These days, with one press conference after the other for the journalists and almost nothing at hand for the sponsors, my attention was caught by the new calendar of the upcoming Formula One season. I especially had a close look at the two new circuits, which will be part of the calendar: downtown Singapore and Valencia respectively.
Both circuits are real city circuits (as the cars race right through the streets of the cities…) and both are extremely interesting, each one for its own reason. The Asian circuit is about 5 kilometres long, but really new is the fact that the single-seasters will race – for the first time in the history of modern Formula One – at night, thanks to a sophisticated light system, which has been planned exclusively for this circuit by an Italian company. Although there are some unknown factors, connected to this experiment of a race at night. My eternal love for city circuits and the necessity of the Formula One circus to reinvent itself, keeping the spectators interested in the races, let me be highly optimistic as far as this event is concerned.
By the way: a real event is also the race at the hyper-modern city circuit of Valencia (because just calling it a race would not be enough for the modern Grands Prix of Formula One). The circuit, with its length of 5,6 kilometre, has been built around the extremely modern harbour of Valencia, which already hosted the America’s Cup finals – the Formula One of the sea - last year.
The circuit is extremely exciting and extremely fast with top speeds of over 300 km/h and an average speed of around 200 km/h.
I bet it will be really fun to watch, thanks also to the fact that many systems in the cars have been abandoned this season. I think that the road the FIA has taken is finally the right one, to offer exciting Formula One races, and what do you think…?
Today I don’t want to talk about racing, although in the end – whenever you speak about Ferrari – one always is heavily connected to motorsport anyway. Today I want you to pay some attention to the F430 Spider Biofuel, which has been presented in a world premiere at the Detroit Car Show under the acronym “technological demonstration prototype”, which is the official denomination of the prototype we’re talking about. And it really is a technological demonstration, as far as this F430 uses fuel with the denomination E85, which means that the engine uses an 85 percent ethanol mix, which has been absolutely unthinkable of a Ferrari just a couple of years ago. The most incredible thing though is, that the modifications made to the engine CPU have resulted in a significant increase in maximum power output (+ 10 bhp) and torque (+ 4 per cent) and a 5 per cent drop in CO2 emissions. And do you know how all this is possible? Apart from the extraordinary abilities of our engineers it is the track (including Formula 1) that has been proved again to be an excellent testing ground for innovative solutions.
In fact maybe not everybody knows that the Formula 1’s technical regulations for 2008 demand that only petrol with 5.75 per cent biomass-derived content may be used, while the FIA GT and the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), both of which were dominated by the F430 GT2 in 2007, use fuels with 10 per cent ethanol. This is a further demonstration that races are useful and how efficient the transfer of track technology to road cars at Maranello can be, although we can sometimes be told the contrary…as I will demonstrate to you also over the upcoming months, when I will talk again about this issue.
First of all let me wish you a Happy New Year!
Hoping that you were also able to relax and recharge your batteries for the New Year, just like the one, who is writing these lines did.
The New Year has many new and interesting things and exciting challenges waiting for us.
Obviously we are starting with the F2008, which had its first shakedown in the morning and has the task to confirm the Drivers' and Constructors' World Championship titles, gained in the last season.
Numerous changes happen in the rules for the new season, starting with the elimination of the cars' traction control. Thus the cards will be shuffled anew, as President Montezemolo declared at the press conference in the morning, where he appeared in good form.
Apart from the fog at the circuit, which conditioned the outing of the car in the morning, the F2008 seems to be a car perfectly set up down to the smallest detail, especially as far as the aerodynamics are concerned, which has been cured by the engineers with particular attention. Logically the most important evolutions will happen over the season, as much as the most significant technical solutions. The most beautiful part of the car is, as usual, the form of this newly born single-seater.