On the just released current issue of Autosprint there's an interview with Marmorini, most of it is stuff we already know but it's interesting nonetheless so I thought was worth translating.
At which point really is Ferrari with the turbo engine?
The power unit is defined already. Some components have often production time in the order of 2/3 months. We are in November so we are leaving the last period to optimize reliability. The engine to be fitted to the car is basically the one on the dyno.
You did the intimidating durability tests?
We are doing them. Setting of these engines is a bit complicated. Recovering energy puts larger stress on the electro-mechanical area. Some tracks will be worse for electric side, the motors, some for the turbo, some for the mechanical side. Since every engine will have to last 4-5 races it's difficult to establish a representative baseline.
Does it exist a main problem, for example with consumption?
When we talk about reliability we talk also about stuff that till now was "transparent". This year teams routinely change batteries and related wiring in parc fermè. In 2014 that's not allowed. If you have to change a high voltage wire, that's counted in the numbered parts.
We know the criteria to establish penalties are rather complex, how does it work?
Each power unit is divided in 6 blocks, ICE, turbocompressor, the two motors, control electronics and battery. At the start of the year 5 units per block are sealed. Whenever you use the 6th of any of these, you lose 10 spots on the grid. You lose 15 places if you use the 7th of that same block, or the 6th of another. If you change the whole power unit you start from the pits. So to break a piston or a connector is the same thing in term of penalties. That makes things way more complex, you can't think only about a track critical for the pistons, if for example braking recovery is particularly high you have to consider it too. On that side we are not at the end of development yet.
Red Bull is famous to have batteries in various parts of the car, will be the same next year?
I think all will have them in a single block, also because FIA likes the idea of the battery located in a well defined area of the car. I believe we all use similar technology, a series of cells at controlled temp.
And the matter of future development?
It's a system based on "coins", used also in low formulae. Before February 28th engine manufacturers have to give FIA a reference manikin and for the whole season we can't touch it, bar some adjustments related to reliability, not performance. So for the whole 2014 we keep our position on performance. Once we get to 2015 we have right to a number of modifications, each one with a weight. If we change the block for example we spend 3 coins. We start with 60 available and we get to 15 in a range of 3-4 years, limiting development. The block can be modified for 2015 only, not later, Next year each team will start to analyze the areas of performance evaluating which ones "weigh" more in term of coins. In February 2015 a new reference manikin is presented. So in theory we can re-design the engine, in practice no, as we would spend too many coins. Given the troubles, all will spend coins on the ERS side and on turbo. Then various adjustments on the thermal side.
Let's assume that a manufacturer breaks the block for a design error. Or that it has 30hp less. Can that be changed?
Yes, but submitting a request to FIA and approved by other manufacturers. FIA sends requests to other teams that can approve or reject. It's an emergency solution. That is a reliability related situation. The one about performance is more complex. FIA reserves themselves the unquestionable right, if the difference of performance between an engine and another is too big, to allow development to the team. That in the past generated lot of troubles, when it was demanded by Renault and Honda. Now it's even more difficult, even if FIA has access to all the engines maps.
So, how many "real" hp we are going to have next year?
Another complex matter. Regulation was designed to give the drivers roughly same power as this year. If we put together the power of the ICE and the 164hp of ERS, sum of power to the wheels is more or less same, let's say around 750hp as reference. With a variation of 20-30hp. Difference is that while today that power is always available for the driver, and using or not KERS gives 3-4 tenths, next year if you lose the electric power you'll end up losing lot more time.
Let's take the same Ferrari engine. If a team manages it very well and another all wrong, for example on cooling, the difference can be up to a second per lap. How do you consider that, performance of the engine or of the team? Then, if today 10hp are worth 0.2-0.3s per lap depending by track, next year it will be same story. With a limit on the fuel flow rate though is a bit like having a restrictor as in the low formulae. For that reason I don't believe there could be difference of 40-50hp between different engines. The good thing is you are pushed to work on efficiency. For same fuel that can make a difference. But I want to underline that the correct management of the power unit is more important than the power itself.
So 600hp or little more for the ICE plus the 164 of the ERS. But boost pressure is limited as Renault says?
