to concentrate on their normal job of developing the car.”