The new Ferrari simulator is in operation: the calibration tests of the new instrument are in progress and for a few days the Maranello technicians have been entering the data relating to the 672, otherwise known as the ground-effect single-seater that will make its debut in the 2022 Formula 1 season. A long and complex job that will allow the team to start working on the development of the new car after the return from the summer break.
Last year, the Scuderia launched a major expansion plan for the Maranello factory before the Budget cap was triggered and invested heavily to make the Racing Department ready to return to being a top team capable of fighting for the world championship from the next season.
The simulator was supposed to be ready in the spring, but after the timing review due to the delays caused by COVID-19, the activity is proceeding according to a revised schedule.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, until now, have driven the 672 in a virtual way on the old simulator, that is to say the mega structure of Moog, identical to the one in use at Dallara, while from September they will be able to discover it on what we have called … the Little Spider.
This is a new system created exclusively for Ferrari by Dynisma in the new glass structure built between the Racing Department and the Fiorano track and is the outpost of the Municipality of Maranello. The Maranello staff that was moved to to Haas for the construction of their 2022 car also found their home inside the building.
The effort that Ferrari is making to close the gap with Mercedes and Red Bull is undeniable: competitiveness in Formula 1 is not only measured by the car, but also in the structures. For years the Italian side has paid the price for the inadequacy of simulation: being the owner of two circuits (Mugello and Fiorano) meant that Ferrari was better prepared to sepnd a long time on the side of track tests, rather than focus on work done indoors.
The prohibition of testing on track and the progressive development work between the wind tunnel, the CFD department and the simulator has increasingly led to compressing the evolution times of a single-seater with the integration of complex tools such as 3D printers that have allowed a shortening of the phases of production. In short, in recent years there has been a silent revolution in the F1 racing departments that has essentially changed the approach to GPs. And Ferrari, in this difficult period of its history due to the drop in results, has invested in the future, betting on procedures, on innovative systems.
The Dynisma simulator is just one example of the change that is taking place and which should put Ferrari back in a cutting-edge position to withstand the challenge of the upcoming Formula 1 over time.
Team Principal Mattia Binotto did not just copy the excellence achieved by Mercedes and Red Bull: Ferrari had to go further. And as compared to the most popular simulators, the Scuderia has taken a different path, less complex than the spider, but much more sophisticated than what exists on the market today. The DMG (Dynisma Motion Generator) simulator offers maximum bandwidth with minimum latency by integrating the software with the hardware, removing any possible obstacle between the driver and data acquisition. The “Little Spider”, therefore, represents a strategic resource for Ferrari.
On paper, the new rules that design ground-effect single-seaters have been judged to be too prescriptive by the team managers, a sign that the cars will look very similar in shape and there will be few opportunities in which to express imagination and creativity.
The intention of the new rules is to have closer racing and Mattia Binotto himself admitted that solutions will soon converge, so it should be more difficult to “get the project wrong” as happened for the SF1000.
Ferrari is “rearming” and the DMG simulator will be one of the keys for the Italian side’s relaunch …