Teams competing in the 2018 Formula 1 World Championship will start revealing their new race cars over the coming weeks. We won’t see the cars in action however until pre-season testing gets underway at the tail end of February.
It seems Ferrari just can’t wait because the Italian firm has revealed a few tantalizing details on its newest F1 car. The debut date is February 22, the same date Mercedes-AMG will reveal its car.
Given the dramatic changes introduced for 2017, the main one being the much bigger rubber, organizers have toned down the rule changes this season. Nevertheless, the look of the cars will change in several areas.
The most notable will be the addition of the Halo cockpit protection system. The Halo consists of a tubular carbon structure mounted over the cockpit and designed to prevent flying debris from hitting the driver’s head. Because of the proximity of the central strut to the driver, it has little effect on visibility.
To compensate for the Halo, the minimum weight of the cars has been increased 5 kilograms to a new total of 733. Ferrari says the Halo on its 2018 car will look better than the prototype version tested last year, because it has been slightly faired-in and also integrated into the livery of the car.
Another key change will be the elimination of the T-wing and fin mounted atop the engine cover. Also gone will be the crash wing, better known as the “monkey seat,” which used to sit below the rear wing. On Ferrari’s car, the exhaust outlet will be positioned further back and this year, as a further safety precaution, each wheel will have three cable tethers to prevent them detaching in an accident. The frontal crash test standard is also more severe and finally, on the front of the chassis, cars will carry a 360 degree video camera.
Power units will be similar to last year, meaning a 1.6-liter turbocharged V-6 working with two motor-generators—one mounted on the driveline and the other integrated with the turbocharger. Per the new regulations, teams will only be allowed to change the internal combustion component three times in the season instead of four. It means each of the turbocharged V-6s will have to deal with a 40 percent increase in mileage.
There are also more severe restrictions on oil consumption, with just one type of lubricant allowed over the course of a race weekend, to be used at a rate of no more than 6 liters every 100 milometers. There are new regulations relating to the positioning of some electrical components in the area around the rechargeable batteries, while further restrictions are imposed when it comes to rules regarding fuel and the air temperature going into the air intake, as well as of the exhaust gases.