When Ferrari wheeled in to their garage their F138 with an exhaust failure during the second day of testing at Circuit de Catalunya on Wednesday, there was no surprise among the Maranello engineers who had actually planned the whole episode as part of their programme.
Ferrari’s head of engines and electronics, Luca Marmorini explained, “We tested the exhaust right to the very end of its life, as we need to know where are the limits and this failure can therefore be seen as part of our routine work at the track.”
With technical rules virtually unchanged for 2013, exhaust systems continue to be an area which teams are studying in an effort to squeeze that extra bit of performance from their cars. Ferrari pointed out that “the main talking point concerns an extreme solution to the exhaust system, designed to point the exhaust gases at those parts of the car where they will create the most downforce to boost the overall aerodynamic performance of the car.”
Marmorini pointed out, “The rules governing the exhausts are exactly the same as last year, therefore we expect similar performance gains to come from the exhausts, but nothing more. While the rules are very strict regarding the configuration of the exhausts and the engine mapping, the emission of exhaust gases still has an effect on the aerodynamics of the car.”
And added, “At the moment, all engine engineers are a little bit unhappy that we have to compromise engine performance, but we can afford to lose some engine power if the car is quicker.”
With this in mind, Marmorini confirmed that the Scuderia will continue to work on finding the best possible exhaust configuration for the F138 throughout the year.
Marmorini was then asked to explain the importance of running engines for customer teams. “They provide a very important opportunity for us. It gives us more engines from which to get information and, with testing banned during the season, it provides us with a much wider data base.” (Ferrari)