No, it's free. In reality though I think all will work between 2 and 4 bar, including atmospheric pressure. Turbo are odd engines, if the fuel flow rate is free, the more air you push in, the more you gain by dropping fuel in. You could have a tiny engine with enormous power, as in '80s. Today on the contrary you can add as much air as you want, by using little amount or a lot you can run rich or lean but the calorific potential, the energy introduced, is always the same. Would be easy to get to 1200hp and then break everything. Today the philosophy is different and that implied complete redesign of the turbo. Today designs are nothing like the old ones.
But fuel rate is limited to 100kg/hr. And we know there are issues in the measurement…
The big doubt we all have is about accuracy of measurement. 2% error means 2% power more, or less. We are working with FIA but it isn't easy. Sensors are homologated by FIA, made by external suppliers like Gill: teams are responsible for the calibration. This is the most dangerous area of new rules. If you think that an error of 1% corresponds to 6-7hp...
One of novelties is the second motor, connected to the turbo, how does it work?
It's called MGU-H, while that for KERS is MGU-K. The H stands for heat, because it recovers from exhaust gasses. Activation can be bi-directional, meaning the turbo can spin the motor, or vice versa. Basically when you are accelerating out of a corner it's not the turbine that is spinning up the compressor, but the electric motor. So the famous turbo lag, that was the limit in '80s, is not so important. Theoretically we could use larger turbine, but it would take too much electric energy to spin it. It's all a matter of balance.
But that second motor doesn't add power to the ERS?
No because it's not [mechanically] connected to the drivetrain. If it creates power surplus, in the guise of electric energy, you can send it to the battery. Or directly to the other motor, but that one can't give, by rules, more than 120kW. So if for example you are getting 80kW from the MGU-H, and send them to the other motor, you are reducing consumption from battery, but you don't get more power.
2014 batteries have 10x the storage of current: does it mean it takes longer to recharge them? Thinking about tracks like Suzuka, where braking time is limited: how can the recovery work?
Our batteries are very quick in recharging, but over a given amount of MJ you can't charge, unless you seriously compromise performance. Anyway there's a rules' limit, you can't charge more than 2MJ from braking. It's already a critical value though. The reasoning of limiting to 2MJ from braking and have 4 [usable] from battery was, originally, to favor the thermal recovery, from exhaust gasses, using the turbo as generator. But even there, the more you load the turbine, the more backpressure you get, so you have for example 500hp from the ICE instead of 600. There's always a balance [to find].
Today's KERS gives 82hp for 6.7s so power is, albeit for short time, over 830hp. Future ERS will have twice power and 4x the duration, thus 33s. But it's going to have same at Zeltweg like at Spa. Does it mean that on longer tracks there will be lack of that extra power, leaving engines as powerful as GP2's?
It's not like in all points of the track the extra boost is good for same gain, in term of laptime. At the end of the straight at 300km/h, the extra energy brings basically no gain because aero drag is too high. In acceleration and out of corners on the contrary it brings a real gain, if you have grip. Braking and cornering you don't use the boost. So when you are talking about 30" or more, on any track, it's lot of time. But since you were talking about power, it's not like without ERS [I think he actually meant ES, energy storage, here, not ERS] you only have the 600hp from ICE. The engine will always give something more, because the electric energy from turbo can always go straight to the KERS, without passing thru the battery. It will not be 120kW but not even 0. For that reason power is comparable with current.
Let's talk about torque then: are Pirelli's fears justified, too high values causing too much stress on the tyres?
What matters is the torque at the wheels and not the one at the engine. The turbo could have in fact an excess of torque: the fuel rate grows linearly, by rules' requirement, till 10.5k rpm, then it is constant till the limit of 15k. Without these rules we could have enormous torque already at 4k rpm. That way on the contrary peak torque will be reached at around 11k rpm. Partly the [Pirelli] fear is justified, but rules have limited the potential. Surely it will be a different kind of stress. Also the clutch will have to work with an higher torque.
Will 2014 cars be able to start by themselves?
It's possible but I believe everybody will still use the external starter, to not overload the battery. But it would be smart to have the possibility, if you stop on track, to restart the engine.
