After having recharged its collective batteries during the FIA’s mandatory 14-day summer break in the Formula 1 calendar, Scuderia Ferrari is ready to face the 2022 championship’s only triple-header at three historic circuits: Spa-Francorchamps, Zandvoort and Monza. The busy schedule begins in Belgium, held as always at the wonderful track in the Ardennes.
Luigi Fraboni, Ferrari Head of Power Unit Operation and Electronics, previews the next round of the 2022 Formula One season, the Belgian Grand Prix, as reported by the Maranello team’s official website earlier today:
Explain your role at Ferrari, your career path and where your passion for motorsport comes from?
Luigi Fraboni: “I’m the Head of Power Unit Operations and Electronics. The group I run looks after assembly of the internal combustion engine, the turbo, batteries, electric motors and electronic components. I also oversee the test areas where the various components of the power unit are checked for their performance and reliability over long runs. This is where the various units that will be used on track are run in. Then there’s the track group, working with the customer teams, that prepare and run the power units for the race. My love of racing and of Ferrari stems from when I was a little kid and I was lucky enough to visit the old Scuderia Ferrari headquarters during the 1979 season. It was an incredible experience and I remember it as though it was yesterday. When I was reading engineering at university, I was able to do my thesis within the engine department of the Gestione Sportiva at Ferrari and, after working briefly for another company, I got a call from Maranello and I didn’t have to think about it for a moment. I accepted enthusiastically”.
What can you tell us about the characteristics of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit?
Luigi Fraboni: “It’s a classic for Formula 1 and definitely one of the most popular with the drivers and the fans. It is unique in having very long straights combined with both medium and low speed corners. It’s always very difficult to find the right balance and the best aerodynamic downforce level to run. It will be very important to do all the necessary tests during the Friday sessions so as to find the right compromise between having maximum speed down the straights, which penalises you in the corners or vice versa. Another important consideration is the chance of rain, which is often a factor and hard to predict. It has an influence on the set-up choices made by the teams and can also make for unpredictability in qualifying and the race. The most fascinating corner is definitely Eau Rouge-Raidillon, the high speed uphill esses with a blind exit and it will be interesting to see how this new generation of cars performs through it”.
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Importance of engine at Spa-Francorchamps circuit
Luigi Fraboni: “Spa-Francorchamps is very tough on the power unit in terms of reliability. It’s the longest track on the calendar and usually, the distances covered over the course of the weekend are among the highest. There are very long straights that stress all the components and therefore require a specific assessment on the test bench. In terms of performance, along with Monza, this is the track where engine power has the greatest effect on lap time and energy management also has a major impact on the final result, especially in qualifying. The various climbs and drops, particularly Eau Rouge-Raidillon can have a critical effect on the various power unit cooling and lubrication systems and so some specific calibrations are likely to be evaluated during the Friday sessions”.
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