The old alternator is going to disappear?
No because of rules, but I believe everybody will use high voltage converters at 12V continuous.
More energy recovery, but still only on the rear axle, means also more braking effect. That the driver could have troubles dealing with. There's already talk about brake by wire, basically electronic control of braking…
Let's put it simple: having 120kW the braking is affected much more than before by energy recovery. The brake by wire allows to have a profile of energy recovery with lower impact on the car. A good challenge for chassis designers.
But the driver will have more things to manage, somebody is already talking about automating some functions…
The contribution from the driver will be important. Each team will have to define the level of "disturbance". If we had a driver that could operate a knob every 3 seconds without losing concentration or laptime we could use simplified electronics. It's also true that in 2014 we'll have a mapping of the power unit connected to the position on track, in a very precise way.
can you expand on that?
FIA absolutely doesn't want traction control. We can give to the driver a tamed down control of the throttle, but for each position of foot on the pedal there has to be a single value of torque and that one only. That in low grip areas. Outside of these areas, when you are full throttle, rules allow to change the characteristics of the power unit, for example the amount of energy to recover. But you can't "jump" from one condition to the other in real time. It can only happen every few seconds. What the driver can do is to use a set of knobs [to adjust engine's behavior] as function of tyre's grip. That's a team choice. That why an experienced driver is so important.
one of the common assumptions for 2014 is that in fuel saving mode, laptime will grow by 3-4s, is that true?
If you lose so much it means you are in troubles. I see things very similar to this year: if you see you aren't getting to the end you lift off limiting full throttle areas, nothing more. Ferrari believes that 100kg per race is a bit on the limit. Risk is that of modifying the nature of the sport. If I know it's difficult for me to end race with 100kg, and I'm behind a driver with good pace, why should I try to pass him? If I let him "towing" me I get advantages on fuel consumption, as in bicycle races. With same amount of fuel you have to do Monaco, but Australia and Canada too. From the engineering point of view it's interesting but there are some risks. Like to see drivers running for 30% of race in a long train. We already have categories with that kind of racing, maybe it was better for F1 to not move in same direction. We have no fears from the technical point of view, we could finish the race with 90kg too. We are worried about the sporting side.
What do you think about the manikins that rivals have shown?
Renault released two versions: the first one was a simple study, the Le Bourget version was better evolved. Could be the version to be used in the car. I've hard time thinking, on the other hand, that what Mercedes has shown could be related to the real thing. If you take the turbo mounted behind the engine and sum the lengths, you'll end up outside the 700mm of size allowed by rules.
Spectators - but Bernie Ecclestone too – are worried about the sound of the engines. Are they right?
If you compare with current engines, it's a lost match. The sound will be different and less powerful, less racing. The harmonic box of a 1600cc engine is different from that of a 2400cc, then the NA has open exhausts while the turbo is like a big muffler. To that you have to add lower revs. The V6 90° though has a nice sonority. Then it's very noticeable the whistle of the turbo. Also you shouldn't think that the noise published on the web can be a representation of what we are going to hear next year.
The single exhaust pipe, like a stove, besides being horrible to look at, is penalizing performance?
Certainly it's not nice, but when the gasses get out of the exhaust most of their energy has been taken by the turbo already. Position doesn’t affect aerodynamics, you have only a bit of trust but it's negligible. We would have preferred a shorter pipe and conical, due to the compressor, but that's a limit everybody will have.
Size and weight will be an issue?
To stay inside the minimum imposed by FIA, 150kg, will not be easy. It's true that it's a 6 cylinders instead of 8, but there was addition of compressor, second motor, larger battery. Incidentally, the MGU-H is smaller, because it can rev up to 125k rpm while the other can go to 50k. If they had same power still wouldn't be same size. All in all, it will be difficult to package everything in the car. Then you have many things to cool, even if you can decide to do everything with a single radiator cooling multiple things. Currently a cycle for the electric side lasts 6s per lap, in 2014 it will be 100% of the lap, because electrical parts work continuously. Cooling will be way more critical.
When are you going to show it to the public, that Ferrari V6?
Edit – added missing parts, it's now complete.